Sunday, 2 October 2011

Bakuman Season 2 - Episode 1

Bakuman is... err... back!  Thank goodness I can actually remember what happened at the end of the first series too (and no, I didn't cheat by looking it up in my own 'blog), as this second season begins without so much of a whiff of a recap of the story so far.

Having achieved their dream of serialisation in Shonen Jack at the end of the first series, that dream now becomes a very tangible reality as the second begins - and what a multi-faceted, breakneck reality it is too.  Before work on the first volume of the manga even begins properly, Ashirogi Muto find themselves with a new assistant, as Hattori stands back out of necessity to let another editor named Miura, an energetic fellow who seems to be honest to a fault.  But is he a good editor or not?  Well, that remains to be seen as the series progresses, no doubt...

With Miura in place, it's time to start thinking about staff to work alongside Mashiro and Takagi on Shady Detective Trap, and before they know it the duo are outfitted with an incredibly well-organised and proficient assistant and two enthusiastic young artists working under him, while the authors themselves get to schmooze with the bigwigs at a New Year's Party where they get to catch up with Eiji Nizuma while also meeting another oddball would-be genius in office worker turned manga artist named Kazuya Hiramaru.  Still, it seems that the parties and assistants haven gone to the heads of our stars, as they prove to be as driven as ever to reach the top of the manga world.

Although its anime adaptation hasn't always hit the right notes during its first season, I'm more than a little happy to see Bakuman make its return, and this episode was certainly a good reminder of the easy charm it holds over the viewer - you can't help but get scooped up and carried away in the excitement of Akito and Moritaka as they realise another step towards their dream, and their wide-eyed wonder is thus shared with ourselves as we marvel at their blend of good fortune and talent.  In short, episodes like this make Bakuman a great feel-good anime, and I look forward to plenty more of the same while crossing my fingers that it doesn't get side-tracked too frequently towards its less compelling romance aspects.

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