Bakuman II Episode 1 [First Impression]: Winner or Loser?

The anime adaptation of a manga about manga is back!

Story so Far

Mashiro is a talented artist, but doesn’t want to become a mangaka because of an incident involving his uncle, who used to be a mangaka before he died. When classmate Takagi finds out, he persuades Mashiro to team up with him by getting him together with his long-time crush, Azuki Miho, who wants to become a famous seiyuu. Mashiro and Azuki make a promise, telling each other that they’ll marry after both achieving their dreams, but will not see each other until then, preserving a long-distance relationship. Over the first season, Mashiro and Takagi (under the pseudonym Ashirogi Muto) encounter many problems and rivals, including genius Niizuma Eiji and his Crow manga, Aoki and her Hideout Door series, and Fukuda with his Kiyoshi Knight, but manage to get serialized with their Detective Trap manga in the magazine Shounen Jump Jack.


When Ashirogi Muto meet Hattori for their first meeting post-serialization, they find out that the editors have replaced Hattori with a 23-year old man named Miura, who explains the basics of serialization to the duo, as well as providing them with deadlines and three assistants. A few days later, Ashirogi Muto attend the Shounen Jack serialization party, where they meet up with Niizuma and the seemingly prodigal author of Otter 11, Hiramaru Kazuya.


Well, I’m glad to see J.C. Staff didn’t waste any time at all in getting the ball rolling, as the first scene foreshadowed a possible Detective Trap anime adaptation, followed by Ashirogi Muto meeting their new editor, Miura. Now, this guy is definitely a bit weird to say the least, being overly hyperactive and…youthful? Though he does seem to know his stuff, his whole personality seems a bit cheesy to me, and Ashirogi Muto probably felt that they preferred Hattori to Miura, and I think I do, too. We’ll see though – maybe he’ll turn out to be completely awesome, and its way too early to tell anyway.

As serialized authors now, Mashiro and Takagi actually get loads of perks, such as a 12,000 yen pay, a free ride to the party as well as three dodgy-looking assistants. Okay, maybe the last one wasn’t quite as good. While I think Ogawa is really knowledgable at his job as assistant, the other two seem pretty generic, with not much interest to them.

The whole Shounen Jack party setup was probably designed for only one thing (apart from Takagi winning his TV) and that was meeting Otter 11‘s mangaka, Hiramaru. He is the definition of a lazy genius – the only reason he quit his day job to work as a mangaka was because he thought it was easier, and now he finds out its much more complicated and he wants to bail out? I have a feeling he’ll turn out to be an interesting character in the near future though, we also know almost nothing about Otter 11, other than that it’s a gag-style manga. Oh, and Aoki also randomly turned up to the party – wasn’t she denied serialization last season?

The episode ended with a gentle reminder of Mashiro’s motivation – his dream to be with Azuki. While I always found it a bit bewildering as to why they don’t get together earlier, I guess it gives them both something to work for. The heroine of the Detective Trap anime dream Mashiro was having looked surprisingly similar to Azuki after all…

PS. No, I haven’t read the manga despite a lot of people saying its much better, so no fag hate will come from me unless J.C. Staff really screw this up. Which they won’t, right?

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