「２人と１人」 (Futari to Hitori)
“Together and Alone”
I’m so overcome with emotion right now. I never expected that a single episode of Bakuman could turn out so amazing. You expect me to believe something that was able to wring out my emotions and throw me through loops is a mere shounen anime?
I was pretty furious to watch our dymanic duo fall apart — something about watching them misunderstand each other over and over just started to really bother me. Mashiro obviously thinking Takagi wasted his summer with Kaya and Takagi stubbornly believing that missing his September 1st deadline angered Mashiro enough to break their partnership, it just started eating away at me as I watched our duo start working on their own individual projects. To make matters worse, after getting hit with scenes of all the memories of our duo becoming best friends, I wasn’t just how much it would take to bring our duo back together. How can you have a show about a duo who want to write manga when that duo doesn’t even exist anymore?
After making it halfway through the episode, I was sick of watching Takagi and Mashiro not working together. What marked the turning point was a short conversation between Hattori and Mashiro. Just watching Hattori clearly understand just how stupid our duo were acting seemed to ease my heart a little. But then to watch him think of a plan to bring them back together — I was smiling a little. While I didn’t catch it at first while I was watching, Hattori just happened to be the one who started to roll the rock down the snowy mountain of friendship.
After fearing that our duo would take more than one episode to get back together, I was so happy to watch them make up and become Ashirogi Muto again. That feeling of watching them slowly understand just how perfect of a team they make put the biggest smile on my face. For a shounen anime, I know that things like friendship and dreams are supposed to be the main genres, but something once again makes Bakuman feels different. While arguments between friends are common place and friendships are broken over the most trivial matters, I think the way that Bakuman managed to wrap the whole thing up in such a great way makes it special. It almost feels like that the whole ordeal could actually happen — something which only helps increase its impact.
Now that our duo are finally moving at their own pace and have all their loose ends settled, I’m extra curious about where things could be headed now. Will our duo finally have a hit? And was it me or did Hattori give off some Ryuk-esque vibes?