Nines: Bakuman, Yumeiro Pro

Bakuman 9 deals with the aftermath of the Akito/Ishizawa fight. This means we have a dull first half and entertaining second.

Akito’s been suspended from school for a week, leaving Saiko drifting about. But word has gotten out about their manga work; it seems their classmates aren’t as shocked as you might think. In fact, they’re delighted. Too bad Saiko isn’t in the mood to bask in this praise. Ishizawa’s comments hit him hard, and he wonders if he is indeed holding Akito back. It’s nothing we can take seriously. Akito saw his work and chose HIM, not the other way around. It takes a few comments from his grandfather to set him straight, and half the episode is over.

The second half is far more fun. Saiko goes to visit Akito (and his newly acquired bad boy image) and stumbles on a bizarre love triangle. It seems that both Kaya and Iwase assume he’s their boyfriend, Kaya for reasons we know already, Iwase because he shook her hand once. Akito must tread gently, but instead he plunges through with clumsy honesty. He tells the truth exactly as he sees it, knowing all the while that if he rejects one it means he’s dating the other, and he’s not sure he wants to date anyone now. However, Iwase makes it easy for him by demanding he drop the manga writing. So we curve back to the “not regretting what we do for love” speeches this show likes to throw at us, and we’re down to one girl.

The next part is even better. The females in this show have all been the passive supportive types. The most they might do is disapprove. Oh, Kaya says she still intends to be a supporting girlfriend, but she states her mind, and she’s studied martial arts. We get a splendid moment where she punches Akito over his non-confession, says she will punch him three more times, and after that, would he go out with her? Her work done, she leaves, saying she doesn’t want to interfere with the manga work. Saiko says she’s “cool,” and he’s right. Hopefully she will continue to interfere with the boys’ determined, but often dull, work story.

Yumeiro Patissiere Professional 9 is a great one, starting out with despair, adding some lunacy from two sources, and dancing with joy before plunging us in despair again. All in one episode!

Tennouji is the one in despair, too much so. She is set on chasing Henri in order to “walk alongside him,” that it’s closed her off to everything else. Because of this she is unable to see that Ichigo and her pals’ presence is not to groom a new shop manager but because she needs help. What’s more, it’s Ichigo again, always getting in her way. So while the others are busy analyzing the store’s problem (it’s in midtown, full of tourists. The successful shops are north and south, where there are more residences, locals and students) Tennouji continues to pine for Henri and fume at Ichigo. Then the lunacy strikes, twice.

While Ichigo comes up with a plan to sell coupons online, Tennouji finally meets the girl who keeps peering in the shop window. Turns out her name’s Linda, she’s a dancer, and looking at the sweets in the shop inspired her after a failed audition. She’s full of life and exuberance, and even comes with her own sweets-induced hallucinations! Two minutes later she and Tennouji are dancing around the shop. This woman is nuts, but she’s just what Tennouji needs. Tennouji comes to the conclusion that she has to lighten up, making her open to the coupon concept. The other lunacy comes from, who else, Miya. She has her own designs on Tennouji’s shop and arranges for a big sweets todo in Central Park, with celebrities. Paris! Mr. Dlooney! Free coupons! … Oh-oh.

So, out of nowhere, with the show’s funky opening song as the background music, we get a Tennouji vs. Miya sweets showdown! Tennouji’s shop’s coupon concept works, and they get spilloff from the Central Park event. Linda shows up with friends (I think. It’s not clear where these people came from) and even gets to do a solo dance (which the fairies enhance). Meanwhile the music thumps away. The scene is a joy, the best of the new series so far. Alas, a one-day success isn’t enough for mean Henri; they have to sustain their success for a week to change his mind. Back to the despair. Never mind, at the very end, Satsuki appears. That’ll liven things up. Besides, it was worth it just to see this:

It's the end of the world! Tennouji is smiling!

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