More Sixes: Bakuman, Imouto

Bakuman 6 brings us to the dreaded manuscript submission moment. But we start with some character development.

Saiko and Akito are both so nervous about the interview that they show up at the station an hour early. To kill the time Akito gives us some background about his family, how his mother wanted him to achieve in order to “avenge” his father’s firing. What I liked about it was after Akito lashed out at her, she apparently lightened up. They could have kept the mother an unpleasant character, but the people in this show are rarely so one-dimensional. Anyway, that leads us up to the two nervous boys arriving at the offices and then waiting in a cubicle for the editor, Hattori.

Hattori reads. The boys sweat.

I’ve been on both sides of this situation. I’ve submitted works to live writing workshops and gotten hammered (and occasionally praised) by professionals. It’s nerve-wracking and sometimes humiliating. I’ve also done live critiques and can fully understand the need to state the flaws of a work without crushing the life out of an artist. This scene manages both well. There’s the moment above, with Hattori just reading, eyes glancing from one page to the next, and it seems to take forever. But that’s what the show intended. Draw out the agony! When he finally gives his opinions, they’re fair and thoughtful, and considering the boys’ working strategy, makes perfect sense. Saiko had thought that Akito’s writing didn’t allow the images to tell enough of the story, but the two had agreed not to critique each other’s work. Now they learn that was a mistake. They need to work closer together.

New seating arrangement.

So in the end, not good enough, but they show promise. The concept itself was good, the drawing just needs practice. Hattori thinks they show promise. He gives them his business card. It’s really the best they could have hoped for. I suspect that the next episode or two will bring Miho back into the story, judging from how the episode ends.

Ore no Imouto 6 turns away from Kirino for awhile and looks in at Kyousuke and his childhood friend Manami. It’s a relief after so much friendship-angst we’ve gotten out of Kirino recently.

It’s been obvious since episode 1 that Manami has a thing for Kyousuke. As for him, I don’t think he’s thought out his feelings. He denies any interest in her apart from their old friendship, but he’d beat up any guy that came on to her. The odd thing is, even after he articulates this he doesn’t seem to realize the mixed signals.

Manami's family can't be this cool.

Manami is dull and unassertive, usually, but the atmosphere when Kyousuke visits her home and winds up spending the night changes her a little. The family, two grandparents and a younger brother, are all fun people, and now that Kyousuke and Manami have reached a certain age the old ones can have some more fun teasing them. Even Manami joins in. It doesn’t take Kyousuke long to adapt and fire back in his own way, accepting Manami’s teasing offer to take a bath with her. The other family members jokingly support this turn of events, grandma from the other room, grandpa (the coolest grandpa of the year) from under the table. What’s fun here is you know Manami kind of likes the idea. Same goes for when Grandpa sticks their futons in the same room. This family rocks. Why is it that dull characters, like Manami, or Clannad’s Nagisa, always have the best relatives?

Of course the whole thing is entirely innocent. Once Kyousuke and Manami get over the idea they accept it with no problem. Kyousuke makes an interesting statement: If a girl ever came on to him he’d turn her down. He likes a quiet life. That’s exactly what he has with Manami right now, though it’s clear she would like a little more. A refreshing episode before we get back to whatever Kirino throws at us next.

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