With their first manuscript given a more successful evaluation than we might have been expecting, episode seven of Bakuman allows our thoughts... or rather Moritaka's thoughts... to drift towards Azuki. Not a difficult leap given that they're now sat next to one another in class.
While putting these two side-by-side proves initially disastrous for this nervous pair, leaving them feeling physically sick with nerves, once Moritaka has gotten over this shock he actually finds Azuki to be very receptive to him as he begins to scribble notes for her during class, succeeding in making her laugh and learning a few basic things about her. This all goes awry however when he suggests they shouldn't have to wait to fulfil their respective dreams before getting closer, a throw-away thought that makes Azuki cry in class. Oops.
Then again, it seems like Azuki will cry at pretty much anything at the drop of the hat, as Moritaka regains her favour by turning down the opportunity to e-mail her she deliberately presents him with, instead opting to wait until after they move seats again at least while also suggesting they'll have all the time in the world once he accomplishes his dream. Speaking of dreams, despite the news that their first manuscript didn't make it as a finalist of Shonen Jack's monthly awards, Moritaka and eventually Akito eventually decide that their next goal is no less than to win a prize at the next Tezuka Awards - no small feat, as the name suggests. Meanwhile, Eiji Nizuma's start continues to rise...
Although I far prefer Bakuman when it concentrates on "the manga bit", this wasn't a bad episode in terms of entertainment value provided you can get over the daft promise between Azuki and Moritaka as well as the former's ability to burst into tears at the slightest provocation. The initial note-showing scenes between the pair of them were actually quite sweet, and more importantly this episode really kept the dynamic between Akito and Moritaka running nicely as these two budding manga artists manage to discuss things and share opinions without breaking into arguments, making them a likeable pair of characters. Bakuman still isn't blowing me away as much as I expected given all of the praise for the manga, but I'm continuing to enjoy it quite a bit nonetheless.