Bakuman 20

When they return to the studio the first thing they find is the mess that Mashiro made during the time he worked on his own.

As they set about cleaning it up he shows Takagi what he’s done so far, who comes up with the idea to give the main character the ability to completely change his appearance in order to impersonate someone and is more determined than ever to write it. However he tells him how Hattori had sent him six boxes of mystery novels and movies for research and while it would take him two months to go through all of it he feels like he would need a bit more time to work on the story, and because of this Kaya offers to go through it for him and summarise it. Telling them how she felt when they split up and how she wants to see Azuki and Mashiro get married, after hearing this he agrees to let her help and she tells Takagi that they should get married as well, not giving him a choice in the matter.

When she brings them her first summary a girl asks Takagi if they’re dating to which he shocks her by saying that they’re going to get married, with Mashiro chiming in that even he has a fiance as if it were a normal thing. As Azuki’s birthday rolls around he sends her a message and Kaya tells them how the anime that Azuki has a role in is getting a second season, and how as one of the more popular character’s voice actresses she’s going to sing the ending theme. Which when they watch she tries to take a picture of his reaction for her. It’s not long until another month passes by and they still act as if they’re working alone around Hattori, leaving him feeling that everything is going according to his plan to get them back together.

It’s not long before spring arrives as well and Mashiro and Takagi finally decide to show Hattori what they’ve been doing over the past few months, and while he feels as if they really got him Mashiro goes on to thank him for everything that came from the plan he had. So Hattori then sets about reading through all of the manuscripts they’ve brought in and ends up liking it, and when he sees that they’re still set on being serialised immediately he sets two conditions for them. First it will be submitted as a oneshot and if it does well it will be considered, however secondly they must also bring him a new chapter every two weeks as a test to how they would cope with serialisation. Something Mashiro agrees to without any hesitation and when he explains that this should benefit them either way, he thanks him once more.

On their way back they happen to bump into Fukuda so Takagi introduces himself to him and he tells him about how his oneshot did, with how he’ll have to rework it and submit it again later. They then tell him how they’ve also submitted one as well leading to Fukuda telling them that he won’t lose to them with them saying the same as they part ways, something that wouldn’t be much fun for him otherwise. Due to this there’s another montage as they complete the conditions that Hattori set and are tired by the end of it, but they still settle on the name for it, Shady Detective Trap. As usual they’re full of doubt as they wait for the news, however when Hattori calls he tells them that they’ve been entered in the contest, and before they go to celebrate it he messages Azuki about it.

Next Episode:

Thoughts:

A somewhat decent episode with a few fun moments along the way, first off it was great to see Mashiro and Takagi working together again with Kaya’s help, and while he’s for the most part right about how they should wait until they’ve finished highschool. Hattori finally starting to compromise on the issue of serialisation. Not to mention the way we got to see Fukuda again.

After a few episodes without it, it was actually kind of refreshing to see them starting to work as a team again by building off what they had, and even Mashiro allowing Kaya to become more involved in it. Something that seems like a step forward for him after he hadn’t been all that convinced about her helping in the past. As something that was kind of related to all of that, it was also kind of funny to see Kaya turn Takagi’s earlier words into something of a proposal, and shortly afterward the shock when one of their classmates found out that they both had fiance’s in their first year of highschool. And while they were mostly comedic sort of scenes they still showed that Kaya had made that shift forward with Takagi.

Even though she didn’t exactly make a proper appearance in this episode, it was also kind of nice to see that Azuki was steadily moving forward as well, starting to shift along her path as a voice actress. As even though she was still new as far as they go she had ended up being one of those unexpected hits, with her character turning out to be quite popular. Which due to we were even able to see a PV for a song that she and some of her fellow voice actresses sang, something that was kind of fun for what it was as Takagi felt uncomfortable watching it and Kaya trying to send a picture of Mashiro’s expression to Azuki.

It was also great to see Mashiro and Takagi manage to pull one over Hattori by acting as if they still hadn’t teamed up again and that they were either doing well or not, something that was kind of funny to see considering Hattori’s vision of what would happen and what they were really up to. However what really seemed to come from it all was the way that he was starting to compromise with them, as even though he still wanted them to wait a few years to graduate highschool and develop their skills, possibly being able to stop them from being serialised at all until then. It was still something they were dead set on doing and were willing to keep trying until they did it, let alone what they did in this episode seemed to fit in with one of their earlier plans as well.

At this point in the series I was also starting to wonder whether Aoki Ko, the girl who shows up in the opening and ending themes would even show up in this season as well. But from the looks of the preview she should be introduced in the next episode, and considering how she’s going to be voiced by Ayako Kawasumi it’s something I’m looking forward to. Other than that for such a low tier and forgettable antagonist/rival character it should also be noted that Koogy will be showing up as well, after they had spammed him all over the place beforehand.

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