20 Fox Century in cooperation with Alphabeta Pictures present…
Bakuman 151: Zombies and Demons
an alphabeta review
Last week’s Bakuman Chapter left us with an unanswered question as to what exactly Eiji is plotting. And now we finally find out. Eiji plans on creating a manga with the same attribute as our two MC’s. A manga about a dark hero, whom the readers still sympathize with. Meanwhile, Shuujin comes up with the concept for their new manga. However, after Saikou gave it some 2nd thoughts he decided that it’s better to change it. Drastically. What exactly did Saikou thought was so bad in Shuujin’s original concept and what will AM’s new manga be about? Find out in this review of Bakuman 151: Zombies and Demons
The chapter starts with our “20-Weeks-No. 1-Marathon-Winner” scribbling on a globe. I think that this habit of his is an implication to his statement that he wants to create the best manga in the whole world. Just pointing out some small stuff. Anyway, we get a big bubble stating that Eiji wants to create a Super Cool Dark Hero. Yeah, I agree. A Plain Normal Dark Hero is not the same as a Super Cool Dark Hero. The difference is obvious…
I made this comment because I believe that Ohba’s decision to make Eiji do a comeback with nearly the same concept as Ashirogi is wrong. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! To be more precise. I don’t have a problem with his manga concept. I have a problem with Eiji as a character and as Ashirogi’s new/old rival. He was introduced as their main rival and kept this position throughout the series, but I don’t think that anyone will argue with me, if I say that no one could ever beat Prime Time Nanamine in bdmfness. Remember when Nanamine was first introduced. That gave me the goose bumps. Not Eiji’s internal-zombie-discussion-scene. Speaking of Eiji’s zombie’s…
So, Eiji’s new manga will have zombies as the main theme. Not good and not bad IMHO. Still better then space cockroaches, though. What interests me more is the actual story. As the protagonist we have a zombie, who has a human heart. STOP! HAMMER TIME! So there are zombies who don’t have a human heart. Or what? Or are there zombies who have animal hearts? What is this supposed to mean? Zombies are human people who have died and then were resurrected. They all were humans in the first place. And what’s with this whole Sasuke-Revenge-Style setting? I don’t even comment the logic. People aren’t being turned into zombies. Vampires are. Zombies not. Well, that’s if you don’t count Resident Evil . Also, the zombie falling in love with a human girl… is just… is just… fail. And Eiji’s “love-panel” deserves a place in the Hall of Shame. He’s not a K-ON character, goddammit! “Moe, Moe, Kyuuuuuuuun” is aimed at another audience. Not to mention, that we know how much Eiji sucks at love stories. >_>
The scene switches to our two loyal servants. Shuujin is proving to Saikou that they, too, should start on a new series. He doesn’t mention anything about how he plans to end PCP though. I think this is a little strange seeing how much time and effort they put into it. And they’re gonna end it… just like that?! Another thing worth pointing out is Saikou’s statement that they are at the level where they can make a one-shot at the same time with having a weekly series. The last time Saikou brought this topic up, was when he found out that Eiji was the one drawing +Natural.
He came, He saw…
The next day Shuujin rushes at Saikou showing him a character he decided for their next series. He’s like… cool… and kaya-chan liked him and… editor’s said something and… errr… yeah, very convincing. That being said, he’s also a
high school student Demon who finds a Death Note gets the power to kill brainwash people. Yeah, yeah, yeah, the similarities with DN are too obvious. And when he starts explaining that guy’s personal life/motives it becomes straight out stupid. “I am good”… “My justice is right”… “All your base are belong to us”. We’ve heard it all before. Having finally convinced Saikou to also draw a Ryuuk and Misa-Misa demon and brainwashed heroine he leaves the studio to create the actual story. Shuujin leaves. Saikou goes emo mode. “Can we win?”
Sir Colonel “DN Rip-off” Yagami
At your disposal
Next happens what humanity will never be able to explain. Never. Saikou re-reads some of their previous works and a brilliant idea comes to his head. If they already plagiarize from DN, why not pull it to the end? Make the main character completely crazy, name him Light Yagami, and you’ve done it. Seriously, why not buy the DN volumes and send the respective pages as manuscripts? . Shuujin agrees and the scene switches to Eiji’s hideout.
I thought he looked crazy with those feathers.
I take my words back.
There we have it. Eiji’s new outfit. O.K. I thought those feathers looked strange on him, but I got used to them with the time. But this?! I’m not joking, this really is overdoing it. I mean, I can understand the chad-like goatee, I can understand the scars, but a shuriken, a knife and an arrow don’t make only Yuujiro think “WTF?”. Heck, man, Eiji’s a genius, alright, but this… this is overdoing it. Anyway, from Eiji’s looks to his manga. Yuujiro (with obvious skeptics) takes Eiji’s name and starts to read it. His facial expressions speak for themselves. He’s happy, he’s astonished, he’s crazy, he has all kinds of emotions about this manga, other than negative ones. And even though I made fun of this double spread in the beginning of this section, I have to admit, that it does have something in it. Let’s not forget that we’re reading Bakuman and Ohba and Obata create this manga. My point is, that after seeing this double spread, I want them to make a mainstream manga themselves even more.
And thus we continue our scene changes from Eiji’s studio to Ashirogi’s one. Shuujin is asking Saikou’s opinion on his new story and he gets a straight “yup, it’s gross” in answer. I haven’t read it, but judging by Saikou’s reaction it must be really gross. But then again, Saikou blushes by the smallest indication of sex, so we should judge his expressions with more precaution.
Black Guy: MUHAHAHAHA… I SHALL DESTROY THE WORLD USING MY BRAINWASHING SKILLZ!
White Guy: NOT GONNA HAPPEN. FEAR MY NAKAMASTIC POWAH!
It happens. We find out, why Saikou wanted to make the story as gross as possible. He created 2 characters. The main dark hero and his opposite. They use the same powers, but for different purposes. Great, if not for the fact that those two characters hardly have anything human about them other than the basic anatomy. Or to rephrase that. If you look at their faces, they’re human. As to the rest… WhatIsThisIDon’tEven. Anyway, let’s forget about the design and move onto the actual story.
This, this, this, and this, is this where this chapter’s main importance lies. The first thing that surprised me was Saikou’s behavior. He’s always played the role of Shuujin’s 2nd graвe assistant whom Shuujin had to explain the basics of manga writing. Well, maybe not that bad, but still someone inferior to Shuujin when it comes to writing. But now, he’s not only pointing out the obvious fact that Shuujin’s original concept totally failed, but also suggested new things. When was it that he listened to Shuujin with an open mouth, hearing an explanation about Nanamine’s work concept?
Shuujin creates manga concept. Saikou points out mistakes.
You can’t explain that!
And his suggestions make sense. With what Ashirogi did in the past, they had never any chance of beating a mainstream manga. And that’s why they have to create a mainstream manga themselves. But wait, what about all this mainstream, yet not mainstream stuff then? Isn’t this demon-brainwashing-thing a typical mainstream manga? I feel a little trolled now. With Ohba having hyped up this whole mainstream, yet not mainstream thing, it turned into the situation where every manga with a super cool dark hero instead of a good hero as the protagonists becomes instantly mainstream, yet not mainstream. We all were expecting something revolutionary, something like an impact a “OMG-effect” . Not just changing the attribute of the main character.
It almost feels like Ohba understood himself that he overdid things with mainstream, yet not mainstream, and decided that it’s better to make a turnaround and make Ashirogi create a normal everyday mainstream. Even if it’s with another type of protagonist. Just a small comment from my side. The term “mainstream” is pretty much obvious. It means majority. But with Eiji also stepping on the mainstream, yet not mainstream bandwagon it might just so happen that other mangaka like Fukuda or Aoki might jump on this train as well and soon, that what we describe now as mainstream, yet not mainstream will become “just mainstream”. A little complex, but still understandable
This is what you use to create manga! Even though... shouldn’t it be hands to be more precise?
The last thing that I want to point out in this section happens in the last two pages of this chapter. Saikou’s and Shuujin’s scream of joy, when they finally realize what exactly they created. This is a historic moment in the Bakuman universe. They dreamed of creating a manga like this one ever since they first decided to become mangaka. Years of work, success and failure, new friends and new rivals and all this for the sake of creating this manga. This truly is a historic moment in the Bakuman timeline. And what’s even more important is the way Ohba handled this situation. What I’m talking about is the bottom panel on page 18. After shouting their screams of joy, a little pause happens, with both parties being remarkably quite, and Shuujin becoming a little emotional. This panel, this text, the camera angle, the body compostion, it is all very simple, but still meaningful at the same time. And on this note I would like to close up the Deep Analysis, and continue our
detour in my review into the next section. Voilà.
All in all, I liked this chapter. First of all, it didn’t feature Nakai. That’s a relief already. That character deserves to be brainwashed by both heroes from Ashirogi’s new manga. I can’t stand him. DIE, NAKAI, DIE!!
Pheeeeew… that felt good. Ashirogi finally making moves towards their new manga is good to hear as well. This whole story with PCP not getting an anime was dragged on for way too long. I see three highlights in this chapter. Eiji’s zombie manga, the two characters from Ashirogi’s manga and the historic moment of Ashirogi finally making a mainstream manga. It took them 7 years. Looking back at the high-school level Saikou/Shuujin, their statement of having an anime by the age of 18 looks ridiculous. Even though Eiji still proved it to be possible. The panel with Shuujin saying that they really did wrote a mainstream after all had the biggest impact on me. Emotional-wise. Even more than the cliffhanger. And, NO, I’m not into Shuujin yaoi .
For the next chapter I predict more in-depth working on their respective manga from both Eiji and Ashirogi. Eiji’s probably gonna finish the MC’s design, while Saikou/Shuujin will come up with more ideas and specifics to their story. Hattori is bound to hear of their new concept. He’ll agree… probably. There is a chance that he’ll say that such a story isn’t going to work in Jump, but that’s unlikely. Heck, the odds that this new manga isn’t going to get serialized are less than zero. The only more or less likely possibility is that Heiji – the new EIC will be against it. But that’s also unlikely. Fukuda might appear in the next chapter. Probably Yuujiro will tell him about Eiji’s and Ashirogi’s new round of battle, what will turn on the fire in Fukuda once again. THAT’S BECAUSE IT’S SHOUNEN MANGA!!!
Question time Shuujin’s spilled it. It’s been eight years since they started making manga. Eight years since they first met Hattori. Eight years since they came up with the idea of “Money and Intelligence”. And also eight years since Saikou’s and Azuki’s promise. And let’s take a real look at things. She’s 25. She’s not a high school girl anymore. And this is what I want to know from you. Do you think that Azuki waited 8 years (and still is waiting) for Saikou, and for this whole time, she never ever, not even once “cheated” on him?
I wrote the “cheated” in brackets, because they never had any real relationship like Shuujin and Kaya do, in the first place. You can’t cheat on someone whom you’ve never really dated yourself.
Naruto beat the sense out of me. Again. I suppose all narutards will laugh at me, but I thought the twist was actually well handled and I really liked it. Bleach, too, wasn’t half bad. It was obvious that Tsukishima had another few tricks up his sleeve, but it still was interesting to read. One Piece… well… One Piece is One Piece. I stopped reading the speech bubbles some 15 chapters ago. Just strolling through the panels, checking for some action. PM me when the action comes back, so that I can start reading it again.
- “A dark hero, who gets demon powers, huh? With this we’re going up against Eiji’s new mainstream piece. Can we win?”
- “And the one who wins at the end is justice. That’s what Shounen manga is all about!”
- “Hey Saikou… we ended up writing a mainstream afterall…”
- “This is a mainstream battle Ashirogi Style!”
Mangaka Illustrated Book:
As you have noticed I did a few name changes and experimented with the format a little. I made the overall feeling of the review more “Underscore-ish” and added blackjack’s “Stray Observations”. I hope this will help me to make the process of writing the review easier for me and reading it easier for you.
And let’s not forget the dedications, niǹo. Alphabeta’s review of Bakuman 151 is dedicated to: