Monday, 14 February 2011

Bakuman - Episode 19

Despite a bit of a falling out last episode, it didn't seem as though the relationship between Moritaka and Akito was in that bad shape... think again however, as come the start of this instalment the former decides that it's time to call their pairing a day, with Akito agreeing without too much of a fight.

Despite the break-up of this partnership, Takagi has no plans to quit his dream to be a manga writer, so he endeavours to carry on down his own path (spurred on by his relationship with Miyoshi) while Mashiro of course has Azuki to think about.  Thanks to this break-up, it seems as though the pair of them will never know how close they were to one another's ideas as they both move towards creating a mystery manga... at least, it seems that way until Mashiro meets with Hattori, and his probing into what has happened between the two of them brings this revelation to his attention.

With this knowledge, and with Moritaka clearly still wavering about going it alone, Hattori sets out to bring their pairing back together, albeit while also using their split to his advantage in the hope of getting them to create a more considered manga after a protracted period of work upon its story.  This looks like the kind of cunning plan that might succeed, were it not for the fact that Mashiro had already agreed to look over any names created by Takagi despite their split, which of course soon makes it clear to all concerned how close in style their ideas were - a ray of light which brings their brief separation to an end as they look to turn the tables on their ediotr without his knowledge.

Despite having enjoyed Bakuman pretty much from the word "go", I have to say that this was easily the best episode of the series thus far.  Sure, you could argue it was a little rushed in the way it squeezed the manga creating pair's break-up, progress and reunion into a single episode when perhaps two episodes might have worked better, but regardless this was very much compelling stuff full of twists and turns that brought a grin to my face as various characters tried to outmanoeuvre one another, sometimes unwittingly so.  It was smartly written and delivered and hugely entertaining, and I enjoyed every second of it as a result.  Good stuff indeed.

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