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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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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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Bakuman Episode 4: ”Time and Key”

This episode also does deliver some of the more technical aspects of manga drawing and production, with Saiko going over some basic features of different types of ink pens, including the ‘pro’ level G-pen which is used for its variation in thickness through expert control, the steady Kabura and the thin maru/round pen. It’s a cool scene especially for those more art inclined. Additionally, Saiko gives Shuujin an explanation of the process of converting a name draft into a full fledged manuscript from the practice-makes-perfect inking, to the long process of applying tone and effects. Scenes like these are what make Bakuman unique and so appealing to the art crowd.

This episode mainly addresses the duo’s actual actions towards their dream, which they begin to realise isn’t their own. The two learn that others their age are aiming for the same goal, and that there is no time to waste as a talented young mangaka (who we get a short glimpse of at the end!) starts to gain fame. The bond between the two strengthens as they make sacrifices for each other, their own health and develop trust. With that, they set their priorities and give it their 100% devotion! That being said, I do hope younger viewers do realise that it is a story; chase your dreams, but remember that school is still kinda important!

And so is sleep!

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Bakuman Episode 3: “Parents and Children”

You might know that I’m not an avid manga reader. I hate books, but I like pretty pictures, so I should be addicted to manga. But most of the time I’m within 2 metres of a TV or a PC…and I much prefer moving pictures. So naturally, I watch a lot of anime. Anyway back on track, I imagine many manga readers must feel what I feel when watching a series of which they have read the manga. It’s a feeling that has both good and bad sides. On one side of things, I’m ecstatic to see these characters that I’ve grown to love actually move and speak. But on the other hand I become critical of things they might change and I found myself impatient having the episode end. “Oh come on, it’s ending and it’s only up to here?!?!” is what I feel.

Rambling aside, the episode picks up where it left us hanging last time with Saiko rushing off to his uncle’s studio with Shuujin. Half the episode was about the studio and the amazing resources they discovered within. It’s pretty cool, feeling almost exactly like an adventure anime with the heroes discovering their quest. They find all the tools they will need to begin their journey: pens, feather dusters, tones, professional set-up and thousands of reference materials such as names (manga drafts), original manuscripts and shelves packed choc-a-block full of series volumes such as Dragonball. With all that ready for them plus both their talents, all they need is a story.

The other half of the episode is about a secret of Saiko’s uncle that the duo uncover hidden in the corner of his life. Not much to spoil, but I still don’t want to ruin anything for those who haven’t read the manga. Pretty much, we learn a significant amount about Saiko’s uncle which is important.

There was a scene where Saiko was speaking with his father, which provided some of the drama moments in this episode.

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Bakuman Episode 2: “Stupid and Clever”

Today was my first day back to school.

Anyway, Bakuman episode 2 called “Stupid and Clever” or something along those lines aired a few days ago, and I just finished watching it with my mum, who also decided to follow this anime. :P Following the first episode with which I was largely satisfied, the second one follows on with the same charm and fun journey that kicked off last week.

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sound/art

I’ll just start on a quick note about the animation and sound (which won’t really be changing much beyond what I’ve said about episode one). On a second take, the animation quality isn’t anything to be worried about if I did imply it was, the only thing that is somewhat sub-par would be some of the middle/far range shots of faces, where the detail is a bit dodgy. Everything about it is pretty standard shonen, so that’s fine as long as you don’t compare it to flashy action series or massive money generating powerhouses like K-ON!. Like with most series, the seiyuu start to grow on you. Throughout the course of this episode I found myself liking Takagi’s voice even more!

episode impressions (slight spoilers)

Stupid and Clever follows right on from when the first episode left us with a quick recap of Saiko’s sudden proposal to Miho, which leaves him blushing as he prepares for school the following day.

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