「親と子」 (Oya to Ko)
“Parents and Children”
Some people think Bakuman is basically an anime based on two guys trying to make it big by becoming mangaka. Some people think that such a premise would make for a really boring anime. I am here to tell you today that Bakuman is a lot more then just “about mangaka” but something that is pretty darn amazing. Like I’ve said for the past two weeks, all I’ve expected from Bakuman is to learn some cool facts about being a mangaka – and it completely delivers on that. What really makes Bakuman special is the little details that are sprinkled in and around the story itself. Last episode, I mentioned how the bond between father and son is a very strong one, and how Moritaka never actually speaks to his father about things. This episode has another really powerful scene when Moritaka calls his father and thanks him for accepting his request to become a mangaka — only to learn that his father, a man who works round the clock, has been watching over him this entire time, ready to help him become a man when the time was right. It’s family relationships like this that really make me love the slice of life genre. The amount of love and care that Moritaka’s father has for him isn’t spelled out in words, but through his actions. Another good example comes from Lucky Star (last thing you would think of right?). In one episode, we learn about Konata’s mom and how she chose the moe-filled otaku to become her husband, because she knew from his actions that he loved her. The sensation I’m trying to describe is hard to put into words, but it’s the tingly feeling that you feel in your heart and the back of your head when something touching happens.
Back on topic with our two heroes’ and their goal of becoming a mangaka, we get a full class of Mangaka 101. Inside of Nobuhiro’s apartment, you could describe it as an otaku dream room. From the towering collection of anime hero figures which fill up an entire room to the enormous manga collection in another, I would personally love to have this apartment. It is literally bookshelf, upon bookshelf, full of manga. It makes me feel a little sick to my stomach when I think about how much a collection like that would cost in real life. Imagine what all those manga would be worth? As Nobuhiro once said to justify his collection, “The best data for manga, is manga.” Last episode, Moritaka also mentioned that his one condition before partnering up with Takagi was that he needed to think of a name. If you guys thought that he meant a “name” for a manga, you were just as wrong as I was. A name is literally the rough draft for a manga. With the general panels sketched out, they’re sent to an editor who will edit them and send them back until they’re ready to be turned into a manuscript — something that looks like an actual manga.
In this Nobuhiro-centric episode, a little bit more of his past is revealed. By a little bit, I mean that Azuki’s mom (Azuki Miyuki) is the woman who Nobuhiro had been sending letters to, hoping to win her heart after becoming a full fledged mangaka. I didn’t see this coming at all, until the picture hiding in Nobuhiro’s box of letters was revealed. I thought it might have just been coincidence that Moritaka and Azuki were exchanging text messages just like how Nobuhiro and Miyuki sent letters to each other. But boy was I wrong. It’s almost like their DNA had forced it to happen. While the picture looks identical to Azuki, our dynamic duo decide to visit Azuki’s mom to find out and confirm that it really is her. When they finally meet Miyuki, she looks identical to Azuki, except for her huge long hair rolls. Hair rolls which I think really detracts from her overall appearance but at least help distinguish her from her daughter. She has the same pleasant personality as Azuki, very politely confirming that she was the woman who Nobuhiro loved and telling her side of the story. It’s pretty easy to see where Azuki get’s her charming personality from.
Throughout the entire episode, it felt like Takagi and Moritaka have finally begun to think of themselves as a real team. Moritaka finally dropping that arrogant attitude of his when he’s around Takagi. He’s even smiling for most of the episode! I think this is the turning point where Bakuman will finally start kicking into full speed. If this episode was any indicator of where the story is headed, I’m super excited on what’s in store for weeks to come. Not only will there be manga drawn, but guessing from the preview there will be new characters introduced too. Add on the whole Azuki x Moritaka aspect, and I see great things over the horizon.