21 CommentsBakuman / By Scamp /

Bakuman episode 5

The first time I’ve ever found a Bakuman female character attractive. Behold, the mighty power of the maid outfit. It will increase your attractiveness at alarming rates. This is why all girls should have a maid outfit at their disposal. There is no greater weapon to have in your arsenal to make a man head’s turn than your maid outfit. Buy one now!

(I could so work in advertising)

Teenagers being teenagers

My favourite part of this show is simply watching these two being stupid, idealistic teenagers. I’ve said this more than once before but it’s worth repeating for this episode because there’s a change in roles between the two. It says how much the two have grown friends that finally Saiko is able to try play the cool guy against the flustered Shujin for a change. What makes it even more amusing is the thing Saiko is trying to be all cool and knowledgeable about: Romance. Shujin himself knows what a hopeless romantic Saiko is but finds himself believing what he says whenever he catches the eye of the girl who looks like she has a parasite growing out the back of her skull. Another thing I like about these dumb conversations they have is they’re always done when they’re chilling out in random places. It’s such a teenage thing to do to chill on on swings or on rooftops. It’s such a seemingly minor point but it all adds up to being a lot of fun to watch.

The Bechdel Test

More talking about sexism in Bakuman! Heh, sorry to harp on, but I can’t help myself. Anyway, I heard recently of a test used to find out if a women depicted women in a non-sexist manner. The test is called the Bechdel Test (sorry if you’ve heard of this already, but it was the first I’d heard of it) and it runs like this: In something you’re watching, usually movies, is there

  1. At least two women in it
  2. Who talk to each other
  3. About something other than men

Movies and video games quite frequently fail this oh so simple test, but the same can’t certainly be said of anime (despite the lack of actual interesting duos created from these conversations. There should be an extra anime rule that states 4: While they’re not being moe). It’s just interesting to realise a country with such a negative reputation in regards to feminism beats American entertainment in this regard. That’s a subject for a whole other day that I’m certainly not qualified to tackle, but it’s interesting to realise that, in the 5 episodes so far, Bakuman has yet to pass this test itself. I’ll be keeping my eye out for the rest of the series to see if it gets anywhere on these points.

Cool Story Bro

I had my doubts last episode that Shujin was capable of creating a competent story, but I must say I’m impressed. OK, the sunglasses wearing baseball player is a bit silly, but it’s the kind of silly I can get behind. But the other story about the cloned earth is pretty high concept stuff and you could create all sorts of fascinating plot points from that concept alone. OK, we haven’t seen the guy compose the actual story and characters, but from what we know so far I’m hugely impressed. Seriously, if that was one of the upcoming anime on the chart for next season, I’d be eagerly anticipating. Sounds like a Sunrise or Production IG anime, Madhouse tend to stray away from pure sci-fi.


I guess the actual hard work of being a mangaka had to be shown. That didn’t stop it from being kinda dull. Half the episode was the duo grinding out their work. There was no discussion into the creation of manga, no dumb teenagers being dumb teenagers and basically nothing that makes this show interesting. I suppose it would have been jarring to jump straight from then moving in there for the summer to them having a completed chapter. But that doesn’t mean it was exactly that interesting to watch.

Hopeless Romantic

You really are an utterly hopeless romantic Saiko. It’s his utterly firm belief that what he believe is correct that is starting to worry me just a bit. It’s kinda like how utterly convinced Light Yagami was that he was the good guy, except this time we don’t have Ryuk guffawing over his shoulder to point out how deluded the main character is. I’d love to see the guy get a shocking reality check.

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  1. luffyluffy
    Posted October 31, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    I think Shuujin Caterpillar is the best part of this episode, yo.

    As for the plots, I thought the clone earths was pretty stupid. And actually rather reminiscent of Tales of the Abyss~

    • luffyluffy
      Posted October 31, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      For future reference, I’d watch Sunglasses Pitcher!

    • Scamp
      Posted November 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      I thought it sounded a bit like that rather average movie but awesome comcept, ‘The Island’.

  2. Edvardaz
    Posted October 31, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    I also found the story about the clones rather unoriginall

    • Posted October 31, 2010 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      I’m pretty sure it was the premise of a twilight zone episode.

      • Scamp
        Posted November 1, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        And the Simpsons. And South Park. And Dennou Coil

  3. Posted October 31, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Without some sense of plot or character, I have no idea what to make of Earth Two. I would call that more of a setting than a story.

    “Ser­i­ously, if that was one of the upcom­ing anime on the chart for next sea­son, I’d be eagerly anti­cip­at­ing.”

    I think Fractal is supposed to be Sci-Fi. There isn’t a lot of info on it yet, so I might be mistaken.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      I can’t work out what Fractale is meant to be about. It sounds like Spice and Wolf set in a Yokohama Shopping Log esque post apocalyptic world but I could be totally off with that. It looks interesting anyway, albeit a bit worryingly moe for Noitamina

  4. Roghek
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    I do like the two earth story, I liked when I read bout it in the manga and I still like it.
    I like sci-fy, manga like “Hotel” or “Present” by Boichi came to my mind the first time I read it, and I liked them.
    Having said that I’ll be admitting it, I’m quite enjoying this series,
    But God!!
    The opening sucks, anyway I’ll have to live with it.
    If you are worried about the sexism you haven’t seen what comes next (which I’m not telling ya).

    • luffyluffy
      Posted November 1, 2010 at 1:39 am | Permalink

      I dunno bout you, but the for me, the part about the opening I actually like is the refrain, when they go “BLUE BARD~”

      Surprisingly catchy.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 1, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      I skip the opening everytime. It’s annoying because I think I’ve reached the end because the music temporarilly stops, only for the wet-noodle vocalist to droan out one last “your wuuvu~!”

  5. Posted November 1, 2010 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    One of the interesting things I noticed with the advertising for Clannad was that it was at partially advertised towards women. And I’ve seen it said that at least some of the moe-type shows would sale more over here if they were advertised as being for women.

    K-On is one title that my sister personally loved to death that I think would be a much easier sale to women then men over here. Another would be Hidamari Sketch.

    Listing which anime pass or not pass The Bech­del Test would be an interesting post to see done.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      I’ve thought that as well. Since there’s not really a male audience for K-ON in the west, surely you’d have more joy marketing it towards the Disney channel watching crowd. You know, Miley Sirus and all them. The purity nature of what otaku want their anime to look like actually works in their favour here because that removes potentionally objectional content.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted November 1, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        *Cyrus derp

  6. Posted November 1, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Oh Bakuman.
    The pitcher with the sunglasses story was pretty cool, it’s one of these things that sound weird but come out hilarious. Also, competition manga are cool.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 1, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      It’s that sort of stupid I could get behind

  7. smallish
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    I think I enjoyed this episode the most. It mostly just them doing work, but it was still kinda fun to watch. Also, my friend and I decided to make a comic and this anime has suddenly gained more relevance for me. Only we pass the Bechdel Test.

    Speaking of, I agree that it’s pretty interesting that despite America’s advances in feminism, Japanese anime generally passes the Bechdel Test with higher rates than American television. I’ve kinda got a theory on that, though. It seems like Americans have accepted the idea that women might be as capable as men, but they still don’t seem to understand that a woman’s world doesn’t revolve around men. The Japanese, on the other hand, understand that a woman can be interested in a lot of things, but seem to believe (pardon my bluntness) that women are kinda 2nd rate. It’s really interesting, actually. Still, the Bechdel Test should be taken with a grain of salt. There are a few movies with feminist tones that don’t pass the Test and a few misogynistic movies that do. But it’s still pretty pathetic that Bakuman hasn’t passed it yet despite the fact that there are two recurring female characters that are supposed to be best friends.

    And speaking of those two, despite the fact that they were only talking about men, their teasing was really quite cute. I have secret hopes that they’ll realize that their men are silly and just start dating each other. They look pretty cute together.

    (I know. Wishful thinking.)

  8. Xyopq
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I thought that the Two Worlds idea looked worse in the anime, though it may have just been overshadowed by the sunglasses pitcher looking that much better.

  9. Posted November 3, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I found this episode reasonably interesting. I actually enjoyed seeing them grind away at their first project. It adds a little something tangible to their inevitable success or, more likely, failure. You basically love or hate those sequences, this one passed for me.

    By the way, the “every girl should have a maid outfit in her closet” idea, BRILLIANT. You’re a regular Don Draper. It’s the best idea I’ve heard since Roy Mustang’s “tiny mini skirts” decree!

  10. Posted November 11, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    That’s an interesting test. The Bechdel test. The series is a little bit sexist. It’s just singled out because it’s a “slice-of-life” series.

    I did write something about the issue of sexism in Bakuman. You can read it at: http://www.mangatherapy.com/post/1543578362/sexism-in-japan-bakuman

    I really hope they animate most of the manga storyline.

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