This was another one of the very good episodes of Bakuman. The premise was simple: just stuff a bunch of mangaka into a room watch them for 20 minutes. It worked wonderfully and I loved how good they play off each other. Nizuma and Moritaka already were very different, but the creators add two more vastly different characters here, with varying amounts of experience.
This episode also touched upon the less than dreamy side of manga writing: if you can’t come up with interesting storylines or images you can very easily spend decades as an assistant. Granted, this is an anime so I guess that we are to assume that that 33-year-old guy is really old, but this episode did seem to suggest that most manga authors are fairly young. Is that a fair assumption, or are there also plenty of older mangaka around, beyond the successful ones?
I also like how this episode established that Niizuma wasn’t perfect either, and that he actually learns some things from the other characters. The dialogue in this episode felt quite natural, especially when Eiji went out of “airplane-mode” and started talking normally. This probably is the first shounen jump adaptation in ages that doesn’t have some sort of bad guy, and it really showed in this episode: nobody is really trying to be evil here, and instead they’re just being themselves.
Rating: ** (Excellent)