Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Bakuman Season 2 - Episode 21

The time for bumbling along with their current work is over, as Ashirogi Muto succeed in getting their way and having Tanto ceased, under the proviso that they provide a work suitable for serialisation, and surpassing Nizuma no less, in the next six months.

While wrapping up Tanto is easy enough, and with everybody from Miyoshi through to the duo's assistants on-board with their decision (even if it makes for some uncomfortable financial home truths), the question is simple - what next for Ashirogi Muto?  Sirprisingly enough, it's Miura who comes up with what seems to be a great idea - an extension of their previous Money and Intelligence project, but with the addition of appearance to its system where such traits can be traded to the highest bidder.  It sounds fantastic (Hell, I'd love to see it), and both Takagi and Mashiro are thrilled with their finished work, meaning that it will surely....

....be summarily rejected by the serialisation committee, much to their shock.  The duo's next tact again comes via Miura, who suggests that they take on the realms of the mainstream fantasy anime - an idea which gets a less than lukewarm reception from Takagi in particular, but again he beavers away at making the best work that he can in creating a simple yet engaging tale.  Surely this work will succeed in meeting the demands of the committee?  Errr.... no.  With only one shot left at regaining a berth in Shounen Jack before being kicked to the kerb, it's time for Ashirogi Muto, via Miura, to turn to an old associate to deliver them the advice and assistance that they need.

It's ironic really that while the dual protagonists of this series work tirelessly to get a successful manga serialised, Bakuman works best when its leading duo are out of work but trying desperately hard to get an idea of theirs into print - thus, there was a lot of fun to be had in watching them try and fail to do just that from various different angles, without allowing the show's romantic elements to intrude overly and making the most of the tension that comes from their self-imposed deadlines.  This kind of effort is, for me, exactly what Bakuman is all about, and why I've stuck with it through thick and thin.

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