Bakuman 156 – All nighters

By November 20, 2011Impressions, Manga

I’d like to put the disclaimer that although I will try to keep these posts as spoiler free as possible, it’s difficult to discuss chapters without properly referring to or even discussing previous events that occurred within the series. To that effect, I will post this disclaimer on every Bakuman chapter post, and put the reading jump below that so for those who are just browsing the homepage have no exposure to the written text unless the post link is clicked. I will also try my best to edit out any dialogue or text from the scanlations so as to also not reveal any unnecessary information.

Nothing much really happened this chapter, at least, until the very end. Most of it was a the usual display of Mashiro’s constant determination of finishing the manuscripts in time, though failing to do so under the weight of two concurrent series. Mashiro falls to common conflict of quality over quantity: wanting to maintain both PCP and Reversi at the same level (and perhaps even better), Mashiro gets caught up on more micro details, failing to meet the planned deadlines.

This type realistic drama is definitely appropriate for such a series, and even served as a tool to introduce two new supporting characters that I am especially intrigued about. Actually, Ohba did an amazing job in building up the tension and impending deadline-of-doom throughout the chapter, only to pull out the “guilt-then-call-to-action” relief card in the last two pages. Even the character designs for Okino and Miyakawa are highly different from what we’ve seen before. Okino and Miyakawa are also probably older than the average age of mangakas and manga assistants that have thus shown up in the series, so I am curious as to see how well these new assistants draw and what new dimension they will add to Bakuman.

However, I must mention that the reintroduction of Ogawa, the leading chief assistant from way back in the beginning of the series was not only swift, but possibly too quick. Much like Moriya, I was a bit off balance with how easily Ogawa took charge and began to organize everything in his usual efficient manner. Actually, I found strange just how much interior thoughts we were shown from Ogawa. His frequent reactions to how inefficiently everyone worked was somewhat startling considering how such an issue was never really brought up previous to this chapter. The studio’s inefficiency, for me, wasn’t something that should have been harped on too seriously. I was extremely moved in seeing how all the assistants (including Moriya) were all determined to finish the manuscripts no matter how long and took (and no matter how much of a dried up raisin they ended up looking like).

On that note, the art this week was highly amusing. I was tempted to post this as the heading photo, but refrained from doing so in fear of scaring people from reading the post. Truly, Mashiro looks so grotesque that I don’t even think I look like that after an all-nighter (or even two). Obata’s range of skill is quite astounding. Those of you who have read Death Note can support me in saying that the art in Bakuman definitely covers a wider range, but still manages to incorporate Death Note ambiances at the appropriate times.

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