I could go on about how utterly dreadful Bakuman’s romance is for yet another episode, but what would be the point in that? I’ve covered that enough already and will cover it again in the final review. Instead, I want to talk about what it is that Bakuman does well for a change.
The scene with the editors in the bar was the single best moment of Bakuman this season. A quiet, reflective moment between the two as they discussed their dreams and how they desperately wanted their aspiring manga authors to succeed. There’s an element of longing to their discussion. It’s a different sort of longing to those Shujin and Saiko have, where theirs is built on youthful exuberance. Neither is it the same longing that Nakai had back in episode 14. That scene with him in despair as he watched the talented youth with natural ability already reach a stage beyond him was painful to watch, because it was like watching his already distant dreams get shattered and revealed they are unattainable at his current state.
Bakuman is about dreams and reaching for those dreams. The longing the various characters have for achieving those dreams. Whether this be the manga authors or the editors, they are all striving to reach their dreams. This is part of the reason why Miho degrades the anime so much. She is merely a representation of Saiko’s dream and her promise to Shujin becomes a metaphor for how his dream will always wait for him. It’s such a painful denigration of her character and the show seems to like painting females in that light in general. Heck, parasite hair-girl doesn’t have a dream beyond be at Shujin’s beck and call, serving them tea every now and then.
I guess I went back to bitching about the romance again anyway. But, as the scene with the editors showed, there is a great anime here. Somewhere. Beneath the sexism and dreadful animation and insufferable lead character, there’s a story about reaching for your dreams. Maybe next season…