Anime Reviews: Bakuman Episode 4 – Time and Key

The opening scene is Mashiro practicing inking his art work. He drips ink on his work.

Back at school he’s falling asleep during the tests, showing that he’s been working hard and long on his art. After school his two friends from the first episode invite him to go see a movie. I kind of like this because it shows that they’re still around, as opposed to the manga where they kind of disappear.

Back at the office Mashiro and Takagi go over Mashiro’s art work. Takagi expresses admiration for Mashiro’s skill, but Mashiro says that his artwork is too stiff, and not suitable for manga illustrations. They talk about the various effects, backgrounds and the process for creating manga. Essentially it’s one big info dump, but since most of the people watching this are probably at least marginally interested in manga, then this works just fine. I do think it might damage the rewatchability of the show though.

While Mashiro continues to practice his art, while Takagi reads through the manga in the studio to get inspiration for story ideas. There’s another case of self reference, but I’ll let it pass because of the One Piece reference.

They go to a nearby convenience store, where they buy a copy of Jack. In there they see a manga contest, where one of the finalists is a fifteen year old, Nizuma Eiji. In other words, their future rival.

During this scene, and some other parts of this episode, I did notice that the music was being over used in scenes that were meant to be dramatic. Instead the music becomes far too distracting to have a proper effect.

The next scene is a guy drawing manga, when Miyoshi asks him why he’s just drawing cute girl faces, and why they are all facing in the same direction. In the manga this scene is excluded, and instead Takagi basically explains about him, and how he only draws the same thing over and over, to get attention. I like it much better here, because the anime shows instead of explaining. Added on to the point of view fixes from the first two episodes, the anime is really going and fixing several of the errors from the manga.

It also goes ahead and introduces Miyoshi before her actual introduction in the manga.

Takagi decides to go to the same school as Mashiro, a lower level high school, and the two of them talk about Editors. They decide to spend their summer working on a one shot manga, and take it to an editor at Jump…I mean Jack.

There’s a lot of talking that goes on in this series, and rather than summarize everything that goes on in the episode, since that’s not really the point of a review, these reviews are going to be much shorter than my Fairy Tail reviews. This episode is another case of a lot of talking, with a bit of payoff in the end. But, because of the scene with Miyoshi, where the anime shows rather than tells, I’m going to give it a:


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