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.
Despite all the crazy fortune that seems to be thrown at Ashirogi Muto’s way, it’s quickly discovered that Reversi’s main weakness is in that its characters are all they’ve got. If the Schwarz and Weiss can’t hit it off from the get go, the series is stuck with a duo of protagonist/antagonist that’ll only need to get better. This inflexibility is revealed by Eiji who immediately recognizes the underlying advantage that Zombie Gun has over Reversi: it’s characters can be swapped out if they’re too boring. Reversi‘s main two characters are too integrated into the actual story theme that if one were to die, the whole series would go down with him.
I feel like that they should definitely approach Reversi like Death Note. By exploring a pseudo-friendship between Schwarz and Weiss, like the one between L and Light, they would be able to throw around respect, doubt, intense personal rivalry, and common enemies to keep Reversi interesting for hundreds of chapters, juts like Death Note. The moment L dies, however, is widely considered the “ideal” ending Death Note, but Ohba and Obata introduced another adversary for Yagami Light, but to no avail, Mellow just wasn’t good enough.
Consequently, the chapter felt slightly hollow overall with Takagi and Mashiro completely sweeping the votes for several weeks in a row. This is not to say that I wasn’t excited for Ashirogi Muto’s streak of success, but this development has me questioning whether the duo has really grown that much since the beginning of the series where beating Eiji was a far-off (but reachable) dream. Eiji’s more dark and mellow mood whenever he hears about Reversi in this chapter is also marginally strange. It’s off putting to see a side of Eiji we have never really seen, and that’s probably due to the fact that Eiji’s never taken beating a fellow mangaka so seriously.
As a side note, it’s great to see Miho slowly gaining popularity. Not only will it help with Miho’s personality and confidence, but then there will be substantial reason to believe Miho to be a wonderful girl to be courting. No, I’m not saying that Miho wasn’t a great girl to begin with. Rather, in the beginning of the series, there’s not much we know about about Miho and her character besides that she wants to become a voice actress, but her complexion, personality, and approach to popular fan-dom was just so atypical that it was hard to understand whether such a path was really appropriate. Mashiro’s back story was much more believable in that he had childhood events that possessed opposite forces (one to be a mangaka and one to not be), which resulted in the effective resolution to pair with Takagi. Miho, on the other hand, was always set on a pedestal and is still somewhat of a foreign and hard to grasp character (at least in my opinion). This changed slightly when Mashiro was hospitalized, and we had more conversation between the two love birds outside of cell phone texts, so I’m quite happy to see continual development and attention to Miho’s part of the story, even if it is just for a couple panels.