Thursday, 7 March 2013

Bakuman Season 3 - Episode 22

After all of the twists and turns of last week's episode, is Reversi going to get its anime adaptation or not?  Well, we only have five episodes left of the series, so...

...of course it is!  Cue much jubilation and excitement, which soon turns into pondering on just how likely Azuki is to land the lead female role.  If she seems like a shoe-in, things are about to take a major turn for the worse, with revelations that a fellow voice actress has spilled the beans on Miho and Mashiro's relationship, and the latter's career, online.  Although tidying up this 'blog post is easy enough with a simple request for its author to remove it, there's no stopping the news once it goes viral, and all of a sudden the pair's relationship is the talk of the town.

Of course, being a voice actress Azuki's position is particularly vulnerable, with her agent determined that she should deny having a boyfriend publicly outright, while the producer of the forthcoming Reversi anime is keen to avoid any controversy that might impact the popularity and sales of his production.  Does Miho have what it takes to stand up in the face of this insanity and do the right thing?  Thankfully, yes she does - maybe this is the kind of thing we need more of in the real anime and idol industries to give some of the more deluded fans a wake-up call.

Anyway, I digress - having been worried at the prospect of the show leaning more heavily on Azuki and Mashiro's romance element (which has always been the weakest part of this series by far), this week's Bakuman actually proved to be engaging by shifting its focus towards the anime and voice acting businesses respectively, making for an enjoyable change of pace that looks set to continue into the next instalment.  The only negative here is that, much like AKB0048's dealings with similar issues, I wish shows like this would use their platform to take more of a stand against the worst excesses of fandom and call it out for what it is - pretty and stupid bullshit.  Admittedly this week's Bakuman goes at least some of the way towards standing up for common sense (aside from Azuki's relationship being god-damn insane anyway), but beyond that of course saying too much would hurt sales and merchandising, so nobody dares speak the unspeakable truth, and thus the whole problem continues unabated...

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