GANBATTE, MASHIRO-KUN!!!!!!!!!! p(^^)q
Archive for the Bakuman Category
It seems appropriate that I write about this episode after today’s 12 Moments post. If G Gundam is a shining example of sappiness done right, then the ending to this episode is an example of sappiness gone terribly wrong.
What reason do we have to give a fuck about Mashiro and Azuki? They’re an empty, soulless ideal. They barely interact except to blush and to reaffirm that they’ll never see each other until their dreams come true. Way to substitute retarded romantic notions in place of meaningful character development, Bakuman. Real bang-up job there. Mashiro’s main motivation for becoming a manga author is so that he can bang Azuki, who is content to be like Beauty and the Beast‘s rose in the glass, wilting eternally in wait for that oh so proper moment of True Love. Fuck. Makes me want to gag. And yet we’ve got 12 episodes of this bullshit so far. Wonderful.
You know why G Gundam‘s sappiness works? Because we can feel the passion between Domon and Rain. There’s real feeling there. What feelings are there between Mashiro and Azuki? Have they had even one moment where you thought to yourself, “Wow, these two genuinely love each other”? We have to be told all the time that they have these SUPER DEEP feelings for each other and that, man, we just can’t understand their love. Oh, I understand. I understand that the anime has to fucking tell us about their love all the time because there is absolutely nothing to show. It’s not there. I feel nothing when I see them other than an intense desire to fall asleep on my keyboard and drool.
Fuck this shit. I’m glad Azuki is moving away. I hope she stays away forever. She can take her creepy ass mom with her too.
Poor Miyoshi. She tries so hard, and yet all Takagi can do is think naughty thoughts while he focuses on his manga.
And yet this little bit is OVER 9000 times more interesting than Mashiro x Azuki will ever be. At least Miyoshi has half a personality. What the fuck does Azuki have? “Oh, if she gets with Mashiro now she will focus only on him and not her dreams!” What the fuck? Learn some moderation. That’s not deep love; that is just creepy. If I ever obsessed over a woman to that point, I’d hope she would have the sense to report me to the cops. What’s going to happen when she actually becomes a seiyuu? Is she going to just drop everything and fawn over Mashiro all day? Yikes.
. . . doesn’t the existence of the Internet make this story pretty silly? Who the hell would buy information from someone when you can just get it from Wikipedia for free? All it takes is one person to (wiki)leak the information, and then it’s everywhere. Then again, I suppose the kind of society where this extreme capitalism exists wouldn’t be so keen on free exchange of information. :p
Anyway, uh, I hope the show gets on to Mashiro and Takagi bearing down and working on a truly fleshed out manga sometime soon instead of just talking about it all the time. That’s one thing I don’t really like about this anime so far — I heard that Bakuman was fairly dynamic despite the subject matter, but the anime has been too laid back. The animation, art style, pace, and music have all contributed to a tone that seems incongruous with Bakuman‘s reputation. (To be fair, though, there have also been admissions that Bakuman‘s development may have colored people’s memories of the manga’s beginning; plus, I haven’t read it, myself, so I could be talking out of my ass here.)
Don’t know why Takagi is so surprised. He possesses more than a passing resemblance to Light from Death Note, and women couldn’t throw themselves at him quickly enough. All Takagi is missing is some retarded Misa Misa type woman to fuck up everything in his life.
I have to say I felt a bit sorry for Iwase — poor girl is characterized to be the wet blanket in this situation. “Rawr rawr quit manga and be Serious Business rawr.” Takagi was probably thanking her internally for making the decision much easier for him. He probably will regret this choice later in life, however, but my guess is it will be because Iwase turns into a total yandere, because that is obviously what happens when any woman is spurned. Holding hands = automatic relationship? Total crazy material right there. She is probably sharpening the axe as I write these words. In fact, she might jump out of the screen and come after me for ruining her plan.
The actual process of coming up with the story Mashiro and Takagi eventually submit for the Tezuka Award is my favorite part of this episode. So many little bits that remind the viewer of their age, even though Mashiro and Takagi have been relatively mature in how they have gone about making and submitting their manga. “Let’s throw in some robots! And swords! Not just swords — BEAM SABERS!!!!!” Haha.
Amid everything else, that is at least one thing Bakuman has excelled at thus far — balancing Mashiro and Takagi’s maturity (actually having a plan for becoming manga authors, being totally professional and hardworking with their craft, etc.) and their childishness (the stories they come up with). They’re not aiming for high art here; they’re writing fairly pulpy stuff that has some kick to it, and adding in whatever they think is cool and will appeal to other people. But that’s more realistic for them anyway. I couldn’t even write high art now, much less when I was in high school. (I’m pretty sure everything I wrote in high school was terrible.)
No such thing as “too deep” as long as the story around those themes holds up and supports those themes. Audiences can of course be dumb (but what audience member isn’t dumb at some point?), but they can also be quite accepting of stories with complex themes if the story and/or characters are good enough. Monster is fairly popular not just because it asks difficult questions and deals with a cadre of complex themes of morality, but also because it tells a good thriller-type story and has lots of memorable, well-written characters. You can enjoy it on multiple levels: If you just want the story, you’ve got that, but if you also want to put more thought into everything, the story gives you plenty to play around with.
Same with Black Lagoon, Kaiji, Berserk or whatever else. The story gives you plenty of meat, and their ideas are dessert for the mind. Those are the types of stories I respect most — ones with lots of interesting ideas, but that aren’t also so full of themselves that they are above being interesting, thrilling stories on a visceral level along with an intellectual level.
So there you go, Takagi. Tell solid stories, and the depth will follow from there.
Haha, should have known we wouldn’t any real creative clashes yet. Mashiro and Takagi are still feeling out their individual talents, so they don’t have quite enough confidence in themselves to clash with each other yet. It’s more like a dual circle jerk at this point: “Oh man, you’re so awesome!” “No way, man — you’re awesome!” Which I guess makes sense. We’re all our own worst critics, and many are slow to criticize others because of wussiness. But they’re also excited about starting on a new venture, so whatever. Not like I could have written anything better at Takagi’s age, anyway.
(Although admittedly I did enjoy the blind pitcher concept because it seems like the kind of silly, unrealistic idea that could nonetheless be fun.)
As someone who tried to draw once upon a time but gave up because I was terrible at it, I don’t exactly lack in respect for artists. To draw down to every detail — whether doing so realistically or not — is fucking hard. But I was ignorant about the actual start-to-finish process of creating even one manga page (and probably still am, since I doubt this episode covers everything); this shit is ridiculous. Then again, doing anything at a high level takes a truckload of work, so with that in mind, it’s not especially surprising to see that even one drawing on a single page takes a lot of patience to see through.
Have to say it’s also cool to see Mashiro and Takagi be practical and hard-working about this even though they’re utter goofballs with just about every other aspect of their lives. The “pride/arrogance, effort and luck” bit especially strikes me as valuable for them to know. Obviously you have to believe in yourself to succeed; if you go into something expecting to fail, then you set yourself closer to failure. And effort is a big “duh” too. If you’re talented enough, you can probably coast on your skill for a while, but eventually a wall is going to come, and the more you coast, the harder that hit will be.
Luck, though . . . Takagi is skeptical about that aspect, but I think it’s because he is viewing it the wrong way. While I’m a believer that people make their own luck (by being flexible enough to adapt to unexpected circumstances, for example), I also believe that is true only to an extent. There are many circumstances and conditions that either aid or hinder people (age, economic condition, location, etc.) that are simply out of people’s control. Certain people exist in better conditions for success in certain areas, and they achieve success by having the foresight to see their advantages and push them as far as possible. That might not be exactly what Mashiro means by “luck”, but I think that’s how it best applies to their situation — if an advantage falls their way, they have to be ready to use it.