Well, I’ve been sick the past few days (still am, actually, but at least I can breathe again) and didn’t feel up to doing the Bakuman post until now… so I’ll be doing a double post on Bakuman and The World God Only Knows episode 11’s.
Bakuman Episode 11
This week in Bakuman we actually get some story progression! We also get a lot of downtime… but it was fairly well done and didn’t enter the realm of boring. In the end, despite the fact that not much happens during the episode, I’d say that it’s beginning to get the plot moving again.
Niizuma, being his ever eccentric self, gets himself some screen time. I’m actually a bit curious what they intend to do with his obsession with crows… perhaps it’s just nothing, but they seem to be touching on it too much to just drop it.
Before long, we find ourselves back to Mashiro and Takagi as they being work on their manga to submit to Jack. The conversation inevitably goes to Mashiro and his infatuation with Azuki. I think it would be interesting if Bakuman would switch to the perspective of Azuki once in a while… I’d like to see just what she’s doing to achieve her goal. Mashiro seems to have a rather optimistic view of the matter, as usual.
Takagi and Miyoshi actually go on their first date. I actually found it pretty nice to watch. Bakuman seems to be approaching the Takagi/Miyoshi relationship more and more these past few episodes. I’m beginning to think it’s going to end up being more important in upcoming episodes than the Mashiro/Azuki relationship. It also seems that Takagi is finally becoming interested in Miyoshi as he actually takes the time to go on a date with her. Takagi doesn’t seem like the type that would do that simply because he was pressured to.
We find that the manga writing duo seems to be generally accepted at their school (though Takagi considers it a bother). They finish up their manga submission as well as their entrance exams to North High. Long story short, the three of them make it into North High, and Takagi and Miyoshi get their submission into Jack after Hattori gives them some advice. Bakuman has a tendency to sit on a specific day or couple of days for multiple episodes… then out of nowhere it will skip months ahead in a single episode. We see the latter in this episode as the next thing we know everyone is in February exchanging Valentines Day chocolate. Even Mashiro gets one from Azuki… even if it’s indirectly given to him through Miyoshi.
In the end, the duo actually make it into NEXT. Hattori does, however, warn them that it is likely for the purpose of making Niizuma look better by comparing his works to the works of other aspiring artists around his age. The fact that they made it into NEXT, however, is good enough for now.
This is the first real plot progression that has gone on in a while. Bakuman is a nice show to watch, even during times of slow progression… unfortunately it’s nothing more than that. Bakuman truly has the ability to shine when it gets moving. Unfortunately it’s taking it’s time in doing just that. I am glad that the characters are being developed… however, it seems that Bakuman is hesitant to give us truly new material, as it tends to reuse various plot points. In the end, this was a nice episode with some new character developments, as well as some plot progression. I still think that Bakuman has the potential to be a really nice series if they pick things up before people get bored with it.
The World God Only Knows Episode 11
This week concludes the Shiomiya arc. There’s one episode left this season and I’m very interested in seeing what they’re going to do with it.
Picking up where it left off last episode, we see Shiomiya heavily opposing the addition of a media room to the library. She opposes it completely, to the point of locking herself in the library, withing a fortress of books. She doesn’t know what this will accomplish or how it will help, but she does what she can to ensure the delay of the creation of this media room.
Keima, of course, knows exactly what he has to do to wrap up this capture.
Really though, we get some nice insight into Shiomiya’s past. This also sheds light on the fact that she was always incredibly shy; even before becoming a bookworm.
After managing to infiltrate the library, Keima declares his intentions to side with Shiomiya regarding the creation of a media room. He then proceeds to ignore Shiomiya until, out of exasperation, she eventually breaks the silence with an unintentional statement. Keima, of course, selects all the right dialogue choices for this route.
One thing I must comment on is that the music and animation of this segment are phenomenal. For those of you wondering, the music playing is actually part of the 8 minute full track of the opening theme. Keima’s words actually speak to Shiomiya despite her initial denial. We see her fortress of books, which she has built to protect her from the harshness of the world, destroyed. Although scared, Shiomiya has newfound resolve and the promise of Keima’s support.
I very much enjoyed this scene. Everything was extraordinarily well done and beautifully animated as well. Keima succeeds in freeing the spirit… for the first time this series, though, I was actually disappointed that Shiomiya did not retain her memories. I suppose it’s because she’s definitely my favorite of the girls Keima has had to capture yet. Even Keima, the capturing god himself, does not seem completely unfazed anymore. Perhaps all of this capturing is actually beginning to have an emotional impact on him.
This was a nice end to a wonderful arc. It’s definitely my favorite arc so far this season. If you’re not yet watching The World God Only Knows, I would definitely suggest giving it a shot. It’s surely one of the best shows to come out of this season.
Thanks for reading! Coming up this weekend: Toaru Majutsu no Index II, and, of course, This Week in Anime. Look for them Saturday/Sunday!