Sevens: Bakuman, Ore no Imouto

There are small events in Bakuman 7 but they take up little time. Most of the episode revolves around Saiko and Miho’s odd relationship.

By agreement they cannot speak to one another, and now they’re assigned classroom seats together. Nervous at first, Saiko starts scribbling innocent questions in his notebook and she responds. The nervousness goes away quick and soon Saiko want to break through the impasse. He does a mild faux-pas and Miho starts to cry.

To me it’s a little ridiculous, and it goes on too long. Having a romance in this story (actually there are two, but Akito hasn’t made any moves yet) is fine, but to set it up so that they can barely communicate, putting everything off until a dream is achieved, doesn’t make the current situation compelling, no matter if Miho is prettily weeping. So Saiko angsts out, Miho gives him her email address, he angsts some more, even running over to her house where he does nothing but turn and go home, and then gives her a note saying he’ll use the email, maybe, when they no longer sit together. This time Miho weeps tears of joy. Well, I’m glad they got that sorted out.

All this does manage to fit into the manga-writing business. Saiko wants to concentrate on winning the Tezuka Award rather than creating another longer work for submission. Akito is dubious until he sees that Saiko wants to impress Miho. That motivates them both, which pleases Hattori, afraid that their first rejected manuscript would break their spirits. And we meet the prodigy Eiji, who at age 15 shows himself to be a bit of an asshole. So it does sort of come together at the end, but events happen so infrequently in this series that it’s getting to be a strain to watch.

Two stories in Ore no Imouto 7. I prefer the first one because of the mix of characters.

Kuroneko has come over to view and discuss Meruru, Kirino’s favorite series, but they make the mistake of reading each other’s fan fiction beforehand. It’s amusing enough. Goth-loli Kirino wrote a cell phone type novel where a goth-loli is raped and murdered. Kuroneko wrote a dense gothy thing with appendices and errata sheets where a pretty model becomes a sex slave. Worse, both novels are Mary Sue stories. While I’m thinking “typical adolescent girl stuff,” the girls are offended. Kyousuke, naturally, is caught in the middle.

What I like about the Kirino/Kuroneko bickering is not only are they actually behaving like friends in their own way, but we get some perspective of different anime styles and their flaws and clichés. Kuroneo is especially blunt about the magical girl format, and watching bits of Meruru I see her point. You can argue that Meruru is a fictitious series, a strawman for those who hate magical girls, but you can’t argue with her comment that there’s too much mixing of “loli and ero” these days.

In the second story we get back to the sibling relationship. Kirino is writing another cell phone novel and drags Kyousuke out with her (on Christmas Eve) to do research, which involves her telling her brother to get hit by a car, buy her jewelry, and take her to a love hotel. And once again I wonder what’s going on in her mind. It’s clear that she at least subconsciously wants to go on a “date” with her brother. She’s thrilled with the earrings he’s forced to buy her. As for the love hotel, she deliberately splashes herself with water (research) and needs to shower to clean up. On this level it can appear a little disturbing. On the other hand, nothing comes of it. They just bicker as they always do. It’s part of the show to flirt with the incestal angle; I just hope they keep it at flirting.

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