When I first discovered this series, it was Shueisha’s Manga Plus app and was immediately intrigued by its story, a junior high student named Moritaka Mashiro accidentally forgets his notebook in class one day and finds that his classmate Akito Takagi noticed Mashiro’s artistic skills, immediately asking him to become a Manga Artist. Moritaka refuses, citing that his Uncle died from overworking, but later he agrees with Takagi, and find themselves going to Moritaka’s Crush, Miho Azuki, and immediately confessing that not only he’ll become a great Manga Artist, but to marry her too! Azuki was Shocked and flattered, her dream is to become a great voice actress and to voice for the anime adaption of Moritaka and Takagi’s Manga. She accepts his proposal with the condition that they do not meet face to face until both her and his dreams come true, so the duo begins the journey of becoming the Best Manga Creators in Shonen Jump.
If you’re scratching your head and wondering “Why does the style seem so similar to Death Note,” then you are certainly on the right track! The manga that was adapted from was created by the same duo that created Death Note, written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata; the manga ran from 2008 to 2012, in 2009 luck would have it that J.C. Staff would produce the anime, the studio was well known for anime such as Toradora!, A Certain Magical Index, Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma, and etc. The art and animation are good for that era, the character designs are ok, while they have unique personalities that make them stand out, most of the antagonists (including the ones for comedic relief) are easy to spot right away; Bakuman does have a good story, offers great insight in the Manga industry, while the names were changed for the Anime Adaption, Jump was changed to ‘Jack‘, and Shueisha was changed to ‘Yueisha‘ to soften its real-life references. But overall, it is worth watching, worth seeing the clever easter eggs hidden in plain sight, including nods to Shonen Manga hits of that time such as Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, Gintama, and of course, Death Note. If you’re wanting to watch an anime that is similar to Keep your hands off Eizouken! (The only similarity between the two are teenagers wanting to make something Anime related, one wants their manga to become an anime, while the other wants to create their own anime.) Honestly, the first season might be hard to watch in the beginning but it is actually worth your time! The series is currently available on Hulu, I will be reviewing the second and third season soon.
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