We enter all-out manga warfare as this third season of Bakuman reaches its eleventh episode with Ashirogi Muto promises to "crush" the young upstart Nanamine in short order, and using their expertise to position their series PCP with the best possible timing to do so.
However, things are already starting to run away from Nanamine almost as soon as he's begun, with the first chapter of his (well, his team's) series only nabbing the number two spot, much to his chagrin. Rather than looking at how to improve things, Nanamine decides that the only way forward is to dumb his series down under the assumption that Shounen Jack's readership are too stupid to "get it" (this guy should comment on anime 'blog posts, he has all the tried and trusted excuses down already). With his "secret weapon", background artist Nakai, joining the endeavour for its second chapter, even Takagi and Mashiro begin to wonder whether they can actually live up to their promise to their rival.
They needn't have worried, as things soon begin to tank badly - Nanamine's decision to overrule some of the online "council" producing his manga causes them to leave, while others enter a state of open revolt, with Nanamine himself still self-assured that he knows the best path forward for the series. As things get worse still, details of Nanamine's scheme leak out to other Shounen Jack editors, and with ratings sliding dangerously low Nanamine starts looking towards ever-more dangerous plans as creating a successful manga are overtaken with the mere desire to beat Ashirogi Muto. With everything at rock bottom, is it finally time for Nanamine's editor Kosugi to prove his worth, and give the young man in a charge a final opportunity to redeem himself?
I have to say, I wasn't expecting Nanamine's fall from grace to be either so fast or so spectacular - I thought we'd see a longer period of initial success to really bolster his pride before the fall. Having set this "villain" up so perfectly however, seeing him plummet like a stone in a single episode as his plan falls apart was hugely entertaining and made for another really good episode - I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of offering him a chance to redeem himself, particularly from a believability perspective - surely no magazine or its employees, particularly in Japan, would take such a massive risk with leaked documents about one of their "stars" out in the wild? Still, I'm willing to suspend that disbelief to see what comes next, and I can't deny that it offers up the possibility of some more juicy twists and turns to its current story.