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Bakuman 106

[scanlation by I Eat Manga]

I didn’t mind Mashiro learning from Shiratori last chapter, because I felt it was a way for Mashiro to remain down-to-earth. This chapter, though, the emphasis is being placed on just how good Shiratori is to be able to teach an established mangaka, rather than Mashiro being an open-minded professional for learning from an assistant. This shift in emphasis is slight but enough to make a considerable and upsetting difference.

Moriya’s outburst is more exciting than anything Shiratori has done since his introduction. I wouldn’t approve of Moriya getting the amount of spotlight that Shiratori has received, but at least some of the time that’s been wasted on Shiratori could have been used more effectively to develop Moriya further.

What excellent taste you have

Moriya is in love! How adorable.

Otter #11 is being canceled? What a horrible turn of events! Also, it’s sad to see The Time of Green Leaves leaving the magazine as well. That said, this plot development has led to my personal favorite piece of artwork ever produced by Obata.

A completely new kind of testament to Obata's brilliance

The decision to parody the real Jump’s “Top of the Super Legend” one-shot series is both amusing and perhaps the most up-to-date reflection of the manga industry yet featured in Bakuman. Also, it’s a good method to keep side characters relevant and involved while the primary focus of the series is in transition.

Hilarious exchange between Hiramaru and his editor. I miss when “Weekly Aoki Ko” was a regular feature of the series, rather than an occasional joke in between Shiratori plot elements.

Excellent comedy duo

Mashiro’s demonstration of his two drawing styles is an impressive achievement from Obata, as well as simply being an interesting peek into the life of a professional artist. I can’t overstate how much I appreciate the way this series has kept the technical side of manga accessible to readers. It would be extremely easy of Ohba and Obata to include tons of advanced details, all of which would be accurate but potentially over the heads of the audience; instead, they’ve managed to include just enough to make the series feel authentic, yet not so much as to confuse anyone.

Of course Eiji wants to contribute a one-shot. He can apparently do anything, so why wouldn’t he?

I’m pleased that Iwase is determined to enter, since she’s been marginalized for a little while now, but the strong hints of her pairing up with Mashiro are worrisome. That would be yet another development that leads the story further away from the original goal of Ashirogi Muto and Azuki, and this one could feel worse than any of the others, considering the unsettled rivalry between Iwase and Takagi, as well as Iwase’s earlier dislike of Azuki.

The chapter ends with a united declaration from Ashirogi that they are entering the Super Leaders’ Fest, yet I still can’t shake the feeling that Takagi will be too overwhelmed to uphold his end of the deal, and that Mashiro and Iwase might end up working together. If that’s the case, I’d be extremely disappointed by this chapter, in that the story didn’t just move directly to such a partnership rather than traveling through drama and turmoil first.

Final Flash: A few splendid moments only serve to break up the frustrating monotony of where this series has gone in the last couple months.

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