All these deals, arguments, and new series in Bakuman have us all frustrated…
~Woah, it feels like I haven’t written a post in months! Working on ten page papers and studying for my first college finals have totally got me out of sync with anime and ani-blogging (I feel like I’m even writing more formally here *GASP*). Hopefully five weeks of sweeeeeeeeeeeet vacation will have me producing once-a-week posts instead of these re-cap posts. Now that the formalities and excuses are over, LET’S GET THIS ENTHUSIASM TRAIN GOING! Or…not, seeing as these episode have become a bit rocky…
With Mashiro back, TRAP continuing right where it left out before the hiatus, and their second volume being published in November, everything seems to be going great for Ashirogi again. However, there is the exception of new detective mangas coming out to rival them and CROW’s anime airing, then their returning chapter only getting 12th place. Their fear of cancellation starts to rise as another chapter ranks even lower than the previous, and a warning is passed down to them that they won’t be safe for the next serialization meeting.
The only option left for them is to incorporate battles into the story, but Takagi just won’t force any such thing. Instead, he calls Mashiro late in the night and pulls out their fan letters, saying that they could use the suggestions given by their fans to improve TRAP’s story. Meanwhile, Nakai and Aoki are caught in a similar situation, but Aoki refuses to change any of her principles in her story and would rather have it end then do that. Nakai desperately wants to continue and even goes so far as to ask Aida if they could work on it themselves.
Back to Ashirogi, Miura quickly catches the difference in Takagi’s storyboard, and scolds them after Takagi tells of them using some of their fan’s ideas. Continuing with their original ideas seems to fail however as their rank continues to fall until finally, on the day of the December Serialization meeting, Takagi gets the dreadful phone call that they have only five weeks to end their series. Nakai’s and Aoki’s Hideout door gets the boot as well, sending Nakai over the edge and Aoki thinking of going back to shoujo manga.
As the assistants leave and the final chapter is given to Miura, Takagi and Mashiro reflect on their mixed feelings of cancellation, which is mainly sadness and frustration. Yet they manage to realize that they were great enough to have a serialization while in high school. When Mashiro sends a text to Azuki about the cancellation, she replies saying she’ll wait forever, but does want to get married before she’s forty. This sparks the enthusiasm in him, then Takagi, and the two vow to quickly get another series going.
In fact, the next day they already start talking of taking things slow by trying things out with a one-shot. However, at their next meeting, Miura thinks they should create a serialization storyboard for a gag manga. Mashiro strongly disagrees, knowing that’s not where Takagi’s talent shines, but Takagi gets caught up in Miura’s praising of his jokes and doesn’t see that much of a problem; that is, until Hatori’s “It’s okay to disagree with your editor”, Mashiro’s yelling, and a sudden call to Niizuma brings him back to reality.
When Ashirogi is called in to renew their contracts, they finally let out their feelings to Miura about doing a gag manga. The arguments turns heated, then Takagi suddenly lets out that they’re going to create two works, a humorous one and a serious one. After some shouting, Miura agrees, telling them to create three chapter of each. The two quickly get started on the storyboards for their serious manga, Two of Me, and their gag manga, Hitman 10. At their meeting, Miura still ends up picking the gag manga over the serious one. Just then one of the editors comes to ask why they submitted something for the monthly contest, thus unraveling Mashiro’s plan of getting around Miura’s supposed biased judging by entering a serious one-shot to be judge by editors and special guest judge Niizuma.
Hattori is sent to cool down the arguing between Ashirogi and Miura, calmly telling them to imagine themselves in the other’s position. Miura agrees to let them submit the one-shot for judging, but firmly believes that Hitman10 can get serialized. While the other editor brings their one-shot to the editor-in-chief, Ashirogi apologizes for acting on their own. The news finally comes back that they can let their one-shot be judged, and if it’s good, will be published, but they still need to submit a good serialization storyboard or else they won’t even consider the one-shot for publication. With that, both Ashirogi and Miura finally get on board and enthusiastic about polishing up Hitman10.
Episode 11 has Niizuma judging the entries for the monthly contest, and he’s immediately impressed with Ashirogi’s one-shot. He even comes to Yuiesha for the judging meeting just to express how badly he wants Ashirogi to win; despite Yuujirou telling him many times that they only wanted to be judged. Everyone gives Future Watch good ratings, and Miura, who’s still very confident with Hitman10, calls Takagi to let him know he won’t give them their results until the serialization meeting. Of course, Mashiro finds out his plan and knows already that they’ve done well.
The boys and Kaya go to check out their college the next day, and discover not only some good eye candy, but Ishizawa, who has his own manga serialized! The next serialization meeting comes along, but all expectations are thrown out when the editor-in-chief makes a special decision to publish Hitman10 as a one-shot then publish Future Watch; making the readers the ultimate deciders for what genre they are to do next. In their meeting with Miura, he tells them they need to aim for 5th place to turn the one-shot into a manuscript for serialization. However it won’t be as easy since their work will be published in issues with new series being published as well.
Ironically, the survey results for Hitman10 landed it on 10th place, leaving Ashirogi astonished as they predicted it get 5th place. Takahama, whose own manga began serialization in the same issue, calls saying his place was 6th despite the original one-shot getting 2nd place. He blames Miura’s advice of adding more jokes and warns them to just follow their own style. However, Future Watch, the series that showcases Takagi’s talents and their style, only gets ninth place~.
End thoughts: I swear I have the same reactions as Niizuma’s when I find a really good manga. Maybe not as exaggerated, but definitely similar. Anyway, THE WORST HAPPENED: TRAP got cancelled. Yet, I could only feel a tinge of sadness because the whole episode up to that point seemed a bit rushed to me. I didn’t get the big impact I was hoping would come from the anime. They tried to create that depressing atmosphere (such as the snow thing, which was totally cliché), but it didn’t click for me. The only thing that got to me just a little was the two laying there in Takagi’s room, completely stunned at the news with the look of disbelief on their faces. I should probably be blaming myself though for this lack of shock since I have caught up to the manga, heh. I was also so happy, SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY, that they FINALLY realized just how amazing and lucky they were to get a serialization in Jack while still in high school. Those two sometimes are just a bucket of pessimism and are always looking towards the top while never really giving a bit of time to bask in the thought of how far they have come. Putting that revelation at the end was so nice.
As for Episode 10, it was…okay. The only things really exciting were the tense fighting between Ashirogi and Miura, and the sneaky entrance into the monthly contest. I mean, sneaky Ashirogi is sneaky! I love how they hid the other one-shot in the anime, rather than you knowing up-front about them going around Miura with it in the manga; definitely made the argument between them just a tad bit more intense. Also, BURRRRN on Miura when they said Niizuma was a better judge of manga than he was. Saying that though, I also feel bad for him a bit, like Kaya. I don’t think he’s a bad editor; it’s just I think that he’s so absorbed in his own taste for gag manga he’s not necessarily realizing how it would effect the general audience, and he’s so stubborn (and maybe a little too optimistic) that even if it gets not-so-good results, he keeps pressing for more comedy, more gags. Not to mention, it’s getting quite annoying. It’s been what? Two, three episodes now? Why Miura why?!
While I wasn’t able to put in Nakai’s confession to Aoki in the summary, I’m still going to
make-fun of him comment about it! I honestly let out a ‘HA!’ when he was rejected. I’ve become some what of an Aoki fan, and seeing him desperately (and selfishly) trying to continue Hideout Door’s story himself made me a little mad. This is what you get Nakai. Anyway, Episode 11 was so-so; the two previous episodes were a lot meatier than this one. Honestly though, guys, I wouldn’t mind reading Hitman10; of course, if the gags were more polished up and wittier. Every time they show it, my manga connoisseur self gets all giddy. I imagine it being similar to Arakawa, where it just feels like it’s going nowhere plot-wise, but is still funny and random as hell. Future Watch and Two of Me didn’t seem as interesting, mainly because I can’t see how they’d continue it. If only we could read those actual one-shots and judge ourselves…~
Miura is at again with his gag manga suggestion, but will Ashirogi continue to press doing their own style, or succumb to his relentless pressure? Until next week then~!!