Bakuman chapter 121 - The Internet and Faces
Review by Nefnora
Nanamine visits the editorial department as the serialization meeting is being held, together with his editor Kosugi. While Nanamine is energetic and confident (not quite managing to hide the latter with his fake cheerfulness), Kosugi is depressed, secretly hoping Nanamine's manga will be rejected for serialization.
Meanwhile, Hiramaru is working himself into a depression of a different sort. What if Aoki gets serialized and he doesn't? Will she abandon him? He frantically decides to call her and finds himself heartbroken, when Aoki tells him it would, indeed, be bad.
The scene switches back to the editorial department, where the editors discuss the new mangas and compare them. When the meeting ends and the Team Captains and EIC come out, they announce Nanamine and Aiko have been serialized. Robuta & Peace is going to end.
Hattori, noticing Kosugi is glum for an editor receiving such good news, tries to talk with him, but Kosugi brushes him off. Hattori recalls Ashirogu Muto and their equally strange attitude towards Nanamine as well. He continues questioning Kosugi, but all he learns is that Kosugi actually hopes Nanamine will fail, before the latter storms out. Hattori leaves to tell Shiratora his manga has been cancelled.
Elsewhere, Hiramaru is told his manga didn't pass for serialazation and he hysterically tries to call Aoki to ask if she really meant what she said. Unfortunately, Aoki is in the middle of a meeting with her editor, and she ends the call right away, leaving Hiramaru heartbroken once more.
Back at his home, Nanamine flat out tells Kosugi to just giving his opinion - just like the other 50, and shut up otherwise. After that, Nanamine literally kicks his editor.
At Ashirogi's studio, Hattori confronts the pair with Kosugi's reactions. Reluctantly, Shuujin tells Hattori about Nanamine's method of writing his manga. Hattori is flat out disgusted and realizes why Saiko and Shuujin feel responsible, and what to crush Nanamine themselves. Just then, Nanamine calls them, bragging about how his method was proven to be the best. Shuujin and Saiko (aka Akito & Moritaka), challenge Nanamine there and then, and swear they'll get him cancelled within ten chapters.
What I like about this arc and this chapter was how the darkness slowly seeps in. At first, Nanamine is introduced as this uber-cheerful guy. A fan of Ashirogi Muto, who is sure to become their rival. But as Nanamine begins to show his true colors, we discovers he makes Light look like a cute little angel. Cept for the mass-murdering part maybe.
Either way, we're learning what Nanamine is truly about. Last chapter, he was just a big jerk. This chapter, he's proven himself to be a self-made man, stopping at nothing to achieve his goal, no matter how much harm he does in the process. He's rapidly crushing the little confidence Kosugi had, his abusive nature and youthful arrogance more obvious than ever. He keeps underestimating others and brags, even though he hasn't achieved anything notable yet.
Nanamine isn't just Ashirogi's rival. He's their enemy, even more so than Koogy ever was. Someone they absolutely must crush because he's destroying everything they stand for. He is the antagonist few manga manage to achieve: a realistic character so genuinly bad, you can't help but at least marvel at least a little at how well he's made.
It will be interesting to see how Ashigori will beat Nanamine. They're in no hurry to tell the editorial department what Nanamine is upto, and Hattori seems to support their decission. In fact, Hattori is now perfectly placed to give Kosugi a little support so he'll last.
Shuujin swears they'll get Nanamine cancelled within ten chapters. My question is... How are they going to do that if they don't want to tell the EIC? Ashirogi will, of course, do their best to rank above him. But that won't get Nanamine cancelled. I see only one option available: team Fukuda will bear it's fangs once more.
OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST
What surprised me is how swiftly Nanamine is showing his true colors, and how fast Kosugi is breaking down. I expected both to proceed at a much slower pace. Combined with Ashirogi's rathe ambitious challenge, I think we're lucky if this arc lasts another ten chapters. Which is a pity.
What also surprised me was that Shuujin let Hattori in on the secret. They decided they wouldn't tattle a few chapters back, and I expected they'd stick to it, until Hattori had already formed a suspicion beyond 'somethings off'.
And, of course, Hiramaru was as hilarious as usual, ad it was nice to see Shiratoru (sp?) again, even if just for a little.
I just have say:
Saikou - that speech (pg. 18) was of the same stuff dreams are made off.
That is what being a storyteller.
p.s.: part III coming soon - protect women and children first, in this war.
Nanamine has every right to brag, really. He has hundreds of supporters from the ones that praised CoT on the net, So he has absolutely every right to brag about it. He has the skill, talent and boldness. His true skill lies in the fact that he can put up mish-mashed ideas into one great story. That's what I'd call incredible. You'd have to have great judgment skills to be able to do something like that. Not too many people can do that.
Thanks for your review, nefnora! I'm glad you took my advice to do this and I'm looking forward to seeing more and more reviews from you to come
This! So much. I totally agree. He is an excellent, well-made antagonist. I love him yet I hate himOriginally Posted by Nefnora
Also interested to know how you think Team Fukuda could help, exactly? They make up maybe 1/4 or 1/3 of the series running in Jump, but how could they realistically cause a manga to be canceled just like that in 10 chapters? As much as I'd like to see Team Fukuda in action again, I really can't fathom how they could achieve anything. That also goes without saying that I'm skeptical as to how Shuujin (or Ashirogi) can get him canceled on their own, either.
... Which, as also stated by Hattori, Eiji and Yoshida, feels disjointed, inconsistent and what it is - a mish-mash of the ideas of different people. It lacks personality. It's something you could find anywhere because it's precisely that - ideas taken from every and any where.Originally Posted by Newkerzy
I already stated in one of my posts that he doesn't let out his personality in his manga. Nanamine is talented in the fact that he can judge which ideas are good and what's not good. He already has enough skill on his own, he's just seeking people's ideas to improve it.
Koogy was more of an enemy then Nanamine ever will be
Nanamine is still competing with them in a fair matter, heck, those 50 people could be considered amateur editors and free assistents. It's just that, there are so many. ACTUALLY i agree with nanamine on the point that he did something similar to what ashirogi did in the past, NOT listening to every word the editor says.
But like i said, he is just taking it to the extreme, nothing more nothing less
HOWEVER Koogy was a REAL enemy. Why? Because he didn't compete with manga, but with his fans from his music career. He directly cheated.
There was no point in doing him Manga, if he was just using his (music)fans for votes. Now THAT is an enemy, not nanamine.
I think they're both enemies.
However, I think Nanamine is a better-made enemy. I'd already forgotten about Koogy until I read this review, which shows he wasn't exactly memorable. In addition, Nanamine's methods are shady and questionable (he takes it to the extremes, like you said, but there pops up the question: is it too extreme? Has he crossed the line? Can you really say that it is still a "fair matter"?), whereas Koogy's methods are outright bad.
To me, their methods are both wrong and both go against what Ashirogi stand for. So, to me, they are both enemies and antagonists in the series.