8 CommentsBakuman / By Scamp /

Bakuman episode 17

Great, another episode of Bakuman to write about. How am I going to come up with something worthwhile to say this week? Oh well, might as well get cracking…

Is what I’d usually but woah Bakuman, where were you keeping this episode until now? This is more like it. This is what I signed up to blog originally.

Big Brother Mangaka

To think the only thing Bakuman had to do was stick a bunch of aspiring mangaka in a room together, Big Brother style, and let them chat to each other for the show to become genuinely good. It was fun to watch them bounce ideas off each other. They’re all different enough personality wise to produce different enough results. Shujin and Saiko together are fun to watch, but they’re a bit too normal and similar for as interesting a conversation to occur as in this episode. There’s Saiko, the regular yet talented kid, the new guy, who is a right dick, but that’s exactly what Bakuman needed anyway, the old bloke, who I’ll talk about later, and Nizuma, who..well, is Nizuma. If anything, I’d be disappointed if they became too friendly with each other. The real reason they were such fun in this episode was because they still weren’t sure how to act around each other.

Nizuma actually listening to someone

I’m not sure if Nizuma is quite as difficult to get to change his ways as perhaps his editor makes him out to be. Sure, when he’s in the zone it’s hard to get anything through to him, and there’s the whole deal with him changing his mind about what manga of his he wanted to get serialised, but he’s shown on more than one occasion that he does listen to advice. That is, providing you have his attention in the first place. Honestly, the problem has been simply getting the guy to listen in the first place. It was cool to see the guy do a 180 with his policy on names. While I’m talking about Nizuma, spare a thought for the poor seiyuu who has to perform every single high pitched screech. He won’t have a voice by the end of this anime.

Takuro Nakai

The character that really rose this episode above all others, though, was the old guy. 33 years old and trapped in the vortex of eternal assistant. Yeah the white haired guy was a dick, but it was because what he said was true that stung. It was more than just what the white haired kid was saying though. Nizuma calling the others sensei but not him, even though he was the oldest there. Saiko having exuberant conversations about manga with the other two, leaving him out cold, overwhelmed by their enthusiasm. It hurt watching him. Every extra scene with the guy was like a knife in the gut, turning with every realisation that he’s long since past it. I want, more than anything, for the guy to succeed, but he never will though, will he? Compared to the youth he’s with, he simply hasn’t got it. It hurt man!

Just talking

While this was the best episode of Bakuman so far, it was essentially just talking for 20 minutes. The anime needs to add something else that the manga doesn’t already have. But lordy me did they go about that wrong. Instead of playing to anime’s strengths, they decided to try alter the focus of the story to the romance. Bad, bad move, as I’ve discussed far too many times before. Stay to the true strengths of the original  (aka let’s make manga wooh~!) but add something else. It needs some dynamic directing. I’m not sure what, but something beyond talking heads anyway. The Death Note anime added dramatic angles, latin chanting and a whole load of nifty artwork and animation tricks to take it above and beyond the manga. I’m not sure what you could do, but take the above scene as an example. Nizuma and Saiko discussing manga through the view of feather pens. Surely you could do something interesting with that?

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  1. mcm38
    Posted January 31, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    XD Nizuma listening looks like a puppy.
    But seriously you’re right about the producers not using enough material to make the anime stand out (more). And this is not the only anime. I wish the producers would put more effort in it.

    I didn’t read the manga and I don’t know if the anime is following the manga, but I believe the ossan is going to succeed with something. Not something as big as the ‘sensei’ tough. But it realy hurt watching him. The awkward thing was it was also funny to see him done in by some young ones.

    I couldnt believe what I saw. Was Shujin writing something else than manga there?

  2. Suzushina Yuriko
    Posted January 31, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    “White-haired kid”? I’m pretty sure Fukuda is over 20… He was pretty mean in his initial appearance, but he’s pretty awesome. Think of his comments as an attempt to motivate Nakai to get serialized.

    But yeah, this is about the point in the manga where things got really interesting. Also, Nakai has to be the most pitiful character in the series, especiallty what happens to him later on.

  3. luffyluffy
    Posted January 31, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of seiyu, the voice actor for Prussia, Atsushi Kousaka, that isn’t his normal voice. I mean, he voices GREECE and Estonia ffs.

    He’s quite cute too, though I weep for his poor voice ;3;

  4. imananon
    Posted February 1, 2011 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    Wild theorizing:
    1) Saiko will have the realization that “oh my god I might turn out like that old dude if I don’t ever get serialized!”

    2) Could this all be a sort of autobiography for the creator? I mean, we don’t know much about him (her? them????) right? I think it’s possible.

  5. fathomlessblue
    Posted February 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    I remember Jesus159 and a few other Bakuman manga readers moaning about the dynamism, or rather lack of it, since ep one. I guess you don’t have to read the manga to realise that we’re getting a mediocre adaptation of what seems to be a pretty decent story.

    Doesn’t help when some of the character models look like they’ve been animated by children. The girls in their school uniforms are the worst; I wish studio’s would stop giving all the females huge breasts if they have no idea how to animate them without looking like giant tumors. It’s just tacky.

    I also really felt something for Nakai, which is a first for the show. Being a Shounin, I’d like to believe the kids somehow motivate him into bringing his A game, although it seems that may not be the case.

  6. Posted February 1, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Spot on. This was probably the first episode of the series that didn’t bore me at some point. Dear god, this show needed an influx of new personalities. Like someone having an asthma attack needs their inhaler.

    I’ve seen plenty of anime episodes where the general scene doesn’t change the entire time. Usually I end up feeling claustrophobic and bored. That gives me some hope for this series.

    I’m pretty sure we can’t expect things to continue like this, since they’re obviously going to have to back to addressing the romance aspect of the show. Still, every episode that entertains me as much as this one will be an episode that eagerly soak in.

  7. Posted February 3, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Better 17 episodes late than never, I guess.

  8. BlueYoshi
    Posted February 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Well, this was the said event I mentioned in the Ep 12 post. Can’t force romance into this environment. Haven’t actually seen this ep though, put the anime on hold a while ago.

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