Bakuman 3 2 moves so quickly that it’s hard to keep up.
Well, it STARTS slowly … After Hattori tells the boys that PCP will be canceled if it can’t beat out Crow and Natural+ in six months we get at least a couple of months in this episode alone. And scenes that you could only find in a series like this: a rival gets serialized and phones them to thank them (and to receive congratulations) only to tell them his new manga will beat theirs. Mashiro and Takagi don’t mind at all. Then Iwase, the greatest threat to their livelihoods, hearing about the cancellation threat, calls to tell them to work harder. Your greatest rivals are your greatest supporters; I love that about this series.
But after that, weeks fly by like nothing. We get news on how everyone’s work has done lately, and the reactions, of course. Eiji, who also fits into the friends/rivals categories, does a little of both. He hints, knowing that it will get to the boys, that PCP could be better. Mashiro realizes that it’s because the art is boring, he works on it, it gets better. Eiji turns to being a rival now and produces a chapter with no dialogue, the story told entirely through art, flexing his artistic muscles and risking a hit in the rankings in the process. Through it all our heroes can do nothing but work harder than they have before, if that’s possible, since they swear that at least once every episode. I’m not sure what the shock at the end really represents, however, unfamiliar with how JACK’s stories are laid out in each issue. Let’s just leave it at: it’s bad news. … And there’s an amusing sidestory when the rumor flies that Iwase and Eiji are shaking up.
I wish that when I was in school and went on field trips, they were as cool as Shin Sekai Yori 3. The gang canoes up the river near places where they aren’t supposed to go, as if the teachers were tempting them. Well, if you were a teenage kid on an adventure and you see a place that’s off-limits, what would YOU do? Okay, there are elements of dissent. Satarou, who’s full of scary stories about monsters, isn’t as keen to go on that night rowing expedition as others, though he’s pissed when they draw lots and he’s left behind to tend the signal fire. Everyone turns to Shun for affirmation, while some think it’s just Saki doing it. In other words, we’re seeing the group dynamic at work in a place where they only have themselves, supplies, and a map showing where they should land and where they shouldn’t. And even before the strange stuff starts happening, the trip is full of interesting things to look at.
When they do land at a forbidden place they quickly encounter things that they’ve only heard of, like minoshiro, and EVIL minoshiro. Naturally, they encounter the latter and find themselves hypnotized, apart from Saki because of the sunglasses she’s wearing. Armed with that information they press on and actually manage to capture one (why didn’t the giant crabs eat it, I wonder?). Earlier, a voice-over had talked about species that appeared abruptly in the past few hundred years and how it might have been humans responsible, and now the minoshiro is “speaking” to Saki in a pre-recorded voice, spouting off rules and retulations and identifying itself as a library, a mobile storage vault. Fascinating. I had read the show previews and knew that the kids would discover a trove of information out there, but never did I expect to be a walking, talking, organic … thing. What a great field trip! And I have a feeling that it’s about to get even wilder. Good episode, and no one died this week, except in that flashback.
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun has managed to shed most of the negative baggage from episode one and has gone into purely lighthearted mode, and it’s not bad.
The first thing to take care of is Shizuku’s confession from last week. She immediately regrets this spur-of-the-moment utterance of great importance, and wen she says so, well, it’s hard to read what’s going on in Haru’s mind even when it’s not important. Later, however, she finally gives up and says it again. That makes two romantic comedy heroines this season who are honest with themselves enough to admit it nearly instantly, maybe with a little time to examine why they’re blushing all of a sudden. And it allows Haru to demonstrate his unexpected depth again, as he wonders if they love each other in the same way or not. Either that, or he read it in a manga somewhere.
The show also starts with the “enemies become friends” theme as the people who were using Haru in episode one appear in the hardware store where Shizuku, Haru, Asaka and sasahara are buying material for a chicken coop. After some misunderstandings and a small brawl they show up again and help Haru and his real friends build it. So now we get to learn about them. The blond one is the most suspicious as he constantly gets too close to Shizuku. The others are simply comic relief for now. And for next week’s plot we will learn about this mysterious Yuzan, whom Haru is trying to avoid, hard to believe as it is.
Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankei Nai yo ne is either unique or completely inept. I haven’t figured out which. We start with a discussion of the art of author Shindo Koichiro, who apparently writes historical siscon novels. Then we learn that Akito’s writing books and the same name comes up. That alone would be enough to carry the episode, but it’s never mentioned again. Instead Akito goes to school and Akiko hits on him. We get a lecture and demonstration of the Tsundere. After that Ana appears and SHE demonstrates her tsundere technique. Later Akito meets Gil and she … doesn’t act tsundere. In fact, the word is never mentioned again. They do have a fight, however. Something about abandonment. Maybe that fight was too serious because in the next scene Arashi just flat-out comes on to him. The upshot of all this was to suggest that Akiko spends so much time with Akito that he hasn’t had the time to make friends at his new school. The show just latches onto one idea and then forgets about it. Well, it wasn’t awful, in fact some of the dialogue, especially in the Gin scene, was pretty good. Maybe if the show can learn to focus I’ll keep watching.