Bakuman is one of the fall season’s most anticipated anime. It comes to us from Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, which are the masterminds behind the infamously popular Death Note. Going into Bakuman I had high expectations, but was soon let down with poor production quality and a first half of the first episode being a little too reminiscent of Death Note. However, it did manage to bounce back offering a fun second half that promised more of a future that hopefully Bakuman will be better, at least in terms of comedy and story.
So the series is about Moritaka Mashiro and Akito Takagi, two 14 year olds that are going to create the ultimate manga together, one that will surpass both One Piece and Dragonball. However, the story doesn’t start out so peachy. At first I found Moritaka’s character kind of annoying. I think it was all the talk of “gambling” which I didn’t feel. Maybe it is a Japanese thing or it could be a mangaka thing, but it really felt awkward and I couldn’t follow what he was talking about. His character felt awkward and unnatural. Akito proved to be more interesting, but at first I really didn’t feel like the two of them meshed together well.
I’m going to skip right into the second half, well more so the end of the second half. After their initial encounter and Moritaka went home, that is when the show really lit up. Maybe it was Ohba getting his final Death Note-ish vibes out of himself, but that is when I truly started to feel the series. Akito dragging Moritaka out to go confess to the girl he likes was a lot of fun. The scene with them at the doorbell, both to scared to push it was just hilarious. It was that interaction and combination that the anime truly started to shine, which made me more interested in the series. The whole premise that they won’t see each other again until they both realized their dreams was just fantastic. If the series can keep that level up it would be much more enjoyable.
For the story and characters I might have held too much of an expectation for the anime. After reading Death Note and hearing such high praises from others reading the manga I had Bakuman on a high pedestal, which let me down more so than it probably should. However, there is one thing that the anime has failed on even with my high expectations, well, more so JC Staff failure. The animation quality really isn’t that spectacular. The artwork for Bakuman is wonderful, but JC Staff has done a poor job in translating that into the anime. I feel like the production values do not live up to the HQ artwork we have come to know and love from Takeshi Obata. What bugs me even more is that the still anime promos have a great quality to them, but the anime is completely different. Plagued with a poor start and poor production values, Bakuman has gotten off to a rough start, but I do have hope that the series will kick back into something better.