Bakuman III episode 2: rivalry at its best


+ Natural is 4th in the rankings, PCP is 6th! If this goes on, the EIC (Editor in chief) might just go berserk and cancel Ashirogi’s manga *gasp*.

Miura tells Aiko about this problem, which causes her to freak out and show how much she actually cares about Ashirogi Muto’s manga. She has to beat him, but he can’t be cancelled! What an ego. Miura also mentions another of Niizuma’s predictions stating that it’ll be over for Ashirogi Muto, since they simply can’t beat him because the art isn’t as good.This causes Iwase to call Takagi and to tell him about this.

Meanwhile, Hattori sees this and hurries to Ashirogi to try and fix the problem.When Iwase calls, they start talking about what they can do to spice things up, but don’t find anything just yet. Later on, Mashiro notices the same thing that Niizuma had (without knowing about it), changes it up for chapter 8, and the results show up automatically as they go back up right behind +Natural, scaring even Niizuma with the new art style.

The fight goes on, and meanwhile Iwase slowly starts going more and more to Niizuma’s house, since she seems to have an interest in him, causing their editors to talk about it like a bunch of gossip girls. In the end, in order to try and stay above PCP, Niizuma decides to bring Crow in +Natural‘s manga, causing Ashirogi Muto to freak out like crazy.



Honestly, Aiko is ridiculous sometimes. It was nice to see that she still had feelings for Takagi and still cared a little for his manga, but in the end all she wants is basically a rival. I mean, the reason why she joined the manga world in the first place was to beat him anyways. Her motives are weird and her ego is ridiculous; I thought it would be annoying enough, but apparently she has to have the hots for Niizuma now. Oddly enough, it’s not such a bad combination… Niizuma doesn’t seem to care much about drama anyways, so he’d definitely be able to support that girl’s ego and the troubles it brings everyone.

In the end though, I was happy to see her want to fight fair and square for once. She was obviously still caring about Takagi, and with that phone call she just gave Ashirogi the warning call of “we’ve gotta get this going fast or we’ll be in shit”. Whenever these guys get that warning, they really do get things going, and that’s exactly what they did in this episode, especially Mashiro.

Niizuma and Iwase definitely make good rivals for Takagi and Mashiro. Having a bit of rivalry against PCP is a great thing, since it causes Takagi and Mashiro to surpass themselves like crazy. They would never work this much if they didn’t have Niizuma burning their butts with ideas so crazy and so innovatively smart, as well as Iwase who keeps bringing up the idea that she has to beat them in order to satisfy her humongous ego.

This episode also showed how much art can matter in a manga. In the span of a single chapter, we could already see an improvement in PCP‘s ratings. The art style war that Mashiro and Niizuma had afterwards only spiced things up and emphasized this point, since they managed to bring the ratings up so much simply by touching up the art style. When reading something with many images, the art that is so typical to mangas make all expressions and actions much more intense, adding a lot more feeling to the actual story that with realistic drawings.

Finally, I must admit, bringing in Crow into +Natural was a really good idea, and will most likely bring up the ratings of +Natural by a lot. I don’t know what will happen next, but man, this rivalry war is amazing. I feel like I’m watching the most intense suspense show ever, and yet this is still only about writing manga… This is great.

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