I find this episode of Bakuman to be a little odd…..
A little funny that in a relatively straightforward series there would be such an episode that didn’t make complete sense. I guess it all comes down to adaptations taking a different route with their storytelling, which is clear in this episode.
A lot of the episode felt like some random slice-of-life series focusing on a little light comedy. Now I must admit that Bakuman does on occasion like to do this sort of thing, but to me this was a bit of a mess. There was a lot going on in such a short period of time that it didn’t allow for any build-up of Eiji’s gaining popularity. It did however manage to bring in all the main characters, which holds importance to this new part of the story. Not to mention, the comedy was better than usual with a little bit of original content added in.
If you’ve been watching only the anime, then I suppose this episode is what you’ve been waiting for since season one episode seven. Eiji’s choice to end Crow could not have come as a surprise at this point, seeing as how we’ve had over 60 episodes to get know his character. He’s shown as the genius mangaka – sometimes with a 6th sense – and innate ability to judge a manga to the point of being able to rank it (more or less), but at the same time he’s just like any other anti-social kid who has made friends. As Bakuman progressed and Eiji made more friends, it became more evident that he wouldn’t end someone else’s manga.
His decision to end his manga holds a lot of significance to the manga industry. Though it may be rare, on occasion a mangaka may want to end their series regardless of popularity. A move that would cause uproar in any editorial department, even striking panic because of the loss of a flagship series, and I’m sure that this is another instance where Ohba and Obata draw from real-life experience. Just as a quick refresher, I’ll remind you that DEATH NOTE barely made it past 100 chapters yet it managed to sell like there was no tomorrow.
Not only does this plot development come from real-life experiences, it also raises real-life issues. Just as we saw, all the mangaka gathered round asking what is the best course of action. Longevity or artists choice A lot of the time there isn’t even a choice and some need to continue on with their series, other times authors won’t end their popular series no matter how bad new material may be.
All in all, Eiji’s keep his cool adult-like demeanour throughout all of this. A big part of the Bakuman series is Eiji, so it’s great to finally get more focus on him. They did turn the beginnings of this arc into a very shonen-esque ‘battle with the pen’ but by now one can’t complain about it; Bakuman has done it many times. Let’s see how things play out!
Final Note: Not loving the new OP/ED music. Love the Bakuman collages, but not the music.