Other finales have the villains defeated, or the hero getting the girl, or vice-versa, but in the Bakuman world the heroes reach a goal only to get another one thrust before them. The boys spend the episode overworking, again, changing their chapter one manuscript in any way they can to improve it, not even attending the New Years party (leading to an unexpected penalty for Hattori) because Mashiro was reworking the character designs (inspired by Kaya’s phone strap thingies) and Takagi was thinking of new character names. I thought it was too much, but it does make the story better. And we are introduced to two new assistants, Moriya and Shiratori, who start bickering immediately over that old question of art vs. popularity. I suspect they’ll be useful for aesthetic questions down the road. And it ends in triumph, PCP’s first chapter stomps the competition, yay, then gets turned on its head when the boss says he will won’t hesitate to cancel the series if it slips too far. Maybe he still feels burned by the boy’s rebelliousness and that committee vote. So this workingman’s anime goes. There’s always another deadline and more challenges. Their success drives their competitors (who are also loyal friends) to work harder, which inspires the heroes to work harder. Happily, there is a season three coming.
Amagami SS Plus 13 promised us an all-girls bath episode, and that’s exactly what we got. Junichi does actually appear at the start, but mostly it’s the girls attending a baths opening, half-price for women, and for some reason the place is mostly empty apart from them. I hope that’s not a bad sign for the business, but I digress. What we get is, of course, the girls wearing towels and little else, and we get to see references to the first season. I don’t rememeber Kaoru and Ayatsuji being so competitive about staying in the hot water. Haruka brings Jessica along. We get a reprise of Rihoko and the dead skin-eating fish, and her laughter. MY biggest laugh came from Ai’s discovery of the ramen bath, the ramen metaphor being my favorite part of the original series. There are endless boob references mostly inspired by Sae … you get the idea. Miya wanders around and laughs a lot. A silly episode to end a silly series that rarely lived up to the original. But it mostly had the same lightheartedness, the sense of fun that made the first series so watchable. For that reason I’m a little sad that there won’t be any more, but then, what would they do with more episodes?
Oh, and Kill Me Baby ended. Okay, this wasn’t a very good show, but it wasn’t as bad as many people say. This episode had Rie Kugimiya on helium!