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Being an author sure is tough. The authors of Bakuman should know better than anyone, it isn't all glitz and glamour.
Poor Nanamine was defeated. A young hopeful realised just how hard it really is to make it in the biggest manga magazine out there. He did give up towards the end, proving that he's not ready for the pros and he needs a new method of creating manga. Just as Takagi said, "Too many cooks spoil the broth" or if you read the manga "Too many captains steer the ship up the mountain."
Nanamine's defeat was a blip on the Bakuman radar. Imminent and hinted at since the last episode, it's only natural to see him go down without a fight. He does represent the cocky young authors who think they know best, like Jump's very own Izekawa-sensei, who said some less-than-flattering things about Medaka Box.
After that was dealt with, it was time for a break. A rare in Bakuman, seeing as how most of the time we see Ashirogi Muto struggling or thinking about manga. It makes sense more than you know, especially with the second half of the episode which dealt with the private life of a mangaka.
Contrary to popular belief, the life of a mangaka isn't all that brilliant. These are professionals who have turn in a 19-page manuscript on a weekly basis, with only the most popular series taking a break on occasion. Mashiro's conversation with his former classmates is proof of that, and he represents a mangaka who has made it but not enough. He even worries about his arm being broken on a ski trip - a possible remark about D.Gray-man's hiatus in Weekly Shonen Jump - as calloused as they are.
As the episode winds down, Mashrio and Takagi do admit to being the less normal of their peers. Manga artists tend to have private lives, so we never know about them and their personalities. Seeing the duo talk about their fulfilment, really gave the episode a moment of happiness to combat the sadness.
Of course that doesn't mean the moment will last. With the end comes a new hurdle for the duo: the copycat homage. In my opinion a double-edged bi-product of fame that can really ruin reputations. With this, Bakuman seems to be slowing back down and not rushing to the end of the manga.
Maybe now the season can end at a good point and we can hope for Bakuman 4.