Anime Synopsis: Bakuman

Thursday, 4 November 2010, 8:00 | Author : Ludovico
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As an average Japanese junior high student, Saiko keeps his head down and just focuses on the daily chores of school life.  He has no hopes or dreams for his future career and spends much of his classtime drawing pictures of his crush, Miho.  His fellow student, Takagi, notices his exceptional drawing skill and makes him an offer – they could team up and try to produce manga for a living.  Saiko initially refuses, until Takagi drags him to Miho’s house, where he accidentally makes a marriage proposal to the girl of his dreams.  She declares that if he can become a successful artist and she  accomplishes her dream of being a voice actress, then she will marry him, but until then they must not see each other.  Now Saiko must help Takagi create a popular manga in order to fulfill his vow with Miho.

An interesting romantic drama is always a good pick, but what makes Bakuman truly compelling is the insider look it offers into the manga industry.  Created by the successful manga writer behind Death Note, Tsugumi Ohba, it offers a glimpse into the issues and people that drive the stories that we enjoy.  Don’t expect it to be sugarcoated either – the first episode focuses heavily on Saiko’s uncle who worked himself to death after failing to maintain his initial popularity.  That might sound like a downer, but it balances well with the lighthearted romance.  This one is well worth a look for its unique ‘story behind the story’ premise.

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