Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Bakuman - Episode 18

Despite working as Nizuma's assistant in the hopes of learning something from him, it seems more like Moritaka and fellow assistant Fukuda spent most of the last episode teaching their so-called genius boss all kinds of stuff, although you have to hand it to Eiji for soaking it all up.

Given their thoughts and opinions being listened to so intently by Nizuma, it seems as though Fukuda feels ready to impart yet more of his perceived wisdom upon any who wants to listen, in this case Nizuma's editor - cue a long discussion/rant about the way series are ordered within magazines such as Jack broadly in order of popularity and how that creates an unfair system for manga that need longer to develop and get to the core of their story.  Methinks the actual authors of Bakuman are writing something of an op-ed piece with this particular debate...

Anyhow, Moritaka finally does learn something worthwhile (albeit incredibly simple) from Nizuma in the end, courtesy of a throw-away comment from Eiji about how he's been writing manga since he was a little kid.  This reminds Moritaka of the scribblings of his own youth, leading to the realisation that he probably has plenty of good story and character ideas stored away from those heady earlier days freed from the pressure of trying to write and create mainstream manga.  At the same time, it appears that Akito is also moving down a similar line of thought to Moritaka, as their ideas converge upon that of a mystery/detective story.  However, there look set to be more obstacles in the pair's way before they can get anywhere with their latest effort, with Moritaka exhibiting his frustration at Akito spending a lot of time with Miyoshi and causing something of a minor falling out between the pair of them.

It probably says something about me that the part of this instalment of Bakuman I enjoyed most was the rant about how the manga industry disadvantages new series and doesn't give them time to "breathe" and develop - I'm sure we've all expressed frustration at the same-y nature of manga and anime sometimes, and this kind of thing is exactly the reason why.  Perhaps someone needs to create a manga or anime called "Grumpy Old Content Creators Have a Whine About the Industry They Work in"?  I'd definitely watch it.  Anyhow, it's that kind of stuff which makes Bakuman the fascinating specimen that it is at times, more so than its drama or romance elements on occasions such as this; that isn't to say that the other elements of this show aren't continuing to work well however, to make for what continues to be a compelling package.

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