Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Bakuman Season 3 - Episode 23

Azuki's live radio show, and Mashiro's unexpected appearance on it, seems to have settled down the controversy surrounding the pair's relationship with the majority of fans - but is that enough to ensure that the production staff of Reversi's anime adaptation aren't put off using her for the lead female role?

As it turns out, that problem is a moot point, as the anime's director wants to use this opportunity to do something even more daring - holding a public audition broadcast over TV and the Internet, before allowing the public to vote for the voice actress they want to play Naho's character.  Given that not all of the otaku audience has forgiven Miho for her "transgression", this is quite a worry for all and sundry, although ultimately Mashiro realises that this is exactly what he needs to dampen the disquieting worry that she might not get the part solely based upon her own abilities.

Thus, it's off to the public audition we go, with all of the rivalries and bitchiness that you might expect from such a scenario as her fellow professionals shun Azuki almost to a woman.  When it comes to the crunch however, there's only one voice actress who knows how to blow away the audience with her knowledge of the role, and that's... Kana Hanazawa!  Of course not, I jest... aside from a stunning performance, Miho always more than proves her knowledge of the source material, which when put together is enough to realise her dream.

Although the whole "public audition" idea feels like a gimmick too far, and one that you'd never see for a high-profile adaptation in reality I would wager, it made for a pretty good opportunity to explore a different side of the industry (albeit in an overly dramatised way) and ramp up the tension for the second half of the episode - something which worked very well indeed all the way through to its satisfying ending.  Now that most of the show's major goals are accomplished, I hope it still has enough energy and tricks up its sleeve to make its final two episodes worthwhile and bring this excellent third season to a close.

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