Manga Review: Bakuman Vol. 10

Bakuman is the latest collaboration of Ohba and Obata, the creators of the wildly popular Death Note series. Unlike Death Note, Bakuman is more or less grounded in reality, but it is no less entertaining as it follows the ups and downs of a mangaka duo as they strive to make it big in the publishing world!

This series is a personal favorite of mine, and Viz Media has just released Volume 10. (My reviews of earlier Bakuman volumes can be found here.)

Back Cover Blurb

Moritaka and Akito will need to come up with an amazing new manga idea if they ever hope to get back into Weekly Jump magazine, and they only have six months to do it! But with Hattori, their former editor, helping behind the scenes, the duo might have everything in place to create the perfect story.

The Review

When Miura took over as Ashirogi’s editor, I honestly thought Editor Hattori would fade into the Jump office background. However, he’s popped up more frequently in recent chapters, and with Volume 10, he’s back to the forefront as his efforts to help the boys out of their slump moves from indirect to in-your-face direct. To be honest, it’s difficult to believe a busy magazine editor would be that invested in a former artist (and that Miura would follow Hattori’s instructions without question), but Hattori has a chemistry with Ashirogi that Miura doesn’t so it’s good to see them collaborating again. Plus, the chapter where Ashirogi tails Hattori as “research” is ridiculously fun and funny.

There’s actually quite a bit of humor in this installment, ranging from Iwase’s attempts to attract Hattori to newlywed life with Akito and Kaya to wacky glimpses of the other Jump mangaka. However, the question that will keep readers turning the pages is: will Team Ashirogi deliver that genius new series on time? Occasionally, the dialogue gets heavy with manga comparisons and references to rival artists, and it becomes a bit frustrating to get acquainted with the boys’ newest manga idea only for it to get scrapped. At the same time, it also allows readers to experience Ashirogi’s frustration and desperation as they go down to the wire.

So when inspiration finally hits, it’s that much more thrilling watching them hurry to make it to the final serialization meeting. And even that turns into a nail-biting chapter as the editors’ evaluation of the work goes from “ready for serialization” to “capable of surpassing Nizuma.” The scene drags out so long, I seriously would’ve had a tantrum if the final decision wasn’t included in this volume (but it is, thank goodness).

So it’s not a supernatural thriller with cat and mouse games involving death gods, but the Bakuman creators keep things plenty thrilling nonetheless.

In Summary

The events of six months fly in Volume 10! Occasionally, the text gets bogged down with all the references to the various manga titles we’ve encountered thus far, but for the most part, the tension stays high with the boys burning through ideas in their efforts to create a new manga series.

This title is highly recommended for young teens and up.

First published at the Fandom Post.

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