02 Jul, 2012

MANGA REVIEW: BAKUMAN

Posted by Raphael in Reviews

Midtown Bloggerinos! Raph here, with a slightly different kind of review. I’m not a big manga reader, I’ve read a handful in my life, but one really has been tugging at me for a while. Numerous people have told me I should read it, given what I want to do in life. So I finally bit the bullet and purchased Bakuman volumes 1 and 2.

Bakuman is a very specific slice-of-life genre book: it’s about making manga. It’s about making comics, from the creators of Death Note,  Moritaka Mashiro and Akito Takagi have decided to become manga creators while they’re in junior high school. Moritaka’s uncle was a mangaka (comic creator) who died making manga, but that doesn’t stop Mashiro from chasing this ambition, particularly since the alternative is a boring, white collar life.  For further incentive, Miho Azuki, Moritaka’s crush, has agreed to marry him if they become successful at their ambitions (Miho wants to be a voice actress, and she’s promised to play the lead heroine for Akito and Moritaka’s anime adaptation of their series).

The series also shows the technical goings-on at a manga publisher; we get to meet the editors and see the process in which a manga is made. We also see how editorial decides on what to publish, and how they help their creators get a series going. It’s very much a “this is how the sausage is made” kind of thing, but it’s incredibly fascinating, considering how different manga is to US comics, publishing wise.

The love story might grab some, the look into the manga industry others, but for me, it’s the story of two kids chasing their dream to create comics. As someone who’s wanted to make comics for years now, it tugs at the heart strings and makes me want to get to work. If this series had existed when I was in high school, I’d probably be published by now, but that’s a story for another time.

If you like seeing how comics are made, or if you have a dream of your own, read Bakuman! It’s a terrific series, and a nice inspiration.

That’s it for this time, until next time:

Stay Bloggy My Friends

Raph

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