Geez, Bakuman doesn’t stop for anything, does it?
It’s not that the series feels rushed, well, busy maybe, it’s that the the everyday working events are made dramatic by the precariousness of the manga artists’ profession, and then emphasized by time jumps to the big moments. What happens in episode 5 occurs in a time period of maybe under two months, but it’s all slammed into 25 minutes, this means Shiratori’s story (getting support from his peers but no love from his rich, appearance-happy mother) only gets the episode, but, since it’s pretty lame as a story (son rebels, father and daughter take his side, mother goes out in a huff, similar to Mashiro’s story) it really only deserves the time it got. Though the rich daughter giving the best inspirational lines was a nice touch.
More important to the main characters is Takagi’s participation in Shiratori’s happy dog story. Mashiro wants him to improve but clearly has some doubts. He’s worried that PCP’s quality will drop. He’s perhaps also worried about their partnership. And he’s worried about Eiji, who’s drawing two manga at the moment. In true Bakuman fashion (no matter how hard you’re working you can always work harder) he decides to learn to draw more quickly so he can do two at once as well. Not so coincidentally, Shiratori happens to great at that. No wonder they want him around … And if that wasn’t enough (I didn’t even get to Otters and Aoki’s cancellation), there’s going to be a Super Leaders Fest where EVERONE will do a one-shot, MORE work for our heroes. And so the hardworking series about hardworking people, FINALLY brings the episode to a close. Get some rest, guys.
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun 6 is as lively as Bakuman’s episode, but here it’s due to working into the jokes.
The episode juggles two stories at once, and I got a little bewildered by it. We start with Shizuku realizing that she’s in love, and we see her reaction: That just won’t do. It’s hurting her grades. But we’re almost immediately thrown into Oshima’s backstory (no friends, lonely, etc). Hers is rather like Shizuku’s except the latter doesn’t seem to care if she’s alone or not. This isn’t true, but that’s the appearance, and what she’s telling herself. Haru blunders into Oshima’s sadness and decides to do something about it whether Oshima wants him to or not. Just like that, Oshima has friends. If that’s not bewildering enough for her, the nearly-forgotten Shizuku story decides to mess with THAT, because it’s interfering with her studies. One, no, two great scenes follow.
The first, Haru’s “make Oshima friends” meeting sets off Shizuku, who’s trying to study. After she says a few blunt things to Haru, he returns the favor, while the girl they’re meeting about sits cowed, wondering if it’s all her fault they’re fighting. Shizuku later says no. And the next day there’s another scene where she finds herself in the middle, and her sudden outburst about Haru’s density about love rattles everyone but us. Watching from a distance we’re seeing her not as a strange, unliked outsider girl, but a member of a group with her own idiosyncrasies, if she can only realize it. The scene also carries a wonderful depiction of Shizuku’s blunt honesty. She basically says she’s avoiding him because she’s in love with him and it’s a distraction from her studies, without using word “love.” So while we’re reeling from those scenes we get a “date,” where Shizuku has reset herself completely, claiming she’s no longer attracted to him, and while we know she wants to study, we can’t figure out why she’s enclosed herself like that all over again. In a side scene Yuzan claims that Haru is a coward, but it’s Shizuku who’s doing the running away right now, while sitting there studying.
You can’t really blame the Saunders team for “cheating” in Girls und Panzer 5, after Yukari had snuck into their school and infiltrated a strategy meeting. Besides, there’s nothing against it in the rulebook. It does, however, make you wonder why all the teams don’t rely on cell phones if they’re available and not the radio. This is overall a silly show so you have to expect some of it won’t bear close scrutiny. We can thank Miho for turning the tables on Saunders in the first place. So by episode end our heroes still have all five tanks and Saunders has only … nine. Elsewhere, we meet Miho’s sister, who apparently is with Black Forest Park School, and who comes off as just plain evil, at the panzer cafe. Of course they have panzer cafes.