Bakuman is still my favorite ongoing manga. It somehow managed to stay fresh and interesting despite its by now long-ish run (around 2 years as a weekly serial). Its recent arcs bring forward something my friend and business partner discuss quite a lot regarding content generation: can one create a machine (even if composed of humans) to consistently generate the best content?
This is the current challenge put forth vs. Ashirogi Muto and I’m loving it. But this isn’t quite what I wanted to discuss today. I had just watched the first episode of the second season of the Bakuman anime, and surprise~ it didn’t suck.
See, here’s a confession: I thought the first season sucked balls, it really did. Also, I liked it anyway. Ugh. Despite being a poorly paced, and oddly-approached adaptation, my love for the source material is such that I can’t help but be happy to see moving illustrations of the characters and narrative I’ve grown to love so much. But yeah, here’s the deal with the new season!
The first season ended with Ashirogi Muto getting their serialization, and despite our best efforts, the anime isn’t going with the resolution that we proposed (part 1, part 2). The twist that begins the new season is how Hattori will no longer be their editor. Instead, a tubby hyper kind of guy named Miura is handling them.
I think I’m not alone in hating this dork the whole time he featured prominently in the manga. This season is going to be so much more painful to watch with him around. The thing is, the Detective Trap arc is pretty badass given the emergence of Team Fukuda. I suspect the midpoint of the series will be the rivals uniting arc (awesome, but bad news for viewers who dislike Azuki Miho LOL), and will end with Iwase making her comeback in the narrative (YESSSSS, OH YESSSS).
The first episode itself, rightly or wrongly by practically removing Miyoshi and Azuki entirely, gave me the things that make Bakuman awesome: a view into the world of shounen manga, and a story of people trying to make in in a thoroughly awesome shounen kind of way. The party was awesome in how the different personalities in Jump got to show a few things, and how certain attitudes play out towards making it in manga. I think the love angles ended up being distractions in the first season though they didn’t feel that way in the manga. I only wish that they’re handled better because Azuki, Miyoshi, Aoki, and Iwase are going to make for fun times in the coming arcs.
But even if they fuck it up, I’m going to watch all of it and like it anyway. Ughrrr.