Bakuman – 19

The shortest breakup in manga writing history is over in one episode. To be fair, it did span about two months of RL time – but really, can anyone be remotely surprised to see Takagi and Masahiro back together?

I know everyone is going to jump on Hattori’s bandwagon again and talk about what a great mentor and editor he is, but I continue to have a little issue with his methods. Seems like he’s always planning something behind Masahiro’s back – and this week was no exception. I sort of understood where he was coming from in wanting to have Takagi and Masahiro work on their names separately, but I really think it would have been much simpler to just tell Masahiro the truth and get the two boys working on the same page. Instead, Hattori cooks up his elaborate plan to keep them working separately for two years – two years – to try and keep Masahiro from rushing into serialization too soon.

Of course, if Masahiro – either as a partner with Takagi or on his own – is good enough to get himself serialized, it’s really not Hattori’s damn place to keep him down. Hattori is a cocky bastard. He’s doing what he thinks is right but certainly manipulating Masahiro to the point where it’s a bit questionable ethically. Fortunately Takagi has enough integrity to spill the beans after two months instead of two years, and the boys end up just where we expected – back working together, this time on their shared idea of a detective story. Much to Miyoshi’s relief I might add – as she was rather upset that she might have been the reason they split up. Probably not, but maybe the time to worry about it would have been while she was forcing Takagi to ghost write “her” cellphone novel…

Things are really heating up now, and it should be fun to see where things go from here. I missed seeing lots of Eiji, Fukuda and Nakai this week, but the fun thing is that for all their shared passion they’re all rivals for Takagi and Masahiro. Those should prove to be complex relationships as things develop.

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