For all you manga and anime fans out there, I have a treat for you:
If you're at all familiar with popular manga and anime, I'm sure you've heard of Bakuman. It was one of Shounen Weekly Jump's most popular manga series, and for good reason: the story is unique, the characters lovable, and the art detailed and fun.
Most of the manga I've read is centered around a few topics: high school romance, battles, magic, and cat ears. Yes.
While I very much enjoy a good cliche shoujo manga myself, they're getting to be pretty predictable. Bakuman came as a breath of fresh air, and it is now without a doubt my favorite manga. When my friend first recommended Bakuman to me, I was skeptical. It old him I would read it, but I kept on putting it off—the whole "slice of life" genre didn't really appeal to me. But when I finally got around to checking it out, I couldn't put it down.
What's it about, you ask? Bakuman follows two boys, Mashiro Moritaka and Takagi Akito, as they chase their dream of becoming successful and popular mangakas (manga-writers). The two learn all about what goes into making a popular manga as they develop their own unique style under the pen name of "Ashirogi Muto". Behind the scenes, readers get to take a look at what the editorial department at Jump! is like.
Along the way, the Mashiro and Takagi encounter many rival mangakas as well as discover the benefits of supporting and encouraging each other to do their best. Among these rivals is a manga-obsessed genius, a righteous and outspoken not-genius, and a genius who hates the idea of having to do work (yes, that includes drawing manga).
|The main cast.|
The story also has a romance aspect to it. Mashiro's ultimate goal is to marry his long-time crush and girl of his dreams, Azuki Miho, after his manga becomes an anime and she becomes the leading voice actress. Meanwhile, Takagi struggles with a number of interested girls while maintaining a relationship with his girlfriend, Miyoshi Kaya.
|The girl Mashiro loves, Azuki Miho.|
For someone like me, a teenager who would love to make a living off of doing something creative, this manga is truly inspiring and fun. I love the camaraderie between Mashiro, Takagi, and even their rivals, and the story moves at a quick enough pace that it's hard for me to bring myself to stop reading.
I have to admit that it's hard to summarize without losing a lot of the fun and excitement, but it's definitely worth checking out. The complete box set comes out on October 1st, and if you preorder it now, it's $143 for all 20 volumes :3 (I'm still trying to convince my mom to let me get it, because it's a total steal). It is well-worth the read, after all!