This is the first review of a book (this time a manga) that we are posting. This is actually Avery's review that was published on another site as a guest review. However, we are deciding to post it here as well. Also, note that this is the review for the English release of the item.
NOTE THAT THIS REVIEW WAS WRITTEN FOR THOSE ALREADY FAMILIAR WITH THE SERIES!!!!
This installment finally explores the drawbacks to creating manga while trying to maintain a normal life.
However, the main characters of Moritaka and Akito are anything but normal, especially the former. They’re incredibly motivated, to a point that truly starts to feel unrealistic. The two seem to rarely get out and actually enjoy life. It’s good to be motivated, but they are bordering on obsessed, if they have not already crossed such a line. This, however, can be overlooked in lieu of the other aspects of the story.
Plotwise, in volume six, if it was not obvious from the preview in volume 3, Moritaka basically collapses from work overload. He is then rushed to the hospital and finds out he has to have surgery. To make matters worse, the editor has decided to put his and Akito’s manga, Detective Trap, on hiatus until they graduate high school.
Whereas the cast in previous volumes have only given glimpses at Miho, this volume finally brings her into contact again with some of the other characters, most notably Moritaka. Her relationship with Moritaka continues to feel otherworldly, yet this volume gives it a more relatable aspect by showing how the two interact with each other. As always, Akito and Kaya (not just their relationship) are pushed to the backburner by Moritaka and Miho.
At this point, the love aspect of the story seems to be on the backburner. Again, the character interactions and development are what really shine in Bakuman, and this volume sheds more light on some of the characters that have only had a couple panels per volume in the past.
A lot of characters seem to break their previous personalities in this volume, specifically Aoki, Fukuda, and Nakai. However, it seems that part of these personality changes, at least for the last one mentioned, are due to the stress of creating manga, so it is somewhat understandable. Almost all of the previously introduced characters gather in this volume as a huge source of drama and tension.
The art continues to shine in this volume. The backgrounds are not constantly forgotten as happens in other series. The characters’ expressions also show a wide array of emotions.
Bakuman, despite some trouble it may have with depicting real life, is a great read. Unlike other manga, its pages are actually filled with substance rather than big pictures and sound effects. It is definitely worth the money in comparison with other manga, as it lasts almost three times longer due to the walls of text on each page. The characters are all likeable, and, aside from having a few unstable personality designs, they all add to the drama of the big picture of the manga – Moritaka and Akito achieving their goals. Huge, intense battles are not needed to satisfy a craving for an interesting and enjoyable read in this case – a great story and an even greater cast will suffice just fine.
Rating: 4 out of 5