I should really be finishing off the animes I already started watching but temptation got the best of me and I went ahead and checked out Bakuman. An anime about drawing manga. It was initially a manga about drawing manga but an anime version serialised late last year and I just got around to watching it. Obviously it's not actually about how to draw manga as that would be really boring but the story revolves around the life of Moritaka Mashiro, a junior high student aspiring to be a mangaka (one that draws manga if you don't know).
The idea was quite unique and I wasn't sure how it was going to be done without becoming a yawn-fest. I supposed they would have to twist it around romance or something if they were heading for realism and indeed they did. So it was basically going to be a story about Mashiro's road to being a good mangaka while his relationship with Miho Azuki is being thrown around in there somewhere. Needless to say, like all other main love interest for the protagonist, Azuki is boring, bland and has little to no character features other then wanting to be a voice actor herself. The typical average girl persona. No tsundere, no yandere, nothing. Fine, they could still work with that if they had more side plots to spice things up but nope. Just "journey to mangaka" and "relationship with love interest."
|Something's fishy about that hair shading...|
The author tried to shove everything driving the plot forward into his character and that has turned out to be rather wacky as he's supposed to be an intelligent character. On the side he serves somewhat as a comedy relief while being the guy that pushes Mashiro around to actually doing something about his life.
|Or is it?|
Not only does he confront Mashiro about wanting to be the author of Mashiro's manga but he also gets him to go to Azuki's house and tell her that they are planning to work together as author and artist for no reason whatsoever. In real life, it would result in a terribly awkward situation but here we go...
Oh boy, it was so corny it was almost painful to watch. I mean what do you expect when two boys come to your house in the middle of the night just to tell you they're planning to draw a manga together. Well that was initially Akito's plan but luckily Mashiro sneaked in and told her that maybe she could become the voice actor of the heroine or something "when they were done AND serialised". They haven't even started yet and they just went to her house randomly bubbling about all this unrelated awkward nonsense. The scriptwriters deserve a good slap on the face for this one.
|Mother of all randomness|
I know the plot of being a mangaka is hard to deliver as it's such a boring subject for animes but I have to be honest and say that I wasn't impressed especially when the author was the same guy that did Death Note. I did quite like the OST but the voice acting was nothing special. If you're going to choose such a boring subject to turn into an anime at least have a side plot or interesting characters to go along with it. And yes, as Michael Westside mentioned this is supposed to be one of those light-hearted "slice of life" animes. Too bad they're missing the interesting characters.