After setting up its (slightly crazy in places) premise last week, Bakuman's second episode seemed all set to move things on apace and start down Moritaka and Akito's dreams of creating a manga.
However, for the first half of this episode we're left with effectively the hangover of the night before where Moritaka revealed his plans to Azuki, and even proposed marriage, which she (bizarrely) agreed to provided he become a successful manga artist and she succeed in becoming a voice actress. Unsurprisingly, these revelations leave Moritaka unable to sleep that night, and come the next day's exams at school he excuses himself, only to find himself followed by Akito, whereupon he finally agrees that they should work together towards their collective dream - although I thought they'd agreed this in the first episode, but never mind.
Of course, this still leaves one major problem for our love-struck protagonist - his parents, who are never likely to agree to see their son try and fulfil his dream on account of his uncle dying while trying to become a successful manga artist. With that in mind, it's no shock that Moritaka's mother turns down his request outright, but after nagging her somewhat she agrees to at least ask his father (who Moritaka never really talks to). Amazingly, his father agrees, deciding that this is a dream that women can't understand, which isn't at all sexist... However, Moritaka's father isn't the only unexpected voice of support for his decision - his grandfather, and the father of his deceased uncle, is also pleased to hear Moritaka's decision, even offering him the key to said uncles studio to set him down his chosen path.
For the first half of this episode, I have to admit that I felt a little disappointed in this instalment - it felt too slow and a little unnecessary in places, covering items on the agenda which already seemed obvious to me; we know Moritaka is in love with Miho, and we know that he wants to be a manga artist deep down, so there's no need to drag it out and spell it out for us over and over. Still, once we hit the second half of the episode things started moving again, and the acceptance of Moritaka's career choice by his grandfather was actually a touch moving. To be honest, it's actually nice to see parents and family involved in an anime at all, as they're so often ignored entirely, adding a little realism to balance out some of the odder points of the show's scenario. So, maybe this time we're on track to get this series started properly - I hope so, as despite the slow start to this week's episode I'm still looking forward to seeing where it's headed.