Manga Review: Bakuman V5 by Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata @shonenjump

May Contain Spoilers

Oh noes! If they weren’t under enough pressure, now the guys have to deal with a new editor on the eve of the debut of their new Jump series. Ugh! This guy seems a little flaky, and not as knowledgeable as Hattori (who I really, really liked!). Can they cope with this huge disruption and still achieve their goal of having the number one manga series in Japan?

This was a solid entry into the series. Moritaka and Akito are learning that getting their own weekly series isn’t a piece of cake. There is the pressure of deadlines, editor meetings, finding assistants, and staying in the top of the rankings, all while trying to attend high school! And their new friends, Fukuda, Nakai, Aoki, and Eiji all have series running in the magazine, too, so they are all competing in the rankings to have a top series.

I don’t know why Bakuman suddenly clicked for me. I thought the first two volumes were so boring. Not any more! Now I’m eager to learn what new challenges Moritaka and Akito will have to face, and in this volume, it’s having a new inexperienced editor, as well as not having enough hours in the day to get everything finished. When Moritaka falls asleep during crucial deadline, he has to ask his mother to call his high school so he has an excused absence. She’s not too happy to comply, but agrees, just this once. Which makes me wonder how many times just this once is going to turn out to be.

The reader surveys are driving the guys nuts. They are basing how to proceed with their work by how they are ranked in the surveys. Miura, their new editor, keeps telling them that they will be fine, it’s natural for a series to slip in the rankings, but they are terrified that they will be canceled at the next editors’ meeting. The whole push and pull about how they are going to proceed with the story kept me engaged, and I loved the random appearances from Eiji and new series creators. I was not committed to Bakuman at first, but I sure do like it now.

Grade: 4 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

By the creators of Death Note! The mystery behind manga-making revealed!
Reads R to L (Japanese Style), for audiences T
Big changes are in store now that Moritaka and Akito have their very own series in Shonen Jump. Hanging out with their favorite manga creators, hiring assistants, keeping track of the weekly reader surveys—life as a professional manga artist is tough! Can these two survive the pressure…?