Mashiro Expression #151: Oh shit, I’m screwed.
Ashirogi Muto complete their gag manga and submit it to NEXT, alongside Aoki’s Time of Blue Leaves ecchi/romance manga, which in fact ripped off exact details about Mashiro and Azuki’s love story, as told to Aoki by Takagi. Meanwhile, both Miyoshi and Azuki confront Ashirogi Muto, and while Miyoshi is too distressed to listen properly, Azuki realizes that Mashiro is hiding something from him and dumps him.
Well. That was…unexpected, to say the least. I would have expected Mashiro to say something along the lines of “Takagi’s secret isn’t mine to give away” but given that he told Miyoshi that it was Miura that was talking to Takagi, I guess he’s in pretty deep shit as well. Don’t worry Mashiro, use the power of the long-distance relationship! She won’t dump you properly over something as petty as this! …Probably. I’m sure Mashiro’s train of thought would have been: “what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her”, but she kinda knows now, and his failure to come up with anything decent blew his chances.
He’s better off than Takagi at least, poor guy. His attempts to form a harem has ended up in failure – though none of them would even agree to join a harem in the first place. Hey, you could make a visual novel out of Takagi’s love life. I feel pretty bad for Miyoshi though, seeing as they’ve been together all the way since back in junior high, and right now she has no idea how long Takagi’s been “seeing” Iwase.
Amongst all their other worries is the prospects of their gag manga, whose main character is now named Tanto. Though the whole prospect of repeated fail inventions looks really novel and all, I don’t think they’ll actually get anywhere near the top with something like Tanto, both from my opinion and the stats that Miura showed them. Even people like Niizuma and Hattori don’t think Ashirogi Muto should go with a gag, and their thoughts should be pretty significant.
In terms of the competition from Aoki they now have, all I’ll say is that Takagi pretty much dug his own grave. With the added perk of Time of Blue Leaves being an ecchi manga, it’s got a good romance plot to boot which came straight out of Mashiro and Azuki’s love story – which will be bound to attract readers. Well, it worked for Bakuman IRL didn’t it? Oh, and this might be a good time to say that if Azuki reads Aoki’s work in NEXT, which she probably has, she’ll join the dots fairly quick and realize Mashiro is more involved than she thinks he is – though to be fair, it was all Takagi.
On the whole I think this episode went pretty slow – which is a shame, since Bakuman II’s been going at a good pace recently. There hasn’t been any major happenings in the romance or manga situations, but I guess it’ll all come crashing down on us next week, as this show seems to like doing that so much xD