「時と鍵」 (Toki to Kagi)
“Time and Key”
After this episode I will never forget just how hard it is to be a mangaka. That and I hope I never look like this, ever. Just in this single episode, Bakuman introduces us to three different pens which all have different uses. From left to right, G-pens are for general drawing, kabura pens are for scenery and buildings, and round pens for those exquisitely thin lines; AND that’s just generalizing it. G-pens are good for controlling the line thickness, unlike kabura pens which flow better on paper but have give the artist less control. Don’t even get me started about all those crazy effects you have to make by hand. If you look at the cup sitting on Moritaka’s desk there’s even a quill sitting in the cup (a freaking quill!). Now these pens aren’t just regular pens but those nib pens, the kind that need to dipped into an ink well before it will write. In general, they are a pain to use. Imagine having drawn an entire page of your manga and then having a TINY drop of ink fall onto the paper. The entire page is ruined and has to be redrawn from scratch. According to Moritaka, the pros in the mangaka industry all have to use these ridiculous nib pens to achieve that “high level” of quality. Like his uncle who could never master the g-pen, Moritaka seems to be having a tough time with it as well. Glancing over the pen problem, Moritaka seems to have his uncle’s strange romantic personality as well. Somehow deciding that not going to high school as Azuki is the best choice to create a romantic atmosphere just blew my mind away. Then expecting her to wait for him solely with the power of trust was just too much for me the handle. It’s some pretty big words coming from the guy who doesn’t even have her phone number yet. If only the real world played by 2d rules 🙁
With Takagi, I’ve come accustomed to his overly happy attitude but when he shows his cool and calculating side, he’s pretty darn cool. He throws away his backup plan of being a scholar in favor of giving his mangaka dream 100% of his time. I think with this decision he finally hit the right note with Moritaka. I haven’t heard one comment about “I” but a lot of “We” this episode (unlike last week). I suppose Takagi’s move was more of returning the favor than anything else, especially since it happened after Moritaka gave him a duplicate key to “their” studio apartment. But it still makes me look at Takagi in an even better light. He’s someone who’s smart yet has a good heart. By having a good heart, I don’t mean by only returning favors but by his ability to understand others and act in good will. Towards the end of the episode Takagi and Azuki pass each other as they are walking home on opposite sides of the street. As Moritaka and Azuki get closer Moritaka nudges Takagi to shuttup and not grab Azuki’s attention. I was really expecting Takagi to yell out and force Moritaka and Azuki to interact with each other, but Takagi did the exact opposite. Other than a very slight chuckle about Moritaka and Azuki’s shyness, Takagi plays it cool and unintentionally gets Moritaka and Azuki to have an awesome “stare at each other” scene.
There are a bunch of cameos this week. We of course have Shounen
Jump Jack with a nice big picture of Naruto and a coffee table full of One Piece, Bleach, Death Note, Dragon Ball, and Hikaru no Go mangas. With my limited background, I’m sure there are a few more cameos hiding somewhere in this episode, but that’s what the comment box is for! I still feel that the way Bakuman manages to combine talking about technical mangaka things and still have an interesting story is its biggest selling point. It’s not overwhelming and still manages to slowly lift the curtain over how mangakas really work. From the technical details to the tools of the trade, I feel like I’m really learning something worthwhile. Not to mention I’ve confirmed with myself that I would definitely kill myself if I had to deal with nib pens. What I found really funny this episode was Moritaka’s huge swings in personality. That whole scene of being so confident in his love life to becoming a shy and quiet when he has to face Azuki in person was pure gold. It had me on the edge of my seat hoping for some progress between Moritaka and Azuki but I suppose it’s still to early for anything like that. The story itself seems to be progressing fairly quickly and it looks like our dynamic duo will finish their “name” next episode. Unlike some of those people who have crazy expectations since they’ve read the manga, I think the anime is moving along nicely (:
Add some black to that notebook, and he could be holding a Death Note!