Manga Review: Bakuman V 8 by Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata

May Contain Spoilers

Akito’s chickens finally come home to roost. Kaya discovers a letter from Iwase, and immediately jumps to the wrong conclusion. When she and Akito stop talking, Moritaka wonders what’s going on. When Miho gives him a piece of her mind, and then breaks up with him, he’s distraught. What did he do??

It was good to see the girls give the guys a bit of grief. Miho is upset with Moritaka for keeping secrets, and Kaya just can’t trust Akito anymore. They both have a lot of work to do to win back the trust of their ladies, and since everything seems to come so easily to them, it’s a battle worth the fight.

Nakai pissed me off. When Aoki asks him if he’ll help her with the art for a series she’s working on, he propositions her. What a jerk. And he deserved the slap he got in response. Nakai makes no good decisions in this volume. Not one. He is a jerk to Aoki. He is a jerk to Kato. He treats his work as a manga artist with just as much disrespect as he treats the ladies. He doesn’t deserve to even draw backgrounds. Ugh.

Fukuda, of all people, comes to Aoki’s aid. When she comes up empty in her search for an artist, Fukuda comes to her rescue. He’ll help her with the troublesome panty shots needed in her new series, because he wants to see Eiji’s dream of creating a new Jump come true. He doesn’t even like Aoki, but he will give her the guidance she needs to keep her series popular, without allowing the quality of his series to suffer. I didn’t think much of Fukuda before, but I sure like him now.

Eiji has been in a bit of slump since Akito and Moritaka’s Trap has been canceled. He was so looking forward to their rivalry. Now even Crow is looking a little lackluster. Hattori has the prefect solution, but it has to be a secret. What if Eiji worked on the art for another series, while also producing Crow? Is that even possible? I love Eiji. He is so enthusiastic about comics, and stories, and longs for his friends to be successful, too, so he will be challenged to create even better stories. I hope he’s in more than a few pages in the next volume.

This volume of Bakuman is plot heavy. It took forever to read, and was really intense. There is a lot going on, both for Akito and Moritaka, and also for the other major players in the series. The only guy I still don’t like is their editor, Miura. I am hoping for big things from him, so I can stop missing Hattori so much. Hattori is an awesome editor. He’s nurturing and encouraging and can instinctively parse out an artist’s strong and weak points. I hope it doesn’t take the entire series for Miura to learn how to do the same.

Grade: 4.25 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).
Average student Moritaka Mashiro enjoys drawing for fun. When his classmate and aspiring writer Akito Takagi discovers his talent, he begs Moritaka to team up with him as a manga-creating duo. But what exactly does it take to make it in the manga-publishing world?
Drama swirls around the manga creators as they try to move forward after being canceled from Shonen Jump. Moritaka and Akito work hard on a new comedy story pitch while Aoki and Nakai struggle with some personal issues. But when Kaya uncovers Akito’s meetings with Aoki and Iwase, things might never be the same.