Crowning Moment Of Awesome: Takagi punching out a classmate that mocked Mashiro's artwork. Takagi again threatening to quit Jump if he and Mashiro can't work together, and recently Aoki slapping and telling off a rather full of himself Nakai when he tries to bargain working with her again only if she dates him.
The first has occurred in the anime and it was EPIC and satisfying. Shujin PAWNCH!
There is a, in this troper's opinion, overlooked but very cool one for Hiramaru in Chapter 48. So far, we've seen nothing to make us take him seriously, or give him much respect. Then, when the Editor-in-Chief is telling Ashirogi Muto they are on hiatus till April, no matter what... Hiramaru suddenly comes to his feet, gets in the Chief's face, looks him square in the eye, and says 2 lines. And it is the most deadly serious he's ever been shown thus far. It's all but a Shut Up, Hannibal!. It even shows up loud-mouth Fukuda. And then Hiramaru, who has an addiction to avoiding work, storms out to work on his manga, leaving his editor in utter shock.
Hiramaru: "What is with your excuses? This is ridiculous." *Storms out*
Yoshida: !!..... "Hiramaru, where do you think you're going?"
Hiramaru: "To work on my manga."
Chapter 67 is a pretty much just a series of Crowning Moments of Awesome for Fukuda, of all people. After finding out Nakai's Jerk Ass proposal to only work with Aoki if she'd be his girlfriend, Fukuda storms over to his work and swiftly punches Nakai in the face for jeopardizing his own career by being such a dick, while simultaneously causing Nakai to expose what a Jerk Ass he really has been to the other girl he had a crush on. Fukuda then rushes over to the restaurant where Aoki was being menaced by a very perverted Ishizawa, shoves his freaking face into the floor and offers to help teach Aoki to draw her comic Big Damn Heroes style. And he does all of this within the space of like twenty minutes. Dang.
And Chapter 70's a chance for Hattori to unleash The Plan: Akina/Iwase Aiko working with Niizuma Eiji to reignite the rivalry between them and both members of Ashirogi taking full advantage of their personal lives.
Up till now, Yamahisa's just been a Jerkass lech out for his own career. He's also Shizuka Ryu's editor (the guy who got the "Niizuma Eiji Award", a recluse Hikikomori who plays video games and doesn't talk). Shizuka Ryu finally submitted a name and is actually motivated to be a proper mangaka. His mom disapproves. Very vocally. So, Yamahisa's still a lech out for his own career, but this makes you want to cheer for him.
Then again, the rest of the editorial department then calls him out for being a Jerkass to Ryu's mom, and a discussion ensues about what roles editors play in their mangakas' lives.
Takagi gets another one in Chapter 124. After having entered into direct competition with their former fan, the Smug Snake Nanamine, Mashiro and Takagi face a lot of early pressure due to Nanamine's calculated way of doing things and massive outside assistance...but when his third and fourth chapters plummet in the polls, Nanamine has a Villainous Breakdown and challenges Mashiro and Takagi to compete with him by running the same story in both manga, where he feels he can outmaneuver them. Takagi chides Nanamine for grasping at straws and hangs up, accelerating Nanamine's breakdown.
Who else was cheering when Kosugi decked Nanamine in the face?
To add insult to injury, he was 4th place thanks to Mikihiko Azuma's one-shot manga due to Hiramaru dislocate his hips. The same mangaka who Nanamine cut ties with him after using him as a pawn. Karma's a bitch, Nanamine.
Kosugi later gets to nicely summarize just where Nanamine went wrongafter his second attempt at getting a series is foiled and he is banned from Jump. It's clear that Kosugi actually understands manga fairly well and Nanamine should have listened to him more.
Kosugi: But something was missing, Nanamine, something more important than anything else. In fact, I'd say it's the one thing any story in a shonen magazine can't do without. That would be the heart of your characters. You can never express their feelings if you can't sympathize with others in the first place.
And Miyoshi's subtle CMOA? After the the attack of the copycat criminal, Takagi asks what she would feel if their future kids imitate the things that they read on mangas like PCP, she answers with a smile: "I will tell them what they should imitate or not." Kudos to you, Miyoshi! (it also is a CMOH)
For me, Eiji Niizuma's moment of awesome came in his second (or maybe it was his third) appearance. When he shows up at the editorial department at the same time as Mashiro and Takagi. Once he finds out they are the creators of Money and Intelligence he walks straight up to them and starts talking about how awesome their manga is and how he's such a big fan of it. His first appearance made me want to punch him in the face, but reading that made me completely change my opinion of him. He's probably my favorite character now.
Azuki gets hers in chapter 168. Her relationship with Mashiro has been revealed to the public and her fans are pissed as hell over it. She is ordered by the President of her company to deny the rumors on the radio. Instead, she defies his wishes and not only confirms the relationship, but explains the story behind it and prouldy declares her love for Mashiro.
CHAPTER 172: Azuki pwns all actresses by reciting the lines straight from the manga, avoiding the nasty typo in the script, thus staying true to the work of her love, and then winning the public audition by a LANDSLIDE of votes! Ladies and gentlemen, I hear the wedding bells!
Which then rolls along to the series of wins that happen over the next few chapters - 173/174 have Ashirogi Muto successfully push back against the editorial demand to continue Reversi to support the anime series, ending the series as they had planned in a most epic manner, taking the Jump fanbase by storm, and winning them the top slot in the reader poll. 175 continues this with the success of the ending spilling over into the collection sales, getting them over the 1.5 million needed to top Niizuma in book sales. When the dust settles, one thing is clear - Ashirogi Muto has won - they've achieved their main goals (get an anime series, get Azuki as the female lead in it, beat Niizuma in both the reader poll and book sales) clearly and decisively.
Everyone sticking up for Shiratori against his mother.
In Chapter 139, not only does Crow end, but it's revealed that Niizuma's been drawing a new manga series. For fun.
Mashiro's speech about manga, resolving an argument between Shiratori and Moriya over whether mangakas should strive for popularity or artistic value and showing just how passionate Mashiro is about manga.
Mashiro: "In the past, during our grandparents' generation, and maybe even during ours today, there were people who forbade children from reading manga because they thought it'd make them stupid. But manga is gradually starting to be accepted as a kind of art. So we ought to create something whose quality and content can uphold this pride. We don't have the skill for that just yet, though, so we've got no choice but to think of how to win the love of our readers while we make our stories."