Back on track to what Bakuman should be like. Much more engaging than the previous volume and I really couldn’t put this one down. Hiramaru has been my favourite character for a while, but he really solidified that in this volume. So here’s volume 18 at long last.
The rivalry between Ashirogi and Nizuma is back to full force in volume 18. Mashiro and Takagi submit a one shot entitled Reversi and after hearing that Ashirogi have submitted a one shot, Nizuma quickly gets to work on his own titled Zombie*Gun. The results for the both one shots are astronomical and it is decided to serialize both as series. Once serialized the pressure mounts on Ashirogi and their assistants to finish the first chapter of Reversi, complete the PCP chapters for Jump and to start a new arc for PCP which is now to be published monthly in another magazine. It’s the retelling of a classic Bakuman story of the race against time to get the final draft completed.
Once serialized the true battle with Nizuma begins as both compete for the top slot in Jump, leaving all other series in the dust. Neither Ashirogi nor Nizuma are ever willing to submit and continue to amend their series’ to ensure the other cannot top them. With first place in the magazine now solidly being help my one of them (I won’t say which as not to ruin it for anyone) another fight commences as the first tankobans are published on the same day. Now a battle truly on two fronts, in the rankings and in sales, they turn their attention to getting an anime (which will really take off in the next volume).
With all this going on its hard to believe that the volume ends with what is possibly my favourite side story from Bakuman so far. I don’t want to say what happens so not to give too much away in this reflection. I’ll discuss it more in the series’ final review after I’m done volume 20. I will say though that Hiramaru has been one of my favourite characters throughout the series, even though he’s mostly been used as comic relief. I am really happy to see the mangaka devote almost two chapters to him and his dream of achieving true happiness. It’s a really sweet little section, which kept me laughing right through as he tries to overcome his compete awkwardness to do what he really wants.
Oh how everything has improved again since the disappointing volume 17. It’s true that again the writer reused old story points which were done a few times before, such as the race against time. In this volume, however, they have been far better put to use and in my opinion helped the story this time around. The story is great in this volume and the series that Ashirogi creates really has my interest and is something that I wish I could actually read. As I said the end of the volume really solidified this one and it just made me feel happy. I true feel good factor is back to Bakuman.
Greatly improved from the disappointment in volume 17. Volume 18 really shows what this mangaka team is capable of doing and I really enjoyed this volume. The volume is fantastic and as I always say, the Bakuman series is a must read for anyone. If you have not already read the series get out there and start on it. You will not be disappointed in the slightest.