Comic Books Magazine

What Ben Learned From Watching Bakuman, Part I

Posted on the 16 May 2014 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG
Origin story, activate!

Origin story, activate!

Before I get into the meat of this post, let me explain; this is a new series of posts I’ll be working on during my summer break (and maybe for longer, if my schedule would allow it) where I take a series that has finished airing and write a few points about what I liked and a few points about what I didn’t like in the series. This is done with 3 parts: part I is for the first episode, part II is for halfway through the series, and part III is for the end of the series.

Having said that, let’s talk about Bakuman.!

From my basic understanding (and minimal research), Bakuman. is the story of two first year high school students who desire to become the most famous mangakas in Japan. Both young men are fueled by different ambitions and seem to be polar opposites of each other.

Believe it or not, this anime has been on my list of shows to watch since April of 2013. It’s been over a year since I first expressed any sort of interest in this show! What’s even better is that I thought Bakuman. was the only installment in this series, but I was shocked to find out that there are two sequels, Bakuman. 2 and Bakuman. 3. I hope this whole series is good, because I intend to ride it out to the end. Seeing how much praise this series seems to get, I thought that I’d have to give it a go sometime.

What I learned from Bakuman., Episode 1:

1. The first episode served as a very good introduction to the series. The one aspect that I’d have to say was the shining light of the episode was the development of Moritaka Mashiro’s character. It showed me that his passion for becoming a mangaka wasn’t just any sort of ‘spur of the moment’ decision in his life.

2. I enjoy the pacing of this episode. Not much really happened, and it worked to the show’s advantage in terms of introducing characters and setting up the basic premise.

3. Both of the main characters are pretty intriguing and fun to watch interact.

4. I found it interesting how Mashiro’s passion for manga was deterred because of his uncle’s death. It’s always tough to lose someone who influences you in such a way, and it can easily make you seek out a different path in life, especially if that influence saw you as somewhat of a protégé. I would love to see that fleshed out in the future, and see how it shapes the direction our two main characters go.

5. Mashiro’s ambitions to become a mangaka are complex and seem to be ever-evolving. First it was because of his uncle, now it’s because of the girl he likes. Takagi’s ambitions, however, seem to be very straightforward. Maybe he has some secrets of his own. I’d be shocked if he didn’t have any, and a little bit disappointed.

6. Takagi reminds me of myself very much (right down to the glasses I wear). We’re even similar in ambitions; In high school, I entertained the notion of becoming a novelist/writer of some sort, but I never knew how to go about starting it. The big difference between us, however, is that I was never as studious as he is. Aside from that, I can really relate to him.

7. The whole romance angle seems like it will turn out to be extremely forced. If nothing else, it looks like it will become a very, very complicated subplot. Mashiro’s interactions with Azuki were so stale, and their “marriage pact” seems pretty corny. That was easily the worst impression the show left on me.

After the first episode, I can see where the praise is coming from. The characters are fine and the story seems to have a lot of traction. The romantic areas could use a lot of work, and I hope that they can handled in a less awkward way. I’ll only have to wait and see. Nevertheless, I have a good feeling that I’m going to enjoy what this series has to offer.

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