Sunday, 30 January 2011

Bakuman - Episode 17

While Akito is spending some time on his own (well, not quite, but away from Moritaka anyhow) to try and develop his writing skills, it's time for Moritaka himself to learn what will hopefully be some important lessons of his own courtesy of a spell as Eiji Nizuma's assistant.

Needless to say, this soon proves to be a rather "unique" working environment, but as well as Nizuma himself it also introduces Moritaka to another pair of very different wannabe manga artists - the thirty-something, yet to be serialised Nakai and the young and driven Fukuda, very much two opposite ends of the manga artist spectrum.

Still, it's really Nizuma who Moritaka is here to see in the hope of picking up some useful tips, although it soon turns out that things are about to be turned on their head, with Moritaka and Fukuda teaming up to give Nizuma advice on his "Crow" manga as they realise that their early amazement at the series is turning to disappointment thanks to a story with no surprises or real progression to speak of.  So, with plenty of ideas between them, this pairing manages to persuade Eiji to take writing "names" and spending time working on the actual story of his manga more seriously - suggestions which seem to pay dividends and add yet more to Nizuma's already impressive arsenal.  But has Moritaka actually learned anything from his work as an assistant so far?  Perhaps more than he realises, I would wager.

Even without a huge amount of drama and tension, this still proved to be a fun and eminently watchable episode of Bakuman, as well as the all-important point where Eiji Nizuma stopped pissing me off constantly and actually turned into a more well-rounded, fascinating and almost likeable character - an important progression for the series in my book.  It also looks as though we'll be sticking with the Fukuda, Nakai and Moritaka trio working with Nizuma for the next episode, so although I'm not entirely sure what more there is to squeeze out of this particular scenario I'm still looking forward to giving it a shot and seeing what it can bring to the table.

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