Manga Review: Bakuman V13 by Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata @shonenjump @vizmedia

May Contain Spoilers

Akito and Shiratori continue working on Loveta and Peace, while Mashiro struggles to come up with a one-shot for the Super Leaders Fest. Both members of Muto Ashirogi learn that they have a real weakness; because they have done basically nothing but create manga since middle-school, they have very few real life experiences to draw on. This becomes a bit of a liability, because it stifles their creativity. They can’t produce engaging, believable stories because they have so little to base them on.

Akito, frustrated that he can’t accurately portray a dog, becomes more withdrawn and agitated. He finally disappears, causing Kaya a lot of worry. Turns out he’s just staying at Shiratori’s, and he’s spending time with Peace so he can understand dogs better. Kaya puts up with a lot from her occasionally flaky husband, but skipping out like that would have made me so angry and hurt. She has been nothing but supportive, and when she voices her concerns about how Akito and Mashiro’s relationship seems in jeopardy, he gets upset with her. Ugh.

The Super Leaders Fest quickly evolves into the Super Leaders Love Fest, when it’s discovered that all of the one-shot artists are working on romances. This was actually pretty funny, because so few of them have any relationship experiences to draw on for their inspiration. Eiji is particularly at a disadvantage, because he doesn’t even know that he’s lacking in this department. Watching as each of the creators attempted to come up with the best romance story was hilarious. The Love Fest turned into a competition, with readers voting for their favorite story after they all had run in the magazine. Of course none of Team Fukuda can turn down a good competition, and they all vow to win. The results made me laugh.

Moritaka and Akito acknowledge that if they are ever going to have an anime, they need to step it up and produce another series. If Eiji can do it, they can do it to. Talk about gluttons for punishment! While they are mulling around possible story ideas, Hiramaru’s tea party with Aoki interrupts their planning. Yoshida has lost his charge, and he puts out an all points bulletin for assistance finding him. Everyone gets the wrong idea that he’s going to harm himself, when all Hiramaru wants is to enjoy Aoki’s presence all by himself. This was a fun chapter, and I liked the dynamic of Hiramaru and Aoki.

While I found the conflict between Mashiro and Akito at the beginning of the volume forced, the rest of the book was fun and engaging. 

Grade: 4 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

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?

After being told their current series Perfect Crime Party will not be turned into an anime, Moritaka and Akito start planning on ways to create a second series. Their best chance might be to do well in a new contest where they will compete with their rivals over who can create the best romance story!