Manga: Bakuman

and so it comes to an end – a mere 176 chapters. The ending came quite abruptly, I wasn’t expecting it to end so quickly. It was a manga that I felt I could read forever. Yet it must have been a difficult manga to write. A manga about manga. Obata Takeshi and Ohba Tsugumi never fail to surprise me. After Death Note, who would have thought they would create something like Bakuman. Vastly different in genre, plot and characters.

Two words sum up this manga for me – simply amazing.

Simply because the plot is so simple to follow. The story flows so naturally, the relationships are not complicated yet remain realistic.

Amazing because, well you’ll have to read it for yourself.

Bakuman has been my favourite series since it debuted. It delved into the world of creating manga and anime, showing for the first time what the process was like. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think anything like this has been done before. The trials and tribulations of being a manga writer. The editorial department and the people who go into the making of a manga, new insight brings new appreciation for this art form. The storytelling was flawless, it had a good mix of everything. Suspense, comedy, romance and to quote from the manga it was a non-mainstream battle manga. Battles took place between authors and every piece of work that appeared in Bakuman was well crafted and I could totally picture reading/watching them.

The romance aspect of the manga was done exceptionally well. It was sweet but not cliché. Both parties played their part and worked hard for their dream to come true. It wasn’t one-sided as some romances tend to be, but a true partnership. A couple working towards their dreams together. The minor characters always brought laughter and yet when they stand their ground, they command a certain degree of respect. All of them unique, yet never overpowering the two main characters. What takes the cake perhaps is the relationship between Takagi and Mashiro. It feels as if it might mirror Obata and Ohba’s partnership. Both have created such wonderful mangas, showing us techniques about writing that we might never have known. It’s been both entertaining and educational.

The only gripe I have with Bakuman is the length of the series. I felt like there should be more, that the world and the characters they have created have so much more to offer. The ending although good, feels abrupt and the series as a whole feels incomplete. We may never know what becomes of the rivalry between Ashirogi Muto and Nizuma Eiji. We may never know what becomes of the relationship between Hiramaru and Aoki. There are so many loose ends! Yet I suppose, it was the right decision to end where they did. The major arc of the story was complete and the rest were all just side stories that can continue in the fans’ imagination.

Bakuman, I bid you farewell. Thank you for the weekly joy you have brought for the past 5 years. I’m looking forward to more by the Obata/Ohba pair.


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