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Bakuman Episode 6: “Carrot and Stick”

Last episode cut us off right when the editor Hattori of ‘Jack’ answers Takagi and Mashiro’s phone call about their first ever manga submission, at the mere age of fourteen. We are now introduced into the world of editors, publishers and the relationships between them and the mangaka. In this episode, though we once again do not see Eiji or even Kaya, which is a bit disappointing, we are introduced to Hattori the editor. I was looking forward to this due to the fact that Hattori is a pretty cool guy, and for the most part he lives up to what he appeared to be in the manga. However, I personally am not too fond of the seiyuu voice as I had imagined his voice to be rather different. It kinda sucks when things like that happens, but I guess it’s not as bad as a complete defecation of the character in certain novel/manga-to-film adaptations (lol Hollywood…).

After their conversation with the editor of ‘Yueisha’ (copyright issues again I see :P ) the duo get quite excited, yet at the same time extremely nervous. Rushing back to their proudly completed debut work, they once again had negative thoughts about each of their own contributions yet adhering to their promise of not commenting on the other’s side.

This episode has a few nice touches including some flashback insight into Takagi’s past, which definitely helps the series with the character development it provides. Another interesting scene would be the reading of the duo’s Two Earths manga.

The episode also closes with a bang, a little something I had already forgotten…which is good! Ah, it’s quite cute XD

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Oreimo Episode 6

Opening straight away, the latest episode of Oreimo indicates to us what this episode is about: Tamura Manami, Kyousuke’s close childhood glasses friend. More specifically, after a short discussion with a classmate, we can see this episode deals with the relationship between the two close friends. The subject has always seemed quite interesting to me, moreso after the pointers in a previous episode regarding Manami’s feelings. After seeing Kirino’s friend Ayase appeared, I thought for a second that she could have developed into a love interest for Kyousuke, as unlikely as that would be. An intriguing prospect, but nonetheless shot down after Kyousuke managed to make her think he was some sort of ‘sister’s love’ pervert.

We see Kirino for the first time (I think?) in her school uniform!

Dakimukura from ‘amozon’!

This episode gives us a break from some of the intensity given in some of the previous episodes, with some really funny stuff. The grandparents are perverted, yet amazing (though I personally wouldn’t want grandparents like that…), allowing for some pretty hilarious scenarios, which I would imagine would be INCREDIBLY awkward for the characters.

The episode provided some nice insight into Kyousuke and Manami’s past as childhood friends, which is rather sweet and really supports a development of something happening between them as the series progresses.

We are introduced to Manami’s little brother, also known as ‘Rock’ who sports a ‘monk-like’ hairdo, which he thought would make him a complete badass. *cough* Funny kid, hopefully he’ll appear more than once in the series! Speaking of which, I hope Ayase returns…some series tend to accomplish something with a secondary character and then just throw them away. That’s totally understandable in some instances (The World God Only Knows for example, yet I do feel some might return later??) but generally, I feel that characters that have spent considerable screen time to develop character could be of more use.

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Oreimo Episode 5

Ore no Imouto is back this week with another episode of almost perfect blend of humour, serious themes, tsundere and sweetness, which helps keep it deeply grounded as the best surprise in anime for me this season, and possibly even this year. For the first one or two episodes, I was not fully convinced that Oreimo would step beyond the boundaries that most tsundere type anime reach. As we can see though, it really does shine through with the help of its confronting absurdity.

I was going to write a six or eight hundred word passage on all the themes this episode deals with and the questions it raises to the viewer, but I honestly feel that will take away from some of the magic this series holds.

Look forward to the most amazing and reliable brother showing unconditional love and self sacrifice for his little (and still quite rude) sister. We know most of us wouldn’t ever be this caring and considerate to a sister who kicks you right in the manhood!

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Bakuman Episode 5: “Summer and Name”

Episode 5 kicks off with Saiko, infatuated with his innocent love, dreaming and reminiscing the sweet glances he exchanged with Miho. He describes the sheer coincidence that they happen to turn to look back as them being perfectly ‘in tune’ with each other. It’s all very sweet and lovely, and the whole episode is once again just like this.

Kaya also sets her place as one of the main cast, stirring up some romance. One thing that pleased me with this episode was seeing the interaction between the two female mains, who are meant to be best friends, yet we had not previously seen too much about them.

Besides all the love that dominates significant portions of this anime, we do still get the seriousness of the duo and their dream to become mangaka shining through clearly. This episode further explores the difficulty of the creation progress as Shuujin comes up with stories which he thinks would be suitable for a shounen manga. Watching scenes such as these is the main reason I’m still following this anime. Overall I’m starting to feel that the anime on a whole is quite average and that they really should have done it a lot better. Firstly the art disappoints me, and then the renaming of Jump to Jack, even though I know that decision wouldn’t have been in the producer’s control. Another little disappointment with this episode was the lack of Eiji. He appeared at the closing of the previous ep, weird noises and everything, which had me pumped to see more of his wild antics…but he didn’t show.

Don’t get me wrong though, I won’t be dropping Bakuman anytime soon as long as they keep up what makes it special, and do it well: the anime about manga.

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The World God Only Knows ep4: “On a Crusade”

Opening with a very different tone, quite solemn, it seemed that we were in for an arc with a darker character, shrouded in mystery. The art room, the epic music… 17

Dark music featuring an organ in the background right after the OP, seemed to reinforce my view right up until the epic voice started talking. About the game which cannot be conquered…

So yeah, stop reading RIGHT NOW if you hate minor SPOILERS.

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Soon enough we discover that the whole episode is in fact about a certain video game, which is infamous for being impossible to complete. i.e.. A heroine whom has never been ‘rescued’ in a galge. Keima, being the ‘God of Conquer’, obviously cannot accept this. So begins his journey to conquer Sora, the blue haired artist who wants her sketchbook to be seen by someone.

But it can’t. Why? It’s rather sad to find out that the reason why nobody can see her sketchbook is in fact caused by a massive glitch in the game. A event loop, with no way around it. However, Keima’s determination leads him to attempt every single combination of choices within this game.

So basically, this is a melodramatic filler episode which is pretty damn funny if you don’t allow yourself to be annoyed by repetitive scenes. Keima encounters sound bugs, upside down characters, Sora appearing as a creepy old dude and a random dodgeball minigame appearing during a lunch sequence. All of this, in a game which cannot be saved.

One thing we do learn from this episode is something about Keima. His intense focus and determination, which is noticed by Elci who comes to appreciate this powerful trait within her pretend-brother.

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