Anime Reviews: Bakuman Episode 22 – Solidarity and Breakdown

Fukuda and group head up the editing department and start to raise a fuss about KOOGY using dirty tactics to get votes.  The editors argue against doing anything because now that he’s announced his entry they can’t remove him without raising an uproar.  Mashiro notices Hattori looking at him, and remembers how Hattori commented about not wanting to see a manga like Colorfusical win.  After Fukuda argues with the editors for a while Mashiro reaches a decision and convinces him that they just need to beat KOOGY’s use of fans with their superior manga.

So they all decide to get together to go over their manga, as friends, and give advice to make their work better, in order to beat Colorfusical.  They go over to Nizuma’s, and Aoki meets them there.  Nizuma tells them that he wants to join in the “writing group” as well, and they decide to let him, so they can have an impartial judge among the group.

The episode spends a fair amount of time with each character’s thoughts and their impressions of the other mangakas’ talents.  Essentially all of them are much better than any of the others expected, and by the time they finish reading Aoki declines commenting, as she thinks hers is the best.  Fukuda snaps and starts arguing with her about how he doesn’t think it’s suited for shonen jump and how his is much better.

The two of them argue for a bit, and I don’t care what the mangaka say, I’m declaring a OTP right here and now!  Not that I’m a shipper or anything.

Can you not feel the love?

In the end they all decide that each thinks their own manga is best, and so they don’t comment on each others’ work.  Silly anime people, that’s not how you do writing group.  But they do get Nizuma’s comments, since he was the only impartial reader in the group.  He says that he is certain on which one is third place, but there is a tie for first place.  In that case wouldn’t the last one be second place?  Oh well.  He says that he won’t tell them which is which, because it wouldn’t be fair for the person in third place.

After the writing group ends Mashiro and Takagi go home on the bus, while Mashiro worries that the name isn’t good enough.  Takagi tells him that it isn’t like they have time to rework it, and that what they have is good enough.

Azuki hears about KOOGY announcing his entry into the Golden Future Cup, and sees how the two voice actresses with her decide to support him anyway, even though the one doesn’t care for manga, and the other even thinks that his tactics are a little dirty.  She’s so preoccupied with the news that she is nervous during the live show they are doing.  Her singing is apparently bad, and I think I might have actually heard the bad singing this time.

Later Mashiro gets an email from Azuki, encouraging him to keep on working, and that she’ll support him, and to beat KOOGY.  Encouraged by the email, Mashiro decides to redo the name, in order to get it as perfect as possible.

While it didn’t feel like much happened this episode, it was a fast moving episode nonetheless.  I say it’s because Fukuda was in it.  He makes the anime better with his every appearance.  A really good episode, it’s sad that we’re so close to the end of the first season – which would have been the end of the series had it not gotten renewed for a second season – and just now things are starting to pick up the pace.  Bakuman is a slow paced show, and should be approached with caution.  It is by no means a bad show, but watching it on a week to week basis can leave one feeling unfulfilled once the episode is over.  This is definitely a series to pick up once the DVDs come out (whenever that may be) and to just take a weekend and marathon the whole thing.

It’s probably much more enjoyable to watch without having three fingers ready to take screenshots, and the other hand taking notes at the same time.  Kind of hard to sit back and enjoy under those circumstances, and I’m sure that once I can watch it on a TV, rather than a computer screen, it will look much better as well.  So someone get on that, I’m looking at you FUNimation!

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