Although the last episode brought good news to three of the contenders for the Golden Future Cup, it still remained to be seen what the wildcard in the pack that is musical superstar Koogy would do to proceedings. The answer? Not a lot - cue some good old-fashioned rock star guitar-smashing from our spoiled celebrity.
Still, despite their positive results thus far, it's still squeaky bum time for all involved as they wait for the final counting of questionnaire results and the declaration of an overall winner of the competition - a decision which proves to be incredibly tough as even with a 5,00 questionnaire sample there's effectively little between the three main contenders, and nothing at all between two of the works. The end result however is some fantastic news for Ashirogi Muto... although the contest is so close that they aren't the only ones receiving a positive outcome.
The celebrations in the wake of this Golden Future Cup victory also stirs things up a little with regard to Azuki, as Miyoshi effectively tries to force her to talk to Mashiro on the phone, only for Miho to hang up at the prospect before going on to spend a lot of the rest of the episode regretting doing so while even her mum is now on her case about her romantic entanglements as she worries about her daughter making the same mistake she did. A well-founded concern, it must be said. Still, this is put to one side as this episode closes and the next serialisation meeting draws near - do Mashiro and Takagi have enough going for them to achieve their dream? Hattori believes so and does everything he can to help them, but we'll have to wait until the series finale to find out if that is enough.
As per usual, as soon as the romance angle crops up in BakumanI find myself wanting to bemoan the daft principles upon which it's built, but thankfully on this occasion is doesn't detract overly from the real business of the episode, that being revealing the Golden Future Cup winners and setting the wheels in motion for that all-important serialisation meeting. This element of the episode also allows us a bit more focus on both Hattori and his fellow editors, which makes for a refreshing break from the usual focus on the artists and writers while remaining entertaining and well-written in its own right. It's all to play for as the first season ends next week, and I for one am now rather looking forward to seeing the outcome.