Released Year : October 2, 2010 to April 2, 2011
No of Episodes : 25
Genre : Comedy,Romance,School,Shounen
Plot : 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. (Source: ANN)
Our Review : Anime Review #2 - Bakuman
Let me start by clarifying that this review is only for the anime series of Bakuman and although it may mention some references to the manga, I will try my best to focus on what is shown in the anime.
“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.” – MAL/ANN
The plot of the story focuses on Mashiro and Takagi working hard on manga to make their dreams come true. The genre of the story is a hybrid of slice of life with some romance with themes revolving around friendship, teamwork, dreams and competition which are mostly seen in shounen animes. Throughout the anime, the narrative concentrates on the duos road to serialization in Shounen Jack (Shounen Jump in the manga), starting with one-shot mangas and entering competitions to work their way up as an author with other mangakas attempting to block their path. Although the anime resembles other romance animes, the conventions are broken from the start when Mashiro and Azuki, the female protagonist, decide to get married after the team have an anime.
Each episode will make you want to watch the next.
We have a range of characters, the main protagonists of the anime here are Moritaka Mashiro, a character who is determined to do well and spends a lot of his time trying to improve his art, he illustrates the art. He is the conventional character seen in most animes who is shy when he is around the girl he loves. Takagi Akito, is the central character who attracts Mashiro into becoming a mangaka. He is an intelligent character who gets the highest grades but because he has the passion for manga, he decides to perceive that as his career and writes the stories for the manga. We then have the two female character, Azuki Miho who has mutual feelings with Mashiro and wants to become a seiyuu (voice actress), she is a shy character but also has the determination to take on the obstacles blocking her from what she wants to do. There is also Miyoshi Kaya, Azuki’s best friend, who is a violent character and is sometimes displayed as stupid. She also becomes Takagi’s girlfriend with in the anime and motivates the two mangakas to advance in their work.
To provide a bit of movement in the theme of romance, there is also Kawaguchi Taro, Mashiro’s uncle who taught Mashiro everything about manga and has a similar story to Mashiro’s when the anime starts.
We also have the antagonists such as Niizuma Eiji, who is only a year older than the main protagonists but is considered a genius after becoming serialized at the age of 15, sparking a fire within Mashiro and Takagi, making them desperate to get serialized as soon as they can. There is also Fukuda, Aoki, Nakai and Koogy who compete with the duo and attempt to obtain serialization.
The last set of characters is the editors who provide constructive criticism and advise the mangakas on their work. For the duo there is Hattori, who becomes a character the team can trust and although he is a bit unsure whether the two should be serialized at a young age, he decides that they can pull it off. There is also Yujiro, Fukuda and Eiji’s editor who seems to be a rival to Hattori, possibly because Eiji and Ashirogi Muto (the 2 characters pen name) consider each other as rivals as well.
The art is expected to be good as the mangaka for this manga is that of Death Note, which shocked me at first. 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.
Soundtrack resembling that of stuff like Honey and Clover, a very slow and mellow opening and the the first ending is similar to the opening, the second ending is a bit more heavier but still maintaining the romantic element of the anime, a bit like Toradora! Etc. There is narration when each one-shot or idea for a manga is displayed, explaining the story and dialogue in the manga. This anime isn’t really the type where you have to follow the dialogue completely like Gungrave or Death Note but still it helps understand the story, so I suggest you watch the anime properly without having to skip bits.
There is probably a lot more I can say about this anime in this review but then everyone would be bored of reading this, if you aren’t already. I really enjoyed the anime and can’t wait for it’s sequel which has already been announced. I do recommend it, but I also recommend the audience reading the manga as it’s pretty awesome. In whatever order is upto you.