Shounen Jump. When we think of the famous boy’s manga company, titles such as “Bleach”, “Naruto” and “Gintama” usually comes to mind. Most of which are of the ‘battle’ genre. Bakuman is no different; but instead of picking up their swords to rush off to battle, Akito Takagi and Moritaka Mashiro are picking up their pens to rush for their deadlines. A story of making your dreams come true, fighting for the one you love and overcoming the many obstacles that stand in your way – all of which that can adhere to your typical shounen title. Only that it is not your typical shounen
Death Note duo Takeshi Obata (art) and Tsugumi Ohba (story) collaborate once again to present to us yet unique addition to the manga world: the journey of two upcoming mangakas exploding their way into Shounen Jump; their aim to become the biggest mangakas in their company. The idea itself is quite simple, but it is one that can stretch very far, with many twists, turns, events and new facts learnt along the way. It is obvious that the story is influenced by Obata’s and Ohba’s own past experiences, making the manga all the more amusing to read as you feel as though you’re reading an exaggerated version of their autobiography.
If anything, Bakuman shows off the level of Ohba’s skill. Even people who disliked Death Note could enjoy this because of the complete 180 turn he (or she) has taken since his (or her) previous work. Bakuman is anything but dark and thought provoking, but Ohba still manages to create a catalysed chemical reaction within Bakuman’s world – a near perfect balance between comedy, romance, drama and that subtly blended in slice-of-life quality (which is so rare in Shounen Jump works).
But ‘near perfect’ is not ‘perfect’. The twists and turns that are presented are a little weak in comparison with Death Note (although I would like to make it clear that Bakuman should be considered as a SEPERATE work). For example, the most major turn-of-events you are most likely to get is simple, like the revelation of the reader’s poll results or the introduction of another mangaka. Such twists are to be expected in such a manga though, as there isn’t much to expand on the ‘exciting’ lives of authors and editors. The twists and cliff-hangers, simple as they may be, are effective and exciting nevertheless and to be honest, are much better than the cliff-hangers of other shounen titles (such as Naruto).
Another (minor) nitpick I have with the story is the ‘everlasting’ romance between Azuki and Mashiro. I am not particularly fond of the “love at first sight” cliché, but what further aggravates me is the strength of their love despite there being almost no basis for it. Then again, I guess most teen love is like that. Despite their arbitrary romance it does become one of the highlights of Bakuman, providing some of the sweetest parts and funniest moments.
Being a story about making manga in one of the most successful franchise, Shounen Jump/Shuiesa, it is no surprise that you would learn volumes about the industry, and the process of making manga. Each and every little trivia learnt has become one of the many delights of reading Bakuman; especially because of the depth it goes into and relevance it has to the entire story. Bakuman has very heavy dialogues; it is not like the other battle manga where most of the chapters are full of action.
The setting is anything but claustrophobic, as some would think it to be. It differs all the time, from their studio to even the zoo and sometimes to all over town when trying to trail a person (yes, I’m serious here). One time Mashiro simply enjoy a Christmas party round his friends’ house. This all adds to the slice-of-life aspect to the manga which I have enjoyed tremendously.
The colourful cast of Bakuman has a very wide range in terms of age, personality, shapes and sizes. One of my favourite things about the characters and story is that it does not solely focus on Takagi and Mashiro’s quest to become the best but shifts its focus onto other editors and authors stories and involvement throughout each chapter. These fluid transitions of focus are matched by Ohba’s skill of juggling all the character’s personalities and making it well balanced.
Again however, women seem to be the victim of misogyny by Ohba. Most of the women portrayed in Bakuman are either stupid or stuck up, with the exception of Azuki who lacks so much personality she is basically just a pretty face. As of late however the cynicism to women does lighten, you could call it character development, especially with girls such as the female mangaka Aoki realising her faults and struggling to change.
Although the cast is fun to read about and likeable, you can see how some of the characters are ‘copy and pasted’ from Death Note: we have the quirky antagonist where the line between friendship and rival is often blurred; the stuck-up and prideful female classmate and bouncy love-struck girl for Takagi. Even Mashiro, the primary lead is lost in the quirk-filled and humorous cast. Nevertheless, the fact that the cast is as wide as it is compensates for this; it almost feels like it’s a hustle and bustle – just like how mangakas and editors lives are.
In addition, Bakuman’s ‘slice of life’ aspect is played mainly through the characters own growth and development. Interestingly enough, Bakuman starts off with two 14 year-old boys but as of recent chapters follows two 20 year-old college students. Yes, they grow! Not just in height but as people too as they take on other challenges in life such as marriage. They literally grow before your eyes.
Ohba’s charismatic story and characters are equally matched (once again) by Takeshi Obata’s excellent art. His style in Bakuman has changed since Death Note to better suit the lighter, more shounen tone of the story, but it still retains that high level of detail and clean cut edge in his drawings. Obata does exhibit a weak point when it comes to drawing female characters though. But his weakness is another artist’s forte; even though I have just classed it as a weakness it is still so good, that it can exceed another manga artist on their best day.
I was also surprised at how well Obata can employ comic drawings as well as serious ones. His silly gag drawing actually evoked some hearty laughs from me (of course it was Ohba who wrote them up – who knew both of them could be so funny?). Close ups and tones are all very well used to create an atmosphere or effect of the moment – be it funny or serious. Or seriously funny. Or a serious funny. Okay, okay, I’ll stop.
Obata’s style at panelling makes each chapter a joy to read. He does not allow each panel to restrict his drawings, which is a personal favourite aspect of his panelling of mine; how the drawings themselves come out of the box and extends further. Of course, this technique would have been meaningless without Obata’s fluent artistic skills.
I think the main problem with Bakuman is its reader’s expectations. Unfortunately, it is overshadowed and constantly compared to by its predecessor, Death Note. But Bakuman is just as entertaining and unique as its authors’ previous work and is just as wonderful a read in its own right. As a reader of both works it is quite obvious that there are some influences, the most notable ones lay in the characters; however there is one definite similarity between the two: they are no ordinary shounen. Yes, Bakuman may have the formula for one (Childhood love? Check; Rivals? Check; Quirky characters? Check; Hot girls? Check) but it still displays a lot of characteristics not found in Shounen Jump’s works: Growing up, multiple character storylines, excellent character interaction and life in general. Most importantly, the arcs are never dragged out! (Here’s looking at you Bleach).
If you do read Bakuman, read with an open mind and forget about Death Note, for it is not every day we get a work like Bakuman and for it to be ridiculed or downplayed because of its origins would be a sad waste of an excellent work like this. For its genre it is probably the best out there with charm and charisma practically oozing out of the pages.
Every week Mashiro and Takagi are closer to realizing their dream, and every week we are there with them in their exciting journey. We explore the world of mangakas, editors and voice actors alike and to all that are close to them. So as they grab their pens to rush for that deadline I shall be rushing to the store to grab my copy of this week’s Shounen Jump.
Anyone who has ever written a novel, drawn a picture, made a movie will tell you the creative process is fraught with blood, sweat and tears. It requires courage to put your name out there, trusted friends who will give you honest critique and advice, and a relentless dream to see your vision through. Courage, friendship and dreams... so why did it take so long for someone to realize the creative process could easily be turned into a manga for Shounen Jump? No worries, because now we have Bakuman, a manga about writing manga that fits the ticket in spades
Following the story of Moritaka "Saikou"
Mashiro and Akito "Shujin" Takagi, two boys who meet in middle school and strive to become successful mangaka in the world under the pen name "Ashirogi Muto", they strive against insurmountable odds to make their dreams come true, and in Mashiro's case, make a manga so good it becomes an anime so the girl of his dreams Miho Azuki can voice the heroine, and then marry her. There's nothing complex or challenging about it. The story, at its heart, is pure straightforward Jump ideology, rewarding perseverance and guts tenfold, but its the subtext behind Bakuman that really bring the story to its full potential.
Aside from its main goal-driven narrative of Ashirogi Muto becoming the best mangaka in Japan and Mashiro marrying Azuki. Bakuman is an unflinching critique of the manga industry that gives readers some serious glimpses into the pros and cons of publishing manga. Clashing with editors, dealing with copycat authors, the hectic schedules of weekly publishing, how much control the publisher has over how long you have to keep writing the same manga, and those ever important RANKINGS all get exposed. The point-of-view is generally positive, but still eye-opening for most casual fans of the medium. And even outside all that, many of the in-story manga, especially Classroom of Truth, have incredible and intriguing plots that beg to be turned into manga here in real life.
However, it is a Jump manga, so there is quite a bit of misogyny, especially early on. Female characters aren't portrayed strongly until well into the manga, and Miho especially comes off as a very sexist MacGuffin at the beginning. The series works hard in the back end of things to round out the female characters and give them ample time to shine, but it feels more like author Tsugumi Ohba gives them that growth half-heartedly. The male characters are given a far more vast range of characterization traits and personalities, many of which are memorable, especially bizarro genius Eiji and pessimistic slacker Hiramaru.
Forgiving the story for its misogynistic leanings though is incredibly easy when you get down to artist Takeshi Obata's share of the work. It starts off detailed as can be, but gets much simpler by the final chapters, but even that can be forgiven when one takes into account the multiple and numerous art shifts he single-handedly performs over the course of the series. We see no less than ten, if not closer to twenty different Jump manga from all different artists portrayed with varying art styles. It is astounding to see one man create multiple unique art styles for his characters, and most importantly, sell us on the authenticity. Reading Bakuman is worth it for that alone.
Don't get me wrong. This manga isn't without its weaknesses, but its strengths far outweigh them. With a decent straightforward main story, many ingenious in-story manga, characters that all grow in their own ways, and the underlying critique of the workings of the manga industry, Bakuman is a can't-miss manga for anyone who loves the medium.
Bakuman is a pretty unique story. I've never read or heard of any other story like it.
Story: The story starts out in a weird way. It gives you the feeling that it's going to end up like another typical Shounen series (lame main character who mysteriously gets an interesting life with all kinds of fantasy and supernatural aspects), but that will change quickly. After a quick reference to the author's previous work (Death Note, ever heard of it? :P), we begin to learn the basis. Mashiro is just your average 9th grader, but when he accidentally leaves his notebook in school, he ends up
running into another classmate that would pretty much change his future. This other classmate, Takagi, basically says that he likes how Mashiro can draw and wants to know if he would draw manga for him, while Takagi writes the stories. There is also a bit of romance involved, since the girl Mashiro likes wants to become a voice actor in the future. Anyway, from here on in, we see the struggle it takes to become a mangaka.
Art: I think the art is pretty good. It is straight-forward for the most part, but the detail involved with the manga companies are very well drawn IMO.
Character - More development is needed on the characters, but it is still early when writing this so I'm not worried. The characters are pretty likable and can be quite amusing as well. It fits with the story.
Enjoyment - I think the main reason why I enjoy this manga is because it is so realistic. I'm so used to reading things that are so far fetched that it can sometimes be annoying. However, Bakuman is so real and you even get references to many other manga series out there (Bleach, Naruto, Gintama, Death Note, and other old time manga that I wasn't so familar with). Plus, you almost feel as if you want the characters to succeed. Also, I think it is really cool that the reader gets to be informed about how hard it is to become a mangaka. Overall, I enjoy this series. ^_^
Overall, Bakuman is a really real series that can be pretty entertaining. It's definitely a good read. ^^
It looks like Obata and Ohba struck gold again. After the phenomenal success of Death Note, the duo came up with Bakuman, a manga about making manga. While this series is a whole lot different than Death Note, it still maintains Ohba's style of intelligent writing coupled with Obata's masterful artwork(Come on, the guy's gotta move to seinen already). Bakuman's plot isn't really groundbreaking, but the storytelling is one of the best in current shonen manga nowadays. The manga shows us how writing manga for Jump works, how hard it is to even get published, how it is even harder to stay serialized in Japan's
most popular shonen magazine. The characters also have their own appeal; Niizuma Eiji with his L-ish mannerisms and quirks, and Miho and Mashiro's strange approach to their pseudo-engagement.However, as good as Ohba's writing is, sometimes his characterizations fall flat. Aside from their unique quirks, they aren't that well fleshed-out and we can't really form a bond with any of them. Takagi, for instance, is perhaps the blandest character in the whole manga while his girlfriend, Miyoshi can sometimes be very grating. Having great characters is very important in this kind of story, since it's not action-y. That aside, the plot moves forward in a straightforward and concise manner as is the style of Ohba. All in all, if you want some intelligence in your shonen manga and a bit of insight as to how the whole industry works, read Bakuman. You won't regret it.
Whenever someone shouts 'Takeshi Obata!' at you, you'll scream 'Hikaru no Go!' at him, whenever someone screams 'Ohba!', you'll scream 'Death note' and ofcourse, you'll tell him about Bakuman, a great manga from the same artists who made famous manga like the one I told you before.
Bakuman is a great manga, I'll tell you 'bout the story, art, characters and my personal enjoyment:
Bakuman tells the story about two boys(Moritaka 'Saiko' Mashiro & Akito 'Shujin' Takagi) who wish to be mangaka. Where Takagi is a award winning student as wel as a beginning novelist there is Mashiro who's just 'an ordinary kid' who always wanted to
be mangaka, and luckily his uncle was one...
In class Mashiro forgot his notebook, as soon as he notices he walks back to school, where he finds Takagi, with his notebook in his hand, Takagi noticed Mashiro's drawings, and asks him to become mangaka together.
+ Great storyline
- A little to fast pased
I didn't expect anything else from Obata, The art isn't perfect, but it made progress which I didn't expect as soon as the second chapter came out. And the colour pages shouldn't be forgotten...
+ Obata's stylish character designs
2 Boy's who follow their dreams, is there any bad thing about that? Yeah, there is, only one thing in my opinion: Mashiro(The drawing artist) is a little bit shallow, but that's only his 'waiting for his dream to come out before his marriage' part
+Nice developping characters
Bakuman is a fun manga for almost everybody, it got some humor, many jokes on other anime/manga in it. And a splendid storyline. A manga where one week isn't hard waiting for.
I could write a ten page review about this series, but I won't. Here are just a few things to note:
-This manga is about manga.
-It's by the creators of Death Note.
-It is WORDY. This is great if you want to prove to your friends or family that manga can have the same merits and require the same brainpower as an actual book, but not good if you are like me and you want to finish your manga as quickly as possible.
-There are lots of characters in this series. This is good, and it provides a lot of material for fanfiction writers and shippers, but
there is a side-effect. There are whole chapters where all of the characters are just reacting to the same information, but in different scenes. This will make more sense once you hit around volume 16. That's when it becomes as noticeable and annoying as a zit that won't go away. In fact, once you get to that point, you could probably just read a few pages per chapter and perfectly understand the story. Or you could briefly scan the page to get the general idea.
-They bring in a lot of characters to serve as "obstacles" for the protagonists and then throw them away once they're no longer of use.
-The art is nice. It's kind of comical at times, too.
-I really am not enjoying this series.
-I recommend this series entirely.
I say that because it has helped me better understand all anime and manga and has given me a different viewpoint and has helped me to understand the stories from a more critical perspective. I think that's invaluable, which is why I think all manga and anime fans should at least read a few volumes.
AKA The manga by the Death Note writer-artist team about... a writer-artist team trying to conquer the world of shounen manga. LOL!
Quick Overview: Shujin (writer) and Mashiro (artist) decide to team up in middle school. They share the same goal, of getting published in Jump, coming in #1 in the popularity polls, and having their work made into a anime so that Mashiro's childhood sweetheart (a would-be voice actress) can play the title role. As in Death Note, the story is fast-paced, especially compared to other shounen manga - after the first three volumes, nearly three years have passed!
As is often the case in the best shounen manga, you can learn something about the field the protagonists are attempting to conquer - in this case, the world of professional mangaka - by reading Bakuman. There's a lot of actually very good analysis of Jump manga from a business point of view, as well as behind-the-scenes-in-the-editors-room kind of stuff. There's no fantasy wish-fulfillment angle and everything the pair accomplishes together is shown to be the result of hard work. As in, Shuji and Masahiro really do spend all their time writing manga, drawing manga, discussing manga, and learning the business of manga. And as in, Ohba (the series writer) really does come up with a separate believable (often sci-fi-ish and vaguely familiar) premise for every manga they dream up - premises that are good enough that I would be interested in reading those manga.
Another review mentioned that the characters are shallow. This is sadly true. There seems to be a "Theory of Mind" failure on Ohba's part here, in that the secondary characters all either agree with the protagonists and support their vision, or are irrational. That said, the character designs actually vary a lot, so that the characters are all easily distinguished from one another. They might not have fully realized personalities, but they do have interesting and varied personality quirks. Also, (again as in Death Note) one of my favourite things about this manga is the interaction between the two leads. They act less like friends or collaborators and more like two halves of the same brain, playing off each other, coming up with ideas together, and supporting each other in romance. Who doesn't want a BFF friend like that?
Art: Bakuman is a good showpiece for Obata (the series artist), since the art changes depending on the flavor of manga currently under discussion - Heavy for the surrealist gag manga author, Loose for the One Piece-ish author, Grafitti for the scenes with the mangaka who does funny violence, Wistful for the former Margaret author, etc. (Sorry for the non-technical terms: I'm not an artist.) The art is most "Obata-like" when he is focusing on the main pair's own story. Although sometimes more sloppy than his work on Death Note or Hikaru no Go, the art is still amazing.
Drawbacks: Well, there was that plot line that promoted overwork to the point of hospitalization. (And here I thought a Jump manga that added "talent, intelligence, luck" to the "friendship, hardwork, loyalty" Jump formula could avoid that trap! Silly me!) However, since I enjoy screaming at the stupidity of counter-productively hard-working shounen heroes, this wasn't really a drawback for me. :)
Much more troubling is this manga's HARDCORE sexism. I sense the hand of an editor, somewhere, in the introduction of the karate-loving girlfriend who beats up the writer every time he says or does something stupid. (Subtle, no! But effective, yes!) However, even the editors can't keep Ohba from sneaking in the misogynist plots and commentary.
Let's count the ways in which this title is sexist: Ohba never skips a chance to bash on shoujo manga or dismiss the opinions of female readers (30% of Jump's readership). He doesn't trust pretty girls but automatically dismisses from consideration any girls who are NOT pretty. He allows that girls can be smart but maintains that smart girls have warped and overly assertive personalities. There is a story line centered around "training" a shoujo author to do panty shots. There is a story line centered around marrying your girlfriend to shut her up.
... To be fair, really bottom of the barrel guys have their characters dragged through the mud, too. But that's just it, there's such a disparity between the basic decency and grooming required of men and the sainthood and flawless beauty required of women, it is absolutely, positively ridiculous. My only comfort in all this is that while a lot of Jump series are casually sexist, in that there just aren't many strong female characters who play large roles in the story, Bakuman, because it is actively sexist and misogynist, paradoxically includes many more smart, beautiful, capable women whose only failing is that they put up with way too much abuse from Bakuman's sexist pig male characters.
In other words, there's actually a degree of realism here not present in other Jump series, which have only weak or passive women. In this case, what the readers see (smart, beautiful, capable women) is quite different from what the author, living within his own neuroses, expects them to see (stuck up bitches). At the same time I despair, because the average Jump reader is still a 15 year old boy, so these kinds of distinctions may be lost.
Bah. Anyway, sexism aside, this is actually a very good manga. I recommend it especially to people who want to learn more about what it takes to become a Shounen Jump mangaka. Most of all, Bakuman is a pretty good how-to guide for submitting to Jump. Maybe it'll be to Shonen Jump submissions as Hikaru no Go was to professional Go... or maybe detailing the sheer amount of effort involved in becoming a professional mangaka for Jump will scare prospective artists away. :p
My marks off are all for misogyny. It's too bad, because I otherwise really enjoy this manga.
Bakuman is a manga, which story is about the dreams of two tyronic, young boys and the difficulties they plunge into on their way of achieving them. Being a mangaka seems easy to them from the beginning, even though they are tentative and hesitant about it, they decide to give it a try and the first try's success motivates them to keep going.
The two main characters both seem to have the potential, skill and passion to become mangakas, but would it be that easy to break through this business and make living of it? Sleepless nights, missing school, depriving themselves from the carefree life
of a normal teenager in the name of being number one..
What I do not like in the story is that one of the main character's only motivation not to let himself down is the promise of the girl he "loves", which is to marry him, only when/if their dreams come true. At moments I was really wondering does he deserves to become mangaka number one, when the passion for drawing lacks..
On the other hand the story is helping people to get a very basic knowledge about the whole process of creating a manga comic, which I found most interesting.
My personal impressions
I like this manga, not as much as Death Note and not only because it's from the creators of Death Note. It was very interesting at the beginning, especially the first three chapters. I thought: " Ha! Obata and Ohba finally decided to make a comedy!"
Interesting story, but is it really serious? Looks like it is...which is the worst
I can't stand some of the characters. I can't stand the way Mashiro and Takagi are treating Miyoshi and how she agrees to do everything for them, all the help on a good will. This reminds me a lot of Light and L's discriminative attidude toward Misa.
I like her, she is definitely a strong character.
Also - is it just me or Mashiro is turning into emo at moments? Shame he is the main character, but couldn't dare to face his beloved Azuki until he got hospitalized and again she made the first step. How manly...
Oh yeah, he really gave up going to see her when she had a bad time because of the photo opportunity,instead of taking the chance. They are so lame.
Takagi pisses me off too lately. I just can't decide is it a kind of romance or a joke, but I have to admit - got me excited at chapter 47
Takeshi Obata makes a new manga? Yay I totally loved his stuff since Hikaru no Go
The scenarist is the same than in Death Note? Why not, after all, the first half of it was excellent
It's about wanabee mangaka? Yaaay, I loved G Senjou Heaven's door on the same subject!
So, havin'heard all this, I waited impatiently for the release of the first chapter.
BUT, I was like, totally disappointed by the first ten chapters, with boring storylines, flat characters, and, moreover, some crappy and boring love story that the authors felt compelled to put in the plot.
It becomes better after chapter 12, partly because we see less
the love story, partly because the authors seem to have found their rhythm and alternate stressing climax and more lights moments at a good pace.
So it isn’t and will probably never be a great work, but it can become a pretty decent little shonen.
From the makers of the popular series Death Note, Obata Takeshi and Ohba Tsugumi once again sets forth to a new work of a totally different package.
Regardless on how dark-themed their previous work is, they manage to enliven its fans by shifting to the lighter genre.
Bakuman welcomes us into a fresh concept. Its comical profoundness blends well on how solid the main theme is.
Basically, it tells a story about two boys who dreams to be mangakas and are willing to give their best shot to be successful in the future. Moritaka Mashiro, who handles the art, commits to his crush, Azuki, that as soon as
they get the chance to have their work animated, they’ll get married and with Azuki as the heroine’s seiyuu. Takagi, the writer, though he certainly has the best grades and capacity to study in great universities, decides to work more on the manga with Mashiro and his girlfriend, Miyoshi.
Of course, this doesn’t revolve with just that.
Becoming a great and successful mangaka takes a step by step process. Which is clearly depicted here. It isn’t all play. The process takes months, years or maybe even decades.They falter, they rise. Showing us that at a certain point in our lives, we cannot avoid failures. We use them as a stepping stone towards our dreams, making them a reality.
The main setting takes place to Nobuhiro Mashiro’s workplace which is soon taken over by his nephew due to his death. It helps more on its flashbacks and the current situation of the lead characters. It’s also another source of information for them inline with the manga they’re making.
Another foundation of this is its supporting characters. They build good relationships disregarding the fact that they are rivals in terms of the manga industry. They keep to mind that when one is being left behind, the others see to it to be able to be of help. It makes the setting more wider and tense. Each character tends to develop in its own pace and succeeds to the main storyline.
The art doesn’t have too much depth on it when compared to Death Note. It’s more comical and light. Many panels were sketchy and it concentrated only to the characters rather than the background. The materials being used were detailed and gave more a professional artist feeling. As a reader, I noticed that from the recent updates, the art and story flow seemed bland. Though I may take it as something that an artist wants to practice and improve on, it still confuses the readers and it makes them think on what the artist really wants to portray.
The story has a fast progress. It shifts from a weekly and monthly basis then jumping off to a specific awaited date. Such as a release of the early and finals results, getting questionnaires from readers and whatnot. Before you know it, they were already in college. This is a good way for avoiding the readers to get bored rather than reading lengthy chapter page with no thrill in it. Bakuman makes you feel flipping its pages forever. A volume after another, a page after a page. A lot of its chapters weren’t enough for 20 pages, so please expect a lot of cliffhangers.
Bakuman has tediously long dialogues. Lengthy narrations and dialogues from the characters that it sometimes fills up the majority of a panel. For a young reader, they may skip a lot of it since it doesn’t really have nothing to do with the base story. But for someone who is interested in this field, the dialogues are a worth read.
Even though Bakuman possess a lot of comical scenes, it has a hidden depth on it. Remove the humor, it’s still great. The comedy just adds the shounen flavor to it but is a big factor for those who aren’t into dark themed mangas. Making it more flexible to its readers.
Bakuman drives you to a new world filled with mechanical pencils, T-squares, calligraphy pens, tones and paper. Setting you off in a journey filled not only with the concepts of being a mangaka, but also gives you an idea of their world and what they see behind their eyes of a true manga artist.
I firstly noticed this manga one year ago, when I was 14 and dreamed of being a writer. The similarity of my dream and the dream of manga`s protagonists made me to read this manga.
Both professions - mangaka and writer, are extremelly difficult. Yes, you may distribute your working time as you want, but the work... It's quite unimaginable. It might make tired even adult and well-tried man, no need to speak about children.
But here they come - Mashiro Moritaka and Takagi Akito. They are so young in the beginning of the story - just like me, but they are fighting the difficulties in order
to make their dream come true. The manga shows us the world of mangakas, ratings, and chapters and so on... Also they included romantic storyline, but it takes not so much time and doesn't disturb the main story. Well, my skill of English doesn`t allow me to make a complete review of the storyline)), but really, this manga should be appreciated.
Story - 10/10.
About the art - I noticed that the quality of drawing is falling from the very first chapters to the current. In some chapters it degrades to primitiveness. But even so, it's not so bad, as we can see in some "masterpieces".
Characters - well, they`re unique. My experience in anime and manga is not so high, but I think they are the most realistic characters I've ever seen. No doubt they often tell the same things they did some chapters ago. But this is the problem of all mangas, am I right?
Enjoyment - In the top paragraph, I`ve told I was guided by the same feelings as the protagonists did. But, when I soon realized, that retard like me will never become a great person, Mashiro and Takagi are still fighting in order to reach their Olymph. May be it will inspire me some day...
So, no doubt of its problems, it's a quite perfect manga.
Life is fulled with all types of hardships, getting into college, finding that special someone, or searching for the job of your dreams. Bakuman is a candy coated child friendly reality around the world of manga publishing and the like, where the obstacles are only shonen cliches.
STORY: What does Bakuman do that is different from any other shonen battle story? The conflicts? No, Bakuman is just like any other shonen fight series, only with pens and ink instead of swords and magic. The Characters? No, there's a variety of quirky characters, but the majority of them can easily be classified as typical archetypes like the
rival character, the love interest, or the respected teachers. The plot and theme? Kinda, but only because it was a concept that has yet to be done in the shonen genre.
Bakuman is ultimately just another shonen story. Honestly it's really no different than series like Naruto or Bleach. Ninja=Shinigami=Mangaka, the only true difference is their abilities or what they do in conflicts. Drawing manga to get published in shonen jump=Ninja clashing against each other in hopes of rising their ranks=Fighting evil spirits and training to reach the next level of power, it's all fundamentally similar, but it's not like I'm trying to say there anything wrong with that not at all, Shueisha needs to crank out those stories to remain fresh within it's capital genre to stay on top of their game in the industry (Or make sure One Piece never ends... Not that I'm complaining...).
Bakuman is about romance and the world of manga development, where only one of the characteristics of this manga stays consist and the other is utterly slapped on and awkward. Moritaka Mashiro is the main character, a boy who starts out as an apathetic middle school student, not interested in succeeding in life past the point of being a worker at a deck job who one day leaves his notebook at school. Bothering to get it back because of what it contains, Mashiro returns only to see a follow student had beat him to the punch, only to ask Mashiro if he would to join him as a mangaka duo with the student, Takagi, being the writer and Mashiro being the illustrator.
One thing leads to another as the two of them try their best to make it to the top of the Shonen Jump reader polls as the mangaka duo, Ashirogi Muto (With other names as Saiko=Mashiro, and Takagi=Shujin). Naturally, their obstacles include every other manga artist who ever picked up a pencil inducing a vast quantity of quirky characters (From an office worker who turns out to be a manga genius despite never even read an issue of weekly jump to a hyper active sound effect screaming manga artist prodigy), but the stories they come up with are almost interesting enough to want to read them yourself (From Sci fi to comedy, Shujin proves himself to be quite the writer).
This is the meat of Bakuman has to offer, watching Saiko and Shujin go from ground zero to serialization several times. It's filled with many reveals of how things work at weekly jump HQ, and incredible amounts of detail is shown what manga artists have to go through just to reach consideration of running a one-shot in a different magazine. This is all interesting, and is very likely what will grab a hold of your attention, but let me step back a bit and go into detail about what I stated earlier, "One thing leads to another", is exactly what I want to consider it.
Bakuman is also. for better and mostly worst, a romance story, a painfully dull and unsatisfying one at that. Mashiro isn't just drawing for his own sake, but for his love interest and future plans blocked by only a promise, which is sweet and all but, it's not at all worth caring about. By literally the first chapter (And by that it can't really be classified as a spoiler) the romantic build up is maxed out, Mashiro's love interest, who he confesses to, happens to like him too, awwwwwww.
Honestly, it's cute, but the deal here is that... That's it. No build up what so ever, it's instant pay off in the first chapter, of a romance series, you know where dates and stuff like that are supposed to take place. Some of you are going to think, well, at least it's no generic love story, it got all that out of the way... That's not any better, it's only makes the romance in the story pathetic, pointless even. Generic harem romances can literally say "Well at least we aren't like Bakuman!"
It's a deal breaker by chapter one and I'm surprised a lot of people aren't complaining enough about it. Sure Shujin has his majority share of the actual romance, but his just isn't any better... Correction, it is better, but it's just so thrown into the back ground and comes up as if it's simply an annoyance and makes you wonder when will they get back to drawing manga.
But outside of that, just as Shujin surprises his peers, I'm actually mildly surprised with Bakuman's sense of humor, every chapter never fails to get a chuckle out of me (Especially the ever work avoiding Hiramaru and his editor, the bits with those two continue to remind me of how humorous and quirky the secondary characters really are).
But to get to juicy bits, you got to swallow the bitter stuff with a gain of salt, because Bakuman has it's worth while moments, the manga publishing stuff is very engaging, you'll be waiting with baited breath with Saiko and Shujin for their results of their manga... Over and over again. This is one more strike against Bakuman, the whole ordeal of becoming a popular mangaka is taxing, Bakuman definitely shows that, but this is an ongoing series, and their goal just seems to never reach the leads grasp, and the whole process almost repeats itself step for step while the creators of Bakuman themselves seem to throw several obstacles, from being put on hiatus for medical reasons to some that seem incredibly out of place and plain silly. Slowly revealing that Bakuman isn't a realistic struggle of mangaka, it's about a fortunate guy trying to be the best at whatever the goal is, you will not see any of the manga artists having money problems because their friends at the top of the shonen ladder will lend them support, every mangaka looks out for each other in Bakuman's fantasy world.
Candy coated is the best term to use here, and the industry isn't child friendly as Bakuman makes it seem (For instance, most manga artist in Japan actually have to draw hentai for a living, I mean go to any of the many doujin fests in Japan and tell me I'm wrong).
ART: As expected from the artist behind Death Note, Bakuman is drawn wonderfully. Though not quite as detailed as his series that pre-dated Bakuman, it is quite still awe inspiring from nicely designed characters to backgrounds with plenty of care to detail.
However, the quality drops about a hundred chapters in, and the overall look of it has grown arguably sloppy and cartoonish then it started out.
+ Detailed info on whats what about manga publishing is very interesting.
+ Good Humor, especially from the supporting cast.
+/- Good artwork / Artworks gets sloppy later on.
- The romance, all of it.
- Not exactly the reality behind manga making as tries to seem to be. Too shonen and friendly at times.
However, if you're not one to be bothered by the lack of hard facts like I am, Bakuman is still something I'd recommend, it's not fundamentally new at what it's doing, but that doesn't mean it's not entertaining, and that's what really matters in the long run.
Bakuman is a manga... about manga. And romance. It tells the story of two teens as they aspire to become mangaka in Weekly Shonen Jump.
The plot, for the most part, is a very well-written and well-thought-out one. Ohba manages to keep the story interesting, and I really enjoyed observing all the problems that Mashiro and Takagi encountered and how they overcame them. I imagine that the creators of Bakuman had some of the exact same problems that Mashiro amd Takagi did earlier in their career as well. Some of you may disagree with me on this topic and say that the problems were
rather unrealistic and unlikely, to which I ask the question: How many of you are professional mangaka?
Case and point.
I do have to admit, however, that these people may have somewhat of a point regarding the beginning of the series. Some of the happenings are very drastic and may seem a bit unrealistic and fast-paced. Yes, the beginning of Bakuman, as well as the end, felt a little rushed, and this makes me wonder if Bakuman would've been that much closer to perfection if the creators had just taken a bit more time in these parts.
The characters are a tricky aspect of Bakuman to review. They aren't exactly presented at first as interesting or unique, and some might perceive them as cliché. Since Bakuman is pretty much a one-of-a-kind manga, it's hard to thoroughly and effectively analyze them by comparing them to characters of other manga and/or anime. So I'll look at them as they are as a stand-alone.
Bakuman's characters are presented in the typical shounen way. We have Mashiro, the normal kid who gradually gets roped into creating manga. Next we have Takagi, the overachieving student who ropes him in. Then, we have Azuki, Mashiro's girlfriend (chapter one spoiler) and motivation, and we have Miyoshi, Azuki's best friend and later--
These characters are all very interesting in the way they interact with one another. Mashiro and Azuki's romance, although it seemed like a plot device at times, was very cute, and the rivalry between the mangaka duo and the other artists was simply shounen gold. No characters were neglected, and Ohba did his best to carefully develop each and every one. And need I mention Hiramaru and Yoshida? This is honestly one of the best comedy relief pairs I've seen in anime.
The art of Bakuman displays the exact same quality we see in the other aspects. Obata really outdid himself this time, and I dare say I liked Bakuman's art even better than Death Note's. His style stood out very distinctly, his character designs were superb, and I know for a fact that I'm not the only one who loved those faces during the comedy moments 😂👌
Overall, Bakuman is a masterpiece by my analysis and deserves far more attention that it gets. It's a dramatic, compelling story that leaves you with a great feeling at the end. It's better than Ohba and Obata's past work in that it doesn't completely lose its purpose after certain major plot twists (oh yeah, Death Note fans, you KNOW what I'm talking about). Obata's art is just as good as, if not better than, anything else he's ever made. I can't guarantee that you'll feel the same way towards it that I do, but I can strongly recommend it as one of my favorite manga of all time.
It's all about a professional dream, and there's nothing amateur about how the Obata and Ohba team go about crafting this series either. There is little leeway for Bakuman to cut around the common "It's a manga about manga" description, and that's all right - but that doesn't do justice to a Very Good score of 8, does it?
The premisis of Bakuman is uncommon at least, and unprecedented at best. Two best friends trying to achieve an unrealistic dream despite the very real cost of losing out to the harsh world of propriety and stability? Cliché start. Any otaku could have seen that coming. But
predictability stops there. Encyclopedic mangaka knowledge starts pouring in almost seamlessly with a steadily rising situation of where mediocre talent will not survive. It's complicated: sometimes, even genius and determination doesn't cut it - and life, at least in the Shounen Jump office, goes on with or without you. Bakuman's story makes sure to teach its readers a life lesson of what really goes on behind the ink-splattered nib pen.
Anyone familiar with Takeshi Obata's illustrations will not be disappointed; that is, Bakuman's art is familiar and unobtrusive. The majority of characters are distinguished properly, and the styles are reasonably consistent, with the minor exception of backgrounds. Understandably, the art is marked as Fair.
Bakuman's characters are memorable. True, characters like Hattori Akira can be classified as static, but rarely are they flat. It can be argued that the majority of the cast do not change; it cannot be argued that the majority are only known for a respectively singular personality trait. The protagonists of Bakuman, Moritaka Mashiro and Akito Takagi, obviously develop in skill and maturity - but never in the usual sense. They face misfortune and successful, and the expected response is sometimes delayed or never made. And that's where the magic happens: Mashiro and Takagi don't do the "main characters always win" trope. They can fail, and there are no heroic rematches in Bakuman - lose, grow, and move on, because there's no going back.
Bakuman was a learning experience for me. I don't regret reading it at all, and I very pleasantly couldn't predict the way the beginning, middle, and end of the series was headed. I was worried, thoughtful, happy, and sad throughout various parts of the manga at a genuine level of emotion. Of course it has bits that dragged a little, and I frankly didn't pay too much attention to the statistics of mangaka "failures", but Bakuman is something that taught me something I should have learned long ago when I first flicked through the first few pages of a worn and dusty Japanese piece.
It taught me to respect the professional dream hidden within the pages of what we all know as manga.
Dude let's write a manga about writing a manga!? Something so wrong had never turned out so right. If you've only read a couple of manga before your not going to understand this so go read something else.
It's about two guys writing manga, the obstacles they face and how they overcome said obstacles. Sometimes chapters do focus on other fictional mangaka and the manga they have in the works which is really cool because some of the manga make me wish these were real. Bakuman shows you process of getting manga published and of manga getting canceled, it also shows you how stressful it is
to be a mangaka.
The art is very well done, I mean this guy did Death Note. Though the art can get repetitive and boring at times because they are usually just in the studio, making manga we know in love.
They've got a whole slew of characters which they cycle through every few chapters do show you how they are doing. Also the inter-character relationships are pretty unique, especially the one among the two MCs, they seem to read each other minds.
Listening to people talk about writing manga can get boring at points, but the majority of the time you'll be entertained.
Bakuman, the first successful manga about writing a manga. I hope no one tries to do this over, it would leave a bad taste in my mouth.
The story of Bakuman is pretty obvious really... It's a story of two manga lovers trying to make their own anime. But it has a nice twist, or many twists even. With a variety of colourful characters, and a bit of (somewhat strange) romance, Bakuman still manages to stand out.
As stated before, the main story is fairly obvious. And in my view, it is not the most enjoyable part of the manga. Even so, many manga readers can relate to the situation the characters are in, which will definitely draw some aspiring mangaka in.
The style of art in this manga is very distinctive,
fans of other manga such as Death Note would (or should) immediately recognise it as familiar. Each panel is very expressive and dynamic, to the point where it could almost be passed off as an action series.
The characters are what really stand out to me. Even though we have fairly typical leads, it's still fun to watch them develop and grow closer to their dream. There are also some very eccentric supporting characters who make up for anyone else seeming a bit typical, their rival Nizuma Eiji is an obvious example. Being hailed as a young genius of the manga world, his actions are quite exaggerated, such as the way he makes sound effects while drawing his manga.
Bakuman is a simple story done in such an exciting way it's hard to overlook. I happily await the updates (yes, online...). Not only enjoying the story and characters develop, but also just looking at the detail of the art.
FIRSTLY! This Manga is NOT SEXIST, despite what many famous reviwers and the Wikipedia article say. If you think that then you are disregarding the reality that mangakas live their lives for fantasy so if some of the women seem overly concerned with finding love (3 very small side characters) then it is because fantasy is their world not because the authors don't believe in rounded women.
I am writing this review mostly to resond to that ridiculous accusation.
This manga is amazing! To take a story that is basically only about writing manga and turn it into a battlesque manga that constantly keeps you
on your toes takes an author fan and beyond what most are capabale of. Expect no less from the author of Death Note of course.
The art is spectacular also. I didn't think the ending scene had the punch it should have but I think that was a calculated descision on the part of the creators who comment on their industry throughout their 10 volume work.
Read the manga for the art, an unexpected story and most of all for the characters who are HILARIOUS! Particularly EIJI I love him he is just the strangest individual who is sooooo weird and clever. Every scene with him in it has dynamic movement built into it.
If you care at all about manga this is a love note to the industry and to the people who enjoy this medium, be they writers, editors, aritists or readers. To be obsessed like every character in this story you have to be a little weird but as most readers will tell you that is a pretty accurate description of us.
Its a slice of manga life done but two men who have helped define the industry. Not to be missed.
When you have a collaboration such as this, it's pretty hard to go wrong, no matter what you do. Enter Ohba and Obata's second collaboration, following the amazing, and my personal favorite manga ever, Death Note. Enter Bakuman.
Story: The concept's not the most original, I won't lie. I'm sure plenty of mangaka have toyed with this idea before. It's not too difficult to think up after all. Essentially, what it is is two people aspiring to publish a manga. This is not too interesting in of itself. However, what makes Bakuman interesting is all the subplots and
undertones running through it, driving forward the main plot, moving it to a constant climax. As the story begins, you get the feeling that the main character, Mashiro, is very, very normal. There's not too much interesting about him. But he can draw well. So well in fact, that he captures the interest of the other main character, Takagi. Top student in the class, and surprisingly enough, an aspiring mangaka. So, through a bit of coercion, Takagi gets Mashiro to team up with him to write a manga to be published. So, the story continues on from here, with tons of supporting characters such as a love interest, an uncle surrounded in tragedy, and a monkey faced editor. All of these characters, no matter how mysterious they may be, have a back story, and they're all spun together into quite an interesting read.
Art: The art is rather interesting this time around. I wasn't really expecting the style Obata decided to use for this manga. I was very much in love with the character design style he used in Death Note; extremely realistic and charming in a dark sort of way. This time around though, it all looks very shonen. This isn't a bad thing, but it takes some getting used to. It fits the manga's tone relatively well, barring some extremely serious scenes where it really doesn't seem to click well for some reason, but it is still a step down. I really don't like certain character designs introduced a little deeper into the manga. On the plus side, Obata's attention to fashion is clear. He is very clear on what looks good, and knows how to draw clothes that fit the character's persona and make you love them, no matter how the face may look.
Character: The characters in Bakuman are pretty typical. There hasn't been a character introduced at the time of writing this review (Chapter 16) that can't be stereotyped somehow. However, because of their backstories, they seem to have a far deeper appeal and reasons to why they are as they are than they really should in all honesty. As with Death Note, characters in Bakuman grow with time. Whether these changes are good or bad remain to be seen, but one thing is sure: the changes will be interesting.
Enjoyment: I honestly really like this series. No matter what flaws it may have, there really isn't anything that would turn me away from reading the newest chapter as soon as it can be found. What makes this series great is how deep it runs. Every time I read a chapter, I feel like there's always more to be told. There's no dry point in the manga, where life is really dull for these aspiring mangaka, even if they say it is. xD
Overall, I'm very excited as to where this series is going. An overall rating of 8 may seem a bit low for such a positive review, but I'm still a little hesitant about how this story will go as it progresses. I do have faith in Ohba and Obata though, and you definitely should start on this series as soon as possible!
“Beneath the rule of men entirely great, the pen is mightier than the sword”. (Baron Lytton Richelieu)
Bakuman can be divided in to two main parts, “The Dream” part and “The Romance” part. Ohba has blended these two things perfectly to produce a great series. The Dream part focuses on the journey of Mashiro and Takagi as mangaka and their efforts towards achieving their dream [i.e. creating a manga which gets and anime]. The Romance part focuses on Mashiro and Azuki’s relationship.
Over the years, one unofficial rule has developed i.e. to be on the successful in WSJ, you must do a mainstream manga or something
which is beyond exceptional (e.g. Gintama). If Ohba and Obata had just gone for a series which served as a manga tutorial, it might have failed in WSJ but they created a perfect formula which allowed them to create a non-mainstream series having the key shonen ingredients (dreams, friendship, romance, rivalries, hardships etc). Thus creating a series where there’re battles for World Domination, but the weapons aren’t swords but pens and the stage isn’t some fantasy world but the top of manga industry.
The general pace and development of plot is quite good though it tends to dip at times and becomes slow and repetitive. The main reason behind is the setting of the plot. As it is a well known example from the industry that there isn’t any fix time for a manga to get an anime adaption (i.e. you can get an anime with your first manga, and you might not get one even after writing dozens of manga). Due to this element, this series can drag for years and can also be wrapped up in a couple of chapters. Hence a consistency is hard thing to maintain.
As mentioned above, the cast of Bakuman is pretty much Jump like, spirited youths aiming to make it big, strong rivals, cool and mature grownups to guide them, and some who serve the purpose of comic relief. The exception is the lead character Mashiro, who doesn’t appear to be a traditional Jump hero, hence a good change.
Character Development is a strong feature in this series. And you’ll see characters maturing and growing up slowly and steadily. Ohba has planned out his cast really well, hence there are hardly any unnecessary characters and everyone plays his/her role efficiently.
Overall art of this manga is really good and perfect for such a series, something expected from Obata Sensei. Since Bakuman is a manga with heavy content (extra text), it is important to show it in such a manner that readers don’t get a feeling that they are reading a book and hence getting bored. Obata has done a great job in this regard. The panels, dialogue boxes are made in such a way that the reader doesn’t get bored from reading all the explanations and text.
Bakuman is among the best manga in terms of the content that is published in it. It is like an encyclopedia on manga especially WSJ. Hence there’re a lot of explanations, references, details and information related to the manga industry (manga in general, magazines etc). All this informative stuff is showed in such a manner that reader enjoys it and doesn’t get bored of it.
Target Audience: -
Regardless of taste in genres and demographics, Bakuman is a series for every manga and anime fan out there.
Tips while reading: -
Since Bakuman has quite detailed information about manga and manga industry, do try to search for real life examples (such as questioners, character polls, oneshots appearing in WSJ, and news related to the industry) else one can easily forget these details.
I like drawing, so I really enjoyed this story about mangaka in Japan. That aspect was one of the best parts. A lot of it was really meta, like a story style being talked about in the manga at the same time as it was being used by the manga. The artist is the same as Death Note's, and he went less serious for this manga, which is awesome. Characters make lots of silly expressions, and the visual humour is top notch.
The story is very cliche, to the point where I was sneering while I read. Main character will become
a mangaka so he can marry his true love!! Seeing women as a "prize" is old hat and kind of gross, and the female in this particular case doesn't do a lot on her own. Her entire career choice is done for the man she loves. It wouldn't have killed the writers to give her something of her own, instead of putting this pretty young girl up on a pedestal to be won.
The character's that do focus on their own dreams (ie. mostly men) are very well written, so it's not a total waste of time. However, the manga banked a lot on the weekly format of Shonen Jump, so it was a little painful for me to read the first half or so of it at once. Cliffhangers get kind of tedious when all you need to do is press the next button. If you have the self control, take breaks between chapters or between every few chapters. It makes a world of difference in reading experience.