Manga Review: Bakuman V 15 by Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata @shonenjump @vizmedia

May Contain Spoilers

With Nanamine’s series tanking, he’s getting desperate. He lies to the remaining members of his consultation team, telling them that the series is ranking higher than it is. With failure immanent, he devises a sure-fire way to beat Muto Ashirogi. Just steal their storyboards and submit the same story!

Ugh. Nanamine is an idiot. His volunteer contributors are rapidly jumping ship, and he’s loathe to tell them the real ranking for the story. When he orders Kosugi to go and steal Akito and Moritaka’s work, he deserved the punch he got. And Kosugi. Man! Just give up on this loser! But no way! Kosugi is convinced that Nanamine can create a successful series on his own, and he refuses to give up on the arrogant artist.

I’m glad that Nanamine finally got his comeuppance, and I liked how Hattori, Kosugi, Akito, and Moritaka all worked together to prove to him that his methods would never work. Going head to head, using the same plot, the two creative teams compete in the same issue of Jump. Only Nanamine doesn’t realize that he’s been set up. Kosugi delivers the challenge to him, and if he loses, Nanamine will consent to taking editorial advice. I understand that Kosugi is only trying to develop a talented artist for the good of the magazine, but I don’t know if the aggravation will be worth it. Nanamine is such a jerk.

But he’s not as much of a jerk as Nakai!! Dear Lord this guy has serious issues! After Nanamine fires him, Nakai charges over to Aoki’s because he blames her for all of his failures. Ugh! Take responsibility for your own lack of ambition, guy! Hiramaru valiantly charges to Ko’s rescue – sort of. And for the second time in the series, I actually found Hiramaru a cool guy. He’s usually such a whiner, and he allows his editor to manipulate him all the time, but even when it’s almost assured that he’s going to get thrashed, he comes to Aoki’s defense. Hooray!

After some real life criminals start copying the crimes in PCP, and break-ins make the news, Akito is on thin ice. He doesn’t want to be responsible for anyone getting hurt, and his stories suddenly take a nosedive. What will it take for him to hit his stride again? I always thought that Moritaka was the more sensitive of the duo, but I was so wrong. Akito takes the copy-cat crimes to heart, and he feels so guilty that he can’t come up with any stories good enough to submit to either Hattori or Moritaka. I really enjoyed how Moritaka supported Akito in this time of doubt. Their friendship has come a long way, and they have really grown up over the course of the series.

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?
With Nanamine’s manga struggling, he makes an interesting challenge to Moritaka and Akito. But will the duo accept and risk what they’ve worked so hard to achieve? And when the news media puts the spotlight on their series for the wrong reasons, how will it affect Akito?