Sunday, 18 December 2011

Bakuman Season 2 - Episode 12

Despite all of their hopes and the assertions of others, and even given the opportunity to publish two one-shot pieces in consecutive issues of Jack, there's nothing but disappointment in the survey results which come from those two outings.

Still, despite only charting in tenth and ninth place respectively, at least Mashiro and Takagi seem to have proved their point regarding the strength of their serious story-telling, as defined by Future Watch, over going down the comedy route a la TEN.  Or have they?  Despite winning their "bet", as it effectively was, Miura is still certain that a gag manga is the route to go down, and so he sets off on a week-long crusade to prove it, putting together as much data as he possibly can to back up his argument and help out his charges.

So, when Takagi and Mashiro turn up to a meeting with the latest storyboard for Future Watch, they're both shocked and disgruntled at Miura's rejection of it in favour of a continuation of TEN.  While Takagi appreciates the data and what it shows (that a gag manga has a better chance of lasting the course), Mashiro is still adamant that it's the wrong way forward.  Before we know it, the argument has become heated, with Miura suggesting that Takagi could simply find a new answer to work with.  Needless to say, this is a bad idea, and the editor-artist relationship plunges to rock bottom.  Still, Ashirogi Muto aren't the only ones having a tough time at least, with Aoki also having a tough time in her own latest bid to be serialised.

With its inherent drama ramping up to a new degree, once again there was a lot to keep my interest in Bakuman this week - the juxtaposition of "scientific" data against artistic merit versus gut instinct is always going to be an interesting one, while the viewer has been well and truly left to make their own mind up about the true status of Miura as an editor, and whether he's a smart cookie or a failure (or somewhere in-between the two, more likely).  It's these relatively simple yet well-fleshed out plots and stories that make this show a continuing joy to watch - entertaining and thought-provoking in equal measure.  Given that it's already had its third anime series given the green light, I'm clearly not the only one that thinks so either.

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