Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Bakuman Season 3 - Episode 19

Now that their manga juggling between magazine has been set in stone, it's time for Ashirogi Muto to work hard on getting both PCP and new series Reversi to where they need to be in their serialisation lifespans... a task which is easier said than done.

Mashiro seems to be more than confident that he can create the required chapters of both series without trouble, especially now that he has a new assistant on board in the form of seasoned professional Ogata.  However, it seems that our artist has massively miscalculated just how much work is required to get things done, meaning that it's all hands on deck (and then some) to avoid some disastrous slippage of either of the manga series now in progress.

With this hiccup out of the way, it seems like a return to smooth sailing for Ashirogi Muto, as Zombie Gun's first week dominance is quickly turned into victory after victory for Reversi upon its weekly début, putting Nizuma in his place (that place being second) for three weeks running.  Eiji is not so easily cowed however, and just as Mashiro suspects he has some tricks up his sleeve which propel himback to the top spot, while Reversi runs into trouble on account of its core setup.  Is it something that can be fixed though?  Takagi seems determined to turn the series into a long-running powerhouse, which is to ignore the key tenets of what makes his work so good in the first place...

After the feel-good successes of recent weeks, the first half of this week's Bakuman was enjoyable simply for reminding us that the lot of the manga artist isn't all smooth sailing and high concept concerns - sometimes, it's simply a scramble to get stuff done in time while pulling impossible all-nighters.  From here, the episode's pace was perhaps a little too brisk to luxuriate in Ashirogi Muto's biggest successes before a new challenge posed itself, but that fast pace has become a feature of this third season by this point and the wider narrative is no less compelling for it overall.  With our protagonists returned to their usual state of underdogs once again by the end of the episode, it feels like this series now knows exactly what to do to keep the viewer's interest.

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