alphabeta's review of Bakuman 153: The world and his opponent
Bakuman 153: The world and his opponent
A review by alphabeta
Last chapter I asked you guys about what your opinion is, on how many votes Reversi would get? You had three options. Less, same or more. And to be honest, the results are not as I predicted. Absolutely not. I thought that maybe 1, maximum 2 absolute ashirogitards could’ve hypothetically voted for “More than Zombie Gun”, but, dude, I definitely didn’t saw it coming, that everyone would vote for this option. Not to mention, that it actually proved right, but more of this in the “Deep Analysis” section.
Saikou and Shuujin finally find out the ranking of their new one-shot “Reversi”. They’re 1st place and with 694 votes they outvoted Eiji’s one week old record by only 2 votes. This, obviously, is not to Eiji’s liking, as he decides that he won’t do a serialization name for Zombie Gun, what is equally to giving up on it altogether. Yuujiro, as his editor, is shocked to hear this, and on top of that, Hattori brings in AM’s serialization name for Reversi. How will Yuujiro react, and will Eiji really give up on Zombie Gun? Find out in this review of Bakuman 153: The world and his opponent
I thought I finished commenting the chapter’s title last time, but it seems I was wrong. Bakuman 153: The world and his opponent starts with a miserable translating mistake. For fu**’s sake, it’s “it’s opponent” not “his opponent”. :fail But onto the actual chapter. We finally get a color page of our beloved Bakuman. Problem is… it straight out sucks. I thought Zombie Gun’s MC looked bad, when I first saw him. I take my words back. He looks awful. Those frankenstein arms, those sharingan eyes, and his haircut, dude, everything around him gives me a strong feeling of antipathy. Can’t say the same thing about Mr. Black from Reversi, though. He does look kinda cool there. No use in denying that.
Finally, the chapter starts with a close-up of Shuujin’s phone. Yeah, Obata, we know how detailed you can draw phones, please stop it, it’s getting boring. Saikou and Shuujin are convincing each other that it’s near to impossible to beat Eiji and his 692 votes, and god knows what they’d do to each other, if Hattori hadn’t called just in time to tell them the results. And the results are: 1st place…
For Reversi, that is. PCP came in 4th this time (still in Top 5, mind you). As always, it’s first Shuujin who hears the results and Saikou’s reaction that we see. This happened back when they entered the future golden cup, this happens now. Shuujin’s face, when he’s telling Saikou the exact ranking of Reversi and PCP is totally reminding me of Nanamine, when he first heard of PCP beating CoT. Well, I’m not even mentioning Saikou. That face is just as priceless as the upcoming Eiji-staring-at-the-world face. Priceless, dude, just priceless.
But that’s not all. Not only did they get in 1st, but they also broke a new record. If Eiji got 692 votes, then Ashirogi gets 694. I’ll focus a little on what happened here. First we obviously remember the last time AM and Eiji faced off (Crow arc) and the difference in 2 votes is nothing new to us readers. Then we get the fact, that AM just set a new record in terms of one-shots. Even though this was better expressed at Saikou’s reaction to getting 1st place, this still is an important moment. Just remember the 15 year old Saikou and Shuujin, who still go to high school, and get goose gumbs, when they first see Hattori. Golden future cup, trap serialization, back then, it was near to impossible for them to set any kind of record, not even mentioning a one-shot votes record. This just shows how much they’ve grown. Both literally and figuratively. However, if Saikou and Shuujin are ready to boast about this fact to their respective lovers, then someone else is rather frustrated at it…
This face is priceless. Obata is a master when it comes down to creating facial expressions (e.g. Nanamine arc), but this one is one of my favorites so far. We’ve always seen Eiji as a goof-around, constantly smiling type of character, with a few exceptions, but this panel shows us the other side of the medal. Eiji is actually pissed off at the fact, that Ashirogi beat him by 2 votes only. The overall atmosphere, the black lines, this camera angle, this panel is just plain awesome.
To be honest, I didn’t saw this coming. Not to mention, that I didn’t expect Ashirogi to win in the first place, but even if they did, I didn’t thought Eiji would have such a reaction. We’ve been shown a little of his “dark side” at the beginning of the Crow arc, but back then he was just an intellectual smartass. Right now, he’s a butthurt high school student, who got trolled on 4chan. And in this depressed situation, he has to work on Zombie Gun. Not happening. Yuujiro tries convincing him, like it’s only a tie (I agree on this part), and you didn’t really lose, but nothing helps. Deciding, that it can’t be helped he goes back to Shuueisha HQ, and complains a little to Miura/Kosugi. Those two have been shown together quite often, lately :eyeroll.
Miura plays captain obvious again, by pointing out stuff we’ve heard a billion times before, but this was just an excuse to bring in Yoshida to the plot. Believe me or not, but I’m starting to feel more and more respect for this editor with every chapter that comes out lately. I want to see Yuujiro acting like a real team leader, but I believe Yoshida wouldn’t do badly either. We close up this page, with Yuujiro pointing out a real argument. Eiji already knows how to run two weekly series at the same time. Ashirogi doesn’t.
Meanwhile, the scene switches to Ashirogi HQ. They’re discussing with Hattori the future of Reversi. Dude, what is there to discuss? A one-shot that has broken the record of most votes for a one-shot, and Ashirogi will just give up on getting it serialized, only because there’s no room in WSJ? Really? That’s why Hattori doesn’t even starts arguing with them. Once again, remember the times when Ashirogi looked up to Hattori as a God Tier character. Another similarity with Eiji/Yuujiro/Zombie Gun happens when Hattori reads the name they’ve written for the first chapter. It’s almost word for word. “This could be even better than PCP”. Replace PCP with Zombie Gun and you get the chapter 151 where Yuujiro receives Eiji’s one-shot name. Their discussion ends with a fired up AM and a Hattori who seriously starts considering the possibility of Ashirogi doing two weekly series at the same time.
Five days later, Yuujiro tries a second attempt to make Eiji draw a serialization name. Eiji’s reaction was predictable. Yuujiro’s not. I seriously laughed my a** off, when I saw that panel. This joke is just out of the textbook. First we see a, seemingly independent chain of events. Yuujiro goes to Eiji. Eiji declines. Yuujiro goes to Shuuiesha. Yuujiro/Editors interaction. Nothing interesting on first sight, but now, when history repeats itself, things get hilarious. I’m not pointing out how everything changed 180 degrees. You’ve read it yourself, and you know it just as well as I do.
But the other editor, who gets a comical task from time to time, is the one responsible this time for bringing he story back to a serious point. Hattori brought in the serialization name of Reversi. Dead End. Ashirogi already made a serialization name, while Eiji is refusing to do one in the first place. Plus, the higher-ups clearly told Yuujiro to serialize Zombie Gun. Dilema, what to do, what a dilemma, OMG!!! STOP. This is getting stupid. Hattori convicing Yuujiro to read the name is not only stupid, but reaches closely to “retarted”. All that BS, that Zombie Gun is better than Reversi and Ashirogi will never be able to handle two series at the same time is kindergarten level, and makes Yuujiro only seem like a kid. The fact that Heishi had to stop those two is making the scene even more ridiculous. Basically the scene with Hattori giving the Reversi serialization name to Yuujiro is made of complete fail.
Yeah, like I mentioned, Heishi himself had to step in to stop those two. But he didn’t just shut them, he went off to somewhere. But where? Lover? Strip Bar? … Football Stadium? No, the place he’s going to is none other than Ex-Editor-In-Chief’s new work place – Hisshou Jump. But before he does that, he tells Yuujiro to read the name, and if he thinks it’s appropriate, then give it to the higher-ups. And what happens next, returns me to my original opinion, that Yuujiro is the most appropriate candidate for team leader.
Next, we get a double spread. It’s been quite some time since we saw a normal double spread in Bakuman. I’m not even mentioning CP double spreads. Though, the idea is rather original. A shot of the Shuueisha building, with many standalone panels of the different statements of the higher-ups brings some fresh air to the typical Bakuman routine. To sum up what happened there. No one knows what to do with Reversi, since PCP is already running in WSJ, and that’s why Heishi wonders what Sasaki would do. And what would Sasaki do? Exactly, he tells Heishi, that it’s his decision now. How very typical of Shounen Manga :notrust
At the end of the chapter we get once again transported to Ashirogi’s hideout, where a nervous Shuujin and Saikou are eagerly waiting for a call from Hattori. And that call just so happens to be one hell of a plot twist. Reversi will be published in Hisshou Jump (a monthly magazine), while PCP will continue in WSJ (weekly). There you have it. The first things that comes to your head, is obviously the situation, that Zombie Gun is supposed to run in WSJ, while Reversi will run in HSJ (that’s what I’ll Hisshou Jump from now on). It’s just as obvious, that this means that we’ll explore a whole new world with new editoris, new mangaka’s new timelines, new love triangles, new everything. The topic of another magazine was brought up during the beginning of the series, but it never got any development. Not until now. I just can’t wait to see what awaits us within HSJ.
And the news that Reversi will get serialized has reached another mangaka’s ears. Yuujiro tells Eiji, that his opponent will get serialized in HSJ, while Eiji himself is currently unemployed. Something goes “Click” in Eiji’s head, and he changes his attitude 180 degrees. Full of energy he boasts that, he’ll finish the name for the serialization meeting. Although… didn’t it already happened. I mean, when it was decided that Reversi will get published in HSJ. Well, either way, Eiji makes an epic comeback, by throwing off the globes on his desk, and stepping on one of it, thus showing that he is literally standing above the world, and that his real goal is not the world, but Ashirogi Muto, dattebayo! :yelling
This chapter was good. During the first half, that is. After Yuujiro’s comedy page this chapter became straight out awful. “TL;DR”, “YUNO” and “ORLY?” were the things that went through my head when reading pages 12-19. In the first half we had humor, we had awesome art (e.g. the panel with Saikou hearing the results), and the plot actually moved forward. The only thing that happened in the other half was Reversi moving to Hisshou Jump. Great. Whole 7 pages wasted on something that fitted perfectly into 7 panels.
The color page obviously caught my attention as well. And just like with the actual chapter, my opinion of this CP is split in two as well. On one side it’s in color (Captain Obvious :ninja), that’s good, and Obata is a pro when using colors, but on the other hand, the colors look “pale”. I mean, Eiji, look at him. Compare him to the Eiji in my “Head Spinners” banner and you’ll see the difference. Same thing goes for Saikou and Shuujin as well. The only thing that I sort of liked in this CP was that black dude’s from Reversi’s design. Those tattoos remind of Renji from Bleach, while the overall gives off a heavy “Light-ish” feeling. The white guy just looks stupid if you compare him to the black one.
After reading this chapter I had a heavy impression that Bakuman will wonder off to a Hisshou Jump spin-off, and if not completely, then at least partly we’ll get a new universe with new characters and all that good jazz. I even created a new thread, where I describe my ideas more detailed, so feel free to answer them there if you feel like it. :D
As the next chapters content’s, I believe that, we’ll see Eiji finishing his serialization name, and we’ll find out more details about Reversi moving to Hisshou Jump. Schedule, work pay, assistants, all the technical aspects of going monthly. I wouldn’t mind seeing a re-union with Nanamine in Hisshou Jump, but that’s probably just my fanboy screaming inside of me >_>. Well guys, expect a transitional chaper, nothing breath-taking.
I’ll make it simple this time. No extra hard story investigations, or microscope small details. What I want you to answer is... How long do you expect me to write Head Spinners, if you won’t answer them? I don’t even want to imagine what I’ll do with you guys, if you don’t answer this question :police
- “First… WHOOAAAA!!!”
- “To go worldwide, after losing by two votes is just plain stupid. That’s why I won’t give out a serialization name”
- “Even if I said “”Reject. It’s not interesting” they’d probably call me a liar”
- “What to do with Reversi… Heishi, that’s your decision to make now.”
- “I was always thinking about becoming the world’s number one, but I was wrong. My opponent is not the world, it’s Ashirogi-sensei! That’s clear to me now!!!”
Naruto keeps on entertaining by hyping up Madara even more and more. Though, it really does seem like gramps Oonoki will die in this war. Bleach tried doing the same thing, by hyping up Ginjo, but that character starts giving me headaches instead of goose bumbs. Talk about bad story writing. However even Ginjo is a “Light Yagami” if you compare him to OP’s characters. C’mon, man, I’m tired of bashing Oda and his work. Gomu Gomu no blah, blah, blah, RED HAWK… Let’s just hope this arc ends soon enough.
Yep, this is it. This is my final review format, that I’ll use from now on all the other reviews that I’ll write. I thought using these CP’s would spice up my black-white review and make it seem “more alive” or something like that. And as you see, I’m getting back into my review-mode, where I review every chapter that comes out, and not every 5th or 10th >_>. You know, I just re-read this review. It’s not my best one, but this chapter ain’t of top quality either. And with that I close up my postscript, and move onto the dedications. Alphabeta’s review of Bakuman 153 is dedicated to
Re: alphabeta's review of Bakuman 153: The world and his opponent
Great review!I like your new format.Using color pages to spice up the review was a good choice,but I think you'll need to work a bit on it.Using a huge color page for every single section makes the whole post too crowded.Furthermore,you could use parts of the color pages and not the entire thing.I'll just give you an example,which could work better in my opinion:
You can keep big spreads like the one for the Deep Analysis(damn,that one really drew me in),but for smaller stuff like the P.S. or Stray Observations,you could make something like the example I've shown you above(mind you,it's just an example,I don't want you to necessarily use it).Those are just my two cents on how you can make your review even better(even though it's good already).
Keep it up!:thumbs
Re: alphabeta's review of Bakuman 153: The world and his opponent
We'll get you an answer to the head spinners at some point, but just not yet... :P