Bakuman Season 3 Preview

They’re back!

The 3rd season of Bakuman is finally here! And it kicks off with some amusing stuff right off the bat, even if in a slightly unusual way…

For those of you who have no idea what Bakuman is, I strongly advise you go and watch it or read the manga. It depicts the successes and struggles of the Ashirogi Muto duo – Mashiro Moritaka and Takagi Akito, who want to become professional mangakas. Written by Ohba Tsugumi and illustrated by Obata Takeshi – the creators of the highly successful Death Note – Bakuman is hardly a slice-of-life series. Instead, it sports rivals, lots of big words and tension, bringing it closer to the shounen genre.

Last time, we left off with our duo wrapping up the not-so-successful Tanto and beginning their third serialisation. PCP, or Perfect Crime Party, reaches 1st place in the Weekly Shounen Jack rankings. However, problems are lurking ahead. The Editor-in-Chief still has his absurd conditions that may very well quickly halt work on PCP.

Unfortunately, we don’t get to see any in-universe anime opening, something I was kind of hoping for. After seeing the OP for Chou Hero Densetsu in Season 1 and the OPs for Gitantei TRAP and Crow in Season 2, it’s disappointing. Hopefully, there’s still PCP. As for the new “proper” opening, I have mixed feelings. nano.RIPE just doesn’t cut it when compared to the brilliant OP2, “Dream of Life” by Itou Shouhei. On the other hand, while not as epic as “Genjitsu to Iu Na no Kaibutsu to Tatakau Monotachi”, the new ED is quite catchy. Catchy enough, that I wouldn’t mind it being the new OP, to be honest. Plus, that rehearsing Miho is just so damn kawaii~:3

Sweet And Adorable Rehearsing Miho? Fine by me

The biggest plot development of this episode occurs in the romantic department this time. Wait, what? Romantic development in my Bakuman? BAKANA~!! Azuki’s application is unknowingly sent for the casting for the main heroine in +NATURAL‘s anime. Such an offer would be a big step up in Miho’s career, but by accepting it she risks not being able to voice act in her boyfriend’s anime, whenever it’s gonna come out. After some awkward e-mails and conversations, she decides to turn it down… but not before Mashiro barges in and steals Azuki from the recording studio. Which leads to this:

OMG, THEY FINALLY HELD HANDS!

While the relationship between Mashiro and Azuki has been on the backburner for the majority of the shows, manifesting itself only in the rare occasions such as Mashiro’s time in hospital, it’s actually quite interesting to see how the two of them have grown. Let’s not forget that several years have passed since Saikou accidentally proposed to Azuki in the last year of middle school. They’re no longer shy teenagers striving to keep their romantic ideals intact, but fully aware adults. It seems that both Mashiro and Miho suffer from staying apart, but they also know that it’s this very suffering that allows them to go above and beyond what they would normally be able to do. This bizarre relationship gives them the strength and motivation to keep on working hard, no matter what obstacles fate has prepared for them.

I’d laugh at him… but I’m probably no better at handling the girls I like :P

This doesn’t of course change the fact, that Mashiro is still super awkward when around his love. Ah well, it’s not like he had much chance to have any practice. Besides, he has the blessing of Niizuma The Love God. What could go wrong?

Niizuma Eiji uses Power Of Love. It’s super effective!

However, the hero of this episode is none other than… Iwase. Yes, the purple-haired biatch is back and kicking. Rejected by both Takagi and Hattori, the typically stoic Iwase has become a true jelly. Just look at how hard she tries to screw up Azuki and Mashiro’s dreams just because of the envy eating her up. Yes, it’s not very comfortable for a single to look at all those lovey-dovey couples everywhere, but what Iwase does is an overkill. She even wants to drag poor Miura into this entire mess, though luckily he manages to convince her that she should fight in Shounen Jack and not in real life. Seeing how obsessive she has become recently, I doubt this will work for long. The side effect of this development is an impressive array of facial expressions of our jelly Iwase:

The Many Faces of Iwase Aiko

Although, I have to admit, there is one scene in the preview for the next episode that made me wonder whether spring is going to finally barge into Iwase’s life.

One second of animation, an entire week of assumptions

Niizuma x Iwase? Now THAT would be an odd development. Fat chance, but hey, I could think of worse things for Iwase than going out with an extremely intelligent, super successful and slightly eccentric mangaka.

As for the technical aspects, I have to applaud J.C. Staff. The overall quality seems to have improved quite a bit. The animation is a bit more fluid, and there are far fewer bad frames than usual. What is more, there’s a lot of details in each scene. Saikou’s hand is an excellent example – not only is it all dirty from ink, there’s also a huge callus on his middle finger from all his pen work. And it’s not only this one scene, it’s shown throughout the entire episode. It’s impressive that J.C. managed to put so much effort when they are focused on perfecting the Little Busters!

Dat middle finger

Next time, our heroic duo learns of the Editor-In-Chief’s conditions, Iwase blushes and Hiramaru-senesi finally makes a come back, hopefully with more of his “YOSHIDA-SHII~!!”. See ya in a few days.

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