Bakuman 2 – 07

[SFW-sage]_Bakuman_S2_-_07_[720p][Hi10P][8E55AA95].mkv_snapshot_05.39_[2011.11.12_21.25.14] [SFW-sage]_Bakuman_S2_-_07_[720p][Hi10P][8E55AA95].mkv_snapshot_13.33_[2011.11.12_21.33.08] [SFW-sage]_Bakuman_S2_-_07_[720p][Hi10P][8E55AA95].mkv_snapshot_20.20_[2011.11.12_21.39.54]

If I’d made the claim midway through the first season that an episode of Bakuman would be arguably one of the most intense anime episodes for months, I’m pretty sure just about everyone would have said I was crazy – and the line would have formed behind me.  Well, guess what…

I’m pretty charged up with righteous indignation after watching all that unfold.  Fukuda isn’t one of my favorite characters on this show, but he certainly does come in handy at times when you need the rabble roused.  I smell trouble ahead, but I heartily support his decision on principle.  The man who really disappointed me this week was Sasaki.  I said that he was the only one with enough emotional distance and experience to cut through all the powerful feelings and make the right decision.  Well, I was wrong about the emotional distance part, because he just made a very poor decision based on emotion.

Any way you slice it, the question of whether Masahiro should continue drawing in the hospital was a difficult one and hardly clear-cut.  Masahiro made the same argument to his doctor that I made in this blog last week – that it would put him under so much stress not to draw that it would actually be worse for his health than drawing under supervision.  That may or may not be true, and I’ll admit it makes a handy device to rationalize why he should continue writing.  But to not only put the series on hiatus during his hospitalization, but to extend it until Ashirogi Muto graduates high school?  Sorry, but that’s just stupid as far as I’m concerned. 

The really galling part about it is that Sasaki freely admits that he’s only extending the hiatus because Masahiro is Nobuhiro’s nephew.  Guilt is rarely a healthy basis on which to base important decisions, but it’s clearly the major factor here – that and the pressure from Masahiro’s mother.  Her role in this can’t be faulted, because she’s only doing what she sees as best for her son – but she’s doing the wrong thing for the right reasons.  Once she admitted that she wanted Masahiro to quite drawing manga altogether, she disqualified herself from being a rational judge on the matter of how Masahiro’s illness and the hiatus should be handled.  By her own admission, she’s trying to destroy his career – and because of his guilt about what happened to her brother-in-law, Sasaki didn’t have the balls to stand up to her.

So indeed, things have gotten pretty ugly now.  Fukuda (as I immediately suspected he would) decided to boycott “Jack” until the decision is reversed.  Hiramaru, wanting nothing more than a break, is only too eager to come along, and Fukuda shrewdly realizes Aoki will be a much more receptive ear than Nakai – and no one would be more likely to persuade him.  But it’s Niizuma that’s the big dog here, the powerhouse, and with his involvement the notion of a boycott carries some real weight.  The showdown with the editors is ironic, because they’re seemingly just as upset about Sasaki’s decision as the writers are.  But Sasaki strikes me as a man who won’t respond kindly to threats, and the potential for disaster is rife here even with Niizuma on-board.  One thing we can be pretty sure of is that Miura will be utterly useless as usual, but it was interesting to see Hattori #2 be the editor most angry about the situation.  How he and his colleagues handle this is going to be interesting to see.

Indeed, I’m not sure I can see what the way out is.  The obvious answer is to compromise, putting Trap on hiatus but ending it as soon as Masahiro is released from the hospital.  But Sasaki would have to both back down and go against Masahiro’s mother, and I’m not sure I can see him doing that.  I really wonder if Masahiro’s Dad might not get involved here, as he’s been conspicuously absent for a very long time.  Nobuhiko was his brother after all, and he seems to understand the important this dream holds for his son.  A word from him could go a long way towards persuading both his wife and Sasaki. 

If there’s any good news in all this, it’s that Masahiro’s relationship with Azuki has come a long way in a short time.  I’m pleasantly surprised the series hasn’t grabbed on to their pact like a dog with a bone, but let it go when it made sense for the story.  Pretty much all their secrets are out now, even Azuki’s promise to wait for Masahiro until graduation, and with her planning to visit him in the hospital every day I have a hard time believing they’ll be able to go back to 100% e-mails and texts after he’s released from the hospital.

[SFW-sage]_Bakuman_S2_-_07_[720p][Hi10P][8E55AA95].mkv_snapshot_07.10_[2011.11.12_21.26.44] [SFW-sage]_Bakuman_S2_-_07_[720p][Hi10P][8E55AA95].mkv_snapshot_07.31_[2011.11.12_21.27.05] [SFW-sage]_Bakuman_S2_-_07_[720p][Hi10P][8E55AA95].mkv_snapshot_08.30_[2011.11.12_21.28.04]
[SFW-sage]_Bakuman_S2_-_07_[720p][Hi10P][8E55AA95].mkv_snapshot_09.29_[2011.11.12_21.29.04] [SFW-sage]_Bakuman_S2_-_07_[720p][Hi10P][8E55AA95].mkv_snapshot_11.51_[2011.11.12_21.31.25] [SFW-sage]_Bakuman_S2_-_07_[720p][Hi10P][8E55AA95].mkv_snapshot_15.18_[2011.11.12_21.34.53]
[SFW-sage]_Bakuman_S2_-_07_[720p][Hi10P][8E55AA95].mkv_snapshot_16.18_[2011.11.12_21.35.53] [SFW-sage]_Bakuman_S2_-_07_[720p][Hi10P][8E55AA95].mkv_snapshot_18.16_[2011.11.12_21.37.50] [SFW-sage]_Bakuman_S2_-_07_[720p][Hi10P][8E55AA95].mkv_snapshot_18.50_[2011.11.12_21.38.24]
[SFW-sage]_Bakuman_S2_-_07_[720p][Hi10P][8E55AA95].mkv_snapshot_19.11_[2011.11.12_21.38.45] [SFW-sage]_Bakuman_S2_-_07_[720p][Hi10P][8E55AA95].mkv_snapshot_20.04_[2011.11.12_21.39.38] [SFW-sage]_Bakuman_S2_-_07_[720p][Hi10P][8E55AA95].mkv_snapshot_20.14_[2011.11.12_21.39.49]
[SFW-sage]_Bakuman_S2_-_07_[720p][Hi10P][8E55AA95].mkv_snapshot_21.10_[2011.11.12_21.40.44] [SFW-sage]_Bakuman_S2_-_07_[720p][Hi10P][8E55AA95].mkv_snapshot_22.32_[2011.11.12_21.42.33] [SFW-sage]_Bakuman_S2_-_07_[720p][Hi10P][8E55AA95].mkv_snapshot_22.34_[2011.11.12_21.42.35]


  1. d

    DAMMIT, I'm tempted to read the manga now to see what happens lol. Weird as it may be, for some odd reason I unconsciously viewed Azuki and Saito as husband and wife already despite them not being married. I just got that vibe during this episode.

  2. M

    I'm glad to hear you are enjoying this arc as it's probably my favorite of the manga. It's really nice to see the entire cast brought together by this one incident.

    The editor-in-chief is being too harsh but he's got a point. It's his guilt that makes him more human and less Gendou Ikari-ish.

    Miura's powerlessness is as irritating as I remember and Hiramaru still cracks me up every time. I couldn't help but smile a bit when he "confessed" to Aoki…

    As for the showdown with the editors, just remember that while some may be just as upset as the mangakas, that doesn't mean they'd approve of this boycott.

    And a last note about the pacing. They seem to have settled at 2 manga chapters per episode. That would mean the second season will be able to cover 50 chapters as opposed to the 34 the first did. Certainly an improvement.

  3. N

    wow, these last few episodes have been so intense!
    There's one thing that bothers me, though. I can accept all the authors boycotting Jack – but would Ashirogi Muto join a boycott if it was one of the others in the same situation? I'm not sure. In fact, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't. Mashiro is readily risking *dying* so as not to go on a hiatus. Would he be be willing to put his precious dreams on hold because Fukuda or Nakai are unfairly forced on a break? Maybe he'll be willing to do it for Niizuma, as his archrival, but I wouldn't bet on it.

  4. I do disagree there, though we'll never no – I think Ashirogi would do it.

  5. a

    @ Nadavu:

    I think you don't understand the spirit behind Team Fukuda… All members are friend, but also rivals, and it's as important to Ashirogi Muto to keep drawing manga than to keep competing with the other members of the Team. They like manga, but if the other members of Team Fukuda were forced on a break, they would jump right on with the boycott, because rivalry with the other mangakas of the Team is what pushes Ashirogi Muto on. They want to achieve their dreams of becoming number 1 and getting an anime, but they want to do it by beating Niizuma, Fukuda, Hiramaru, Nakai and Aoki fair and square. If one of them is impaired, they'll help them get back up so everybody stands a chance for the finish line!

  6. N

    I understand what you're saying, but this is what it all boils down to: will Mashiro see a boycott as something that brings him closer to Azuki, or as something that might drive them further apart? What you're saying is that, in order to fulfill his dreams (and get Azuki), Mashiro has to beat the other members of team Fukuda fair and square. But as awesome as the members of team Fukuda are, they're not the only mangakas in Japan, and I'm not sure that it has to be them that Mashiro must beat in order to get animated. and in the end, isn't that what Mashiro is dreaming about? an anime adaptation with a seiyuu part for Azuki? Going on a boycott is serious business – the mangakas are literally putting their careers on the line. Niizuma makes joining a different magazine sound easy, but it really can't be that simple. So Mashiro has to consider the possibility that by joining a boycott he is hurting his chances for an anime adaptation. and even if it's only a temporary setback, I think this whole arc – the whole show, in fact – revolves around the fact that he (and Takagi, but mostly Mashiro) simply can't wait even a second longer than he absolutely has to. In the very least I'd expect Mashiro to have a really hard time with this – much harder than Nakai, the only one that actually seems troubled by the possibility of hurting his career, had. I'd expect him to go bananas over it, then talk it over with Azuki and yeah, probably joining the boycott eventually, with Azuki's approval and encouragement.
    Well, as Enzo said, we'll never know. and it's kinda futile (but fun!) to obsess over 'what if…'s. I guess I just don't have a very positive view on how Mashiro is behaving right now. To me, he seems like a man possessed beyond what can possibly be considered a virtue. It makes him a good anime character, but not a guy I'd be happy to be dependent on, if push comes to shove. a man that intense might step over some bodies on his way to the top, very likely without even realizing it.
    Sorry for renting so long! this episode must have hit a nerve 😉

  7. I honestly don't think Mashiro is that selfish. Yes, he's single-minded and fairly obsessed with his "contract" with Azuki. But he's also highly principled and even idealistic, and I think he'd be all on-board with taking one for the team.

    But we'll never know…

Leave a Comment