Sunday, 9 January 2011

Bakuman - Episode 14

Although coming in third place in the final questionnaires after being feature in Jack NEXT seems pretty decent to most people, it simply isn't good enough for our pair of wannabe manga artists - a feel of disappointment that leads to them tearing up their current ideas and deciding to go back to creating some good, old-fashioned battle manga instead.

Of course, this decision proves to be difficult in a number of ways - Akito tries to get into the right mindset by sparring with Miyoshi (never a good idea, incidentally), while Moritaka looks to hone his drawing skills by copying images from all of the popular series he can get his hands on.  Still, at least these two boys aren't the only ones coming across new obstacles while following their dreams, as Miyoshi reports that Azuki has failed some voice actress auditions as she attempts to follow her own dreams.

The next obstacle for Moritaka and Akito is their editor Hattori, who is pretty much incensed at their plans to return to attempting to create mainstream manga which he (quite rightly, if you ask me) feels is a waste of their talents and potential.  As these two sides argue the toss about the best way forward in the Jack offices, it turns out that Eiji Nizuma's editor is having an even harder time thanks to the blasé attitude of his oddball charge.  While Nizuma creating chapters for an entirely different manga to the one the magazine had chosen to serialise, Moritaka and Akito end up meeting their big rival for the first time... only to find out that Eiji loved their work on "Money and Intelligence", while also getting a first-hand view of what makes him the manga-making genius that he is as Nizuma knocks out a couple of names in half an hour.  Amazingly, even this doesn't dissuade our two main lads from their currently chosen path, so it looks as though its going to be a continuing struggle to produce decent mainstream manga for them for the time being.

As much as I have a pretty intense dislike for Eiji Nizuma during the course of Bakuman thus far, it has to be said that he added a lot to this particular episode, thanks not only to his self-centred shenanigans but also by immediately creating an intriguing dynamic between himself and Akito and Moritaka which I'm hoping will be explored further in future episodes.  Overall, this episode was entertaining without doing anything incredible or out of left-field, which probably goes to show that it's enjoyable on account of its characters and their simple trials and tribulations rather than anything deeper or more complex.  That's absolutely fine by me, so long may the series continue along its current path.

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