November 12, 2012

Anime Review: Bakuman.

Becoming a successful manga artist within a short amount of time is not easy task to accomplish and Bakuman. gives us a glimpse of some reality of the process one becomes a mangaka.


Moritaka Mashiro and Akito Takagi are pretty much foils of each other. Mashiro, an average 9th grade student but talented artist, and Takagi, an overall advanced 9th grader and aspiring writer. After great convincing, Takagi convinces Mashiro to join him in becoming the greatest mangakas Japan has ever seen. Takagi, with his gift of writing, hopes to become a successful mangaka, and Mashiro, with his gift of art, hopes to marry the girl of his dreams, Azuki Miho.


It may be hard at first to start watching this anime as the summary only gives quite a general overview of what this anime is about. In short, the story is about a couple of guys that decide to become manga artists with the motivation of marrying the girls of their dreams. What seemed to be a simple, shallow story quickly develops into an exciting plot. I cannot describe how the story plays out, but I must say that the story did keep me captivated and entertained throughout the series. Every episode somehow ended in a way that made me wanted to continue watching! I never thought that the story of a couple of guys achieving their dreams as manga artists would be this interesting. The anime also provides some "backstage" information about how mangas are produced, selected, and rated in a real-world like environment. There were some nice uses of pseudonyms that represented real counterparts (such as Shounen Jack as Shounen Jump) and you can pretty much pick out the counterparts quite easily throughout the series. Of course there are some fictitious elements to it that is meant to be enjoyed by the audience. Overall, I would say that the story would be described as an adventure, slice of life anime with some romance in it.

The art was quite good throughout each episode. The anime’s art shows a great amount of detail yet still maintaining that slice of life environment in the anime. Something which intrigued me the most, in terms of the art, was the displaying of the stories each mangaka made. By animating the storyline and having a narrator explaining the information in the manga, improved the anime. The character themselves were well illustrated and fluidly animated.

The voice acting was perfect for the characters. I felt that the character's representations through their vocal expressions suited them perfectly and portrayed their attitudes and personalities nicely. The theme songs were pretty slow-moving but nice and suited the anime really well. I did not find anything annoying throughout the anime series regarding the soundtrack. It was just well presented.

Moritaka Mashiro and Akito Takagi can be described as your typical high school guy. Not really. They are pretty lively and enthusiastic about their work, but they are not overly dramatic or like the kind of guy you would find in an action or ecchi anime. Of course, Mashiro and Miho do have awkward and embarrassing moments, but they are fully supported by Takagi and Kaya. How would I describe the guys? Pretty determined to become successful magakas.

Overall, the anime was interesting in a way that it entertains by being informative. It does provide plenty of background information to what goes on in a  manga editorial department, how manga are produced, how much effort and time is used, as well as the emotions that go with each high and low. In no way does this bore you, so rest assured that this is a story worth diving into. I must admit that I knew nothing about manga production until I watched this anime, and now, I've learnt something new.


ART: 8