「チョコとNEXT!」 (Choco to NEXT!)
“Chocolate and NEXT!”

It looks like everything in Bakuman has finally come full circle. While it answered most of the questions I had it also raised a ton more in the process. Even so, I was surprised how fun this week’s episode was. To start things off, I almost started to like Nizuma. Out in public he pulls off the neat look really well. His hair down, looking neat with his school uniform, standing in a bad-ass pose with one hand in his pocket, I almost forgot I was watching Nizuma Eiji of all people. Too bad my impression of him went down the hole as a black crow appeared, causing him to let his inner crow out. What the heck is up with his obsession with black crows anyways? Not to start piling on the negatives but his attitude toward manga also irritates me. Besides showing his cocky side by taking a three month deadline and reducing it to one, he continues to have this superiority complex over others. Having the nerve to demand that someone pick up his work since the trains are “too loud”. I don’t know about you but something about Nizuma still just rubs me the wrong way.

With Shounen NEXT’s deadline coming up, a lot of this episode was focused on getting the name finished in time. Having the entire process span over the entire episode, it was interesting watching a name go from draft to finish. While the story of Money and Intelligence is interesting by itself, I found it much more interesting watching Mashiro and Takagi discuss the finer details of the plot. Unlike their first name which had some serious issues since they didn’t work together, it’s nice to see Mashiro and Takagi collaborate together. As they try to create a name that fleshes out the despicable feeling of greed, I thought Mashiro’s concept of selling ideas at a premium to keep them private was ingenious – especially since most people hold a high value on their privacy. Of course Bakuman wouldn’t be Bakuman without Mashiro’s attempt to integrate his relationship into his work. Going off on a tangent about how he and Azuki should reveal each other’s minds to strengthen their love for each other. Besides sounding extra corny, Takagi’s facial expression sums up the situation nicely.

While I’m talking about relationships, I’m fairly confident that the anime-only readers probably share my opinion on how Azuki and Mashiro were handling their relationship. Besides breaking every fundamental rule there is to having one, I know that I’ve questioned multiple times why our strange couple are doing things the way they are. From taking ages to get each other’s phone number too not even talking to each other in person. I’ve been wondering what logical reason could there be, if there even was one? Luckily there seems to be some logic in their madness with the answer coming from the last person I expected – Takagi. During his first date with Kaya, as she starts complaining about how she doesn’t understand why Azuki and Mashiro handle their relationship the way they do, Takagi has a revelation. They act the way they do because of how strong their relationship is with each other. Based off of Takagi’s assumptions, if you remember when Azuki started crying in class, it wasn’t because she was sad about what Mashiro asked her – it was because she’s fighting between choosing her love or her dreams. Their relationship isn’t two lovers who choosing to ignore each other but rather two lovers who choose to focus on their dreams and have a lover. Imagine how productive Azuki would be if the only thing in her mind was Mashiro? Plus we’ve already seen what happens when Mashiro starts to think about Azuki. While I still think this is a pretty ridiculous way of going about things, I’ll admit that it does make sense since both parties agree to it. Almost if on cue Valentine’s Day rolls around and Mashiro receives the coolest chocolate from Azuki – chocolate in the shape of pencils. If that doesn’t describe a girl’s dedication to a manga artist, I don’t know what will. All of this leaves me wondering what Takagi is going to with Kaya. It’s clear that Takagi enjoys being with Kaya, but I’m curious about what will happen when Kaya and manga start fighting over his time and attention. I sense danger coming.

I’m super excited about the weeks to come. Having finally come full circle, our duo’s name makes it into NEXT. After watching the funniest “I’m so freaking happy I could die” cheer, I wasn’t really thinking about what could happen next. Even though they finally got past the judges, the next hurdle looks like it will be Nizuma Eiji himself. I was pretty angry when Hattori revealed that the editors probably chose their work just to provide a point of comparison for Nizuma. However, Hattori took all that anger and turned it into manly enthusiasm as he yelled out not to try to win against Nizuma, BUT TO WIN NO MATTER WHAT. With words like that, I can’t see how our duo could lose.




  1. WOOHOO! First comment for the first time in my life!!!

    Now what valuable piece of information should I offer for the first comment?

    Ah, I know! Kaya’s hair looks attractive the way she has it in the preview! There, now I have shared my knowledge with you. That will be 9 million yen.

  2. Miho is a bit of a mystery girl. But it’s a rather big clue that while she did have a condition, so did she promptly accept his proposal. But the first clue may be harder to spot if you don’t think about it.
    Show Spoiler ▼

      1. Show Spoiler ▼

  3. When a big movie comes out rival studios will sometimes schedule their movie to open the same day if it is totally different then the blockbuster in hopes of catching the movie goer that isn’t into big splash movies.

    Nizuma’s manga seemed to be on the childish side and perhaps the boys will do well againt Nizuma as they will catch the interest of the “thinking” people with their more mature story?

  4. love the episode!!! facial expressions are great XD
    really want to see their manga now..
    and I am curious the last shot (a new drawn character)… hopefully we get to see that too soon.
    Can’t wait for next episode… looks like more relationship front build-up 🙂

    1. Like Divine pointed out, this anime doesn’t need the nicest animation because the target audience probably doesn’t care too much about it.

      I can’t imagine how much better it would be if the animation quality was pushed up a few levels.

      1. Target audience is an interesting subject as this (Bakuman) manga is after all in Shounen Jump alongside Naruto, Bleach, One Piece etc. The resent talks with Hattori takes on a different twist if you realise that Bakuman most be a real niche story compared to the normal battle manga of Jump. It doesn’t help that time goes by real fast! They take a month to make a name, then another month to wait for results.

  5. Mashiro and Azuki are adorable. XD Loved the chocolates.

    I would love to see various parts of their manga animated as well. How cool did those couple of seconds of Money and Intelligence look?

  6. My assumptions were correct in that it was gonna end during the graduation (well this season anyway). Is the show ongoing? I don’t know so if someone’d answer that’d be cool.

    Anyway, reaaaaally loved this episode. So many great moments and Tagaki and Kaya are so cute.

    As for Kaya… Show Spoiler ▼

    I can’t wait for next next and agree with Yuumei. Hopefully we’ll see more animated versions of their anime! (Which is kind of ironic seeing as they want their manga to become anime and we’re watching it literally happen.)

    1. The slow speed (1.5 chapters for each episode or so) and the fidelity towards the manga makes it really likely that they are planing to make this an ongoing series. Else so would I have expected them to at the least rush towards a good ending spot and there is one in the manga but they wont reach it at this pace.

      1. I think the anime is moving ‘slowly’ because the manga is very, very dialog heavy, which causes the overall story to move in a more measured pace compared with the fast paced battle mangas.

  7. I used to hate that! Whenever I was drawing in class back in High School, kids would come up to the desk (in the same way!) and ask dumb questions and bother me. “OH! Are there any porn scenes!?!” I laughed so hard when the other kid asked about that in the show. xDD

    I can’t stop laughing with this show. My writer is in the same situation as Takagi. Even down to the whole girlfriend thing! I have the same situation as Mashiro. Whereas I told her when I became something worthy, I’d ask for her hand. She agreed but said she wouldn’t wait forever. It’s a little different, but HEY!! LOL

  8. getting too optimistic regarding our dynamic duo’s chance to beat niizuma eiji within this anime’s timeline is bad if this anime will really stick to the manga’s story all the way.
    Show Spoiler ▼

  9. “Hattori took all that anger and turned it into manly enthusiasm as he yelled out not to try to win against Nizuma, BUT TO WIN NO MATTER WHAT. With words like that, I can’t see how our duo could lose.”

    …..mnnn…..you don’t read the manga XD “our duo” alway find a way to lose.

  10. I find Kaya’s boobs to be highly unstable. Sometimes they are extremely huge and sometimes she is almost flat.
    Also, I found it to be cool how the latest manga issue kind of brought back some stuff that just recently happened in the anime (Them sitting together in the classroom and Money & Intelligence for example)


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