When Takagi’s suspension ends he shows Mashiro a manuscript where people are able to buy each others brains. Still up on the rooftop Kaya comes up with some movie tickets and while he tries to remind her of what he had said before about love coming second, she’s determined to try to get him to go on a date with her.
The next time they meet Hattori he’s forgotten something and offers to show them around the editorial department upstairs. Where the first thing they see is all the promotional posters and such for all the works serialised in Shonen Jack, and just a little bit further they’re met with the bustling editorial department. They then start to go over their work’s evaluation from the Tezuka Award and while it was praised by the mangaka judging it for it’s originality, at the same time it was looked down upon by the editors judging it as it supposedly wouldn’t be able to be serialised. He also tells Mashiro how his art was actually judged as being good but was marked that way in order to encourage him to do better. Along with how if it weren’t for Eiji taking first and second place they would have at least gotten an honourable mention and even though he’s the same age as them, Eiji is also having one of his works serialised.
This gets Mashiro both determined and impatient about being serialised as he tries to figure out what it would take to be serialised, but when Hattori expresses his doubts about it the man from Mashiro’s Uncle’s funeral and the current Editor-in-Chief Sakaki tells him that something only needs to be interesting to be serialised. He then goes on to say that what they have now though isn’t and how those words were the last words that Mashiro’s Uncle, Kawaguchi Taro had said to him when his contract with Shonen Jack was ended, but up until five days before his death he still turned in manuscripts like a rookie would. Mashiro then asks him what makes Eiji different from them and the answer is simple, drawing manga simply comes naturally for him but even then his works will never be complex enough for their target audience. This gets Hattori fired up as he tells them just to focus on making a charismatic protagonist. When they leave Hattori asks Sakaki why he talked about Kawaguchi Taro so he tells him how he had a hunch that Mashiro was his nephew.
With new found determination Mashiro goes to the studio but finds both Takagi and Kaya there together, who tells him how Azuki had told her everything and how she finds the promise that they made weird. She also tries to speed things up by getting Azuki to come over but she turns it down before Mashiro can stop her. With this kind of promise in mind she asks Takagi if he’s thinking about marrying her and isn’t exactly happy with his quick response, nor with the one he has towards if they were to have the same sort of promise. Eventually Mashiro gives up on how she’s not allowed to come to the studio without asking and tells her that she can come around on holidays and see him at school.
After a while Kaya tells them how the high school that Azuki is going to is an all-girls school located quite far from where they are now, and while Mashiro tries to ask her about it he can’t. As time passes they continuously work on new manuscripts with the focus being on a charasmatic protagonist and Kaya starts hanging out there more. But when they show Hattori them all he thinks that they’re terrible as none of their protagonists stand out. Sometime after this they meet him again, and this time he explains how the readers surveys work and how they only need two people out of ten to succeed, so instead of getting five to like their work they should aim for two who will love it, the opposite to what Eiji is doing. For this they need something that they thought just wouldn’t work in Shonen Jack, which brings up the manuscript Takagi wrote about being able to buy and sell their knowledge, Money and Intelligence.
This was actually a pretty decent episode and though that feeling that it should have already been at this point a while ago was still there (especially on how they are only just starting to work on their most known oneshot, Money and Intelligence). The pacing was even a little better covering an entire chapter and a half to the half that the last episode had. It was also great to see the focus shifted back to the processes that go into making manga, this time looking into the serialisation aspect and the role that the much despised readers survey’s play in Shonen Jack and it’s real life equivalent.
With things like what the minimum requirements for something to be serialised for along with what Mashiro and Takagi’s works currently lacked in order to meet them being shown. However by just knowing that Eiji was already having something serialised, Mashiro’s personality seemed to change to something more rash that if anything would have lowered their chances. As wanting to fulfill the promise he has with Azuki was understandable but he seemed a lot more impatient than he should have been. The scene itself also led to the Editor-in-Chief, Sakaki showing up and saying those particularly memorable words that the only condition for serialisation was for it to be interesting.
The most interesting part of this though was that these words had belonged to Mashiro’s Uncle and had been the last words he had said to him. Other than being able to get through to Mashiro when he was like this, it also worked to further establish the outlook that Mashiro’s Uncle, Kawaguchi Taro had as a mangaka. Along with further proving that he didn’t give up at all until the end, where after his contract at Shonen Jack was ended he still continued to bring in new manuscripts like a rookie would. How it gave the impression that Sakaki may have been his editor was also something that was interesting.
Other than that it was also great to see Kaya show up a bit more since the way she and Takagi interact together is fun to see, and almost the opposite to how Azuki and Mashiro interact. Secondly the interactions themselves can be pretty funny with things like how she had asked him if he planned to marry her one day only for him to quickly respond that he didn’t and be kicked by her for it. Along with how he’d consider giving up his dream if they had the same sort of promise that Azuki and Mashiro had. They’re just something that’s fun to see and from the looks of it she’ll be hanging around the studio with them quite a bit.
There was also that sense that certain gaps that Mashiro has with other characters was widening, as aside from Eiji taking another step ahead by having something serialised. Azuki would also be going to a school that was quite far away from where they were, and while the fact that it was an all girls school may have lightened his fears. It also would have been something that would have brought up the fears that he had before about them drifting apart, however even with this in mind he still didn’t do anything about it.