Thursday, 25 October 2012

Bakuman Season 3 - Episode 3

As their D-Day approaches, the heat is well and truly on for Ashirogi Muto as the duo's entire career hinges on the next few chapters of their PCP manga.

With a seemingly hefty blow delivered by their rival's cross-over of +NATURAL and Crow, things are looking tough for Hattori's two young charges, although as their editor looks over the numbers to try and figure out a strategy he sees a positive side to their current situation in the form of a large audience of untapped voters thanks to the magazine's ballots only allowing votes for three series.

In the face of tough competition and such a difficult situation, Takagi proposes a potentially dangerous move - a five chapter story arc (rather than PCP's usual episodic fare) in the hope of drawing in the maximum number of votes for the denouement of that arc.  But what should it feature to make it suitably spectacular?  After spending a long, sleepless night writing the plot for this arc, Takagi has three chapters in the bag, but no idea of exactly how to finish things up in those all-important final two chapters.  It's here that he looks to both his past and his present for suitable inspiration to create a perfect ending - but has he succeeded?  That's a question that we'll have to hold over until the next episode.

As per usual, Bakuman is at its best when it's focusing squarely on the struggles to create a successful manga series, and watching this show's pair of fictional creators at work is a whole lot more entertaining than perhaps it should be, especially when some of their ideas have a decidedly Death Note-esque feel to them in regard to their twists and turns.  The series also knows how to play up its cliff-hangers, leaving us waiting to see if their brave gambit has succeeded or failed, and I wouldn't be surprised if it takes us beyond even the next episode to find out... Bakuman knows how and when to be a tease, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

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