Bakuman, episode 10: Let’s make it a threesome

The real Shujin-Kaya relationship is a lot more interesting than the make believe Mashiro-Miho non-relationship. Of course, that’s not saying that much either.

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It didn’t take long for Kaya to become that girl. You know, the one that just hangs around their man, whether he pays attention or not, because she has no life of her own. Their relationship would be as boring as Mashiro and Miho’s if it wasn’t for Takagi saying the wrong thing every single time. I give him points for his brutal honesty.

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More interesting were the scenes in which Hattori and the chief editor, Sasaki, give Mashiro and Takagi feedback on their manga submission. Sasaki figures that Mashiro is Nobuhiro’s nephew and doesn’t hold back, delivering some candid feedback, while also being honest about what it takes to become a successful mangaka. He’s an interesting contrast to Hattori who seems much more deliberate about the feedback he gives the two, trying to balance between psyching them up too much and kicking them in the nuts too hard.

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Wuh oh! The girl has invaded the clubhouse! Cue the emergency meeting of G.R.O.S.S.!

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Mashiro should consider himself lucky, because Kaya does have nice curves in all the right places. He could’ve walked in on the two knocking boots, but luckily Takagi was just wearing sneakers *BA-DUM-PSH!* After much whining Kaya eventually gets permission to visit on weekends and holidays. Nothing like good ole’ conjugal time in the ‘pen.

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After taking Hattori’s advice to come back with names featuring more “shounen” characters (think Naruto, Bleach and One Piece), Hattori is stunned to find that everything they’ve written totally sucks. I did really like how they led up to this scene, seeing Mashiro and Takagi working hard in montage form with some happy-go-lucky music in the background, and then *BUMMM* the dissonant chord strikes as we see Hattori’s shocked face. Well, some people were meant to write 16 minute opuses with varying time signatures and polyrhythmic beats, others were meant to write catchy 3 minute pop songs. It becomes clear to Hattori that Takagi is the former.

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So Hattori devises a plan B. A plan to get the duo into NEXT and Jack through the backdoor. It was pretty funny how he set it up – basically write something that most people will hate, because there’s bound to be a small subset that also really love it. Hmm, who’s the last person that tried to do this? Howard Stern, maybe? Well, it worked for him.

The Nizuma Watch

No Nizuma sightings this week. Not even random farm animal noises. They must be keeping him under wraps for the big showing next week.