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Bakuman 167: Foolish Words And A Word
A review by alphabeta
In my last review I asked you, what you thought the main highlight of Bakuman 166 was. I split up the chapter in 8 different parts and made you chose. Surprisingly (for me…) the majority thought that Fukuda calling Ashirogi was the main highlight. But then again, “the majority” means only two people, with a total of 5 people who voted, so that doesn’t really count. You know what? Check out the poll from that review if you are interested in the results. I comment only those things that are worth commenting. End of discussion.
Thanks for Red Hawk Neo for the pictures in this review
After I removed the text
this scene got a strong yaoi-ish element
The chapter starts with a scene in Ashirogi’s studio. One of Ohba/Obata’s favorite places apparently, because this studio has become the starting point of many, many chapters lately. Actually, the whole chapter suffers from the same problem. Repetition. People love everything new, everything innovational, original. They want to see a “fresh” blow of wind and not one and the same thing happening over and over again.
Let’s start with the first six pages of this chapter, the chit-chat between that Saikou and Shuujin, which was practically speaking useless! It told us readers nothing new. I’m not saying their talk was unrealistic. It would have been unrealistic if it didn’t happen, but that’s something that happens off-panel and is not dragged over six full pages. That’s why it’s useless.
Spending nearly one third of a week’s amount of pages and giving us readers not a single piece of new information cannot go unnoticed. It was a heavy blow to this chapter’s quality, and on this already low note the chapter moves on to its journey of failed attempts to make it interesting.
After a six pages long marathon of dragged out material we already know something “new” finally happens, but that something is new to such a dramatic extent that it already overflows the boundaries of the acceptable and when that happens people just go ------> What. The. You-know-the-rest.
Cry me a river, ah, ah,
Cry me a river, ah, yeah,
Cry me a river, cry me a river…
These lyrics from Justin Timberlake’s infamous song “Cry Me A River” were constantly playing in my mind when I read pages 7-8.
The “BAMF Ririka” from two chapters ago, who flirted with a mangaka who is in a relationship for over eight years, the same Ririka, who purposely posted a blog entry that would cause a dramatic reaction from otakus all over japan (yeah, I don’t buy this story of her being a cute innocent pawn in Ishizawa’s hand), is now pouring an amount of water from her eyes that equals that one of the Nigerian waterfalls. You expect me to believe that? Fine, this is a shounen, where logic is simplified to a maximum, but this also Ohba we’re speaking off and creating logic-abusing characters and plot lines and not how he does things.
Seriously, nothing makes sense now. Ohba should take over Kubo’s idea of actually writing the arcs name and making it canon. Everything would make a lot more sense if I read a small panel, back a chapter 164 with the arc’s title: “WhatIsThisIDon’tEven Arc.”
Are they talking…
with their eyes closed?
Meanwhile, Hattori brought over the animation studio’s staff, who will work on Reversi. After a little introduction, Saikou takes on the initiative and makes a clear statement that Azuki will get the role of Naho, dattebayo! Cautiously, the producer ask Saikou whether the rumors on the internet are true and Saikou brings out the truth. He and Azuki are in a relationship. Since highschool. Though they’ve seen each other only once, when he was in the hospital. And they write each other e-mails to stay in contact. They’ve never kissed. Never…
Obviously, if Saikou would have said everything I just mentioned above he would’ve had to commit seppuku right in his own uncle’s studio, but fortunately he only mentioned that they are in a relationship and ended it with that. As a reply to that, the producer brought up the predicted argument of “Internet folks said dis’, internet folks say dat’, that’s why I’ll just forget that I’m the one in charge here and will let some anonymous otakus decide how to run the animation business”.
Seeing as their eight year long battle on achieving Saikou’s dream is about to clash with the impenetrable wall of otaku-internet-policy, Ashirogi nearly gives up all hope, but that’s where Good Guy
GregEhara comes to the rescue. He tells them that Seiyuus are decided by auditions and that’s it. End of discussion. 2/3 of the chapter have passed and we’re still at square one.
Hey, Shuujin, aren’t you getting tired of these bike scenes?
Damn right. Ohba’s been using them for the last three chapters…
We are back at Ohba/Obata’s favorite setting and just like last time Shuujin is surfing through the internet reading rumors about Saikou’s love. Yeah, because a professional mangaka has nothing else to do, like coming up with the story for future chapters and arcs, or anything of that sort. Anyway, that chatroom featured both comments, which go under the statement of Epic Win” and/or “Epic Fail”, so I’ll just leave it on Ohba’s conscience. Haters gonna hate, you know.
Meanwhile, the story switches to another mangaka’s studio. This time we’re at Fukuda’s place, where he was discussing the same topic with Yuujiro. The later tells him the background details of the story, what results in Fukuda realizing that this story is similar to Aoki’s one-shot “A Time Of Green Leaves”. For some reason, he tells Yuujiro to leave, and after the later has done that, he picks up his phone and calls Aoki to question her about this story. She on the other hand, forwards him to Shuujin, who is a first-hand witness to the story and will have more information about this case than she does.
What Is This
I Don’t Even
Ridiculous as the panel could be, I still couldn’t help myself and left out a little “LOL”. The uncharacteristic reaction was just too much to handle. You might have just as well noticed that the two assistants in the background are using the ramen-in-nostrils-no-jutsu, which was originally invented by Fukuda himself back in the early days of Bakuman.
After this little scene used for comical purposes, Fukuda turns into the bad boy, we all love him for and tells Shuujin to turn on tonight’s “Road Racer Giri Radio”, while he himself jumps on his Harley Davidson (yeah, we had a close-up of his bike in 129) and drives off in undetermined direction.
On the next page, we find out, that he drove all the way to the studio where the radio program is recorded, where he is nicely introduced by two… wait... one hot chique. Cutting straight to the point, Fukuda makes a bold entrance, stating that
THIS IS SPARTAthe reason why he came today (more like tonight) is ‘cuz he has something to say about some good buddies of his! Cliffhanger.
The cliffhanger was nice… but… “really?”. I mean, what can Fukuda achieve by doing that? For starters, this is the radio we’re talking about. Not TV and definitely not the world wide web, so the potential audience that could listen to his speech is small to begin with. But that aside, more importantly, WHO THE F*CK LISTENS TO A MIDNIGHT RADIO PROGRAMM ABOUT A MANGA WHOSE MAIN AUDIENCE IS 12-17 YEAR OLD TEENAGERS? WHO? … I’m serious, who would ever listen to that?
It would be wrong to call this chapter bad. But it would be wrong to call it good, either. Last chapter I was upset, because of the unarguably unrealistic portrayal of the events that happened. You can argue about the fan base, but the fact that Ishizawa, all by himself, managed to bring one rumor to a nation-wide level is just plain “impossibru”. Anyway, if last time I disliked the chapter because of its unrealistic portrayal of events, this time, the reason why I didn’t enjoy this chapter was because of the storyline.
It. Was. Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooring.
Like I said a million times already, this chapter was nothing but one big repetition of everything we had either already seen or already figured out ourselves. All we can hope for is for Ohba to pick up the pace of this arc in the future chapters. I don’t think the low quality of the last couple of chapters will have put Bakuman into any serious trouble, but if the quality stays the same as now Bakuman’s gonna get canceled before the first episode of Reversi will be broadcast.
On a side note, Ohba’s had trouble with pointing out roles in this arc. Who’re the good guys, who’re the bad ones? This arc has already too many new characters. We have the new seiyuu Ririka, the Nakai 2.0 – Ishizawa, and now even the animation studio.
Well, my predictions from last time were semi-correct. I predicted the arrival of the animation studio, but I sure as hell didn’t see Ririka “Cry-Me-A-River”ing. I honestly believed she would make a perfect skirt-wearing Nanamine, but my hopes were utterly crushed.
Anyway, onto the predictions for next chapter. Now that it was made clear that there will be auditions and Azuki will take part in them, it also becomes logical to guess that there will be other seiyuus who will fight for that role. However, the problem is that before this chapter, everyone thought that this “rival” who would fight for the role of Naho would be Ririka, but after what happened in the pages 7-8, I honestly can’t see her participating in these auditions. She’s the one who started this whole uproar and the least she can do to make up for it, is not participate in the auditions, thus making it easier for Azuki to get the role. But if she does that, she automatically loses the status of Azuki’s rival and it becomes unclear what the purpose of her introduction was in the first place.
But then again, this week’s cliffhanger was as far from Ririka and the auditions away as possible. Obviously, we’ll see Fukuda’s speech, which could be either “f*cking sweet” or “f*cking idiotic” depending all on Ohba’s whim, though I obviously hope for the first variant. Fukuda was always portrayed as the non-mainstream element between WSJ’s mangaka and he has to live up to his name. Ironically, I don’t think his speech will have any serious effect on the current situation. Sure, a couple of otakus we’ll switch to the “Pro Azuki/Saikou” team, but it would be just too ridiculous if Fukuda’s speech would suddenly solve all problems. When in trouble, call Fukuda! Yeah, sure. Basically, next chapter will be Fukuda’s speech and the reaction to it. There’s a chance we’ll see Eiji.
On that note, it’s up for this week’s review to end. I can openly admit, that it’s not my best review ever, but to be honest, this chapter didn’t provide me with “OMFG material” either. That’s why this week’s chapter of Bakuman 167: Foolish Words And A Word receives a…
2 out of 5
Hope you enjoyed this week’s review and see ya next week! Speaking of next week. There will be a review for the next chapter as well, but it won’t be a standard review. It’s a little special. Well, I’ll stop with the teasing for now.
Last edited by alphabeta; February 21, 2012 at 02:49 PM.
I would've given it a 2.5 out of 5, but that's just me. Overall, I agreed with the review. It was just a bad chapter. There's no mincing words here, it was bad.