…oh, hello there Honey and Clover director.
When JC Staff were announced to be the studio working on Bakuman, I did raise an eyebrow. They’re probably the most down-to-earth studio in anime today. Getting the Josei director, Kasa Kenichi, seemed like an odd choice as well, considering this is a shounen manga by the guy who made one of the most over the top, dramatic poses anime in the last decade. And it totally shows in this episode. There was no dramatic angles, no strange lighting, no latin chanting. It was as subdued as you can get and rather clearly made on not that much of a budget. While most anime will look disappointing if compared to the wild directing of Death Note, you can forgive me for beginning this episode with much trepidation, especially when that disastrous opening song came on.
But things did pick up and I started to understand what Bakuman is going for. I understood why they got the Honey and Clover director for this. H&C is a highly accurate depiction of university life and growing up in that environment. Bakuman is practically same the same thing, except this time with teenagers. JC Staff are aiming to create the same atmosphere as Honey and Clover. Subdued with light colours while remaining comedic. It took a while to readjust my expectations, but once I did I started to enjoy the anime a hell of a lot more.
These are dumb teenagers (a tortology if there ever was one) acting like dumb teenagers. I loved the scene in front of the house. The previously hyper confident character holding his shaking finger over the doorbell and his sidekicks running mental commentary “oh shit he pushed the bell, oh crap she’s coming out what do I do, ah there she is argh what do I do, she’s so pretty wait no what the hell did I just say argh”, because I did the exact same dumb stuff when I was that age. It’s a very cleverly written for a scene that could have been one of the biggest facepalm moments in anime history. It’s realistic. That’s what you’ve really got to get your head around and that’s what JC Staff are aiming for here.