Bakuman, episode 21: Pop star… you’re doing it wrong!

How should I go about writing these Bakuman posts anymore? I’m out of things to say, and I’m getting tired of poking fun at it. To be fair, this was one of the stronger episodes in a while. I just don’t have anything left to say.

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Poor Hattori. Within a two minute span, Hattori gained and lost more pounds than Matthew Perry typically does in a week.

Satisfied with the effort Takagi and Mashiro have been putting in, Hattori finally relents and begins preparing the two for getting serialized. Actually “relent” is the wrong word, because Hattori becomes quite gung-ho about getting the two serialized, regardless of how well they do in the Golden Future Cup.

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We also get introduced to a couple new Golden Cup rivals: Aoki is the sharp tongued shrew who trashes both Ashirogi Muto and Fukuda’s previous works. She’s partnered with Nakai to get on the map with her fantasy anime. Interestingly, Mashiro comments on how she looks like Iwase. I haven’t followed the original Bakuman manga, but I have heard that she becomes a mangaka herself, so my guess is that she’s just donned the wig to get undercover. She has that… very terse Iwase temperament which I like.

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We’re also introduced to Koogy, a rock star who wants to take a step backwards in the world of pop to become a mangaka, and tries to use his army of music fans to rig the voting for the Golden Future Cup. While the story for Colorfusical seems… interesting, in an artsy sort of way. The artwork was pretty godawful. More importantly, I think Koogy needs to revisit his plan for worldwide stardom. You typically don’t step away from the lucrative teenage girl market to embrace the shounen otaku market. If you’re in music, the next step is TV, and the step after that film. Pretty sure that “mangaka” fits nowhere on that timeline.

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Upset with Koogy’s shenanigans, the Fukuda, Nakai, Takagi and Mashiro team up to protest en masse. Hopefully this means Fukuda will do a lot of yelling next episode.

5 Replies to “Bakuman, episode 21: Pop star… you’re doing it wrong!”

  1. I don’t know why they are going to complain. Even if he is unfairly leveraging his fanbase from his music career, the issue is still the same: make as good a manga as you can. I think this gets to my main complaint about this show; the only person who seems to make manga out of love for manga is Eiji. Saiko gives it lip service every once in a while, and we occasionally see some serious discussion about getting better at their craft, but it is mostly about being number one, which I find insulting to the real artists who are struggling to produce good stories told in a fresh way. I have absolutely no doubt that (if they could) Saiko and Shuujin would do the exact same thing so they can “realize their dream” of being #1, or getting married. In that way, they don’t seem ANY different from Koogy. In fact, his dream to be a success in a number of different media is just as valid as their dream. 👿

    1. Yeah, that’s been my main and consistent criticism of the show. No one’s being a mangaka for the right reasons besides Eiji. It’s no wonder he’s #1. And we’re supposed to root for someone else to unseat him? No chance.

      I do think they have a fair complaint about Koogy. His motives are what they are. But soliciting his fanbase is going to dramatically skew the voting. It’s the same reason why “pros” aren’t allowed on American Idol. I’m curious to see how they take this. If he brings thousands of new readers, who actually read the story and spread the votes, I will guffaw. If, more realistically, he brings in thousands of new readers and he wins by a dominating amount. I’ll will tip my cap to the show for not taking the cheap way out.

      1. If I understood the mechanics, each of the four stories are published in separate issues. Koogy’s fans likely will only buy the issue he is in. It is therefore a possibility that he will get both highest votes and most “like” votes. This still leaves a second slot, so Saiko/Shuujin can still be a winner alongside him. It is even possible that their story could be so well received that it wins in its own issue.

        1. Hmm, my impression of these books was that all four stories were published in the same issue. But the story order was based on the likelihood to win, with the most favored getting the premium front space. Fukuda and Takagi’s case is that the story you read first ends up shaping your vote to everything you read next. At least it would make much more sense if they were all in one volume. Four volumes seems like a pretty expensive and drawn out way to do the contest.

  2. I feel Shuujin loves manga and hes doing for the right reason. Saiko on the other hand only cares about getting serialized so he can get his anime and his girl that he doesn’t even call(which i find weird). Im also tired of Saiko bringing up Eiji every time Hattori tries to tell them something. Eiji is someone special who doesn’t come around that often. Its ridiculous that he(saiko) wants to be treated the same way.

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