Summary Key Points:
- The episode starts off with a OP theme to a very old styled cartoon-ish kids anime
- It turns out that a younger Mashiro Moritaka is reading his uncle’s manga and is complimented by his uncle for his artwork and winning another prize
- Mashiro reflects on how his uncle told him to be many things, but a manga artist was never one of them
- Flash forward to the current day, a very cynical Mashiro is commenting on how he hates his life, and how his future is pretty much set in stone
- This very cynical Mashiro also likes a girl named Azuki, but thinks of his love for said girl as nothing more than extra pain that will bring him down
- Called Saiko by his friends, Mashiro heads out as class ends
- Back home, he realizes that he actually forgot his notebook
- As he heads back to school to get it, he finds the top student of the class, Takagi waiting for him
- Takagi comments on how he knows that Mashiro likes Azuki, and that she probably likes him too
- Takagi then promises to return his notebook and keep his secrets under one condition
- The condition is to team up with him and make a manga
- Saiko is definitely surprised but declines
- Takagai is very insistent, saying that Mashiro/Saiko’s art is exceedingly good and with Takagi’s writing skills, they are sure to make it big.
- Saiko says that being a mangaka isn’t easy, and gives the example of his uncle
- When asked for who his uncle was, Takagi is happy to hear that its the author of one of his childhood favorite mangas
- Saiko shrugs it off but does say that he’ll think about it back home
- Back home, Saiko is thinking about everything, and recalls the memory of his uncle and how he died
- His thoughts are interrupted by his mother who comes in, asking that he study for exams
- Saiko grimaces, as he is quite unhappy at hearing others having decided his future for him
- His thoughts are interrupted by a cellphone call from Takagi
- Takagi says that he’s about to confess to Azuki and that Saiko should head to him
- Confused but curious, he heads to where Takagi is
- They wind up coming to Azuki’s house and after ringing the door bell, manage to get her outside
- Takagi confesses that he’s going to become a mangaka, and that he Azuki is going to be a Voice actress
- Saiko also comments on how he’ll be doing the illustrations, and Azuki is quite happy and excited at hearing this
- Caught up in the moment, Saiko asks her to marry him if their dreams come true
- Shocked, Azuki runs back into the house
- Takagi and Saiko look at each other in horror
- Much to Saiko’s delight however, Azuki replies with a yes to his proposal
- She also gives the condition that they will not see each other until they make their dreams into reality
- The episode ends with Saiko determined to become a mangaka no matter what
Being a HUGE fan of the original manga, and having followed it since its first chapter, I was a bit cautious and scared of watching this series. It seemed like no matter how good the series turned out to be, It probably couldn’t meet my impossibly high expectations. Well, if you’re a fan of the original manga, or if the anime is your first introduction to the world of Bakuman, I’m pleased to state that this is looking to be an exceptional adaption of a great manga!
I think its important to note how delicately the voices for all the characters have been handled. Having read about a 100 chapters of the manga, I find it impressive that the voices for all the characters are so natural, fit in so well and are just as I imagined them. This, coupled with some great animation, and great art direction that captures the feel and spirit of the manga, makes for an exceptionally impressive anime adaption, right up there with the Death Note anime adaption.
I’m also exceedingly pleased with how some of the more cornier parts are kept intact and adapted straight as they were from the manga. I was rather glad to see Takagi make his big proposal, and then his “confession” to Azuki. Saiko’s big confession to Azuki was also very well handled and felt natural.
For first time viewers, the idea of Saiko suddenly landing Azuki may seem a bit odd, but it really does make for some great character drama, as many will see throughout the series. It really does seem like the relationship between Azuki and Saiko is taking a great deal of focus, perhaps a bit more so than the manga, which is fine. I’m curious to see how the subject matter is handled, as this is definitely one of the most unique manga series out there.
I also appreciated the reference to Death Note (which is the other series by the creators of this manga) and even some good old Bleach, One piece mentions near the end. A big part of Bakuman’s appeal is how it really lets you know of how the manga industry works, and we already got to see some stuff about that in this episode.
All in all, I do believe that this is one of the season’s strongest offerings, and will entice both returning manga funs and new people alike!
The story continues as Takagi and Saiko begin to head into making their own manga. There’s also going to be more Azuki and kaya stuff! =D
Advertise on Anime Evo!
Help us pay the bills and work with us to promote your awesome product, service, website, comic or anything else you want to show off. We here at Anime Evo work with our advertising partners to promote products that are actually relevant to our audience, and give you the best bang for your buck!