BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Bakuman 2 by Tsugumi Ohba, art by Takeshi Obata, translated by Tetsuichiro Miyaki

Bakuman 2The Three (teenage) Musketeers from Bakuman 1 are back: writer Takagi, artist Mashiro, and voice actress Azuki. They’re even more determined that they become a successful manga team (Takagi and Mashiro), with characters that Azuki can someday (soon!) bring to life with her voiceovers.

As young as they are, artist Mashiro and actress-to-be Azuki have already promised marriage to each other as soon as they achieve success. Never mind that they’ve taken a virtual vow of silence with each other in the meantime … how can they possibly get to know one another beyond their dreamy gazes? But apparently in-class, on-the-margin scribbles (they’re arbitrarily assigned seats next to each other!), as well as texts and emails seem to be okay communication aids, so maybe they’ll eventually discover each other’s souls. Hey, this is 21st century-style courting, after all!

But back to the boys … and the manga-making. The new volume opens with Takagi and Mashiro outside the offices of real-life publishing giant Shueisha, waiting to meet with their very own editor, Akira Hattori, who works on the ever-popular, highly influential Weekly Shōnen Jump manga magazine. Hattori is willing to take a chance on the youthful pair, even placing them head-to-head with the latest manga sensation, 15-year-old high school prodigy Eiji Nizuma. Hattori is critical but encouraging, which is just what the boys need to get them to the next level … and soon enough, publication here they come!

Volume 2 provides a detailed, insider look at the calculated, micro-managed world of manga publishing, essential reading for any wannabe manga-makers. The Ohba/Obata team is certainly well aware of the pitfalls, challenges, and especially the upside to worldwide success as they’re also the creators of the international enterprise spawned from their mega-selling Death Note series. What a chance to learn the (grueling) process from the experts, complete with unforgettable facial expressions and associated weeping and whooping! Go, team, go!

To get the backstory with the debut volume, click here.

Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult

Published: 2010 (United States)
BAKUMAN © Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
Original Japanese edition published by Shueisha Inc.


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