Bakuman3 8, Tonari 10

The Hyde version.
The Hyde version.

There’s a lot to chew on in Bakuman3 8. We’re introduced to an exciting newcomer named Tooru Nanamine who has contributed an excellent, if overly dark manga for the JACK contest. Turns out he’s manipulating the editorial process in order to get a leg up on the competition. Rather sneaky. He puts his entry online before JACK is ready, rendering it worthless but creating a huge buzz for himself. In other words, his plan is working. I’m not sure he needs such a Jekyll and Hyde personality, however, as his technique for creating the manga is simply different. He submits his work to a few dozen people online whom he respects, who makes suggestions to him. In that respect it’s a collectively created manga, edited before it even reaches the real editor (Kosugi, a new guy who looks like a victim already). I wonder what JACK would have thought if he had said that outright. The question for Tooru is how he intends to treat these contributers. Right now he’s just exploiting them for his own ends. Will that continue? Or will the contributors act like idiotic fanboys happy to help with a JACK manga? I’m guessing, since he’s the show’s new bad guy, that that will be his undoing, but it will be interesting to see how his manga turns out along the way.

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
10 gives us the first Christmas episode of the season, rather early, too. Like most of the episodes it sort of stumbles around a current story and the various sub-plots with no apparent goal in mind, but it’s fun to watch anyway.

It LOOKS like an innocent enough party ...
It LOOKS like an innocent enough party …

They hold a rather dysfunctional Christmas party at the game place (without warning Misawa) and the various characters interact in their usual ways. Yamaken’s two hangers-on act like idiots, especially when poor Oshina (a girl!) shows up. Yamaken himself is fun to watch, since he now denies being in love with Shizuku (after Haru blurted out the fact) yet is drawn to her in spite of himself. So I don’t know what prompted the usge to needle Haru on the stairs like he did.

Happy partygoers.
Happy partygoers.

All of the girls are fun in their own way. Asano, who planned this misadventure, tries to keep an eye on things, keeps away from Misawa for reasons he doesn’t get, and has to apply emotional damage control when someone else says the wrong thing, which happens a lot in this episode. Oshina has apparently never encountered a get-together like this before, but wonders if that makes her the weird one of the group. Shizuku stays out of the battles, but she has two perfectly-expressed speeches at the end. The first is when she tells Haru she loves him, so don’t worry about Yamaken, exactly what the boy wanted to hear. The other comes in the scene right after, when Haru complains about she and Yamaken going to cram school together, and is summed up nicely below.


Thus Shizuku’s feelings for Haru are summed up in two scenes.

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