Nanamine's career as a manga artist (if you can call him that) might be on the ropes, but he isn't quite done yet - in spite of being fund out, his final chance to shine is set up via a direct face-off with Ashirogi Muto, as both artists publish their own spin on the same story in the same issue.
Although he's already lost a number of the "collective" who brainstorm his works for him, Nanamine is rejuvenated by the prospect of this all-important showdown with his rivals, although with his series already in the doldrums he seems to be coming at this battle from a distinct disadvantage even before you consider the old adage that too many cooks spoil the broth.
It's assistant Nakai who pours poison into said broth however, luring Nanamine away from his computer to converse with his collective and tell them the truth about their manga's current ranking - a truth which most certainly doesn't go down well, in turn convincing those remaining who were previously loyal to Nanamine to quit as well. With nobody left to back him up, Nanamine almost literally falls to pieces, and his inevitable defeat to Ashirogi Muto only serves to add insult to injury. But can editor Kosugi finally make a mark on his charge and convince Nanamine of his own talent? He certainly gives it a try, even if cancellation is a formality. Meanwhile however, it seems that Ashirogi Muto are going to be subjected to some unwanted attention of their own...
After fretting a little that this particular story arc of Bakuman was going to turn down the "happily ever after" route, I was rather pleased to see Nanamine getting his comeuppance but without going too over the top about the whole thing, and the setup for what's to come from here seems to hold a lot of promise. In short then, this final season of Bakuman continues to deliver and shows no signs of abating along those lines.