Thursday, 8 March 2012

Bakuman: The Manga Within the Manga

Warning: This post is discussing content, which will possibly contain spoilers for those who are not manga current.

There are many reasons why I enjoy Bakuman, but one of the biggest is the plethora of different manga within the storyline. Each week I lap up the latest chapter and many times, particularly when the focus is more on creating the manga more than everyone's social lives or the rankings, I find myself really wanting to read some of the stories that this fictional young bunch are creating.

For my tastes in particular the series that I most want to read are Eiji's. As much as I love some of the more offbeat tales, my heart truly lies with good old mainstream battle manga, which is more Niizuma's forté. I'd love to be able to sit down and power through Crow, or wait anxiously for the next chpater of Zombie Gun. I confess that it does make me feel like somewhat of a failure as a Bakuman fan that Mashiro and Takagi's works aren't top of my "wish I could read if it existed" list.

Speaking of the Ashirogi Mutou manga, I think the one I most want to read is P.C.P. closely followed by Detective Trap. For me the ingenius twists, turns and pranks in these two are what would really get me hooked, kind of the like the clever deductions in Detective Conan, but with that more adult flair that Takagi and Mashiro bring to their work. Incidentally, Tanto is one of their works that I'm really not interested in in the slightest, which is odd as the idea of a kid with numerous comical gadgets and inventions would normally be something I'd at least consider. It does lead me to wonder if maybe the lack of passion within the tale bled through into my own consciousness.

Of course outside of the central authors, there are again a plethora of works to choose from. While Fukuda's Kiyoshi Knight doesn't necessarily appeal to me, the likes of Hideout Door and to a certain extent Otters 11 do. I almost imagine Otters being something like Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei but with an otter guy instead of a suicidal teacher, meanwhile the gorgeous art on Hideout Door and the more light-hearted fantasy element intrigues me. In fact, when looking at all the different series that appear, from Panty Flash Fight to +Natural, there's something that could potentially appeal to everyone and to me, finding myself wanting to experience so many of the manga within this series, is the mark of a successful story. Tsugumi Ohba has not only managed to come up with an engaging manga, but also several highly interesting concepts to play alongside it, meanwhile, Takeshi Obata gets to showcase his wide variety of drawing styles, and to do both of these so well is no easy feat. Well done, and keep up the good work!


  1. Weekly Shonen Jump actually ran an Otters 11 one-shot in one of their issues back in 2010.

    Don't know how the reception was though.

  2. Ooo, I didn't know that. I think I may have to try and hunt that down and see if anyone translated it. :)