「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!


      1. Bah! That’s what everybody says about any anime that was ever a manga before it was an anime. No trans-medium adaptation of anything can satisfy everybody, so I choose to look at the huge list of things they’ve done right rather than the tiny list of things that are a little off.

      2. Indeed,The pace was slow,but it was necessary,and it is still enjoyable.

        And I haven’t watched any inspirational anime like this.

        That’s why I thank you for your reviews,Takaii,If it’s not because of you,I would have ignored this precious show.

      3. It’s following the manga really well so I don’t see why anyone would complain about that really. They have done some very minor changes only, like they swapped places the discussions happened in this episode. But it’s not something you would even notice if you didn’t read the manga right before you watched the episode. They seem to have settled on a 1.5 chapter = 1 episode anime ratio and it’s understandable that they might have to tune it sometimes to make the story flow despite cutting chapters in the middle.

  1. i also, having read the manga have great expectations and the anime is moving along nicely, i’m just concerned that due to the limited time of the anime, the speed of which it’s moving and the length of the manga (100+ chapters so far) i’m afraid they’re going to have to pull a claymore and completely gut the ending!

    1. I don’t really see how they can do an anime only ending for this series and it not turn out like complete crap. Will they out of nowhere get an anime and a wedding?

      But they might be able to reach the hospital arc this season. There are some nice scenes there where they could temporarily end it.

  2. The anime doesn’t seem to be doing so bad compared to the manga, actually very spot on I’m kind of hoping for a fast pace just to expect a nice original end. We also get to see Kaya Miyoshi more from the screens of the preview.

    1. Hehe fire hazard, bakuman is one of the few manga’s that I just couldn’t stop reading and then surprise green light! and adding a few more roman candles to the cake J.C. Staff it feels so epic is all I can say.

  3. Wow,I didn’t though that Manga is so difficult to do.

    The pace was quite slow,And I’m not sure if this was better than Episodes 2 and 3,Anyways,I love the anime now.

    I hope NHK will commission a second season,It will worth their License fees.

  4. I’m pretty sure there are screentones for special effects like the ones above if one is lazy…if not physical screentones, then definitely digital ones. Not to mention a lot of stuff can be/is done with screentones and a craft knife. Then again they might have used tones in the episode, I’m basing this wholly on the review as I haven’t watched it yet.

    You think dripping a drop of ink is terrible? I’ve knocked inkpots over…at least a drop of ink has some possibility of being salvageable with white ink or etc…

    Guess I’m watching this~

      1. That’s exactly what I’m referring to. Why can’t they call it Jump in the anime then? If it’s about licensing issues, then they shudnt be able to use pictures of Naruto or One Piece….
        Stupid japanese copyright laws. “Jack” sounds gay and that’s all I’m going to be paying attention to when I’m watching this show -.- So distracting

      1. If anything shouldn’t it be considered advertising rather then copyright infringement?
        Hmm, when I think about it so is it a Trademark issue rather then copyright.
        You need to ask permission to use brand names in movies etc as it could be considered a Trademark devaluation if the movie makes the brand name look bad. I don’t see why the publisher would refuse the use of Jump in this anime thou. That sounds stupid when it’s an anime for a manga that is printed in Jump in the first place!

      2. Damn it, they couldn’t have done something other than Jack? I know like three Jack’s,and none of them are people whose face I want to imagine on the cover of a magazine… *shudders*
        It’s too bad about the copyright stuff though. 🙁

        Kit Kat
      3. It’s not just about the copyright,It is about the broadcaster itself.

        NHK owns the rights for the anime series.

        NHK is a Public broadcaster,They are not allowed to show advertisements/accept sponsors,The even refuse to tell or specify brand names,And it was a coincidence that “Jump” is a popular Comic Brand.

  5. Never before, until the opening started for this episode, have I realized what Bakuman truly is: A story for our generation. I mean that’s what I’m feeling from this anime. How many of us draw, I can imagine at least 80% of people who visit this site at least draw (if not make their own comics). I’m really falling in love with the anime more and more. And with due time, I’ll probably love it more than I do the manga. Great pacing during the “same frequency” scene.


    1. I can’t draw for crap. I can copy objects fairly well, but other then that I’m pretty bad. I would really like to be able to draw anime well 🙁

      I do love it when people draw stuff for me though. (I have a whole section of my wall covered in drawings people have drawn for me. It’s pretty cool looking)

  6. Niizuma Eiji (the Aizen of the series).
    About the tablets after close to 100 chapters of the manga and like 10 differents mangakas I have to see one using one.
    Maybe Jump dont accept this way of work.
    And if you liked the part about the craft then you are for a wild ride with this anime , for me is the biggest selling point of the story.


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