[gallery columns="4" ids="11222,11218,11216,11215,11217,11221,11220,11219"]

All that pain and suffering later, a happy episode of Bakuman was due.

If there's one thing this series has taught us, is that happiness isn't easy to acquire as a mangaka.  The long journey of shortcomings, disappointments and suffering is now coming to an end.  This what Bakuman has earned.

To get the ball rolling on the upcoming finale, Azuki and Mashiro's takes more of the screen time.  It's always endearing to see their romantic moments, as they tug at my cynical heart-strings and restore a bit of my faith in humanity.  On top of that, the continued innocence really does make it a gem that's often lost in the grand scheme of things.  The true focus will undoubtedly come in the next episode but for now we had a nugget of what to expect.

Moving swiftly on, the subject of creative license was broached once again.  This time it was Hattori that stepped, going the extra mile for his authors and siding with freedom of creativity as opposed to publisher desire for continued commercial success.  Like a father, which he's been, stepping up for his sons, Hattori showed just how strong their bond has grown to be.  This is the second time he's shown so much emotion; the first was his outburst when deciding which series would go monthly.

And the rest was history.  Ashirogi came out on top, shocked the readers and manga artists and ended up as the number one.  The scenes of fans discussing the ending were a lovely touch, as I imagine any author or artist would love their work to be discussed to such an extent.  In fact, some pretty conversations are to be had after a manga has finished with friends (or in my case fellow bloggers).

As the great moments came to an end, we were given one last one.  It wouldn't be Bakuman without the rivalry and that's why the last scene with Nizuma was a great way to end things.  Nizuma has been a driving force within the series, so his involvement in the last moment was crucial to the series.  Seeing it as such a beautiful moment gave me satisfaction and brought an end to a very well-done episode, proving that Bakuman is great when it's not rushing.

The next episode should bring us closure on everything else in the series.  At this point I'm not so sure the story will deviate from the manga, but I may be wrong.  As a final note, the last episode is set to air this weekend after being delayed.

Bakuman Episode 25 Preview

[gallery columns="4" ids="11223,11224,11225,11226"]