Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Bakuman Season 2 - Episode 20

Hattori may be having some minor problems, but they are as of nothing compared to the dilemmas currently facing Ashirogi Muto at present.

With an attempt to create a catchphrase for Tanto not exactly going swimmingly and Takagi having more and more of a struggle to write content despite his wedding and honeymoon coming up, things aren't exactly going brilliantly as their serialisation continues to chug along in a safe but hardly stellar ranking.  With word reaching the pair that Natural is up for anime, live-action and even film adaptations, and perhaps worse news that even Nizuma Eiji has stopped reading Tanto, the suspicion that they're currently traversing the wrong path grows ever stronger.

If that isn't enough to set Mashiro in particular considering his future direction, then what happens next certainly is - firstly, Hattori's deliberately glossing over Tanto in a speech at Takagi's wedding leads to a stand-off between Mashiro and his former editor, who finally concedes that he doesn't think that his former protégé's current work is up to much.  The real straw that breaks the camel's back however is a TV appearance by Nizuma, who directly names Ashirogi Muto as his rival - an idea which lights a fire under the desire of Mashiro and, eventually, Takagi that takes them all the way to the top in a bid to have Tanto cancelled so that they can begin creating a work worthy of that rivalry.

Much like Ashirogi Muto themselves, Bakuman has been sat comfortably churning out episodes without really pushing itself of late, so this clear uptick in pace is good news for the viewer indeed, bringing some much-needed drama to its main story of manga artists over their love lives and the like.  With only five episodes left to go of this season (although of course a third has already been green lit), it's going to be interesting to see where the series takes us to before leaving us high and dry for a while - hopefully it'll be just what the series needs to reignite and move forward.

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