18 Nov / Bakuman 1 by Tsugumi Ohba, art by Takeshi Obata, translated by Tetsuichiro Miyaki
At 14, Moritaka Mashiro figures he’s “just going to live a normal life.” For a teenager, that translates into “getting into a good high school, a good college and a good company to work for.” But he’s not quite ready to mindlessly accept such a “boring future,” least of all because just one word from the gorgeous Miho Azuki could make him forget everything else …
When Mashiro rushes back to school for a mislaid notebook he needs for an upcoming test, he finds top student Akito Takagi waiting for him. Takagi has a dream that he’s convinced only Mashiro can help make come true … by combining his writing skills with Mashiro’s already award-winning drawing prowess, the two boys could become the next great manga team!
Mashiro’s got plenty of arguments not to even try, least of all memories of his young uncle who actually was a manga artist and died mysteriously and tragically three years ago. He’s got all the statistics that prove how impossible such a manga dream is, even quoting the author of the real-life phenomenally successful Death Note series as proof. The remark is, of course, a witty little self-reference as Bakuman is created by the same team as Death Note! Success has definitely not been elusive for this bestselling pair …
Takagi drags Azuki into a dreamy pact, forcing Mashiro to join in for the sake of his young love. Azuki confesses she wants to be a voice actress … and she wants to star in the boys’ anime, so they absolutely must be successful. When all their dreams come true, she promises she’ll even marry Mashiro, just like that! Oh, young 21st-century love!
That’s just the first chapter of this engaging, serendipity-filled new series about how effort, ingenuity, and fierce imagination just might make dreams come true. Something tells me this manga will have a long, long shelf life. Its still-popular predecessor Death Note had 12 volumes (in English alone), and spawned an anime series, a live-action film, video games, associated novels, and multiple soundtracks. A Bakuman franchise is inevitable …
Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult
Published: 2010 (United States)
BAKUMAN © Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
Original Japanese edition published by Shueisha Inc.