「馬鹿と利口 」 (Baka to Rikou)
“Stupid and Smart”
This week, we get to see a little deeper into Moritaka’s life. His mom is a real hard-ass when it comes to things dealing with his future, just like any parent would be. Imagine going home to your parents, telling them you want to draw manga, and make a living off of it, knowing that your favorite relative died from being a mangaka and that your parents wouldn’t want you to end up with the same fate. Would you still try? Of course not! Unless your name was Mashiro Moritaka. In the Mashiro household, you only speak to your mother. Your mother then goes to your father, and then if you don’t get a response, it means you get the okay for your request. Naturally, that also means you never speak directly to your father. I’m sure some readers here will understand the feeling of your mother being totally against what you want to do, but what’s even better is when the working dad goes and says “Let him do it, men have dreams that a woman wouldn’t understand.” It really goes to show how how father and son can bond together, even with a dad who has to work all the time.
With Moritaka and Takagi, they seem to be slowly growing accustomed to each other (…actually, more like Moritaka finally opening himself up to Takagi). Why would I say this? If you look closely at Moritaka, his overall facial expression changes from a frown, to a smile! They also give each other nicknames which play off of their names, Saiko for Moritaka and Shuujin for Takagi (Shuujin meaning prisoner or criminal). We also meet a few new characters, Iwase Aiko (Fujimura Ayumi) and Miyoshi Kaya (Yahagi Sayuri) — Aiko being one of the top students in the school (right under Takagi) and Kaya who is Azuki’s best friend. Both of them didn’t have much screen time this episode, but they were important enough to get a few lines each. Takagi even uses Aiko as an example of how smart people aren’t necessarily smart.
On that note, there’s some great dialogue between Takagi and Moritaka. As Moritaka once again questions Takagi about why he would work so hard in school just become a mangaka, Takagi explains about the possibility of failing as a mangaka and describes his dedication to studying as more of a form of insurance. At the same time, he explains that being book smart isn’t the only way one can be smart. He describes Moritaka as a smart person who has more skills then just being good at drawing. Then he compares Azuki and Iwase. Azuki is very cute and pretty, yet manages to stay very low key. Not by manipulating others, but by utilizing her charm and being very straightforward. He even says she’s smarter then Iwase who only has book smarts. The real way to become smart, in the words of Takagi, is to follow your dreams and not remain a dreamer.
The only other things that really caught my eye this episode were the couple of times that Azuki glanced over at Moritaka. From when he faked being sick to struggling on a test, Azuki was constantly checking over Moritaka. I think it’s really sweet how she’s constantly worried about him. I don’t know if you could say Azuki and Moritaka are engaged, but I really like how suave she is when shows her affection for Moritaka. I also really like it when Moritaka isn’t pessimistic, but smiling like this. Makes him seem like a nicer person then he really is.