22 CommentsBakuman / By Scamp /

Bakuman episode 4

Well that was a lot better. I always figured Bakuman was a slow burner and patience was required when watching this anime. Admittedly, patience is hardly my forte. You don’t drop 130 anime without having a low tolerance threshold. It’s not like it was bad or anything before this. It’s just I actually found myself caring about the dreams these two had this time around.

How to create manga

One thing that got me more interested in the characters dream was it started getting down a lot more to the practical side of things. I really enjoyed listening to all the information on how to make manga. It has always rather amazed me how this is still all hand drawn material. I’m no artist but I would not be able to handle drawing without the option to ctrl+z at every available opportunity. There was an ANNCast a while back that brought up the idea that the reason anime fans have seemingly rather little respect for mangaka is they don’t understand quite how much work is involved. They’re living the dream they themselves want to live, hence they should feel grateful that they are reading their material. Maybe Bakuman is the cure to showing the new generation of anime fans how truly difficult it is to get anywhere in the manga world? I’d absolutely love it if their manga got pirated overseas and they got fan letters from people telling them that they’d read them on illegal sites and they love their work. That would be meta of the highest and most glorious order.

Shujin’s task

As of now, we’ve yet to see any upfront confirmation that Shujin is going to create a good story. Oh sure, he won a contest, but I’m waiting for the two of them to have creative differences over the course of Shujin’s story. He does seem very sure of himself that he’s capable of creating a top quality story, but until Saiko actually receives a plot outline, I’m not convinced this is going to go down perfectly. Chances are Shujin will love his work, but at the same time they’re still both 14. They’re maybe not the best judges of what makes a good story. Especially since Shujin thinks the best manga is Dragonball. What bugged me also about his preparation for making the story was he assumed reading manga was the only way to learn. That’s like me just reading other anime blogs to know how to blog about anime. If you want to be good you’ve got to read about. I take inspiration from newspaper columns, other blogs, non-fiction books etc. Shujin needs to start reading some non-graphic literature. Get yourself some Shakespeare man and learn how to construct a damn fine story. Or classical Japanese literature. Either’s fine.

Hubris, effort and luck

I’d never heard of the word hubris before. “Extreme haughtiness or arrogance” according to wiki, and I pretty much agree that that’s an important trait to becoming successful. The reason footballers are often so full of themselves is that they have to be to get over any potential failures they have. Effort is the most obvious one. “Hard work is never easy” as my dad kept drilling into my brain (although I’d argue back that it’s important to work smart, not hard, but that was just to get him off my back more than me actually believing the thing). Don’t quite agree with luck though. Luck is the name unsuccessful people give to their rivals successes. You make your own luck.

(I think I have the qualities to become a good anime blogger don’t you? Plenty of effort, more hubris than anyone in the rest of the sphere (a phrase that’s arrogant in itself) and luck? Welp, Chartfag linked to me instead of the many other possibly better chart creators. But again, I’d argue that was achieved via networking. You make your own luck)

Women should be pure

Here we go again~! I guess this is kinda like being hyper sensitive to any potential incest in Ore no Imouto. Hence I overreact when something questionable happens and read into things too much. The same is happening with Bakuman and sexism. I guess here we just have Saiko being a naive teenager once again. I automatically assume that the girl will remain totally oblivious to any other man while we have this nonsensical contract in place. Stupid, but totally understandable given his personality. Or I could be ignoring the obvious in an attempt to look at everything in a positive light. Ore no Imouto is clearly siscon fap fodder. The Bakuman author is clearly telling us that all women should remain faithful to that one man to remain pure. Take your pick. For now, I’m more willing to stick on the side of Saiko is a naive teenager.


For all these kids go on about DNA, surely Saiko must learn that maybe he has also inherited his uncles ‘die when you work too much’ gene. Get yourself some sleep man! You can’t be a manga author if you’re dead.

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  1. smallish
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Saiko thinking that whatsherface will be loyal to him even if they go to different high schools actually didn’t bother me as some of the other sexist content in the anime so far, which is kinda impressive. Maybe I was expecting worse? Because I honestly had a ‘bahaha, you’re so naive’ reaction to it.

    What did bother me was that Saiko’s mom was giving him honestly good advice (don’t neglect your studies!) and the grandpa was all ‘god, shut up woman and refill my bowl’. I think it was supposed to be kinda funny but it was really rude and annoyed me. (Maybe I’M the one reading into things too much.) I mean, a nagging mom is annoying, but I think she was honestly trying to make sure her son didn’t live in a gutter if the manga thing didn’t work out.

    I’m eager to see Shujin’s story too. I mean, as far as his talent goes, we’ve only got his word that he’s good. At least we’ve seen Saiko’s drawings.

  2. Posted October 26, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Hurray, first mention of Eiji!

  3. fathomlessblue
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    I also really enjoyed this episode compared to the previous three. The pace is still slow, but at least the show’s setting it’s stall in the subjects it wants to portray. Can’t say I’ve ever wanted to be a Mangaka, but it’s interesting to have the various artistic and buisness sides explained.

    The romantic subplot also annoyed me in previous eps, just because of how stupid/naive it was, so I was pleased it was actually acknowledged as thus. I like how Takagi’s the voice of reason/reality asking perfectly reasonable questions (what if she meets someone at college?) to counter Mashiro’s romantic optimism. Thinking about it, their pragmatic/idealistic dynamic is completely reversed on the manga side of affairs, with Takagi obviously having no notion of how the buisness works. It’s a nice touch.

    The part about hubris was an odd one, at least to me. Perhaps it’s just the closest word the subber could find in english, but hubris is rarely ever attributed to anything in a positive way, rather more of a warning others can learn from. Sort of like the phrase, “pride comes before a fall”. For example, hubris is often attributed as the main reason for the fall of the Roman empire, an arrogance and refusal to accept reality that sweeped into it’s imperialist affairs, economy, etc.

    • Posted October 26, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      I think “hubris” was a good choice of terms. It is clearly used ironically, because Shuujin wants to replace the term with “confidence”. The point is, however, that hubris is confidence, even when it is unjustified. It takes hubris, the argument goes to believe you have a shot at getting your manga adapted to an anime, when you have never made a manga. No 14 year old can feel “confident” that they will make it as a mangaka, because there is no concrete justification for the claim, just a willingness to try that borders on the reckless.

      Yes, I think “hubris” is the perfect word for it.

      • fathomlessblue
        Posted October 28, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        Ah fair enough, in the context you describe it does sorta make make sense, thanks for that :D

  4. Posted October 26, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    In this case, I think “luck” is shorthand for always being ready to take advantage of opportunities. Networking is a part of that — knowing people helps, but you also have to show those people that you are worth knowing so that when something comes up, you are the first person who comes to mind. (Which is how I got my current job!)

    But there are also lots of random circumstances that come into play that are almost beyond the control of individual people — read Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” some time; he goes into detail about the “lucky” circumstances that certain successful people took advantage of because of their excellent foresight.

  5. luffyluffy
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Permalink


    • Posted October 26, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t want to say it… but I kinda liked it too. But with all the hate against the opening going on here, I didn’t wanted to say anything. Still it could be a bit faster paced…

      • luffyluffy
        Posted October 26, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        I hated that shit, but it grew on me some how…

  6. Posted October 27, 2010 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    Haha, don’t worry, you are being a bit paranoid. Saiko might expect Azuki to stay faithful to him, and only him, but Azuki expects the same of him. Yeah, the relationship might seem naive, and it is, but it’s still pretty cute. As the two grow older, they lose some of their naivety, but they replace it with stubbornness, nonetheless, the two have some pretty interesting scenes together.
    Oh, and don’t worry, you haven’t yet been properly introduced to the female cast. I think a few episodes back, they showed Iwase, who ends up playing a pretty big role later on, you might have seen Azuki’s best friend, who quickly becomes a major character, and there is another important female character, who will be introduced a short while from now. In my opinion, the female cast has a bunch of interesting, different personalities, so, I don’t really think, the authors express much of an opinion on the ideal women or what not.

    • Posted October 27, 2010 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      >Maybe Bak­u­man is the cure to show­ing the new gen­er­a­tion of anime fans how truly dif­fi­cult it is to get any­where in the manga world?

      They have it pretty damn easy.

      • Posted October 27, 2010 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Derp that wasn’t meant to be a reply…

        I love the female characters though~

  7. Posted October 27, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Ore no Imouto is clearly sis­con fap fod­der.

    This is you being hypercritical.

    The Bak­u­man author is clearly telling us that all women should remain faith­ful to that one man to remain pure.

    But this, this might actually have some substance to it. Maybe the author is just making a comment about the main character’s overly romantic beliefs. But maybe there’s some underlying sentiment here. We’ll have to wait and see, but Ohba’s stories aren’t exactly known for being kind to their female characters.

    • Son Gohan
      Posted October 28, 2010 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      The Bakuman author is clearly telling us that all women should remain faith­ful to that one man to remain pure

      But he is expecting the same from Mashiro, so how is this sexist in any way?

  8. Franny
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Minus the green blazer, the guys in Bakuman are wearing my old school uniform. That made me laugh a little bit. ^^

    Also, I agree with you that this is a slow burner. I was actually pretty bored by the first episode, but I stuck with it and I’m actually enjoying it! :)

  9. Roghek
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Ok, the plot get’s better, that’s the god thing of a good story, even if the animation studio messes it up there is still some plot in there.

    But it has some parts missing from the manga, seems like I am hitting the same nail every time, which I probably am) but is the true, this is one of those adaptations that’t won’t surpass the manga.

    But I will enjoy it, I’ll forget about the manga while I am watching it and just enjoy it, and Eiji is one of my favourite characters so I hope they didn’t change him that much.

    About the sexism, I won’t get bother by it, I am in denial, there very little for me to actually care about it, and that’s the true.

  10. mcm38
    Posted November 3, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get it. According to what I’ve seen so far your reviews give me the impression that the anime companies suck at choosing mangas. I hope I’m not wrong about that, but why do they keep producing such anime if it is that bad according to you. Are they stupid or is it just that the voices of anime fans can not reach them.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 3, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      Not sure where you’re getting that idea from. =|

  11. mcm38
    Posted November 3, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    I meant there are much more animes which are not good enough, than the better animes, according to your reviews. It’s not like I completely disagree with your judgement of anime. I to entered the anime world with love hina and again Code Geass is also in my top 3. I didn’t watch most of the animes you reviewed, but our opinions should be the same to most of them. But from the pluspart of the reviews you wrote I get the idea that the anime producers are making bad choices for anime. Why is that? Or am I wrong again?

    • Scamp
      Posted November 3, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Sturgeons Law mate. 90% of everything is crap (although closer to the truth is 10% of everything is awesome, but that’s an argument for another day).

      Basically, most of everything entertainment wise is crap, that includes manga and anime. Hence I give out a lot of negative reviews because a lot of it isn’t that good. I don’t think they’re nessesarilly making bad choices in what manga to adapt at all. Anything that becomes remotely popular almost always gets a anime adaptation eventually, unless the author specifically doesn’t want it. It’s not like there’s a plethora of unanimated manga that are hits waiting to happen that producers aren’t picking up. It’s just there genuinely isn’t enough of them.

      On the other side, one’s man trash is another man’s treasure. The top 10% differs for everyone so it’s hard to dismiss most stuff as trash, regardless of what you or I personally think of them. These are two pretty important rules to take into reviewing almost any medium of entertainment and even I could do with reminding myself of these a bit more often

      • mcm38
        Posted November 4, 2010 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        Oh k, tx. Now I got a better idea of how things work in anime.

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  • By Bakuman 4 – Work to the Max « UNMEI KAIHEN on October 26, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    […] can’t wait for Mashiro and Takagi to have creative differences. Like Scamp, I think Takagi will probably an inflated idea of how good his stories are, at first. I wrote some […]

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