Sunday, 8 January 2012

Bakuman Season 2 - Episode 14

Although Takagi and Mashiro have plenty of important things to attend to as they focus upon their new gag manga and getting it ready for its all-important debut in NEXT, perhaps they should also turn an eye a little closer to home and, more specifically, the women in their lives.

Indeed, there's rivalries all around this week in Bakuman's world, with Miura and Yamahisa facing off in the Jack editorial department while Ahirogi Muto and Aoki Ko's latest efforts go head-to-head along similar lines, although all of this is really pushed to the sidelines by some potential love rivalries brewing beneath the surface.

With Miyoshi distraught at her (slightly misunderstood) discovery about Takagi, which in turn sees Miho drawn into the fray - when Takagi fails to deal with the issue of an upset Miyoshi properly in the first instance, his partner in manga is eventually drawn into the cycle of distrust with potentially rough consequences for both of them. Besides which, what of Aoki herself, as she struggles to get to grips with her own feelings as they relate to Takagi?

Although I've enjoyed some of the romantic elements of Bakuman, particularly in this second season, I have to admit things feel a little forced as they're portrayed this time around, mostly on account of the fact that both Takagi and Mashiro seem like utter dimwits when it comes to the opposite sex.  With the latter taking the issue of being hung up on as equivalent to being dumped, the former actually looks like a bit of an asshole when he shows little reaction to Miyoshi raving at him and then hanging up, putting another dent in a relationship that often feels like it's there for convenience rather than anything else.  Perhaps its too much to ask for to have some realistic, or even caring, male anime protagonists from a relationship point of view, but this episode soured me a little to both of their attitudes.  Hopefully things improve next week, as it looks like we may have to wait a little longer to return to matters of manga.

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