My initial thoughts after finishing the final pages of this series… Now what? Since I started reading the series last summer Bakuman I have submerged myself as much as possible into the story. It was the series that solidified my interest in reading manga and now it’s over.
The main story of Bakuman follows two young manga artists working to achieve their dream of being the most successful Mangaka in Japan. The series begins when Junior High students Moritaka Mashiro is invited by his classmate Akito Takagi to become his partner and make manga with him. Initially Mashiro is hesitant; however Takagi wins him over after bringing him to talk to his long-time crush, Miho Azuki. Mashiro discovers that Azuki has a dream to be an anime voice actress and the pair agrees that they will encourage each other to achieve their respective dreams. As added motivation they decide that once Azuki is able to do the voice of the heroine from Mashiro’s manga, they will get married.
From here the series takes off, as Mashiro and Takagi push to achieve their goals. They write up a one-shot which they bring in to show an editor at Shonen Jump and from here they never look back. The pair pushes themselves to the absolute limits to ensure that everything they create is the absolute best it can be. Struggling to be the best they can be while still trying to finish school proves too difficult at times and at one point they even end up having to work out of a hospital. The pair never lose sight of their goals and keep bending the editorial offices rules as they wish so as to achieve them.
All the characters in the series are very well developed and you can’t help but to grow fond of them all. Along with the main characters we are introduced to many others such as editors from Shonen Jump and other artists. Every volume brings more and more characters into the series who each add a little something to the mix. The writers are not afraid to shift the focus away from the main story to build on the story’s of the others. We see plenty of side story’s about the other characters such as Iwase’s depression and the relationship between Hiramaru and Ko Aoki.
The series end really the only way it could have, with a single kiss. Muto Ashirogi’s series Reversi has been made into an anime and as promised Azuki is doing the voice of the heroine. After the first episode finishes Mashiro picks Azuki up Mashiro builds up the courage to ask her to marry him. She responds simply by saying that the last time they met they agreed they would have their first kiss when they see each other again. The series end with the image of the two sharing in their first kiss.
One weekend last August I found myself in Forbidden Planet in Belfast looking at manga and deciding which one I would buy. This would be the first time I ever bought manga and had no idea what to get. I had watched Neon Genesis Evangelion with a couple friends a few months before and decided to grab the 3-in-1 volume. When I went to pay the guy working the counter told me that all manga is buy 2 get one free. I looked over at a little stand next to the counter and just grabbed the first two volumes of Bakuman which was sitting on it. This random decision to just grab whatever was closest to me at the time has made me an Otaku. My manga collection is now nearing 100 volumes and that doesn’t count everything I’ve read online. As the first series I ever bought, Bakuman will always hold a special spot for me.
The series truly has been brilliant. Since I bought those first two volumes I havn’t been able to walk in a comic book shop without leaving with the next volume. With every chapter I read, I had to read on. With every volume I read, I had to go buy more. The writing of the series is so perfect in the way it progresses the story and keeps the readers wanting more. The art is fantastic and above all else this series has created a love for the work of Takeshi Obata’s work [DeathNote, All You Need is Kill, Hikaru no go].
All and all, the series is very interesting to read and once you begin you can’t help but to read on. I havn’t heard or seen a single person who has said they started reading Bakuman and didn’t get sucked into the story. It will keep you interested right through until the entire series is over, and even then you want more.
I try not to give a numerical rating for anything on my blog, rather a short note of either recommended, or not. In the case of Bakuman I have no idea how to express just how good the series is. Everyone should read it. The story is great. The artwork is amazing. The character development is fantastic. At twenty volumes it is a great length, not too short to be rushed or to miss on character development, and not too long to be dragging on and lose the readers interest. I honestly can’t recommend this series enough, it holds a special place for me, and if every I find myself recommending a series to get someone interesting in manga, this will be it.
Let me know what you thought of the series, and what was your favourite moment. In my last post I wrote about my favourite characters and in the future will do on the best manga series in Bakuman. SO go check those out and let me know your favourites. I’d also like to apologise to anyone who I’ve left waiting for this post. I actually finished the series almost two weeks ago but had fallen behind on college work so havn’t been posting much lately. I’ll try to get a bit of a stockpile built up of posts so this doesn’t happen again. Thanks to everyone who’s been reading my posts, expect more in the future.
Check Bakuman out for yourself, available at http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9781421535135/?a_aid=turtlemanga