Even though this isn’t a review it’ll probably still have spoilers so read at your own risk. You’ve been warned.
Anyway, I really wish I had found this series sooner. It may be made by the same people behind Death Note but it was a lot better in my opinion. Maybe this kind of series is just more my cup of tea, who knows. It’s about two middle school kids who start drawing manga and the story follows them all the way through college. Each one ends up married to a beautiful girl at the end. The girls are even best friends too which is kinda how they all met. While the relationships do play a role the biggest, most important part is the manga.
I wish I could read some of these manga myself though I doubt I or anyone else will ever be able to. Like “Money and Intelligence”, the concept of that is amazing. I could tell that it’s something I’d love to read. Nizuma Eiji felt the same way, out of all the manga the main characters drew that was one of his favorite. Sadly though, the readers didn’t feel the same way. It wasn’t very popular and so remained as a one shot, never becoming an actual serialized manga. Then there’s the last series they wrote titled “Reversi”. This one is where you can kinda tell that the people who made Death Note also made this series. Reversi and Death Note had quite a few similarities, not enough that they were exactly the same but enough to be noticeable if you pay attention. Ashirogi Muto made a lot of great manga, like Detective Trap, which was their first serialized manga though it didn’t run for very long. There’s also Perfect Crime Party which also sounds like a great series that I would love to read. But like all the other manga within this series it’ll likely never exist outside it. All we can do is continue to imagine what they would be like.
Remember how I mentioned Nizuma Eiji earlier? If you haven’t read this manga or watched the anime you’re probably wondering who that is. Well he’s Ashirogi Muto’s main rival as a mangaka and he’s a year older than they are. When he was first introduced I thought he was going to be some sort of villain until I realized that this series isn’t like that. Yes, there might be things like rivalries and all that but it’s mainly a series about the world of manga and all about how it’s created. But why I thought he would be a villain is one of the things he said when we first met him. He asked for the right to end one manga that he hates if he becomes the top mangaka in Jack. I thought he would eventually try to end one of the manga that Ashirogi Muto wrote. But it turns out that wasn’t the case at all. I ended up forgetting all about that because it wasn’t brought up again until a lot later. But it turns out the manga Nizuma actually wanted to end was his own. He didn’t like writing Crow anymore and felt that if he was forced to keep working on it the quality would keep going down until it was eventually cancelled. He wanted to end it his way which is why he made that request.
Nizuma is actually one of my favorite characters in the show. He’s always either interesting or just plain funny to watch. Everyone calls him a genius because he’s so good at drawing manga. I wish I was as good of an artist as Eiji, or any of the other people in this anime. But even at the beginning of the series most of them have been drawing since they were kids. Nizuma Eiji started drawing when he was six years old. I know I could probably get good too but I guess I’m just not willing to put in that much time. But that’s okay, it just means I’m not someone who was meant to draw manga. Or anything for that matter.
But that’s part of why I like Bakuman so much. I get to watch people who are really good at something I wish I could do. Though they don’t show a lot of they actual drawing in the show but you get what I mean. Sometimes if there’s something you can’t do it’s fun to just think and wonder about what it would be like if you could do it. Even though your time would be better spent learning, in my case, how to draw. In these characters I can see the kind of person I wish I could be, which is something I really like. Even though it does really suck sometimes.
Another thing I like is that the four main characters and their families all seem connected in some way. Like how Miho’s mom and Moritaka’s uncle used to exchange letters. There’s also the connection between Miyoshi’s family and Mashiro’s. Kaya’s father and Mashiro’s uncle both liked a girl named Miyuki who we now know as Miho’s mother. So they were like rivals in that regard, which was another thing I wasn’t expecting. I really like stories that have elements like this, where you find out more and kind of piece together the story as you go. It isn’t as big of a part here as in something like Durarara, where the whole story is told from different viewpoints and you can’t really understand it completely. All these connections in Bakuman aren’t really super important like they might be in another series but still kinda interesting to know.
Now let’s talk about the other genius manga artist in this series, Kazuya Hiramaru. He might be good at drawing manga but he’s a genius in a different way than Eiji is. He picked up a Jack magazine one day and decided he wanted to draw manga. Mostly because he thought it would be easy and he didn’t want to work. Despite never having drawn anything before he gets a serialized manga pretty quickly. But then he realizes that drawing manga isn’t nearly as easy as he thought it would be. His attempts to escape his editor and avoid work are somewhat of a running gag throughout the series. He’s also got a crush on Yuriko Aoki, another manga artist, and his editor Yoshida uses this to keep him working. Yoshida often tells him how Aoki will reject him because of his laziness in order to make him work. Not really my favorite character but it was nice to see him and Aoki finally get engaged. Now that Aoki is with someone she shouldn’t have to worry about that Nakai as much anymore. Like how there was that one time where Nakai said she would have to date him if she wanted him to help with her manga. Nakai was an okay character but also wasn’t someone I really like that much. He was the one who found out about the methods Nanamine was using to make his manga though so I guess there’s that.
Aside from characters I liked how Bakuman went behind the scenes of how manga is created. I had no idea there was so much to it. Like how a series will often get tried out as a one-shot first before it gets a chance at serialization. Or how manga artists need assistants in order to keep up with a weekly series. Though I guess it does make sense since drawing a weekly manga is also a lot more work than I ever knew it was. To the point where Mashiro actually overworked himself and went to the hospital during the serialization of Detective Trap. There’s also how his uncle actually died of overwork. Showing how it’s still a huge amount of work even without a weekly series. I had thought before seeing this anime that it would be cool to be a manga artist. But afterwards I kinda changed my mind. It just looks like way too much work, plus I’m not even good enough at drawing for that. But that’s fine, maybe I could be a light novel author instead. If I ever end up living in Japan that is. But that really has nothing to do with Bakuman so I’ll just leave it at that.
Well I hope anyone who sees this enjoys reading me just talking about Bakuman for a thousand or so words, even if I was really late in posting this. Really, I’m sorry this is late, I’ve been getting used to my new job. I work kinda late there so I always end up sleeping in and not really wanting to work on writing when I am awake. But from no on I’ll try to do a better job of keeping with posting at least once every 5 days. Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed this and I’ll see you in the next one.