Bakuman 2. (series review)

The main reason why I got interested in watching Bakuman is that it's an anime about writing manga, reaching their dream to become the number 1 mangaka and have an anime. Bakuman turned out to be a really moving and influencing anime and manga for me.

The second season of Bakuman started off good and became consistent with it. Moreover, I have to commend J.C. Staff for making this second season a lot better than the first one. Why did I say this? Truth be told, I've read from a number of forums and comments on the first season is that the main reason why people drop Bakuman is because of the poor pacing. All I have to say to them is that, too bad. Bakuman did had a pretty slow pacing since it became quite consistent with the manga making the first season having a number of episodes going with the trend one episode = one chapter. I honestly don't mind it since I have never read the manga prior to watching the anime. Plus, I don't really have complains with anime taking their story slow because I do know that somewhere in the middle, they'll make a boom and give us a reason for sticking to it. AND not to my surprise, I was not even a bit disappointed with it. 

Anyway, enough talking about the first season. This second season had a really great execution and pacing. The first half did stick with the per-arc story and it was not even a bit boring but I wouldn't say that it's exciting at the same time. It was just the typical slice of life and moving type of story. Bakuman sure had mixed both drama and comedy really well which makes me really like it. Also, similar to the first season, the last episode was really moving. I really like the fact that this anime (and the manga as well) makes me cry or tear up not always because of the drama but also because of how much I was moved because of their accomplishment. Even though I completely know what the last episode will be all about and what Mashiro will do, it still made me tear up solely because of happiness. Tears of joy just came into me when I remembered the difficulty they went into just to get where they are now.

Manga is a gamble. We have to put something on the line and aim for the top! It’s better to fail doing that than to do nothing at all! –Takagi, Akito

Character-wise, I definitely like the Ashirogi Muto team. Mashiro Moritaka (Abe Atsuhi) and Akito Takagi (Hino Satoshi) are really great being together and alone as well. It always moves me whenever they recall the tough times they have come across. Last season, their relationship was heavily tested while in this season, the consistently stick with each other. In this season as well, I find Takagi half annoying (in a good way) because he made a couple of decisions based on emotion and desperation but I don't want to blame him for anything. What he did basically added to the drama of the story. Mashiro, on the other hand, is still the same-old stubborn Mashiro that was introduced in the first season but even stronger. The hospital-arc was really great and that didn't only improve my liking on Mashiro but also on Azuki Miho (Hayami Saori).

As for the side characters, I have to admit that even though I really hate Miura Gorou (Kirii Daisuke), he played a big role in shaping the story of this season as well as improving Ashirogi. As for my character picks for this season, I'm still not letting go of Nizuma Eiji (Okamoto Nobuhiko). I like him as a member of Team Fukuda who's there to support the members of the team but looks at them as a rival as well (particularly Ashirogi Muto). Other than Niizuma, I also like both Fukuda Shinta (Suwabe Junichi) and Hiramaru Kazuya (Morita Masakazu).

As for the music, Bakuman still had that really refreshing BGM which I really like. Also, I like the instrumental of the OP and whenever they insert it in the anime. AND speaking of the OP, similar to last season's Blue Bird by Kobukuro (コブクロ ), this season's OP by Shohei Itou (伊藤祥平) really did gave the similar feeling + the lyrics is a perfect fit for Bakuman. Seiyuu-wise, each character had really appropriate voices. I know I'm being bias but my favorite and probably the one that stood out for me is Okamoto's voice as Eiji. AND I really did like him as Eiji ever since the first season.

TRAP - Tanto - Super Hero Legend - Hikaru no Go - Death Note
Going to the art and animation of Bakuman, there's only one thing I could say to this. It's great. Really. I love how well detailed everything is from each character's expression (remember Nakai? That was well made and I hate him. LOL.) to each volume of tankobon on Ashirogi's apartment. Next to P.A. Works, I'd say that J.C. Staff is the next producer I love when it comes to the stunning backgrounds but J.C. Staff's edge on P.A. Works is that they had better character designs (on my opinion, that is).

Overall, Bakuman S2 is a well made sequel and I am really glad that it did not disappoint and it did better than the first season. For those who have yet to watch Bakuman, I advice you to do so. I find Bakuman a very inspiring and moving anime. For those who have watched the first season and haven't watched this season, you better do so since the third one is just around the corner (I really can't wait for the 3rd season! - Nanamine is on the way!! XD) and it's going to be really good :)

-and I was listening to Bakuman S1's OST while writing this. XD

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