At long last the serialisation meeting begins as each of the senior editors leave their desks. Yahagi leads the meeting and announces that there are thirteen titles up for serialisation, and as they begin to go over the first one, Hattori explains how the process works. That the submissions are read in advance and are given feedback, and when it comes to the meeting they’re discussed and weighed up. Each given either a yes, try again, or simply a no. However for each submission that gets serialised, an equal number must be canceled.
Over at Eiji’s studio, Fukuda tells Nakai about the odds they’re both up against and they agree not to hold anything against the other if one of them doesn’t get serialised. Around this point, Hideout Door is brought up with Aida presenting Aoki’s previous experience and Nakai’s long past as an assistant, feeling that it’s his turn to come out into the spotlight. The other editors then start to go over it and due to it being a fantasy story, Sasaki gives it a temporary yes.
At Ashirogi Muto’s studio, Mashiro and Takagi are trying to calm their nerves by playing cards but it just isn’t going so well, and when Kaya comes over she happens to have the same idea. Next up in the meeting is Kiyoshi Knight where Yoshida presents Fukuda’s age to that of the average reader and his characters, but due to how similar all the chapters were it’s only given a temporary yes as well. After this a veteran, Arai-sensei’s work is brought up and is also given a temporary yes, and when Yahagi calls Sasaki out on giving a yes to everything so far he simply responds that they’ve all been interesting. Following this Yoshida presents something he personally vouches for, Otters 11 by Hiramaru Kazuya, explaining that Hiramaru gave up his job and was able to write it by only picking up a copy of Jack little over a month ago. It’s due to this that he could be considered a genius, but given his nature he’s the type of guy who would give up if he failed first thing. So Sasaki gives it a yes.
The submission brought up after this is none other than Ashirogi Muto’s Detective Trap, and the first thing that Aida does is to clarify that just because they’re only high schoolers, it doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be able to write it at the same time. Presenting all the work Hattori told him they had done during the preparation for the Golden Future Cup, amazing everyone. Over at their studio, Kaya asks Takagi about their chances and given the odds they’re up against it looks pretty bleak, as they also have to worry about the magazine not wanting another ‘genius high schooler’. This is also brought up at the meeting, but is decided that it isn’t that much of an issue given their past work, and while there’s the chance it could spiral into a battle manga, Sasaki gives it a yes.
Hattori also turns out to be pretty nervous about this all as well, and back in the serialisation meeting they decide to whittle down the number of yes’, where Yoshida tells Aida that he doesn’t want Hiramaru’s skill to go to waste. Around the same time, Yujiro receives an impatient call from Fukuda and he and the other editors decide to play cards. But not that long after it he gives up, and mentions that a longer meeting may be a good things as it means that the number of series ending could be high as well. The meeting ends soon after this and Mashiro and Takagi receive a call from Hattori that they’ve been serialised, and elsewhere Fukuda, Aoki, and Nakai are told to redo their work and try again. They each then congratulate each other and Mashiro sends Azuki the good news, and just as she’s about to respond she remembers Kaya telling her that she should talk to Mashiro.
So back over at their studio, Mashiro receives a call which actually turns out to be from Fukuda congratulating him on being serialised and that he’s going to catch up soon, he then hands the phone over to Eiji. Who personally congratulates them and tells them that as promised, he hasn’t been canceled yet and if anything has been waiting for him. Seeing their rivalry, Nakai does the same sort of thing with Fukuda but he accidentally reveals that he likes Aoki at the same time.
Mashiro then returns home to inform his mother and grandfather that he’s been serialised, and as he tells his uncle this as well and sees that he hasn’t received any messages from Azuki yet, he decides to run to her old house, remembering how their promise began and everyone who helped him on this path. During this, his mother tells his father about this and as he’s about to repeat his line on a man’s dream, she finishes it for him and takes it a step further. As he arrives at the gate, he receives a call from Azuki congratulating him and telling him that she feels that they’re closer to their dream. Soon after this, Mashiro and Takagi set up their studio when Hattori arrives with a man called Miura. Their new editor.
Season 2 Preview:
While it may have dragged it’s feet at first, I must admit that I liked how this turned out and if anything it was nice to see the things that happened in the early chapters of the manga again. As for the episode itself, learning how the serialisation process worked was actually pretty interesting along with more of the various factors that would be weighed against them. Not to mention that the fascination that everyone had with playing cards when they were impatient was kind of funny.
To start with the workings of the serialisation meetings was definitely one of the interesting parts of this episode, bringing with it another downside to the system that Shonen Jack’s real life equivalent uses, as in order to quickly serialise a new series, another one must also end. But while this may at first seem like a good system since it gets rid of those titles that are already on their way out, it goes without saying that sometimes there won’t be one like this, and a series will be canceled when it would have otherwise been safe. So in a way this sort of system could possibly harm new series as well along with helping them, it was just one of the things that I found interesting about it.
The sidelines to all of this also turned out to be kind of fun, as while it may have come down to the authors continually hoping that they would be serialised, and for the most part not being too optimistic about it all. There were still small things like how they just about all tried to play cards at one point to calm their nerves, which on it’s own was a clever play on renaming the magazine to Shonen Jack. When the results ended up coming in though it easily stepped up a bit, pretty much ending this brooding phase and immediately throwing in the excitement and the “I’ll try harder next time” sort of moments that tend to come with them. For this Eiji’s talk with Mashiro was one of the things enjoyed the most, as compared to his usual hyperactive randomness, he was cool, calm, and collected, being completely serious about it all.
As an ending for this season I’m not really sure how to feel, it’s a decent ending point and there were some nice moments thrown in on the side, such as Mashiro’s father having copies of his work on his desk, but at the same time the story really hasn’t gone all that far. Since while the story as a whole should cover our duo’s progression to becoming top ranking mangaka, at the end of 25 episodes they’ve only just got s0mething serialised, barely even taking a significant step for this and even now they’re nothing more than a pair of rookies. Not to mention that over the course of these 25 episodes around two years has passed, and while this could be considered realistic it just doesn’t seem all that practical. However I guess this could be placed to how the second season won’t air for quite a bit of time, along with all the stuff they threw in at the end. But anyway I’m kind of looking forward to the second season, things are starting to get interesting, they’ll have a new (but not better) editor and Hiramaru will finally take the stage.
Overall I’m not really that sure how to feel about this as a whole, at first it may have dragged its feet and as an adaptation it certainly took a different path for the overall feel to the series, but that all said I still enjoyed it. It had some great moments and at times did exactly what it should have done from the beginning, while giving some characters voice actors/actresses who were simply perfect for them.
At first this change to the overall feeling to the series may have seemed like it’s undoing, as even just by looking at the staff for it, it wouldn’t take much to suspect that there was an added focus to the slice of life aspect to it, and by bringing in Kenichi Kasai as one of the directors, the romance aspect as well. Something which I personally thought was the weakest part to it back then and even though this slice of life aspect ended up being one of the parts that I liked about the series, the romance aspect to it all remained undoubtedly weak despite Kasai‘s direction. Putting that aside though, one of the reasons I grew to like the slice of life aspects was that they helped with the steady progression of time, and the characters tended to interact in a fun way. Not to mention that above all we were able to see those characters who barely even appeared yet have always been supporting our duo more and Azuki’s side of the story was definitely told better.
That said, when things were done right they were spot on, as in a series where the characters write manga you would expect to see the inner workings to the industry and even what they had actually written, right? So it’s because of this that seeing some of these workings to Shonen Jack’s real life equivalent was one of the most interesting parts about it, as while we may read it without thinking, we don’t exactly have a good idea as to how much work truly goes into it. Be it from the authors themselves, the assistants in the background, and even the editorial staff.
Aside from that it was also neat to see people such as Koogy, Arai-sensei, and even Hiramaru foreshadowed, it really goes to show that the staff that are working on this are really trying to work the world building mechanics of the series. Something which Ohba doesn’t really give that much of putting that much thought into in the current manga chapters, giving the feeling that he’s writing it on the fly and throwing characters back in as they come to mind. So because of this, just seeing names of characters who will later show up is something that I really like about this as an adaptation.
So in all as an adaptation I’m still on the fence about this, it’s proven that it can be exactly what it needs to be and pull out some pretty fun episodes, but at the same time it can also turn out to be something of a let down. However, that said I had fun watching it for what it was and in the end it worked out all right.