The results for the Golden Future Cup start to come in with Koogy coming dead last, leaving it to be decided by the other three entries. Over at Ashirogi Muto’s studio, Takagi and Mashiro are hard at work on their name as Takagi explains how the extra conditions in the questionnaires help with judging the entries.
When it finally comes to judge the entries, excluding Colorfusical they’re all closely matched with Detective Trap and Kiyoshi Knight slightly above Hideout Door, so it comes down to the voting statistics. Where Assistant Chief Editor Heishi argues that Detective Trap’s lower reader age would be better, but Yoshida counters that Kiyoshi Knight’s high male readership make it better suited to the magazine. Hideout Door on the other hand could be a good chance to open up the magazine to more female readers.
After this everyone impatiently waits on the results, certain that they’ll win and when the results come in it ends up being a tie between Detective Trap and Kiyoshi Knight, meaning that Eiji’s prediction was spot on. Mashiro and Takagi are ecstatic about the results, with Kaya crying tears of happiness, and when Mashiro messages Azuki, she congratulates him and asks him for Takagi’s cellphone number. So soon after this she calls him to thank him for everything he’s done, sure that nothing would have come between her and Mashiro without him. Also re-ascertaining that nothing bad can come from following their dreams. However just as they start joking together, Kaya intercepts and tell her to keep her hands off as she gives the phone to Mashiro, and as he remembers the last words she said to him, Mashiro finds that she’s hung up.
In a convenience store our certain salary man flicks through the results from the Golden Future Cup. While around the same time Fukuda presents his serialisation name to Yujiro, telling him that he’s putting everything on the line for this, something Yoshida overhears. Aoki and Nakai also happen to be in a similar meeting with Aida, where Aoki even puts her pride aside to make it better. As she’s heading home, Azuki remembers how she had hung up and when she arrives her mother reveals that she knows who she likes, a likening the relationship she has with him to something she had in the past. Something that didn’t turn out that well, however she’s certain that it won’t and asks Kaya for Mashiro’s cellphone number.
Early into December, everyone’s brought in the chapters required for the serialisation meeting and Yoshida heads out to meet a certain aspiring mangaka, and because he can’t go to the serialisation meetings yet, Hattori asks for Aida’s backing for Detective Trap and presents all the work Mashiro and Takagi had done under the earlier conditions he set. On their train ride back Mashiro and Takagi happen to be sitting nearby a certain salary man again, and on the night before the serialisation meeting Yujiro meets Hattori and they comment on how their respective mangaka are doing before heading for some after work drinks.
Here Yujiro is doubtful due to the number of titles up for serialisation while Hattori still retains some optimism about it, even if it is unlikely, telling him that Ashirogi Muto being serialised is something he wants to do himself, while Yujiro feels the same way about Fukuda. Elsewhere everyone restlessly anticipates the outcome of the meeting.
Because of how good the last episode was, I kind of thought that this one wasn’t as good, as if it was in it’s shadow as we saw the results to the Golden Future Cup detailed, and things shifted towards the issue of who may and may not be serialised. Almost leaving us hanging towards the end after the whole episode had been used to build up to that. But that said it was still fun to see things from the editors side of it, and as much as I love them I kind of wish that J.C.Staff would stop teasing us with the Hiramaru cameos.
Even though it may have been mostly in a build up sort of way for the author/mangaka side of things, it still ended up being all right and for the episode to open up with Koogy smashing his guitar in rage was almost priceless. Outside of that it felt like a bit too much time was spent waiting on results (with the episode even ending on it) while being accompanied by the occasional burst of excitement when they came in. However I thought that this was still countered by small things like Aoki finally putting aside her pride to ask for advice, or Fukuda making it clear that he was putting everything on the line, and even then it didn’t exactly feel like it took up the majority of the episode.
Especially how the episode chose to go about giving Azuki some development, or how the editor’s side of things seemed to be placed into the spotlight a bit more than usual. This development for Azuki was something that I thought was good to see, as it showed that she was starting to at least make a slight compromise from her adamant standpoint of only keeping in contact with Mashiro through text messages. With her mother even seeming to intervene about it by mentioning that the relationship she had like it didn’t exactly end that well being something nice to help push towards it. Other than that her conversation with Takagi was also pretty fun, especially how Kaya couldn’t bear hearing it and told her to keep her hands off him.
The editor’s side of things was probably one of the things that I liked the most about this episode, as with the upcoming judging and serialisation meetings, and little happening in the story until then, now was the right time to give them a bit more focus. For the meeting we saw, it was also pretty interesting to see just what factors aside from popularity determined who could go up for serialisation, as even if something was overwhelmingly popular it would still be tossed aside if it missed the right criteria. Hattori and Yujiro going out drinking was also something that was pretty fun to see, as if anything it worked to build them up as another set of rivals in the series. Showing that even the editorial department wasn’t without them.
Just as with the last episode, the Hiramaru cameos throughout this one were great and while they didn’t have the same amount of surprise to them, there was still the way that as someone who hadn’t taken much interest in manga before, he was heading forward at a miraculous pace. As an added bonus there was even the way that Yoshida was implied to be looking through the names he was coming up with, where it would switch over to him in the background after leaving Hiramaru. At this point though, I’m kind of wishing that they would just hurry up and introduce him, as even in the credits he seems to be listed as employee (会社員), and while that voice sounds familiar, I can’t exactly put my finger on it.