Monday, 13 December 2010

Bakuman - Episode 11

With Shonen Jack NEXT as their current top priority, our pair of hard-working manga artists have their work cut out for them; unlike Eiji Nizuma, who still seems to be breezing along in his own fledgling career with the magazine.  Not that that makes him any less of an utter douche, mind you...

Anyhow, this particular episode of Bakuman has rather a lot to throw into its melting pot and blend together - of course, we have the boys all-important work towards getting published in NEXT via their current work on a world where you can buy people's thoughts, but beyond that there are also high school entrance exams to worry about no matter how relatively low-key the school Moritaka and Akito are aiming for may be.

With this instalment covering a pretty broad range of time, to add to all of this we have Christmas, meaning a first date for Akito and Miyoshi (who clearly has never heard the phrase "wrap up warm"), and Valentine's Day, meaning chocolates for both guys from the girls who are interested in them.  This is little more than foreplay for the big moment that this episode brings - have our protagonists made it into the hallowed pages of NEXT, and under what circumstances?

It's these final scenes that really prove the power of Bakuman - from quite enjoying this relatively easy-going, light and entertaining episode, suddenly I was on the edge of my seat and racked with tension, waiting for the on-screen phone to ring just as impatiently as Moritaka and Akito to find out the fate of their latest work.  In a world where so many shows end up being predictable, this ability to raise and hold a little tension (if only for a few seconds) shouldn't be under-estimated, and it just goes to show how well the series as a whole is working even if it outwardly just seems to be shrugging its shoulders and going with the flow.  Deep down however, the wheels are always turning to keep you hooked, and it seems to be working - on me at least.

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