Anime Reviews: Bakuman Episode 9 – Regrets and Understanding

This time the recap of the previous episode has a theme playing behind it.  Looks like they’re experimenting with the recaps.  Which is fine by me, I like seeing something new every time.  I’ve also been noticing that the music has been improving.  Can’t say much just yet, but overall it’s looking pretty good.  The recap ends with Takagi punching Ishizawa, when the opening theme song starts playing, the love ballad working wonderfully against the image of Takagi ground pounding the kid.

Takagi is suspended for getting into a fight.  Mashiro still has doubts about his art, there are some flashbacks to Takagi talking about creating manga.  Miyoshi and Azuki talk about the guys wanting to become manga artists, with Miyoshi saying how she’s actually proud of Takagi punching Ishizawa, who was really asking for it.  Azuki’s mom makes a comment about how girls like the bad boys, reminding me of episode three and how she basically said that Takagi was too much of a good boy.

Mashiro wakes up at night to find his grandpa still awake.  This scene is good because the manga itself doesn’t really have much interaction between Mashiro and his family.  Granted the focus of the story is on him and Takagi creating manga, but with the ability to extend some scenes I think the anime is doing the right thing, here at least, by filling in the blanks that the manga couldn’t cover and give us some extra scenes with Mashiro’s family.  Granted there is no guarantee as to how many more scenes like this there will be, but for the moment the one is good enough.

Mashiro is worried about holding Takagi back, and his grandpa tells him that if Takagi was the one who chose him he doesn’t need to worry about holding Takagi back.  He tells him about something he read in Nobuhiro’s, Mashiro’s uncle, manga, that if it’s something you choose yourself, then you’ll be able to live with it.  Mashiro is reassured, and his reaction to finding out that his grandpa read his uncle’s manga is pretty priceless.

The next day Mashiro gets Takagi’s address from a teacher, who comments about Takagi being a popular one. Mashiro finds Takagi’s house, who tells him that he was about to call him in the first place, since he’d been using his suspension time to think of some new ideas, and he wanted to go over them with Mashiro.  Mashiro notices that there are two sets of girl’s shoes in the entry way, and when he goes into the main living room he finds that Iwase and Miyoshi are there.

Takagi doesn’t comment on the two girls being there, so Mashiro has to ask him what the heck is going on.  Takagi tells him that apparently him and Iwase are going out, after they shook hands earlier in the year.  Apparently “Let’s motivate each other to do even better” means “Will you go out with me?”

Miyoshi of course thought that Takagi wanting to talk to her meant he was confessing to her.  Takagi says that if he dates either of them he won’t have time to take the one he chooses on dates.  Miyoshi tells him that’s fine by her and that she’ll support him.  Iwase on the other hand tells him to stop writing manga and that he’ll only regret it if he doesn’t.  He refuses, telling her that before deciding to become a manga writer he just let every day pass him by.  Since deciding on that goal he’s lived each day to its fullest.  When he tells her he’s going to North High she realizes that he won’t change his mind she tells him he’ll regret it.  To which he answers that if he does she can laugh at him.  She leaves, with tears in her eyes and tells him that is something she couldn’t do.  Say what you want about her personality, she was sincere, if awkward, so I can appreciate her as a character.

Takagi tells Miyoshi that the reason he talked to her was so he could ask her about Azuki for Mashiro, not because he wanted to ask her out.

“Wait I change my mind!  Bring back the bitchy one!”

Miyoshi tells him to let her hit him ten times, and that she’ll go out with him after she beats him up for lying to her.  So…it’s basically a choice between a domineering girlfriend, or a physically abusive girlfriend.  I would say sucks to be Takagi, but then again, he gets more action than I do.

The episode ends with Nizuma chasing after a Crow, and generally acting like a spazz.  Definitely going to enjoy him, as long as he doesn’t get too annoying.

This episode had some decent character development, with Mashiro worrying over, and resolving his issue with his art.  It’s always good to see development, but what really sold me on this episode was the last half, with Takagi, Miyoshi and Iwase.  Comedy is always good for the soul, and seeing Takagi floundering around the concept of two girls liking him is great.

I’ll say this episode deserves a:

B

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