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Book Review: BAKUMAN

Bakuman Volume 1

Image via Wikipedia

First off, sorry for neglecting you all for the past two-three weeks.  I’ve been meaning to post, honest.  The problem?

I’ve been reading too many awesome books lately.

How is this a problem?  Well, if I’m reading, I’m not posting.  So it’s a problem.

Anyway, I’m back now, so here’s a review of BAKUMAN!

Moritaka Mashiro has always loved to draw, and once thought that he would make a living creating manga.  Now a middle school student, he thinks that his former dream is just that–a dream–and he’s no longer interested in making it a reality due to the difficulty of that path.

Akito Takagi is in Mashiro’s class at school.  His dream is to become a manga storywriter.  When he sees samples of Mashiro’s artwork by accident, he’s convinced that he’s found the perfect artist for his work.  Can Takagi convince Mashiro that becoming a manga artist is not an unattainable dream?

Miho Azuki is a cute girl in Mashiro and Takagi’s class who dreams of being a voice actress .  Mashiro has had a crush on Azuki for a long time, so with Takagi’s support, he talks to her–and she likes him, too!  The two agree to watch over each other and support each other in their goals and dreams.

Mashiro and Takagi’s struggles as amateur mangaka are portrayed in an interesting, realistic way.  Granted, there are plenty of exaggerations–take rival mangaka Eichi Nizuma, a high-schooler who reads, writes, and lives manga as an example–but these exaggerations don’t detract from the realistic atmosphere.

I honestly did not think that I’d like BAKUMAN when I read the first few pages. Truth be told, I was only trying it because of Takeshi Obata’s artwork, which I am very fond of after reading Hikaru no Go.  I stuck with it after some encouragement from someone who had read the series, and began to really enjoy it with the second volume.  Obata’s artwork is gorgeous as always, and Tsugumi Ohba’s scripting is well-paced and compelling.  It’s great to have a look into the manga publishing world, even if it is dramatized.

As of now, I’ve read the first nine volumes, and cannot wait to get my hands the tenth!  At least there’s only a month to go, right?

~River

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