Comic Books Magazine

What Ben Learned From Watching Bakuman, Part III (Episodes 13-25)

Posted on the 30 May 2014 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG
Truer words have never been spoken

Truer words have never been spoken

It’s official; I’ve finished the first season of Bakuman..! So, how did I like it…?

Oh, hey Bakuman. Welcome to the elite club.

— Ben Webb (@_Bentendo64) May 24, 2014

Yeah, so… it was pretty good.

What I learned from Bakuman., Episodes 13-25:

1. Saiko is a good character, but he has the incredible ability to frequently piss me off. I mean, yeah; I like both Saiko and Shujin (I much prefer Shujin, though), but sometimes Saiko came across as unfairly self-centered. Think about it; he has the support of his family, the support of his wonderful friends, the possibility of marrying a girl who he loves, and he gets to use his late uncle’s former workplace for free (which is basically a haven for any aspiring mangaka), and yet, he always seems to trail off into extremely negative moods and self-pity. I understand that the arrangement he made with Azuki isn’t ideal, but at the end of the day, he’s the one who agreed to it. He needs to get over it and stop feeling so bad about it.

2. When Saiko and Shujin part ways after a deadline dispute, it feels realistic, like it wasn’t planned. I hate the overused trope of breaking up two friends in the second or third act of a show/movie/anime, because the reason they break up is always something trivial and meaningless. However, when it’s done in Bakuman., there’s a real reason for Saiko and Shujin to split up professionally. Although it was resolved shortly after, it brought out a great deal of emotions from both Saiko and Shujin, both of them wondering where they went wrong and if they were overreacting. It did highlight a nice bit of tension between these two friends, and I liked that. It showed that they were human.

3. Eiji Niizuma is freaking awesome. As the series progressed, the buildup to Niizuma becoming a rival of our heroes was pretty strong. Saiko obsessed over it nonstop, and the competition that he fantasized about only pushed himself away from the realms of reality. Then, once Saiko becomes Niizuma’s assistant, he realized that not only is Niizuma a nice guy, he’s also a supportive person who doesn’t harbor any vitriol for any of his contemporaries. In fact, it’s quite the opposite; Niizuma seems to be a fan of everyone’s works, and isn’t afraid to show that he’s a fan, or offer support. Even I thought that he would become a stereotypical antagonist, but I’m now very glad he didn’t become that.

4. The competition between all of the aspiring mangakas was actually tense. This is because I didn’t have any idea who would get serialized, and seeing how Saiko and Shujin don’t always win, I thought there was a great possibility that they wouldn’t win in the end. After all, there are two more seasons to go through, so I thought that the good news could have been delayed for a bit. I know that in the end, the good guys always find a way to win, but there was that feeling of doubt.

5. The whole subplot with KOOGY trying to cheat to win the Golden Future Cup was incredibly unnecessary. KOOGY was a jerk. A celebrity jerk. His only contribution to the series was to unite “Team Fukuda”, which was admittedly nice. Oh, well. At least I’ll probably never see him again.

6. The relationship between Saiko and Azuki became a little more tolerable, but nowhere near perfect. It feels like they’re on speaking terms now, so that’s a nice start. I like these two, and I feel sorry for them. I want to see them become less miserable!

7. Saiko’s jealousy of Azuki landing roles and getting “ahead” of him felt perfectly realistic… but it made him an insufferable jackass sometimes. He could just be downright unpleasant sometimes. When he gets depressed or annoyed, there’s no reasoning with him. He becomes so distraught that he doesn’t care what anybody says, and it makes me feel sorry for Shujin because he has to then be positive for both of them. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen often.

8. “Team Fukuda” was golden, and the characters who make up the team better make appearances in future seasons. These aspiring mangakas (and Niizuma) were a riot, with every single one having their own unique quark. All of these people helped each other and gave helpful advice, all while trying to compete with one another. These are all awesome people, and they need to make more appearances in the future.

9. Saiko and Shujin’s editor, Hattori, is the editor from Heaven. I love this man. The fact that he actually believes in two teenagers is pretty remarkable, but it’s even more remarkable when he tries to mold them to becoming professionals. He does this by devoting so much of his time to these kids, thus taking a huge risk on them. He was such a kind person, and I hope to see him more in the future… even if he’s not Saiko and Shujin’s editor anymore…

To say that Bakuman. is a good anime is an understatement; Bakuman. is an absolutely phenomenal anime. Great characters, interesting plot, and legitimately surprising plot twists are only a handful of the amazing characteristics of this show. In the end, I’m glad that I finally gave it a chance, even if it took me a while to start it up. Sure, there are other animes that I like more than Bakuman. for various reasons, but for what it is, Bakuman. is a strong, ambitious anime about a subject that I wouldn’t have thought would be this deep or interesting. I loved what this season had to offer, and am looking forward to watching the next two seasons!

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