16 CommentsBakuman / By Scamp /

Bakuman episode 7

I just realised that I went the whole of the last Bakuman post without mentioning sexism. That’s like going through an Ore no Imouto post without whinging about incest or an Arakawa post without saying how much better the first season was. I must remember to get in my obligatory repeated complaint in every single post. Must not let my readers down. Must continue to draw from the spirit of Jason Miao and repeat the same tired jokes ad nauseum.

The Romance Sucks

Let’s put this as bluntly as possible. The romance side of Bakuman is horrendous for so many different reasons. There are ways to get too-pure girl and too-pure boy in a charming and entertaining relationship together, but this just goes way beyond the point of actual interest. It’s so mind-numbingly wishy-washy. But the worst part is how seriously it’s all taken. They play dramatic music when he’s running to her house just to look in her window. It’s so bland and stupidly idealised that it sucks the life out of the series. Watching the romance has the same effect of listening to the opening song on repeat. It has the energy of a damp noodle and about the same excitement of one too. Reader’s might think that, because I don’t generally like shojo, I’m a poor person to show romance series to. But I have a heart and love a well-constructed romance as much as the next guy. Maybe I’m a slightly harsher critic on romance, but for gods sake, Bakuman is terrible no matter what way you look at it.

Pierrot > JC Staff

First off, no. I don’t believe what I just wrote as the title to this point. I’m not the biggest fan of JC Staff and I am rather tired of them churning out the same highschool girl action/moe crap every season, but they’re a hell of a lot better than Pierrot. The point I’m trying to make is that Bakuman is a shounen anime. A slightly unconventional one, but it still bears the hallmarks of manly shounen power of trying your best to succeed and all that jazz. Yet JC Staff made it clear from the first episode that they’re taking this from the perspective of a s’life romance series about achieving your dreams. That’s why they got Kasai Kenichi to direct the thing. The way he’s handling this is pretty similar to the way he handled Honey and Clover and Nodame Cantabile. But as the latest episodes have shown, this show excels when it’s the two boys chasing their dreams in true shounen style. So as clear as it is that JC Staff are a better studio than Pierrot, maybe you should leave the shounen to ones who know what it is they’re adapting.

Bechdel Test passed?

Sexism again! Remember the Bechdel Test I mentioned back in episode 5? For those too lazy to click on the link, the qualifications to pass that test was for the show in question to have 1) At least two girl 2) Who talk to each other 3) About something other than men. For a second I thought Bakuman had passed the test when the girls talked on the phone about the dead cat. However the dead cat story was a cover up for something that happened involving a man, so it doesn’t pass on that technicallity. However I’ve since realised an awful lot of my top anime don’t pass the test. Death Note failing was kinda expected, but from my top 20 alone, so does Baccano, Chobits, Gankutsuou, Mushishi, Berserk, Samurai Champloo, Cromartie, Akira, Kaiba (discounting scenes were Kaiba is in the body of a girl), Cowboy Bebop (no, Faye talking to Ed doesn’t count. You can’t strictly have a ‘conversation’ with Ed) and Detroit Metal City. Some of those that do pass only barely do so with maybe only one female duo that converse throughout the series, like Code Geass, Last Exile, Eden of the East, FMA and Gurren Lagann. All that’s left is School Rumble, Hare Guu and Love Hina. So much for anime being as equal in the sexes as I first thought. Or maybe I’m just sexist. Rawr rawr make me a sandwich etc.

Niizuma Eiji

They’ve been slowly revealing Eji’s character at the end of episodes as cliffhangers, in much the same way Durarara slowly revealed Shizuo, so presumably he’s a character worth waiting for. Mind you, it’s hard to top clocking the main villain of the series with a projectile bin as far as entrance scenes go. Revealing that you want to discontinue any manga of your choice is pretty dramatic, but does fail compared to hurtling bins. Still, looking forward to him taking a more active role in the story. Will be nice to have a rival in this anime.

srs bsnss

Keeping up my trend of posting a random pic from whatever old ass anime I’m watching, here’s a valuable lesson from Strange Dawn. Should probably take heed of this wise sage’s words more often.

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  1. luffyluffy
    Posted November 14, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    I hope Eiji decides to end Death Note. I’d lol at that.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted November 15, 2010 at 12:58 am | Permalink


      • Scamp
        Posted November 15, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

        Clearly men are the superior sex. Now make me a sandwich. Cheese and bacon toastie if you don’t mind

  2. Posted November 14, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    I think the Bechdel test is a rather useless way to judge sexism. There are plenty of movies that fail it, but are still progressive and/or feminist in their own right.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 15, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

      Well yeah, it’s not exactly very accurate. But it does serve as a reminder how many shows still aren’t exactly equal in their depiction of the sexes

  3. Posted November 15, 2010 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    I agree with most of this except…

    Pier­rot > JC Staff

    Oh no you le didn’t. You just went full retard.

    It’s not like JC Staff is out of water handling shounen anime. But Kasai is. However I could never hold it against Kasai for trying to shoehorn his own style into a story where, by rights, it shouldn’t fit. Not after he managed to lift Kimikiss well above the innate limitations of its source material. So I’m happy to keep blaming any of this show’s shortcomings on its script and source material. It isn’t his fault he’s been dealt with cripplingly uninteresting female characters to try to make a romance out of. Only the very best can turn lead into gold with 100% yield.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 15, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

      There’s a big difference between Kimikiss and Bakuman. Kimikiss is a dating sim who’s only potential enjoyment was ever going to come from the romance. Bakuman had a clear area where it excels, and yet the adaption isn’t focusing on this. Kasai is clearly out of his depth here, but it’s partly the executive decisions that put him in charge of this. Since I referenced Miao, I might as well go the full 9 yards and use a sporting analogy: It’s like a manager putting a striker in left back. Mind you, this isn’t exactly JC Staff’s fault. It would the producers (Kadokawa or whoever’s in charge)

  4. smallish
    Posted November 15, 2010 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, I stopped watching this anime. It seemed like it would be a lot of fun, but for some reason it just didn’t click. Maybe once it finishes, I’ll go on a Bakuman-binge and love it. It’s been known to happen.

    The sexism was irking me, though. I’m used to sexism in anime and I tend to give anime quite a bit of leeway, but this was harder to ignore.

    I dream of a day when there’s an action anime with girls as the main characters that aren’t dressed up like Las Vegas hookers. And have depth. And pass the Bechdel Test.

    Actually, I’m waiting for just about anything like that. And now I miss Buffy.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 15, 2010 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

      Watch Noir? I suppose Miria does dress in a rather short skirt, but as far as females with depth goes, it’s one of the best I can think of. Or Revolutionary Girl Utena. Anime does have some that have genuine female characters that interact with each other and have depth that aren’t moeblobs. It’s just a surprisingly empty area for the most part

      • smallish
        Posted November 16, 2010 at 4:10 am | Permalink

        Thanks for the recs! I knew anime like that existed. I just wasn’t sure where they were hiding.

  5. anon
    Posted November 15, 2010 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    The romance, like everything else in this show, is over the top on purpose. That’s the whole charm.

    Obviously if you take it seriously you’re not going to enjoy it. But why would you do that?

    • Scamp
      Posted November 15, 2010 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

      I take all my anime seriously

  6. Posted November 15, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Permalink


    …It looks like they’re giving the romance wayyy too much time in the anime. :/

    • anon
      Posted November 15, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      It’s been faithful to the manga so far. It’s just that the manga started out with the romance plot to get the ball rolling, giving the main characters a reason to keep going: they want an anime. (Stories should strive to have an overarching objective for their characters.) The romance becomes more of a subplot later, as I’m sure you know.

  7. Posted November 15, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Permalink



    • Scamp
      Posted November 15, 2010 at 11:46 pm | Permalink


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