Finally finished this one. So, this anime/manga is created by the same exact people who created Death Note. You can sort of see the similarities in it in that it focuses on normal students, but this anime takes a less supernatural approach. Basically, it tells the story of two students who try to become professional manga artists. On the way, they have to deal with disappointment and defeat, but they continue to fight to get their manga serialized in a magazine.
So, the two main characters in this anime are Moritaka Mashiro and Akito Takagi. Mashiro is focused on a bit more than Takagi, but they both kind of balance out. Mashiro, or Saikou as he is called, is talented at drawing, but has no huge aspirations in life, choosing to settle on a typical job after attending a university. Oh, and he also has a huge crush on a girl in his class, Miho Azuki. He is approached by Takagi, later given the nickname Shuujin by Mashiro, who proposes that they work together to make a manga. Takagi is an incredibly intelligent student (basically a Light Yagami clone) and the top of the class. Mashiro refuses to help him, but later on, Takagi convinces him to meet in front of Azuki’s house, saying that he will confess to her. However, Takagi only confesses that he will become a manga writer and also reveals to Mashiro that Azuki wishes to become a voice actress. Mashiro then caves and tells Azuki that he will become a manga artist. After seeing how happy Azuki is to hear this, Mashiro then asks her to marry him (O.o). Although shocked at first, Azuki agrees, but only after both of their dreams come true and she is able to star in Mashiro’s anime. After seeing Takagi’s skill with creating stories, Mashiro agrees to team up with him and together they start on the journey to creating a manga. Also, Azuki’s friend Kaya Miyoshi begins to hang out with the two, essentially forcing Takagi to date her. The last main character is the pair’s editor, Akira Hattori, who gives the two advice on their quest.
This anime is incredible. It definitely didn’t leave me with the same feeling that the second half of Death Note gave me. The animation is very similar to Death Note, and I was very impressed at the ability to draw all of the different art styles of the different manga artists in the series. The music was very appropriate. The opening and both endings were fairly slow and mellow to go with the romance and slice-of-life style of the story. Just a comment about the manga. Bakuman and Death Note tend to have a lot of information on each page, but in a way that isn’t boring to read. Because of this, each volume tends to last longer, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m definitely looking forward to the second season coming out in the fall and will probably keep reading the manga. I give this a 9 out of 10.