One of my favorite Mangas of all time is Death Note by Ohba Tsugumi (story) and Obata Takeshi (Mangaka). When I know that their latest work had been turned into anime and is going to be turned into a live action movie with my favorite actor as the main cast…I immediately search the anime. I found it online and watch the whole series (75 episodes) less than a month. I actually finished the anime early January but never had time to write about it till today.
Bakuman is about two best friends, Mashiro Moritaka (Voice actor: Abe Atsushi) and Takagi Akito (Hino Satoshi) who try their best to have their manga published in a famous manga magazine. To those who never read manga, probably they don’t know that most manga are first published in a manga magazine (one of the famous ones is Shounen Jump). Each chapter is shared each week, that’s why mangaka are chased with deadline every week. Once the chapter has reached the right amount of chapter…then they published the manga as an individual book. One Piece, my all time favorite manga has been regularly published in Shounen Jump for the past 18 years.
Bakuman shares so many information that we (manga lover) never realized before.
Mashiro has a good drawing ability but he can’t come up with a solid story while Takagi can’t draw well but he is a good story teller. The two of them talk about making a manga together (this is the same with Ohba and Obata). At first, Mashiro is not as eager as Takagi but when he meets his crush, Miho Azuki who dreams to become a voice actress (in Japanese it is called seiyuu), he becomes as eager as Takagi. Mashiro even proposes Miho to be his wife once his manga has been turned into anime with Miho as the heroine’s voice actress.
Mashiro and Takagi begins their journey from junior high school. Though they are still in school but their story is very complex. They manage to get their one shot manga published and even chosen for an award. But their journey to have a serial manga in the magazine is a long hard way. Their rival, the boy genius Eiji Nizuma (Okamoto Nobuhiko) tells them that they are the only mangaka he admits as rival, he wants them to surpass his manga. For Eiji, as well as Ashirogi Muto (Mashiro and Takagi’s pen name), rival means friends in competition. They, along with other mangaka, become friend but always try to surpass the other. They become motivated with their rivalry.
As most Japanese manga/anime…the story strongly shown the power of friendship and determination.
Apart from the main story, I truly enjoy all the titbits of making a manga.
It’s nice to know all things related to manga. The storyboard, or the rough sketch is called Name.
This name is then given to the editor to get some feedback. They fix their name if the editor needs it to be changed. They show it again to the editor and once the editor has agreed then they turn it into a real manga. However, the artist only draws the main characters, he will let the assistants to draw the background. Some mangaka only draws sketch and let the assistants finish everything.
Once it has become the final manga script, then they will submit it to their editor which then will be published in the magazine.
New mangaka has to find an editor of one magazine. They will approach one editor and let the editor do the talking to the chief editor. One mangaka will have one specific editor. His editor will also act like debt collector…he will come almost everyday to make sure that the mangaka he represents finish his manga before the due date.
I have known for a long time that being a mangaka is not an easy job because the deadline is weekly, this anime only confirms what I have known for years. They can stay awake for days just to finish it on the due date. That’s why ALL mangaka have assistants. Eiichiro Oda (the mangaka for One Piece) used to be Toriyama Akira’s assistant (the mangaka of Dragon’s Ball). Assistants also have dream to become mangaka and publish their own manga.
The hardship of creating manga is not only in fulfilling the deadline but also in maintaining the story to stay in people’s favorite. Once the manga keeps declining in the polling, the magazine can easily cancel the manga. A weekly manga has to maintain its popularity or the magazine will change it to another manga. All the editors have their meeting to determine which one will be sacked and which one will be newcomer manga.
Bakuman shares everything, every little details of being a mangaka. Being a mangaka is like a gambling, only few can be extremely famous and live just by drawing manga.
Although the main characters are Mashiro and Takagi but the one I like the most is Niizuma Eiji. His character is very funny. He is an unusual genius (then again most geniuses are unusual), easily becomes overexcited, his action is always well planned, very honest, tends to be ignorance but caring at the same time, acts as he pleased and super adorable.
Even his chibi action figures are super adorable. I really want to have one of them.
Here’s the opening of the anime:
Like I said in the beginning, this manga/anime is going to be turned into a live action movie (I hope Blitzmegaplex will show it here). It’s already in post-production. The main cast are my favorite Satou Takeru and Kamiki Ryunosuke. Both Takeru-kun and Kamiki have played together as enemy in Rurouni Kenshin…they are playing best friends now 😉 They are playing high school students when in truth Takeru-kun is already 24 years and Kamiki is 22 years…but both of them have such boyish face so it’s okay then 😉
I am curious with the one playing as Niizuma Eiji because I really think his character is the most difficult one to play. It will be played by Sometani Shota. I haven’t seen his work yet…so I really hope he can pull it off as the unusual Eiji.
Bakuman has no action scene or whatsoever but it’s one great anime with lots of information.
Ps: My favorite singer, Hyde from L’Arc~en~Ciel has a very small role in the anime. Only about a minute 😉