MOBI Tsugumi Ohba ñ バクマン。 1 MOBI æ ñ

Is becoming a successful manga artist an achievable dream or just one big gamble? Average student Moritaka Mashiro enjoys drawing for fun When his classmate and aspiring writer Akito Takagi discovers his talent he begs Moritaka to team up with him as a manga creating duo But what exactly does it take to make it in the manga publishing world? Moritaka is hesitant to seriously consider Akito's proposal because he knows how difficult reaching the professional level can be Still encouragement from persistent Akito and motivation from his crush push Moritaka to test his limits


10 thoughts on “バクマン。 1

  1. says:

    Bakuman is about the universal story of artistic creation as experienced through two high school boys trying to become manga successes Like every high school student Moritaka Mashiro and Akito Takagi are under enormous pressure to achieve high grades to get into a “good” university then onto a “good” job – but both are uneasy with the prospect of becoming faceless miserable salarymen Mashiro loves to draw and his uncle was a moderately successful manga artist with a gag comic while Takagi has dreams of becoming a famous manga writer but he can’t draw The two eventually team up and set about feverishly creating manga This is probably one of the best books I’ve read about the act of creation And it’s by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata the creators of Death Note so it not only feels genuine but also insightful into what goes into making a hit manga series Perhaps most importantly they don’t pull their punches on the reality of what that means They throw out stats of how few manga creators make enough money to live off on and how difficult it is for anyone who isn’t a bona fide genius to break through with the element of luck playing a large part in achieving what they’re after Hence the title of the series Bakuman a conflation of Bakuchi Manga or Gambling Manga – you’re gambling when you’re creating because the odds are so heavily stacked against you to succeed but you’re still trying anyway But our heroes soldier on regardless of the stats taking up Mashiro’s now deceased manga artist uncle’s studio to create It’s in this space that we see the real behind the scenes of a manga series Boxes and boxes of unused drafts storyboards and rejected final pages that his uncle amassed over his short career highlighting the fact that for every book published there are at least 10 others that no one will ever see that the artist had to make before getting accepted That and the uncle’s premature death from overwork underscores how much effort goes into creating these comics and what kind of commitment is reuired to get to the top – essentially sacrificing everything else in order to become good Bearing in mind our main characters are high schoolers it’s really refreshing to see a pair of driven passionate creative young people pursuing their dream in a totally non cynical way It’s inspiring and their enthusiasm is infectious There is a romance element to the story besides the romance of artistry and that’s Mashiro’s crush on Miho Azuki one of his classmates But this isn’t a romance manga and the crush is actually another aspect of the creative process Because as anyone who’s written a novel or done anything creative will know there’s a love of doing the thing inherent in the creator but sometimes what pushes the artist on and on is the focus of someone you deeply care for and creating that thing for them Ie you’re probably creating something that’ll be seen by than one person but that one person in your mind is the person you’re creating it for – they symbolically represent the entire audience but you only see that one person in your mind Bakuman is maybe the first book I’ve read that actually addresses this aspect of creative drive outright It’s crudely the same principle of the carrot on the stick for the donkey with Miho as the carrot that spurs Mashiro the donkey onto becoming a manga success Once he achieves this she’ll marry him she says though Miho sees something in Mashiro and knows she’s got to offer him something to accomplish the thing that’ll make him most happy becoming a manga artist not being with her Except it’s than simply getting the carrot I know I’m labouring this metaphor because Mashiro doesn’t know it yet but that’s not the point – in the short term it might seem to be but the long term goal that he’s not fully aware of yet is what he’s really striving for Though he needs the possibility of marrying Miho to get him on his way It’s tricky to explain but I’ve gone through something similar also at that age so this book has a lot of resonance for me Bakuman Volume 1 has its flaws Ohba references Death Note far too much in the script – it’s cute at first but gets old fast Also to be fair anyone who’s ever contemplated writing a bookhas written a book is likely to be aware that this reuires an enormous investment of time and effort so being told that here is a bit redundant Though you do learn certain things like that there are numerous reference books totally made up of backgrounds to copy into your comic and if you’re a younger reader thinking about taking the plunge it sets out the challenges ahead of you in a clear though not necessarily discouraging way The best thing about this comic about creation is that it’s so earnest optimistic and exhilarating about creating something anything that its likely to spur on anyone who’s thinking about becoming a writerartist to do it It totally captures the energy of being a teenager who’s just discovered the joy of art and the boundless possibilities it presents hardships and all – and then impresses that upon the reader whatever their age What a fantastic book


  2. says:

    This is a semi autobiographical story by the pair that gained fame with Death Note depicting how they started working together While I did not like the characters themselves I thought the art and storytelling were both above average especially when you consider that basically nothing is happening except two teen boys going to school and talking about their work plansAnd it is work Really hard work that takes a lot of commitment I'm not sure why this pair was so set on working hard immediately rather than as they briefly discuss getting into good high schools and maybe going to college as a back up plan; however I do gather from this and a manga I read depicting manga production from the editorial side that once one breaks into the field it is a demanding monthly schedule and not something normally done in addition to a day job the way writing novels is I liked the inclusion of the storyboards Already agreed to get married later but still too shy to make eye contactThis is the second manga I read this week that mentions Tomorrow's Joe which sadly does not seem to be available in English


  3. says:

    I really enjoyed this story and can't wait to continue on with this series It's nice to be reading manga again


  4. says:

    This manga wins the prize of being the one I hate the most Let me express why through a few uotes which are drawn directly from the text These are not jokes Azuke isn't calculating she's just being a girl in the natural way How do I put it Azuki naturally knows that a girl should be graceful and polite and because she is a girl she should be earnest about things and get average grades She knows by instinct that a girl won't look cute if she's overly smartThe reason that she's thinking about becoming a voice actress is she naturally chose a dream that many girls have nowadays and she's just trying to enjoy her life fully as a girlThat's right she knows what it means to be a girl She knows by instinct that the best thing for a girl is to get married and become somebody's wife and until then no even after she's married she'll remain graceful and politeNo matter how cute a girl is you can't really like her if she's utterly dumb right? The same goes for the opposite Iwase is pretty good looking but she's not very likable is she? She's the smartest girl in class grade wise but I don't like how she takes pride in that That's why I actually think she's dumbIn case you were worried that men were also bashed in this story don't be because Men have dreams that women can never understand Conveniently they are also free to be academic without seeming snobby They can take pride in the things they do well and they don't need to worry about being graceful and politeI hate the message in this book so much I wish I hadn't begun collecting it for our library despite its popularity and the several reuests for it by tween boys There is nothing to be gained from young boys or girls reading a message so blatantly sexist and demeaning towards women I can only hope the majority of them are smart enough to see through this I won't ever be able to look at Death Note again without thinking about how much I hate this RageObjectively though the art was very good The story was slow and repetitive with little humor but an unceasingly optimistic tone in the face of darker elements such as suicide


  5. says:

    Bakuman sucks I mean at the beginning of the thing the author states how women are useless attachments to men only making good wives and polite damsels in distress and if you're a smart woman and you know it you're an obnoxious brat who will never ever get a man And I used to think book burnings were ridiculous


  6. says:

    I've read manga and enjoyed anime for a really large part of my life probably close to 25 years now The last few series I've tried though have made me start to think that I might be growing out of it all which I suppose happens and can be sad but our tastes change as we age so I assume it's not all that uncommon to suddenly enjoy different things insteadWith that being said though I think I was just picking the wrong stuff Bakuman has reminded me of why I've always enjoyed this medium I love art I love Japan and I love a great story with characters I can relate to I've read the entirety of the Death Note series which was also writtendrawn by both Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata so I was definitely curious to see if they could come up with another smash hit together especially since Bakuman is entirely fantasy free Well I loved this first volume a lot If you've ever been interested in the manga industry at all you'll get a kick out of all of the insider info that these two mangaka provide And they don't make up a fake publisher either which is doubly interesting so I'm assuming we're getting to see what really goes on behind the scenes at Shueisha which I find fascinating Weekly Shounen Jump the Tezuka Award various real manga series are all name dropped and while this might seem like it's just that—name dropping—I think it really adds to the authenticity of the story which is two young men wanting to become manga writersWith Death Note Ohba and Obata were known for creating multifaceted characters with deep back stories and super intense story lines with many twists and turns and you wouldn't think they'd be able to recreate that sort of atmosphere in a slice of life type manga but somehow they've done it I'm so excited that these two mangaka have brought me back to feeling something towards new manga when at the most I've just felt apathy And while parts of the story are a bit over the top I mean really what manga doesn't have those parts? I still really enjoyed this first volume in its entirety Can't wait to continue on and see how these two young men fulfill their dreams


  7. says:

    Wow I loved the references to other manga especially this teams manga Death Note There was one thing about stereotypical masculinity that was a little iffy for me but overall I really loved this first installment On to the second one


  8. says:

    Average 14 year old Moritaka doesn't expect anything out of life His classmate Akito semi blackmails him into helping Akito with his dream of becoming a manga artist re awakening a desire that Moritaka had forgottenThe thing about this manga is that it's very very VERY Japanese It is very interesting to see the process that Japanese manga goes through certainly Americans don't get a lot of information about that and manga fans will be interested to know how it differs from the American sceneBut so much of the story is based on uniuely Japanese things I feel that it's just boring For example at 14 and in their last year of middle school the boys have to take entrance exams for high school which can determine their future So when at 14 Moritaka decides he wants to be a manga artist he has to make a big announcement to his parents and grandfather and get their approval Which just seemsweirdMost annoying and what really jolts me out of enjoying this are the boys' attitudesAkito on why Azuki the main love interest is actually smart and a good person Azuki naturally knows that a girl should be graceful and polite and because she is a girl she should be earnest about things and get average grades She knows by instinct that a girl won't look cute if she's overly smartShe knows by instinct that the best thing for a girl is to get married and become somebody's wife and even after she's married she'll remain graceful and polite And she does all that without calculation so she's a hundred time smarter than Iwase the girl with the best grades in classIwase is pretty good looking but she's not very likable is she? She's the smartest girl in class grade wise but I don't like how she takes pride in that That's why I actually think she's dumbThat's right they come right out and say that the obligatory love interest is the perfect girl because she's average and feminine and that those smart girls ew who wants those?The reason this manga attracts attention are the names behind it it writer and artist duo that also did Death Note Like Death Note it's written well and have nice detailed art However like Death Note it also has an overabundance of type the wordiness worked well in Death Note because the characters of that series were playing mind games and had to think out everything However this series is lighter and it really needs to work on SHOWING and not TELLING


  9. says:

    Bakuman is one of the closest things manga has to a YA novel Sure plenty of mangas focus on teenagers but this is one of the only one I've seen that are focused on exploring characters and what it's like to be a teenager A YA reader myself that makes me far comfortable with the manga like it's close to home Combined with the fact that Tsugumi Ohba the same person who wrote Death Note was responsible for this one I knew going in that I'd love this It helps that I also liked the anime That's always a useful indicatorProbably the best part is the characters The characters here are just as human and multi fractured as they were in Death Note but with of a contemporary touch The characterization here doesn't have the same morbid and serious tone as Death Note; Ohba allows himself to have a lot fun here That makes the characters a lot appropriate for the genre I was worried that Ohba wouldn't handled that transition well when I went into the anime but I was pleasantly surprised It couldn't have been done better Moritaka is a very realistic and relatable protagonist as was Akito We don't see a lot of secondary characters in this volume so those are the only two that are properly fleshed out but Ohba is still definitely skilled at what he's doingThe artwork is pretty good as well I'm not an artist so I have very little insightful to say here but I will say this I feel like Obata's style is suited to fantasy than to contemporary fiction The drawings aren't bad the character designs feel appropriate and whatnot I just feel like there's missed potential for Obata That said I still enjoyed the artwork I could always tell what was going on and Obata did a great job of capturing the characters and their emotionsAnd of course I can't forget the story The premise of manga about making manga is fascinating and Ohba's milking it for all its worth Not only do we get information about how manga is made the rough drafts of the story provided at the chapter breaks were particularly interesting but we also get lots about the boys' attitudes of going into the manga business We see how Moritaka is worried about making money about having a good life and doing what he loves at the same time which will ring true to anyone who's ever thought of writing for a living It certainly did for me You'd think this story would get kind of slow but the pacing skills we saw in Death Note haven't abandoned Ohba He does a great job of moving things a long so that we see just enough of things to keep an interest but not so much that the plot drags and we get boredSo why the four star rating you ask? The misogyny The goddamned misogynyAlright so it's common knowledge that Death Note is pretty sexist There's that infamous You're just my fiance now scene the only important female character is fueled by her love for a boy you probably know about all that However Death Note never got as bad as this Take a look at a scene that I thought I was hallucinating as I first read itMoritaka Azuki isn't that smart is she? She seems to study a lot but her grades are just above averageAkito She's probably just pretending to studyMoritaka Pretending?Akito The real dumb students are the ones who take perfect notes in class ask the teacher uestions study at home but still get low grades Azuki isn't calculating She's just being a girl in a natural wayMoritaka Huh? I don't get it ExplainAkito How do I put it? Azuki knows naturally that a girl should be graceful and polite and because she's a girl she should be earnest about things and get average grades She knows by instinct that a girl won't look cute if she's overly smart The reason she's thinking about becoming a voice actress is she chose a dream that many girls have nowadays and she's just trying to fully enjoy her life as a girl She doesn't feel any pressure like we do about our future and whatnotMoritaka Because she's a girl?Akito That's right She knows what it means to be a girl She knows by instinct that the best thing for a girl is to get married and become somebody's wife and until then no even after she's married she'll remain graceful and polite And she does all that without calculation so she's a hundred times smarter than Iwase the girl with the best grades in our class No matter how cute a girl is you can't like her if she's litterly dumb right? sic The same goes for the opposite Iwase is pretty good looking but she's not very likable is she? She's the smartest girl in class grade wise but I don't like how she takes pride in that That's why I think she's actually dumbHoly fuck I mean holy fuckSo apparently to be smart as a girl it's not about having actual intelligence or making good grades No to be smart as a girl you have to do what's expected of you as a girl so that boys will like you That's what's really smart; just do whatever it takes to marry a good man And if you're like Iwase who actually makes good grades and tries to make something of herself she's dumb because she's not sucking up to menThat is extremely sexist I don't think I've ever seen anything that offensive to women that was professionally published in this century It's possible that Ohba doesn't actually believe this and he's just writing it because it's what teenage boys would say but teenage boys wouldn't say that I am a teenage boy nobody I know actually believes that and if someone said that to me I'd probably hit themI really hope the sexism doesn't keep you from reading this manga although I suppose I understand if it does Despite what I just said this is actually a really good manga with interesting characters great artwork and a good story However I do like the anime better than the manga the story feels complete the artwork is a little better and it makes the conversation I uoted above a lot less painful although still not great Nevertheless I still recommend this manga even in spite of its flawsA new and improved version of this review can be found on my blog


  10. says:

    Bakuman is a story about two high school boys who decide to create manga together It's from the same guys who did Death Note which I thought was stupid as hell so I was glad to find out that Bakuman is a better story The creative process is really cool to see in detail and all the inner workings of Japanese manga publishing provided an interesting insight into the industry Unfortunately the book also features a REALLY annoying and cheesy romance storyline and the two protagonists often spew various sexist remarks which wasn't great let's just say If you check out other reviews here on GR you'll see detailed examples and that is a 100% valid criticism that bothered me too Maybe it's the cultural difference between Japan and the West maybe it's just the 14 year old boys' worldview due to their lack of y'know brains but the fact remains the same — this manga pushes some really sexist shit on its readers So yeah that and the annoying romance are the biggest threats to my enjoyment of the series so far but I am willing to give it a chance and check out the next volume I would much rather just have a story about two guys nerding out and creating manga together though because that's where Bakuman truly shines