Manga Review: Bakuman V 17 by Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata @shonenjump @vizmedia

May Contain Spoilers

This was a great volume! Nanamine learned absolutely nothing after being trounced by Muto Ashirogi in the last volume. Nothing! He is so arrogant and overbearing, and he immediately passes the blame for his failure on to others, which is just what losers do. Now he’s back with a vengeance, and he’s taking no prisoners!

Nanamine concocts an even more elaborate scheme to create a top selling manga, and to also prove that he’s smarter than everybody else. With his father bankrolling his endeavors, he sets up a company to create manga. Sort of like the James Patterson method of writing novels. Using classroom instructors, a manga café to monitor reactions of readers, and desperate, washed up creators, he sets his plan in motion. Using a similar method to the one that failed him in the past, but this time actually paying his idea creators, he promptly has to brag to Akito and Mashiro. Not a smart move on his part.

What Nanamine ends up doing is lighting a fire under the collective butts of Team Fukuda, as well as some older artists he tried to take advantage of. His comeuppance was satisfying. Nanamine has no respect or love for manga; he only wants to be acknowledged as the best. He is shallow, and his lack of empathy makes his creations feel empty.

I really liked Azuma, one of the older artists who gets caught up in Nanamine’s schemes. Azuma worked for Mashiro’s uncle as an assistant, and all he  ever wanted was a series of his own. He has an obvious love for manga, and he also wants to do justice to the memory of Taro Kawaguchi.  Azuma’s final scene was very touching, and it was obvious how much he respected Moritaka’s uncle and wanted to do right by him.

I’m getting sad that I’m almost finished with this series! Wah! It’s been a unique battle type manga, played out through the creativity of manga creators. That is my type of battle!

Grade: 4.25 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

As the veteran manga artists start taking over Weekly Shonen Jump, the younger artists feel the pressure. But what is behind this sudden surge of older artists making a comeback in the magazine? And what is the connection between Azuma and Moritaka’s late uncle?