Throwback Thursdays: Bakuman。

This week, I have the honor of talking about my number one favorite media series. The reason I say it like that is because I originally fell in love with the Bakuman manga as it was being serialized, and it wasn’t till a few weeks ago that I was able to get ahold of the anime series. I watched the show completely through and am very excited to review it.

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Bakuman is a series centering around two middle school students who decide they are going to become mangaka (manga creators.) The story centers around their battles and struggles, and also on there relationships. The two main characters are named Moritaka Mashiro (Saiko) and Akito Takagi (Shujin.) Mashiro is the artist and Takagi is the writer, and together they function under the pen name Ashirogi Muto. Together they fight to make a manga worthy of Shonen Jump (or Shonen Jack, if you watch the anime.) At the same time, Mashiro is trying to fulfill his dream to make a manga that gets an anime adaptation, so his girlfriend Miho Azuki can be a voice actress in it, at which point they will get married.

The series is difficult for me to put in genres. It is very atypical, like it’s predecessor, Death Note. The authors of the series say it is a romantic story. I agree mostly, but it also has mind games, antagonists, rivals, and so much more. It feels like a slice-of-life story with the intensity of a sports anime. It has a strong romantic sub plot that is odd and yet very innocent. I think the story’s real strength is its characters and plot. The story is very well written, with many well-balanced layers of detail, but the strength of the plot is that it is inspiring. Every time I finished watching the episodes, I wanted to draw. I wanted to write. Watching the characters fight for what they believe in is inspiring. The romantic plot tore at my heart and at the same time made me want the characters to succeed. Then the characters are very well written. They are relatable and lovable, but also irritating at times. They act like real people, which always made me want to root for them, like watching a friend trying to achieve his dreams.

When it comes to Bakuman, I am very partial. I don’t really have any complaints with the series. I have heard people refer to the series as being overtly sexist. I tend to disagree strongly with this. There are some things that are said that do feel sexist. However, I feel like they accurately reflect Japanese culture. Japanese culture has a very strong link to Confucianism and I categorize most of those comments through that lens. I do not mean to justify them, but after living in Japan I can not really discern who is right or wrong via morals. I just know that the cultural difference is key to understand a large amount of this show.

I love Bakuman, so of course I highly recommend this show. I know some people who like it, but I don’t know anyone who hates it. It is a bit slower than a lot of shows, but for me it is number one. Please watch it and let me know what you think.

13 thoughts on “Throwback Thursdays: Bakuman。

  1. I never saw the anime, though I did read the manga. Part of it, anyways. I made it through nine volumes before I felt like the series was dragging on. Still, what I read was pretty good, and I like the idea of a manga about drawing manga. (Which reminds me, wasn’t there an anime about making anime? Had a bunch of twenty-somethings in it, trying to make end’s meet? I forget the name. Anyone know what I’m talking about?)

  2. I just watched Bakuman recently. I ended up (accidentally… mind you) binging all 75 episodes in 9 days. I could not stop myself. This was on top of keeping up with school, other shows, and my job.

    Bakuman is one of the most addicting shows I’ve watched, and I love it. I still am upset though that *SPOILERS!* we never see the wedding, after all that build-up we never see the payoff.

    Also, have you checked out of specials? It’s short Otter11 episodes, and I love it. They got it it’s own ED that amazing.

    1. I’m still pretty salty about that ending. I followed the manga since the first chapter was released, and then it ended kinda abruptly when I was expecting at least 1 more chapter with something related to their future. The amount of Miho was already scarce enough, at least give her a longer ending D:

  3. I should point out before I forget again, the Bakuman anime was never fully released in North America. Media Blasters purchased the rights to it, but they went under while preparing to release the second DVD of the first season. (I had bought the first and preordered the second.)

    I would really like a North American release. I have even sent a request or two to Funimation and Viz Media to pick up the rights, but no one has officially.

  4. I loved the manga and came to love the anime just as much it took me a while to find out about media blasters, but I personally found the story kind of ironic given the content of the show. Kinda like Shiobako when the final episode about delivering an episode on time was delayed by a day.

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