Manga Review: Bakuman V 16 by Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata @shonenjump @vizmedia

May Contain Spoilers

Eiji finally ranks number one in the reader surveys, and he reminds Yujiro of his promise to allow him to cancel a series currently running in Jump. Whoa. Eiji gets a more diabolical rendition, and I was worried that he was turning down the path to the dark side. But, thankfully, no, he just wants to assert complete creative control over Crow, and he’s willing to push himself to the limit to get what he wants.

Without too many spoilers, Eiji’s declaration lights a fire under every member of Team Fukuda. I like how this manga about drawing comics is so quickly turned into a fighting manga. Everyone wants to achieve the top of the reader surveys, and they will go to any lengths to reach their goal. With the challenge now on, if any member of Team Fukuda can beat Crow, he’ll reconsider his plan to cancel a series.

All of the creators stretch their imaginations, and soon they are all moving up in the rankings. But will their efforts be enough to stop Eiji? Iwase once again turns her back on the support group willing to coach her along, and instead continues to struggle with +Natural, which is dropping rapidly in the rankings. I do not like Iwase, and I don’t understand her attitude. Obviously she needs some help because she spends most of this volume bemoaning her lack of support from Miura and Eiji, but when a gaggle of manga creators shows up on her doorstep offering to give her their support, she tells them she doesn’t need it. She alone will elevate +Natural in the reader surveys. Sorry, but I will be glad when it is canceled and Eiji can concentrate on something interesting.

A new story arcs starts at the end of the volume. Several older, less successful manga creators are suddenly submitting work to Jump, and most of it is fantastic. There is a shadowy figure calling the shots and coordinating their activities. The editors are conflicted. Their job is supposed to be grooming young artists for the magazine, not spending so much time with middle-aged men. It’s supposed to be a magazine for younger readers, not geriatrics. I’m curious to see where all of this is going, and I have my suspicions that a rival from the past will return to get everyone grief.

Grade: 4.25 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?
Eiji Nizuma announces that if he can top the Weekly Shonen Jump survey results for ten straight weeks, he will have one of the manga series in the magazine canceled. But which series does Eiji want to cancel? And what will Ashirogi and the other manga creators do to stop him?!