The recap continues from the last scene of last episode. The actual recap section is fairly short, and then continues on with new material. Eiji wants the authority to end a series as motivation. The editor in chief tells him to ask again when he is the most popular author in Jack. I like this kind of recap better, it actually gives the viewer motivation to watch the whole thing, rather than skip over it.
Eiji is an interesting character, from how he’s been portrayed he could go any way. He’s bizarre, and clearly socially awkward. But at the same time he’s so much like a child with his mannerisms, that there is something endearing about him.
Mashiro reads Takagi’s outlines during class, while Takagi keeps writing more like crazy. The whole thing is shown in a montage, with a nice Blues inspired track. It’s a pretty good way to show the passage of time, and the music is enjoyable. Though I can see this going down in history as one of the least appreciated anime montages. I predict it!
On the way home Takagi runs into the school door because he’s been up all night working on stories. Miyoshi, who saw them leave, asks Azuki if she knows why Takagi is so exhausted.
Takagi keeps writing stories, and during school one of them catches Mashiro’s attention. The two of them head back to the office to figure out the details for their new idea.
Back at the office they get started on the new manga. Like in episode six, the narrator gives a summary of the story. There really isn’t any dialogue, and it’s mostly all concept sketches, but it’s still nice that the anime is continuing to flesh out the stories Mashiro and Takagi are creating. Though I get the feeling that the story is a little different than what was in the manga.
Takagi mentions that a commonality between all the popular manga is swords, so they decide to give their characters lightsabers. Huh. Lucas is going to sue. The line about swords is actually from when they first go to the office in the manga. So it seems that the anime is going to be rearranging a few things. Should be interesting, though I have a feeling I’m not going to catch all of them. I’m not really against changes made by adaptations, as long as the story works right for the medium it is being told in.
And we get another montage. The music is pretty decent, instead of Blues it’s a Rock ballad this time. After they finish their manga they take it to Hattori, who says that it’s better than the last one. He suggests they submit it to the Tezuka award, then immediately remembers that’s what they told him they were going to do it already. He tells them that while their manga is in the Tezuka award they should make another manga and submit it to NEXT!, a magazine for beginners.
Later Mashiro worries that his art isn’t good enough, because Hattori commented on Takagi’s story the most. Both try to think up of what to do next, but they’re too worried about the Tezuka award, and can’t think of anything new. Takagi spends so much time trying to think of a new story that he drops down to third place in the midterm rankings.
Hattori calls Takagi and tells him that they are in the top eight, even though the final results won’t be out until october and they are still in november. They decide to take a break until the final results come out, since they can’t concentrate on anything new.
When the time for them to find out their results comes around the scene is surprisingly tense, despite the conclusion being obvious. This is good, the anime will live or die depending on whether they can build up the suspense while the characters are waiting for their results. They argue about whether they should call Hattori, or send him an email, when the phone rings. They of course didn’t win, and despite knowing what was going to happen I felt their disappointment. This is good, very good. This kind of emotional investment that is the anime’s greatest strength, and will be where it really shines.
Mashiro sulks for a while, and doesn’t go to school or the studio. Takagi keeps writing, and they have antoher montage of them going over story ideas once Mashiro gets out of his funk. Ishizawa shows up at their class with a copy of Jack and disses Mashiro’s art, saying that it’s the reason why they didn’t do well. Because of this the class finds out that Takagi and Mashiro have been making manga together. Ishizawa says that he’s better than Mashiro and that Takagi should work with him.
And then, the most epic thing ever happened. Nerd Rage!