Manga Review: Bakuman V 12 by Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata @vizmedia @shonenjump

May Contain Spoilers

The struggle is real! Can Mashiro and Akito score higher in the ratings that Crow or +Natural? They have kind of made things difficult for themselves, both by being so motivated and by asking to have their previous series canceled because they didn’t think it would ever become as popular as Crow. While I admire their drive, I wonder why they have to do everything the hard way!

The rivalries are strong in this volume, and we learn why Iwase is so fixated on Akito. Seems she had a little crush on him in school, but he liked Kaya, so she let her competitive side run wild. The end result is an obsession to beat Akito at everything. I feel a little sorry of Iwase. Her ambitions have more to do with getting back at Akito  for not liking her than from a genuine desire to be the best she can be. And poor Miura! Being her editor has got to give him a migraine.

When offers are made to produce light novels and a drama CD based on PCP, the guys are delighted. They are sure that an anime offer will be just around the corner. Hattori, however, dashes cold water in their faces. Several factors are working against PCP being animated. Mashiro is crushed. How can he and Miho fulfill their dreams and get married if he can’t get his series animated. I still think it’s silly that they both agreed on something in middle school, and feel bound by it now that they are adults.

I enjoyed this installment of the series. Both Mashiro and Akito have matured so much since the first volume, and I like the people they have become. Akito is always willing to help and encourage their assistants, even if it means losing them when they get green-lit for a series of their own. I always thought Akito was a bit standoffish, but when Shiratori needs emotional support when his mother mocks his decision to draw manga, he is right there.

I have fears that Mashiro, Akito, and Iwase are all going to bite off more than they can chew because of their unending quest to be the best. Eiji, on the other hand, just keeps one-upping everyone with his creative genius.

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), for audiences rated teen.
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?
With their new series Perfect Crime Party doing well in Weekly Shonen Jump, Moritaka and Akito sets their sights on beating their rivals in the magazine. But just as their dreams seem within reach, some surprising news will deal them an unexpected setback.