Howdy and welcome to my read-through of Bakuman Chapter 47 in which The Adults in the Room grow fewer, I remain frustrated, and we talk about lurve.
If you are not caught up, please use this handy-dandy index to catch up. There are no spoilers past the current chapter. Read at your leisure.
If you’d like to read along, buy the Tankobon here or subscribe to Weekly Shonen Jump. As a Jump fanboy, I recommend it, because it’s cheaper and you get Shonen Jump, but I’m not affiliated with VIZ Media. When artists make money, I am a happy boy.
A bit of housekeeping. I am going to be away for a week so there will be no Chapter read-through Next Week. I will see you all in two weeks.
Without further ado, the chapter.
Discrepancy and Reason Summary
Saiko’s (Stupid) resolution
Miho encourages Saiko to keep going. He doesn’t need a break, he can make their dream come true.
The stupid. It hurts.
Miura and Shujin, shocked, figure they won’t be able to stop him now. Saiko says he’s fine and Miho plays hot potato and jumps up apologetically. Miura tells everyone the editorial offices plan to put Trap on hiatus with Chapter 19. Saiko says he won’t stop and he won’t take time off. Ever.
Miura promises to let the editorial office know Saiko’s – idiotic – resolution and his belief that Saiko can work on a comic even while hospitalized. The boys Ashirogi are on board. Miura tells them visiting hours are over in 20 minutes and recommends Saiko at least try to get some sleep. Saiko says he’ll finish the color pages in a few hours and he’s been sleeping pretty well now that he’s not at school.
Saiko asks Shujin whether he’s finished the storyboards for the next chapter to be cleaned up. Miura steps in and offers to take care of the storyboards himself and that they will be ready by Saturday as always. Shujin thinks they should get a move on it but Miura’s fine with waiting 20 minutes until visiting hours conclude. Shujin tactfully lets Miho and Saiko have some alone time.
Saiko and Miho sit in awkward silence and Saiko curses Shujin’s tact. Miho says she’ll drop by whenever it’s possible. When asked why she explains she’s worried and she can’t email him. He explains he can email her outside since there is reception there. He also downplays her concern as nothing to worry about.
Miho explains also that, despite the awkwardness, she really likes seeing this. She asks if she can come to visit him in the hospital or if she’s in his way. He shakes his head violently like less of a total fucking knob and explains that despite also contradicting his nutso rules Miho being in the same room as him puts him at ease and makes him want to be with her forever.
That said, only until he’s discharged. She thanks him and prays for his speedy recovery. Saiko realizes he’s glad he got sick so he could form memories with her as if there were no other way they could possibly spend time together like normal teenagers and Miho asks the most rational question in the world:
Does it bother him that they’re not going to see each other until their dreams come true? It doesn’t really bother him so much as depress him and now that he’s seen her, it’s going to be even harder to have her apart from him. But the desire to be with her makes him motivated and work harder. Because hard work is Saiko’s real problem. She agrees and notes it’s only until their dreams come true.
Can someone slap them? Please? Pretty Please?
Back at the office, Sasaki chews Miura out for bowing to the whims of Saiko while Hattori watches. He agrees to run Chapter 18 in Issue 31 because the assistants are finishing it up already. Sasaki then asks if the doctors ACTUALLY permitted him to do the work. They can’t let him work if they don’t have that.
Sasaki will go down to the hospital since he’s lost faith in Miura’s ability to handle the situation. Miura is privately convinced he’ll change his tune when he sees Saiko’s motivation and he can work with the doctor for permission.
The next day, Sasaki talks with the doctor who explains that – although he doesn’t like it – because Saiko reports being more at ease while drawing and it’s best to make the patient as relaxed as possible. So, as long as drawing doesn’t strain Saiko, he’s cool with it.
Saiko claims he’s not pushing himself which, uh-huh. Miura asks for Sasaki’s thoughts.
Sasaki’s about to speak when Mrs. Mashiro comes in and looks shell-shocked. Miura greets Mrs. Mashiro and she reminds Sasaki of the last time they met. She thanks him for taking care of her son. Sasaki apologizes to her while she tells Saiko to stop drawing. Miura explains the doctor’s new orders but Mrs. Mashiro snaps back that of course he’s going to strain himself.
Saiko agrees to get some rest. Mrs. Mashiro asks to speak with Sasaki privately.
Outside, she explains that, while Saiko’s father thinks he should make choices for himself as an adult, she can’t help but worry. Sasaki promises to protect Saiko. He returns to the room and apologizes for taking so much time. He asks Saiko to take it easy
As they head back, Sasaki explains that he’s going to discuss the issue of Hiatus with Heishi and he wants Miura to join in.
The weekly check-in with Hiramaru, Nakai and the others
Hiramaru tells Yoshida that he should
slack off really go visit Saiko in the hospital. Yoshida asks where he got the intel since they’ve been keeping a tight lid on it. Hiramaru refuses because he doesn’t want to lose any more friends. Nizuma won’t even take his calls anymore. Hiramaru goes on about how kind the boys have been to him and that it would be a courtesy to visit them as responsible members of society.
Yoshida calls his bullshit and Hiramaru gets histrionic about how he’s a bird in a cage, no longer a member of society yadda yadda yadda. Yoshida tells him to shut up and breaks the meta of their schtick by pointing out Hiramaru will find out the hospital after he’s left anyway. He agrees to let him visit on the condition that he be joined by Yoshida. Hiramaru protests but is quickly quieted.
Nakai and Fukuda talk about the plight of Ashirogi and their impending hiatus. Fukuda explains that Nizuma already dropped in for a visit and laments their roadblock on the cusp of popularity. He offers for Nakai to join him, to which Nakai – very stressed and tired – declines. Fukuda teases him about Aoki, but he doesn’t relent.
Kaya and Shujin discuss the hot goss around Saiko and Miho and how they gasp held hands. A fact which both finds unexpected given their
idiocy vow not to do that. Kaya gets angry at Miho for enabling Saiko’s behavior but Shujin sees her behavior as a symptom of her genuine love for him.
Kaya doesn’t understand how that shows love but Shujin thinks it’s an example of sacrificing your wants in favor of your partner’s dreams.
You’re wrong, Shujin.
Kaya points out she’d stop him for his own health and while she thinks Miho’s always been a bit of a weirdo this is too far. Shujin compliments her strength during the situation. Kaya agrees that strength is required to stop oneself from visiting their loved ones and she would personally be driven mad by such a setup.
Kaya teases Shujin about the possibility of them lacking restraint if they keep seeing each other and that a kiss might spell the end of their vow. Shujin acts like a teenage boy and kaya thinks he doesn’t understand. Shujin redirects his focus to the finished storyboards.
Back at the hospital
Hiramaru is positively disgusted that Saiko’s working at the hospital but Saiko wants to make his deadline. Yoshida forces Hiramaru to look at a dutiful, good manga artist. Hiramaru gives Miho a flower and asks whether she’s attracted to his work ethic.
She is, to which Hiramaru switches his tune to being a workhorse, having seen the error of his ways. Yoshida berates him but is relieved at getting another week of work down.
Fukuda visits as well. Yoshida introduces him to Hiramaru and Hiramaru puts on the act of being interested in his work and asks where his office is while Yoshida slaps him silly.
Fukuda gets snarky about Saiko’s worth ethic. Saiko doesn’t want to lose. They all get into a little bit of banter when the editor-in-chief arrives. Sasaki asks to speak alone with Saiko. Fukuda asks why and Sasaki explains it’s none of his business. Fukuda thinks that’s bullshit based on their expressions and tells them Ashirgoi and he are close. When asked what that means, he means it in a godfather enemies/rivals closer than your friends type way.
Sasaki agrees to let them stay. Saiko asks Miho to stay as well.
Sasaki asks for calm and not to raise their voices. He then explains there was a meeting about Trap.
Trap will be put on Hiatus until next April – after Saiko has graduated from high school. Everyone’s shocked – Hiramaru’s jealous – and Fukuda flips out at Sasaki. Miho understands after hospitalization, but next April? Fukuda thinks it’s ridiculous. Shujin asks about the go-ahead for Chapter 19 on Sunday. Miura asks for Shujin’s forgiveness.
When Saiko asks the reason why Sasaki says it’s Taro Kawaguchi’s death that motivated him.
With that, the chapter ends.
Discrepancy and Reason Reaction
Panel of the Week
As much as I hate this arc – and goddamn I hate it – this panel is particularly lovely. It’s intimate and it’s gentle and the use of greys and blocking give it a really pleasant sense of fragility and motion. Miho’s doting face and Saiko’s grimace of pain accentuated by the knocked-over copic marks in a bin while Saiko’s hand literally shakes.
It’s very frustrating, and very well done. And encapsulates my feelings on this arc rather well.
So, as good as this series is, this chapter somehow managed to fuse all of its most infuriating elements into a slurry of pure, unadulterated frustration. While I was very, Uhm, frothy, last time, this time I’m just annoyed at everybody except Sasaki – well, mostly.
Saiko is not being quite as obnoxious an asshole here and at least when he’s not literally on death’s door from overwork he can act the slightest bit more reasonable.
This chapter felt like a mouthpiece for the mangaka, more than I’m comfortable with. And I do not like basically anything this mouthpiece attaches to.
I’ve gone on at length about how much I want Miho and Saiko to form memories and now they’re doing it, which should be great. But Miho, god bless her, is totally enabling an absolutely toxic view of work and romance. This concept of self-sacrifice is one of the least healthy routes to healthy relationships you can build.
And it doesn’t help that Miura, Shujin, Miho, and Yoshida – albeit because Hiramaru is acting like a fucking child – are all more or less supportive of Saiko’s wish to continue making chapters in the hospital. At several points, each not only sees why Saiko does what he does but openly supports his decision because he looks fine and work ethic is good and self-sacrifice is wonderful.
Yeah. No. No. No.
Sasaki as is Kaya
I really liked Sasaki this chapter. He’s acting like a genuine leader, and actually thinking about the health and well-being of his mangaka rather than the potential success of the magazine. He’s also rightfully angry at Miura – who we’ll talk about – for not having a handle on the situation.
Basically, he’s acting like an adult. While everyone else has fallen into Saiko’s stupid fantasy driven by obsession. He, Kaya, and Mrs. Mashiro.
It’s kinda good that, as someone who has to eat shit for the stupid decisions of his subordinates, Sasaki is actually taking the time to consider the ramifications of this behavior. And while I think the Hiatus is definitely a bit too long, although not illogically long, his motivation makes perfect sense.
And I have a feeling that Saiko is going to see it as unreasonable, but it isn’t. And it’s really important that we’re all clear why it’s not unreasonable for Sasaki to be taking this action.
Saiko isn’t just Taro’s nephew, he’s acting like Taro. To a degree which should be alarming to literally everyone in the room here. I’ll say it again.
Saiko is acting like Taro, He’s exhibiting the kind of obsessive behavior that got his uncle killed. If Sasaki didn’t observe and act on that he would be fucking irresponsible. If Saiko was merely related to Taro it’d be one thing, but he’s not just related, it’s not just bringing up memories of another death. He is literally doing the same exact thing that got Taro killed.
And Saiko’s a kid, so he probably isn’t going to understand that. He’s probably going to think it’s a purely personal decision. but when someone endangers themselves, and a person in authority has the ability to shut that shit down, it is their imperative to protect that person from themselves. Which is what Sasaki is doing.
Does it have to be a whole year? Nah. That’s too much. But does Saiko need a hiatus and learn how to chill? Absolutely.
Kaya is also acting like a rational person in the room, which makes it unfortunate that she is being treated as an antagonistic force because so far she is demonstrating an emotional maturity that seems beyond her boyfriend. While Kaya has been given short shrift several times, I actually think she’s one of the most emotionally mature characters in the series.
And I say that as someone who is getting older and used to be on Shujin’s side and to a degree Saiko’s. She’s in the moment, she’s considering Saiko’s wellbeing. She’s making Shujin take her out and living life and she wants everyone to be happy and healthy.
She’s acting well adjusted. And it hurts to see that she’s being treated as the voice of insanity in this dialectic.
Miho and Saiko
With that said it is good to see that Miho and Saiko are temperamentally suited to each other. It is reassuring that that feels real, even if it is by design. They have genuine chemistry so far that’s rare outside of romantic anime, and, as awkward and silly as it is, it’s good to know that their affection for each other is genuine to the point where they spend time in each other’s silence.
The sequence in particular – that wasn’t the toxic opener with beautiful panel work – was particularly sweet and gentle in a way that I did not anticipate from these two dingbats. The fact that they’re purely chaste, given how into each other they are stinks of…well, authorial meddling more than anything else.
Because let’s be real, if there were two hormonal teenagers who had an unbreakable bond like that in real life, I’m pretty sure they would be doing more than just holding hands. Granted, Saiko wants to go into manga so perhaps his chronic lack of sexual charisma is actually in line with reality. But it feels like the editor said “you can’t have two teenagers be horny at Jump, the readership isn’t old enough” which I would absolutely buy, given the general history of chaste romance in the most popular series.
And I’m probably being a bit harder on Saiko than I would be otherwise because I’ve burned out before, and it’s not funny, it’s not romantic, and it’s not fun. And it looks like Drawing relaxes him to a degree. But I’d prefer that he not take so toxic a view on it. Because it’s exhausting.
Hiramaru’s starting to grate and Fukuda is also getting there.
Hiramaru’s behavior is starting to get one-note. I appreciate the histrionics of it to some degree. But he needs something added to his schtick. Granted, it’s a relatively funny one-note when it’s not directed at his horned-up desire to get laid, but it’s starting to be less funny and more frustrating.
And I know that there are some people who act like that, and it does create a nice contrast in character and right now I don’t need his hijinks when everybody else is acting so frustratingly stupid except for Sasaki and Poor Mrs. Mashiro, who I feel really bad for because she must be going through absolute hell right now. The idea that her son might eat shit through his own simple desire to create must be challenging on the best of days.
And Fukuda in this chapter was peak petulant child towards Sasaki which, I get. It’s in character and he’s all about rebellion and row row fight the power nonsense, but again, this situation is bad. Like, genuinely dire, and the cost of failure is so high. I know that there is an underlying logic to shonen stories in which your profession takes precedent over your wellbeing, and most of the people doing it will overlook self-torture in favor of pushing forward.
But Bro, you know what happens to Kamina in Gurren Lagann, right?
It’s annoying. And I don’t think it’s going to get less annoying, either.
This’ll probably be a running thing until we get some resolution on Miura’s editorial ability, but his totally bowing over to Saiko was, uhm not a great look for a dude.
In contrast to Sasaki, Miura’s not in control of the situation. He’s actively abetting his mangaka. Most readers are going to be on Fukuda’s side, so Miura not being a counterbalance to Ashirogi is probably totally ok. But these flags keep appearing and it’s not clear to me that they are getting better.
All signs point to Miura being a bad editor. But totally losing control of the situation right now. This may be his worst turn yet.
And I love that I like Miura as a person because it makes me want him to be a good editor. But each chapter he manages to bungle the situation even worse than before. And at a certain point, you have to wonder what’s going to give.
Is Miura a good editor? The jury is still very much out on it. BUt it’s not looking good.
When will this situation end?
I don’t know. But I’m praying it’s soon, man.
Until next time.