As we approach the Autumn 2012 anime season I found myself with the dreaded question once again. ‘What am i watching this season?’. As you can see from next season’s Animuchart we have quite a few new shows to look forward to as well as a few continuations. Upon seeing that Bakuman season 3 was being released I finally decided to get around to watching the previous two seasons and over the course of the last week I have been constantly doing so. Well, enough of my boring introduction here we go!
Upon doing initial research the first thing I noticed about Bakuman was that it’s created by the awesome team of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. For those who aren’t familiar with the names, they are the ones who created Death Note. Yes, the guys who were behind my all time favorite anime created another masterpiece and I am only now watching it. Sad huh? Also, while one may say that because of that fact I am biased towards the show i’d like to point out that since I came to expect so much from them, I was even tougher on it than I would be with the average anime.
The story revolves around two boys in their teens and their dream to be mangaka (manga artists). Seasons one and two highlights a chronological timeline of their journey beginning at the final year of Junior High and ends at the first year of university. There is a quote ‘The path to becoming a Manga-ka is one of sweat, tears, malnutrition, and lack of sleep’ and throughout Bakuman we are shown exactly that. From day one where they decide to follow their dreams, to the creation of their first ‘hit’ manga. Everything done in their life is portrayed in those two seasons. Also, due to the realistic nature of the show and the personalities of the protagonists we also experience a profound romance throughout the story. Maybe that’s why I loved it so much, when I was not on the edge of my seat hoping the pair were successful with their manga creations I was rooting for the various relationships that came about. Either way, Bakuman excelled at both areas (slice of life/comedy & romance).
Artwork : This is a difficult area to rate because while the overall artwork wasn’t the best, It would remove from the show if they improved upon it. As quite a bit of this show had to do with manga, we had quite a few scenes where we saw the drawings done by the protagonists. Sometimes even the anime adaptation of characters drawn would be shown and it was nice to be able to easily tell the difference between what was anime real and what was anime anime.
Plot: A seemingly bland plot (two guys striving to be manga artists) but excellently done. It mirrors life at its best and worst thus captivates the reader and draws him into its world. With its added pinch of comedy and a dash of romance we are left with the greatness that is this show :).
Effectiveness of characters: Freegin’ Perfect. This is where the anime scored the majority of its points. When I started watching this I was unable to stop simply because I (like the characters) was always looking forward to what would happen next. The emotions of the characters always seemed to be in tune with mine (or mine with theirs) and that made for an extremely enjoyable experience.
Conclusion: There was no set ‘conclusion’ just a pause as they stated that season three would be out soon so no complaints there.
Plot 10/10 (seemingly bland but perfectly executed)
Conclusion 9/10 (a ‘pause’, but not a ‘stop’)
Overall I must say Bakuman was excellently done and it is definitely one of the more underrated shows out there. If you haven’t seen it… what are u waiting for? GO GO GO!