Bakuman 9

For punching Ishizawa, Akito is suspended for a week, which is fine with him, as it means a week to make names. Moritaka is stuck in a loop of self-loathing, convinced he’s holding Akito back with his substandard art. Still, Miho, impressed with how far he’s come, prods Moritaka to go check on him. When he does, he discovers there’s no reason for excess dread; Akito is fine. Well, fine on the manga front, anyway. It turns out Moritaka isn’t the first or even the second person to have come to check on Akito.

Kaya and Aiko are there as well, and both believe Akito is their boyfriend. Moritaka can only fade into the background as the battle unfolds: both girls make valid points, but Akito insists that both misunderstood his gestures; he never agreed to date anyone. Then it comes down to who he likes more; he doesn’t dislike either. The difference between the two girls finally comes out: Kaya says she’ll support him with his dream, while Aiko insists he quit playing around with manga and shape up. Akito has long since resolved to follow through with this dream, so he cannot be with Aiko. Kaya is victorious.

So the air is once again clear, Mashiro and Akito have their maidens-in-waiting and their priorities in order, and they have no choice but to keep “fighting the fight”. Hattori is ready and willing to meet with them more to critique their next work. Meanwhile, Nizuma has arrived in Tokyo, and he ain’t there to sight-see. The heat will be on. This was a terrific characterization episode for all involved that still kept the story moving and my interest high. Rating: 4

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