Bakuman: If we were to choose a fictional representation of what hard-work means, this would be it. This series is a very realistic approach to how the manga industry works and how the road to success actually is like.
In A Nutshell:
The story follows Moritaka Mashiro, a high school boy with a passion for drawing. One day, aspiring writer Akito Takagi approaches him in class with the idea of creating a manga. In order to conquer the girl of his dreams and to honor his uncle’s death, Mashiro accepts the offer. Mashiro and Takagi will work their hardest to make their dream come true: to get an anime adaptation of their manga by the age of 18.
Meet the Characters
Mashiro is the protagonist of the story. He had an uncle who worked as a mangaka and died due to exhaustion. Mashiro has always admired his uncle, but his family is afraid that following his uncle’s steps will put Mashiro’s life in danger. Despite of that, Mashiro is probably one of the most hard-working characters you will see in any anime. He just won’t stop working, no matter what the situation is. And he’s incredibly stubborn.
Takagi is the deuteragonist of the series. He is very passionate about story-telling and dreams about becoming a writer. He is the one who notices Mashiro’s artistic skills and asks him to join his mangaka dream. Takagi is also Mashiro’s closest friend and, even though he’s as hard-working as him, he is often the one worrying about Mashiro and telling him to take a break every once in a while.
Miyoshi is a highschool friend of Mashiro and Takagi. She is also Azuki’s best friend and Takagi’s love interest. Even though she comes off as a bit obnoxious at times, Miyoshi really cares for Takagi and Mashiro’s dream, never complaining about how obsessed they are. Over time, she also becomes a crucial member of the team, offering emotional support and helping with everything they might need.
Azuki is Miyoshi’s best friend and Mashiro’s love interest. She has a dream similar to them: she wants to become a seiyuu (voice actress). Azuki is the complete opposite of Miyoshi: quiet and shy. However, she is as stubborn as Mashiro when it comes to dedicating herself to her dream. Unlike Takagi and Miyoshi, who see each other all the time, Azuki and Mashiro make a promise not to see each other until her dreams come true and only communicate through text messages.
A Brief History of Bakuman: The When, Where and How
What anime fan hasn’t heard of Death Note? Well, you’ll be happy to know that its authors, Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, didn’t stop there: Bakuman started being serialized in the Weekly Shounen Jump in 2008. An anime television series started airing in 2010. The series has 3 seasons with 25 episodes each.
The series became incredibly popular for the originality of its premise. As a result, Bakuman was the 7th best-selling manga of 2011 and the 10th best of 2012. A live-action film was also recently released on October 3rd, 2015.
Why It’s Awesome
So first question: how could you relate to a couple of high school kids wanting to become mangaka? Well, the shocking answer is: a whole lot. Sure, you will enjoy this series much more if you are actually an avid manga reader because you’ll then be able to get references to other works like Naruto, Bleach or One Piece. However, you don’t need to be a manga expert in order to understand this series, as the show makes an excellent job at explaining everything. Believe me, I read manga in a daily basis and I still learned a lot of interesting things thanks to Bakuman.
However, the reason why you will end up really enjoying this anime is how hard the characters work towards their dream. Everyone can relate to having a goal and working towards it, right? You don’t have to wish to be a mangaka to relate to the characters. Your dream could be anything:from becoming a singer, to traveling around the whole world or having a family. Bakuman is all about envisioning your dreams and working out the steps you need to take in order to achieve it. What is it that you need to practice? What useful things will you learn along the way? How important is the people you surround yourself with? The way in which these characters will go as far as they can to get better no matter what is incredibly inspiring. So much that, after every episode, you will find yourself feeling super motivated to work on what you really want to do with your life.
Here’s the trick, though. We are used to seeing series about the main protagonists stating their dream only for it to be an easy, direct road to success. But that’s not how real life is and Bakuman knows that. There are going to be difficulties. You might work your hardest and still fail. You will have to reevaluate your ways, re-focus your goal, change your perspective, and try different approaches until you actually live the life you want for yourself. See the deep things this anime makes me say? That’s how much of an impact Bakuman had on me!