「御馳走と卒業」 (Gochisou to Sotsugyou)
“Feast and Graduation”
While Bakuman still seems to be following one to one and a half chapters per episode, it feels like things are finally beginning to speed up. Putting the manga things aside, I really enjoyed how this episode focused on the relationship between Mashiro and Azuki. With Kaya in the picture, it was nice to see a normal girl’s perspective on the matter. With Mashiro fading into dream land and Takagi being almost too understanding about everything, it’s interesting to watch Kaya question everything about Mashiro’s relationship. While it is true that our awkward couple want to take their relationship slow, I’ve been wondering how Mashiro actually feels inside watching Takagi and Kaya constantly be with each other. Which is why I found Kaya’s attempt to force Mashiro and Azuki closer together really sweet. Going off of her intuition that not seeing Azuki is probably getting to him, she starts talking to Mashiro about how he handles Azuki. Getting to the point where tempers starting flying between the two about who actually understands Azuki’s feelings better. Looking on the bright side, it’s the type of fight that get’s both parties involved to open their eyes a bit wider – in this case widening Mashiro and Kaya’s understanding of each other. It’s tough to describe the feelings that must have been flowing through Mashiro’s mind while he was slumped in his chair after their argument, but I think I know where he’s coming from. All too clearly did the memories of being slumped up in a chair, looking at the things that made me remember my girlfriend the most, wondering about the future, start rushing back to me. In Mashiro’s case, I’m glad that he’s depressed not because of a fight but because of his desire to be with Azuki. It makes me proud to see him so focused on getting serialized just to spend time with her. I’m also really surprised that after such a depressing moment he sprung right back up and started working just as hard with a smile on his face. All in all, I’m glad that through the power of teamwork (or love?) Takagi and Kaya managed to get Mashiro and Azuki to finally talk to each other. Even though they only exchanged a couple words, they were pretty good ones – as Mashiro asks Azuki how long she’ll wait for him, her reply of “I’ll wait forever” was quite touching.
A little off topic but I so called it last week when I said Takagi would have to start making decisions between working on manga or spending time with his girlfriend. I’m glad that Mashiro honestly understands Takagi and Kaya’s relationship and had such an earnest smile on his face when he didn’t mind Takagi wanting to spend time with Kaya. That said, if I was Kaya’s boyfriend I don’t know if I would be able to resist such an innocent look.
Getting back on the topic of Money and Intelligence, I’m glad that it looks like our duo has a pretty good chance of winning the Shounen NEXT competition. As Hattori started listing the different genres that our duo is up against, it looks like Nizuma will be able to pick off the competition leaving a one on one against our duo. As Hattori started getting into the editing groove, it was pretty interesting watching him explain in detail, panel by panel, each and every small problem that our duo’s name had. Further proving my point about how dedication he puts into his work. From the problems in the dialogue to the flaws in the art, it looks like our duo is in for some major revisions. Is it just me or does everyone at Hattori’s workplace seem to be looking down on him? With the end of the season upon us, I can’t wait to see how Bakuman decides to end it next episode. I hope that Money and Intelligence gets its own full blown page by page with dialogue like their first manuscript did. Plus with a new season comes a new opening and ending sequence. I’m excited!