Sunday, 4 December 2011

Bakuman Season 2 - Episode 10

Never mind episode ten, this feels more like it should be labelled as episode one of the series as it's back to the beginning for Ashirogi Muto in their quest for serialisation and an anime adaptation.

After musing over the route they should take, Mashiro and Takagi settle on the idea of testing the waters with a one-shot manga for their next effort before diving back into the waters of serialisation - however, their editor Miura has other ideas.  Not only does he want them to get straight back on the serialisation bandwagon, but he also wants them to move away from more serious works towards trying their hand at a "gag" manga - an approach that just doesn't feel right to our protagonists.  Still, at least they're having an easier time than Nakai, who finds himself rejected in terms of both love and manga.

However, the more they think about it the more dissatisfied our pair our with Miura's decision, leading to a tense stand-off in the Shounen Jack offices as a result - ultimately, the closest we come to a compromise is a decision from Akito to create two storyboards for the next serialisation, one being a gag manga as requested while the other takes on a more serious subject.  However, in a further show of distrust in their editor, the pair submit a third offering - a one-shot manga which passes over Miura's head for judging in the magazine's monthly competition.  This causes a further freezing in the editor-artist relationship, worsened by Mashiro's gut feeling that Miura has taken the worst of their two potential series for the serialisation meeting.

I was actually quite curious as to where Bakuman intended upon heading next having so unceremoniously dumped its authors out of Shounen Jack last week - I have to say that I approve of where they've travelled to, with a pull no punches analysis of the editor-author relationship that feeds on the uncertainty Takagi and Mashiro have had for Miura from the start.  This is nicely played throughout, as we're given no real certainty on which party is right, leaving us with what should be an interesting time over the coming episodes.  Kudos should, of course, also go to Nakai for his impromptu confession (there aren't enough of those in anime), which suddenly makes him seem like more of a man despite his outright rejection.

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