Bakuman Ep. 1: An epic epic of grade 9ers in their quest to become the most epic of epic mangakas
When I watch an anime that I have already read as a manga I have a rule: never think of the manga while watching the anime. It makes things easier this way and much less conflicting in mind (no one likes it when their brain is melting due to inner arguments). Which is what I did when it came to Bakuman; a manga which I have started to read as of the past few months and has now been turned into an anime.
The manga I find, is superb. So it all came down to if the anime would make me feel the same way. I am glad to say that it did not disappoint in the slightest.
The episode starts off with a flashback of our main protagonist Moritaka Mashiro watching and reading the anime/manga created by his uncle. Said uncle comes into his room (which is stock full of a manga collection which I am sure many of us can relate to) and congratulates him on yet another art award he has just received. He receives praise from his uncle on how one day he will become a great artist, but never ‘…on how he will become a great mangaka’
Flash forward to the present time and we meet our main protagonist wallowing in sorrow about how he goes to school only because everyone else wants him too and how he will just go with the flow and not even try on figuring out what he really wants to do.
Great. A brooding main character who has no hopes or dreams for the future (like many of his shonen series predecessors) so it would seem? I’ll leave that up to you to decide.
We learn very quickly that he still draws… but he also stalks.
It soon become GROSSLY obvious that he has a crush on his fellow classmate Miho Azuki. However, as it is swiftly revealed in our main characters mind, this is nothing more than a crush and she most likely does not even know she exists. (Anyone else picking up a similar pattern here?)
So flash forward since I am a lazy ass and could really care less about all the fine details that go on between now and then. Mashiro forgets a notebook at school; the same notebook that has all his stalking drawings of Miho within it. He has to run back to school, because God, that would be awful if anyone found out how much of a stalker he is.
However, life never lets anything go the way you want it to.
Introducing Akito Takagi, the other male protagonist of this series. The genius of the school, the one with the highest grades in the entire grade. Why would he be at school at such a late time?
If it did not become obvious by that one line, our super genius male protagonist is one huge fucking otaku. Awesome. It really is. I mean, I wish I could be a super genius and an otaku as well, but noooo! Calculus has to be a bitch and hate me and printing inks are always trying to KILL ME! That and staple guns and canvases and steel easles and… I digress.
As it would turn out, Akito knows about Mashiro’s super awesome skills of art.
He knows everything about Mashiro and his stalker crush on Miho. Why? BECAUSE HE IS A STALKER TOO! WHY DON’T WE ALL JUST THROW THE FUCKING STREAMERS INTO THE AIR AND HAVE A HOORAY FOR STALKING PARTY!! (I wanna join…)
Enter the entire reason why Bakuman was made: Akito Takagi, an epic writer of epic proportions wants to become a mangaka but can’t draw for shit. Toss in Mashiro: a brooding classmate who has awesome art skills, used to enjoy manga, now could give two shits about it. The two join forces to make the most epic of epic mangas.
As it would turn out, Mashiro declines his epic offer of epicness. Why? Because he doesn’t even know.
However, this does not stop Akito from trying to get him to join him. He will do anything to get him to say yes.
Akito ends up taking Mashiro to the house of his one-sided crush. Ohoho? What dastardly schemes could this genius have up his sleeve?
Yes. She wants to become a voice actor.
So because his one-sided crush wants to become a voice actor Mashiro decides that hey! He will become the artist for their epic manga.
Akito is a genius. Could you not see his plan all along? Attempt to convince him before hand. Let him decline. Continue stalking him and dragging him to his crushes’ house. Reveal her dark secret in front of him. Let him fill in the rest. And then take him into that dark suspicious alley and claim him for yourself. Seriously! Genius must be stamped onto his forehead with invisible ink!
Miho accepts their offer of becoming the main female voice actress when their manga becomes an anime. Well that was easy.
I’m sorry, but why do the main male characters in shonen mangas think this is a good idea? BLURTING OUT WILL YOU MARRY ME/I LIKE YOU IN THE MOST RANDOM OF MOMENTS NEVER WORKS. IT CREEPS THEM OUT AND THEY RUN AWAY. AND THEN YOU ARE DOOMED TO BE GAY (lol it rhymed!)
Lo and behold, she runs away. But what’s this? She says yes!
I’d have punched him in the face.
So at the end of the episode Akito and Mashiro both come to the agreement that they will become the MOST EPIC OF EPIC MANGAKAS.BUT THEY WILL NOT BE NUMBER ONEBECAUSE THERE IS NO WAY THEY CAN EVER HOPE TO BEAT DRAGONBALL AND ONE PIECE! (at least he accepts the inconvenient truth)
Recap: Mashiro and Akito team up to become EPIC mangakas. Miho wants to become a voice actress. Mashiro and Akito offer to her the main role in their anime if it becomes famous. She agrees. Mashiro blurts out MARRIAGE. She runs away. She agrees. She smites him by saying they must not meet until their dreams are fulfilled. AND SO BEGINS THE EPIC.
In my honest opinion, I very much so enjoy Bakuman as an anime; possibly even more than the manga (and it’s only been the first episode)It’s fast paced, elegantly funny and carries the viewer along smoothly. I am very glad that the anime decided to go the way that it did and if you picked up on it.
I am a yaoi fan.