Bakuman – 13

The big news this week: Masahiro finally emailed Miho. I suppose in the world of Bakuman we have to consider this progress on the Masahiro/Azuki front.

I’ve rarely seen an anime generate as many complaint posts as this one does. It makes me wonder – if you hate it that much why are you still watching it? I’ll rarely stay with a series I’m not enjoying past three or four episodes. Since the lack of development in the main romance is the biggest source of venom, maybe this will quell it a bit.

As slow as that romance develops, things are moving pretty damn quickly on the manga front – which is unavoidable I suppose if you’re actually trying to tell a story with a narrative. The boys decided to come up with a pen name – Ashirogi Muto, actually dreampt up by Miyoshi – to avoid complications at high school. Of course most high schoolers would love to have the fact that they’re nationally published mangaka well-known, especially to the girls, but that’s their choice. “Next” is published and we get our manga lesson for the week – there are two sets of results for the questionnaires, an initial quick take and the “real deal” the detailed results that generally decide who gets syndicated. The boys come in first in the quickie and are so enthused that they write three more names for “Money and Intelligence”, hoping for serialization – but when they slip to third in the real deal (behind Niizuma of course) Masahiro is so distraught that he refuses to show off the names to Hattori and tears them up.

Seriously – lose the jacket…

That was pretty intense, actually – the duo worked so hard on those names and just like that, they’re confetti? I realize these guys are fifteen, but even so. Hattori is a bit alarmed at their disappointment – knowing full well what his industry does to innocents and that third place for a debut (and an esoteric one at that) is damn good. There seems to be an increasingly heated rivalry heating up between Hattori and Niizuma’s editor, which bothers me a bit – is Hattori going to be thinking about Takagi and Masahiro’s best interests or beating his colleague? He’s already got the boys obsessed with Niizuma. On the plus side Masahiro admits that Niizuma has advanced as far as he has based on real ability. “Now they must wrestle with the decision again – go “mainstream” to try and defeat Niizuma, or stay with their own style? Here’s an example of where the Niizuma obsession is negatively impacting – I think their original decision to be originals was the right one, but now Masahiro is pushing them towards pure shounen territory.

At last, looks like we’ll get some real screentime with Niizuma next week – it’s long overdue. It’ll be fascinating to see Masahori and Takagi wrestle with this decision of art vs. commercialism – I hope the story makes the case in favor or staying true to your vision.


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