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.


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Filed under Manga, Manga, Reviews

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