Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Bakuman Season 2 - Episode 16

Takagi and Miyoshi's relationship is back on the right track (well, if you consider marriage to be "the right track"), while Aoki and Nakai's relationship is anything but, although it's probably for the best all things considered.  Thus, it's time to get down to one of the pivotal issues of the manga business - panty shots!

With Nakai putting himself very much out of the running, the questions of who is going to provide the fan service for Aoki Kou's current effort becomes the burning topic for much of this episode.  When Miyoshi mentions "fellow" manga artist Ishizawa for the job, both Mashiro and Takagi are luke-warm on the idea to put it mildly - with good reason too it turns out, as Ishizawa has even Nakai beaten in the creepiness stakes.

Enter this week's knight in shining armour Fukuda, who not only puts Ishizawa and Nakai in their respective places with a bit of the good ol' ultra-violence but also offers to train Aoki in the ancient art of the panty shot.  Despite the mutual dislike between the two of them, Aoki agrees to be tutored in this way, and so begins the start of something beautiful it seems, with Fukuda bringing out a hitherto unseen side of Ms. Kou.  Meanwhile Ashiro Muto continue to prepare for serialisation, which may prove to be less of a foregone conclusion than they're led to believe, while a new rival appears for Takagi in particular who is quickly taken under Hattori's wing.

Although things feel a little contrived this episode in terms of shifting characters and their relationships towards one another around, it's nice to return to thinking about creating manga even if we are worrying about who draws the best panty shots most of the time.  If nothing else, Aoki Kou is becoming a highlight of this second season of Bakuman as she comes out of her shell, and with worries about serialisation and the like rearing their head again here we seem on course for some more fascinating fare over the coming weeks.

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