Bakuman Season 2 Episode 1
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Bakuman is a weekly animated television series based on a long-running popular manga series from Shonen Jump, with the first season airing in Fall 2010, and the second season starting in October 2011. Moritaka and Akito are two high school students who put everything on the line to live their dreams of becoming popular manga creators. However, breaking into the professional manga industry takes an incredible amount of hard work, luck, and time.
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Spoiler-free set-up: Moritaka and Akito are introduced to their rookie editor, Miura, who has quite a different style and work ethic than their previous editor. As they prepare for their big-time debut, they get acquainted with their team of assistants. The high school kids are also invited to the company Christmas party, where they run into the Nizuma again, as well as the new wet blanket prodigy Hiramaru. They also are introduced to the head of the company, and Moritaka vows to finish what his uncle was unable to accomplish.
My Impressions: Second verse…same as the first…
The first episode picks up right where the final episode of the first season left off, as if there was never a half-year break (and that also means you pretty much have to be familiar with everything in the first season to fully appreciate the second). Of course, there’s also no rest for the weary in Bakuman-land as well, as our Dynamic Duo get right back on the treadmill of neverending deadlines and no sleep. This episode also serves to introduce a few new characters that will undoubtedly play an important role in the near future, such as their new editor (“I can’t tell if he’s a genius or if he’s terrible.”) as well as the three assistants Moe, Larry, and Curly Joe.
As far as Bakuman itself goes…well, pretty much the same as before. If you liked the first season, there’s nothing here to dissuade you from that opinion. For me, I watched the first several episodes, then dropped it, came back and shotgunned the rest to give it an unimpressive final grade of “C” (below the cut-off point for my personal recommendation to watch). Perhaps the story flows better in manga format, but on the animated screen it just sort of dragged. Pulling back the curtain and revealing the mechanics of the manga industry are interesting and all (especially for someone like myself, who worked within the middle of the business side of American comics industry for fifteen years), but the story never really popped for me. As the episodes wore on, I could not muster the interest to care whether our Young Guns would make it past their latest mini-disaster or not. (The answer: Of course they did, you idiot – otherwise there wouldn’t be the next episode/season!)
I fear that the second season of Bakuman will follow along the same path as the first. For me, that means it will probably end up in the “not interested” pile. I’ll give it an episode or two to see if something new piques my interest, but I’m not holding my breath.
Oh, there is definitely *one* major improvement from the first season to the second: At least I no longer have to listen to that corny, cloying opening “Blue Bird” theme song ever again. Thank god for small miracles.
P.S. And for all those Bakuman-philes out there, a THIRD SEASON is already in the works. And I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before we get the Detective Trap Special (hey, they could do a crossover with Kujubiki Unbalance while they’re at it. Or Maschera, take your pick.)
- Opening sequence for Detective Trap!.
- Info resources:
- If you like this, you might also like: Comic Party or Genshiken.
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “Overall, it was a rather enjoyable episode, and with faster pacing! I know last season some had some complaints about the slow pacing, so hopefully they stick with this. The story seems to be getting even more interesting now that they’re ACTUALLY serialized and we get to see how things will change for Mashiro and Takagi.” – Metanorn
- “Anyway, Bakuman2 looks promising. The quirky little jokes are pretty funny and the editor seems kind of annoying to me. Though, he didn’t seem that bad towards the end of the episode.” – Meeping Anime
- “All in all, the episode was a great start to another season of Bakuman and worked well for fans, and even newcomers. In addition to the compelling plot that made me chuckle and even cry, the musical selections for the two openings were great. Grade: 4/5.” – Population GO
- “Well, I’m glad to see J.C. Staff didn’t waste any time at all in getting the ball rolling, as the first scene foreshadowed a possible Detective Trap anime adaptation, followed by Ashirogi Muto meeting their new editor, Miura…maybe he’ll turn out to be completely awesome, and its way too early to tell anyway.” – Angry Anime Bitches
- “For this series’ standards, a lot really happened this episode and instead of dragging on, it kept a steady pace and introduced a lot of new and interesting characters. The animation also feels lightly better than what it was before. Can this pacing be kept up for the rest of this season though? Potential: 80%.” – Star Crossed Anime Blog
- “I still enjoy the manga-related aspects, where it weaves commentary on the industry with a realistic story about two friends and their goals. And, I still hate the cheesy romance subplot, which I frankly believe should be scrapped if I were to suggest a step towards improvement. Grade: C+.” – Behind the Nihon Reviews
- “About the actual episode, well, it was actually quite good. I’m surprised at how well it managed to portray the cast as an energetic, slightly weird set of people. It all came together to become quite an entertaining mess, especially with the new editor and the strange new mangaka Hirumaru. ” – Emory Anime Club
- “I still see Bakuman as being about the same thing – making manga, and trying to be an artist in an industry dominated by businessmen and bean-counters. Stacked up against S1 – which I liked – I think this episode would hold up very well, and that’s a good sign.” – Lost in America
- “Maybe because I read Bakuman, but these episodes are incredibly boring. It really seems like nothing significant happens at all in each episode. The characters don’t have many dynamic actions, so the series is forced to rely on dialogue and plot. However, I already know the plot and the characters sound either fairly emotionless when talking or not very convincing that their emotions are real. In the end I was left with just boredom and the animation did not help. Grade: 1.5/5.” – Mixmatched
- “The first episode itself, rightly or wrongly by practically removing Miyoshi and Azuki entirely, gave me the things that make Bakuman awesome: a view into the world of shounen manga, and a story of people trying to make in in a thoroughly awesome shounen kind of way.” – Ghost Lightning
- “Man, there was me, all prepared to bring out the hating game on Bakuman once again, only for the episode to be genuinely entertaining. I even laughed out loud at one point. Yikes, I think I need a lie down.” – The Cart Driver
ROUND ONE RESULTS FOR THE FALL 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round One: Un-Go, Chibi Devi, Working Season 2, Bakuman Season 2
Thumbs-down for Round One: Morita-san wa Mukuchi Season 2
Coming up next: Mirai Nikki, Kimi to Boku, C3, Shinryaku Ika Musume Season 2, Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, Ben-To, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, Chihayafuru, Phi-Brain, Last Exile: Fam the Silver Wing, Fate Zero, Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Shakugan no Shana III, Hunter x Hunter, Mashiro-iro Symphony, Tamayura Hitotose, Persona 4, Maken-ki, Cross Fight Bedaman, Digimon Xros Wars II