Remembering how his uncle told him about the different tools that Mangaka used, Mashiro practices using the G-pen late into the night however it’s not exactly easy to use. This also causes him to fall asleep during class and he tells Takagi about this along with there being no right or wrong way to draw. Just as they step outside the gate he hands him a key to the studio.
Though Takagi thinks Mashiro’s drawings are great, Mashiro doesn’t think they would work that well and explains some of the details of the pens that he’ll need to use. The one he’s having trouble with is the G-pen which will allow him to change the intensity of the lines he draws however it’s a bit more difficult to use than the Kabura pen. Which allow him to draw a consistent line easier and is more suited for backgrounds, but it doesn’t give him all that much control, this was also the type of pen his uncle used even though his editor tried to get him to use a G-pen. Along with this there is also the Maru pen for thin lines, he also has a few reference books for backgrounds and effects but since they don’t have any assistants yet he will have to do all of this himself.
He also realises just how much work is needed and that at the moment he’s nowhere near to being considered a pro. So to get an anime before he’s eighteen he’s going to have use as much time as he can, this also reminds him of the three conditions that his uncle had for becoming a mangaka, being conceited, effort, and finally luck. This gives Takagi the resolve to read through as much of the manga that’s there but it for research purposes but he ends up being moved to tears.
Due to this now both of them are having trouble staying awake in class and they decide to check out the latest copy of Shonen Jump Jack where the winner of the Tezuka Award. However they’re shocked when they see that the winner is only fifteen years old, Eiji Niizuma. Takagi still thinks that they can beat him but Mashiro has to correct him on the three conditions. While he eats dinner his mother tries to convince him to study a bit more but his grandfather manages to distract her.
On their way up to the rooftop they see that they may have some competition in the school, Ishizawa, but as Azuki’s friend, Kaya Miyoshi points out he can only draw moe characters at a certain angle and only from the shoulders up. After school they head over to the studio and on their way Mashiro tells Takagi that he plans to go to North Yakusa Highschool. This was the minimum for what his parents would have accept which would also give him time to practice, of course this means he won’t be going to the same school as Azuki but he thinks it’s more romantic that way. Hearing this Takagi also decides to go to North Yakusa believing that he shouldn’t have anything to fall back onto if he fails as well as showing how grateful he is for the key Mashiro gave him.
They then decide that their first rival is Eiji Niizuma who Mashiro guesses should already have an editor by now. This also means that he has to explain that what sort of editor they will get is one of the things that comes down to luck. He also tells him a story that his uncle told him about an editor who shredded the work that someone had brought in right in front of him after reading it, though this may have sounded terrible it actually led to the aspiring Mangaka trying even harder to improve and eventually that editor went on to become an editor-in-chief and the Mangaka ended up being pretty famous. Takagi now wants to meet up with an editor so they decide to have something ready to hand in by the end of their summer break.
On their way back Mashiro and Takagi pass by Azuki who’s with her mother and younger sister, both of them end up getting pretty embarrassed as they hide behind the people they’re with and Mashiro turns around to see that Azuki was doing the same. Through this they’re somewhat connected. Deep in the middle of the mountains an editor speaks with Niizuma over the phone about getting him to move to Tokyo.
This was a somewhat decent episode, as we got to see some of the types of pens used to draw manga and what they’re used for. Aside from this the one who could be considered Mashiro and Takagi’s greatest rival, Niizuma Eiji was hinted at in the middle and shown briefly as the episode ended, meaning he should get a proper introduction in the next episode. However though I thought that some things were set out better I don’t think I could say that a lot happened in this episode.
The part around the beginning of the episode where Mashiro explained what the various pens he will have to use do was easily one of the highlights of the episode. As it played off of one of the series’ strong points in explaining some of the things that go into producing manga, and it was also interesting to learn the names of some of the pens and how just about every stage requires a different pen. Aside from this there were also the three conditions to becoming a mangaka that Mashiro’s uncle had told him which were pretty interesting as well. With the latter, luck also coming into play as part of how Mashiro had told Takagi about the similarities between drawing manga and gambling earlier. And it was also good to see it come up again where Mashiro had also told Takagi about how they could get either a good editor or a bad one.
It was also good to see their main rival, Niizuma Eiji finally being introduced which could be considered one of the few significant things to actually happen in the episode. Though I had kind of expected it to happen earlier than this. Something that’s kind of interesting about it so far happens to be that Niizuma is voiced by Nobuhiko Okamoto, which may not seem all that interesting on it’s own. But it is when you consider that Mashiro is voiced by Atsushi Abe and they both also happened to voice Accelerator and Touma respectively in the Toaru Majutsu no Index anime which is also animated by J.C.Staff.
Something which was kind of funny to see was the name of the magazine that the characters serialise their series in and also the same magazine that the Bakuman manga itself is serialised in, Shonen Jump. Having it’s name changed to Shonen Jack, in how certain products would have their name changed though it’s kind of funny in how it wasn’t really changed in the Gintama anime but it was changed in this.
Though things don’t really appear to be moving all that fast and not much really appears to be happening it’s still something that I’m not really that bothered about. With one of the main reasons being that I kind of like how things are being set out in comparison to how they were in the manga, with the flow between the events being a lot more natural. As things being spaced out like how we saw Ishizawa instead of him just being mentioned and how we saw Mashiro and Takagi first find out about Eiji when they were picking up a copy of Shonen Jack at a convenience store makes things come across a lot more smoother.