Oct 22, 2020
Let me preface my review by saying this: I love Bakuman. It's a manga that is often overshadowed by Death Note, one of Takeshi Obata and Tsugumi Ohba's previous works and easily their most popular one. But say what you want, Bakuman doesn't deserve to be overshadowed by Death Note. While they do have few similarities, Bakuman is no by means a manga that can be deemed inferior to Death Note. In fact, Bakuman is as compelling as Death Note in most aspects, if not more. Suffice to say, it is an amazing read in its own right and should NOT be compared to other
Now, let's get to the actual review.
As the background information on MAL suggests, Bakuman. Bangai-hen serves as a short prequel to Bakuman. The events take place before the original timeline. While the premise of Bangai-hen is nothing unique, it does have a major aspect that is entirely different from the original manga: Mashiro doesn't serve as the primary lead here; instead, we have Takagi as the viewpoint character. In my opinion, this is a great decision considering the fact that we can learn more about the young Takagi this way.
Bangai-hen gives us a glimpse of how Takagi used to be like before he met Mashiro. His perspective on life and how he viewed people around him as a teenager, despite being flawed (which is the point), is very interesting. This viewpoint is contrasting to his current personality but not unbelievable at all, and it shows how much he has matured through all the years, working toward his goal with Mashiro and overcoming any obstacles that come along the way.
A few other characters make fairly notable appearances as well, namely Hiramaru and Niizuma. Hiramaru's random and short, but quirky and hilarious appearance is probably the highlight of the manga for me. And just like Takagi, Niizuma's brief appearance showed the major differences between the younger Niizuma and the present Niizuma, which displays Niizuma's amazing growth throughout his entire career.
Takeshi Obata is one of my favorite manga artists to date. He has always been an amazing artist who draws remarkably good-looking characters and employs a high amount of detail to almost every scene. His art alone makes his works compelling to read. Bangai-hen isn't any different. The art in Bangai-hen is almost as good as it is in the original manga. The character designs and the background designs, needless to say, are great. The younger versions of Takagi, Mashiro and others aren't very different, but it is entirely reasonable as the manga takes place only a year or two before the original timeline.
To conclude, Bakuman. Bangai-hen is a short but enjoyable prequel to Bakuman. I would recommend it to all the people who thoroughly enjoyed reading the original series. It's only 2 chapters long and doesn't add much to the actual story, but it certainly is an entertaining read.
What did you think of this review?