「ありとなし」 (Ari to Nashi)
“Yes and No”

That was amazing, simply freaking amazing. After what felt like the longest episode throughout its entire season run, Bakuman goes out with an amazing bang. For all of you manga readers out there, I can’t believe how long it took for our duo to finally reach serialization! The biggest thing is that while this was a full blown episode, the best parts in my opinion happened within the last few minutes. Don’t get me wrong, the buildup to the ending was amazing. Instead of trying to summarize just how rewarding it felt, I’ll leave you with some small thoughts before I start the final impressions.

Yes, I am happy that our dynamic duo has finally become serialized. But what really got my heart pumping was watching Mashiro dash toward Azuki’s house at the end. Watching all the flashbacks really got me thinking about just how far our duo has come in such a small time. Starting with Mashiro trying to follow in his uncle’s footsteps, I’m amazed with how much he’s grown since then. I remember seeing Mashiro with that angry frown on his face all the time — but now he’s an official mangaka with one of the strangest long distance relationships I’ve seen.

The biggest surprise had to be Azuki’s sudden resolve to call Mashiro. As I remembered what I said last week about Azuki’s lack of confidence, I felt my mouth fall to the floor when I heard Mashiro answer his phone. After going through at least a year and a half without any face to face contact, it’s simply amazing just how strong a relationship Mashiro and Azuki share. While the phone call between our two love birds could have been longer (or more awkward), I felt pretty darn satisfied.


Final Impressions:

Seeing how this is the first two-cour show I’ve covered from start to finish, I’d like to give myself a pat on the back for sticking through it. All silliness aside, I’ve had a blast watching Bakuman. Sure there were times that I thought I’d rip my hair out when the pace was slower than a walking turtle — but the overall amount of good dominates the bad.

An anime about two kids trying to become serialized mangakas, who would have thought it’d be so interesting? Throw in some strange relationships and personalities, and you have Bakuman in a nutshell. From Nizuma to a new rival who apparently likes otters, watching our dynamic duo slowly grow from being inexperienced middle school kids to serialized authors just feels so rewarding. Unlike the other shounen anime that I’ve attempted to watch in the past, I love how Bakuman’s story always seems to progress at just the right amount. But what I commend the series for doing, is having me on the edge of my seat whenever things got serious. It’s almost like that feeling I get when I see a main character discover a new super move out of the blue, except it feels ten times more rewarding since our duo actually deserve any break they can get. Something about watching them lose every single competition up until the end of the season probably had something to do with that..

With a second season already announced for this fall, I’m already excited to see just how far this series can go. As I’m an avid anime watcher and not a manga reader, I suppose I’ll be left in the dark until fall rolls around. I already know I’m going to miss the chemistry between our dynamic duo — from their jokes about each other to their amazing friendship, it’s nice watching two friends just be friends together. It feels sort of weird knowing that I won’t have Bakuman to blog every week! Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed the series as much as I did (:


  1. Takagi and Mashiro’s victory yet again! I was so on edge with Hattori’s call. All of Hattori’s calls were like that. Speaking of which, he’s not going to be their editor anymore? WTH is that?! He’s liek, the cream of the crop for them. And he worked so hard to get them where they were. I’d have thought that he’d at least want to help them along even further even if it was just because he’d grown attached. D:

    On a sidenote, Miho’s apology kinda made up for her BS last episode. Anyway, thanks for blogging this, Takaii. I look forward to your coverage on the next season. 😀

    I wonder if this is a true story?

    Edited by Divine.

    1. I wonder if its partial true or not also. The new guy Kazuya came out to be a genius also I hope they animate his Otter’s 11 manga in season 2, or I guess you meant Miura as the new guy I think I can say the same, I thought there would have been a bigger shock.

    2. Yeah, I was referring to Miura, the new editor for our duo.
      I don’t read the manga or anything so I don’t know to much about that new guy, Kazuya. He comes off as an afterthought to me because of how quickly he was introduced. Reminds me of how that pop-star bastard tried his hand at the manga industry. Not to excited about him. >:1

  2. Coming from someone who loves this manga, I have to say this was actually very well done. It’s a beautiful thing seeing the relationships adapted in such a heartfelt way, which really gives insight as to just how good this series is in general. Even after rereading the manga a few times, I have to say there’s a certain something that’s just captured in the anime alone and for those who are fans of the manga, I think that’s one of the main reasons this was so worthwhile to watch.

    Anyways, looking forward to seeing this continue to be a success in the fall. 🙂

  3. I was pretty pumped that they fixed the phone thing between Mashiro and Miho. And as far as anime original content goes, the Jack reference was pretty hilarious, and wouldn’t have worked in the manga, since they just use the magazine’s real name in the manga.

  4. Yep agreed, this was an amazing two-cour series. Pacing was sometimes here and there, but overall it was a great ride and I can’t wait for season 2. And after the good news that Genshiken got its “limiter released” maybe we’ll see another season of that as well. All in all, a fulfilling day of anime/manga……as it should be.

  5. can’t wait to see season 2 now…
    I am shocked at the new editor thing…
    and yes, finally the relationship front also moved a bit forward (regardless of how awkward it is)
    thanks for the coverage, and see you in season 2, if you are still covering it, Takaii 🙂

  6. Hm… maybe I should give the anime another shot. Loved the manga, but gave up on the anime after only a few episodes because the pacing seemed too slow, and the animation quality not so great.

    Hojo Joe
  7. Great ending, couldn’t say I saw that coming at all. Not some BS ambiguous one either.

    Bakuman was so much more interesting than what its premise suggested. Though slow, the pacing was just right; those who have read the manga probably feel otherwise but as someone who hasn’t, I did not find it to be too slow.

    1. I have read the manga and I find the pace in the anime to match the manga perfectly. 1.5 chapters for each episode is basically the standard conversion and we ended episode 25 at chapter 34. I don’t see why any manga readers would be bothered by an anime adaptation actually follows the manga pretty well. The only major changes was to the last two episodes to give an extra climax to the season end and to cut out some plot hooks for the next story arc. I will put the main thing that was actually changed into a spoiler, it’s not really that much spoilage as I will only mention what was added to the anime not what was left out:

      Show Spoiler ▼

    1. It’s not the boredom it’s the intentional no communication aspect. Instead of spending time with each other or at least regularly texting, IMing, emailing, or calling they instead choose to have no regular communication and never let their relationship go past the level of “Hey, you’re kinda cute and I think I like you.”

      Neither of them even know each other, especially at this point in the story. All Mashiro knows about Azuki is that she’s cute, she wants to be a VA, and she’s supportive of his goals to become a manga artist. Azuki only knows the reverse about Mashiro. It’s the kind of relationship you could see in a story, but not one that would (hardly) ever happen in real life. A real person would not propose to someone after never speaking to them before in their life. If somehow such a proposal did happen, it would almost certainly be a disaster of a marriage. From the way the manga has gone so far, I think the author is realistic enough to actually show them running into this problem in the future. Once the two of them finally achieve their goals, they’ll suddenly realize “Crap! We’ve never spoken a word to each other except about our career goals!”

      1. This isn’t true, they have been watching each other for quite a while. You can learn just as much about someone from watching them interact with others as by talking to them yourself. The only strange part is that they have been mutually interested in each other, but it’s less strange if you consider that Mashiro noticed Miho because she was looking at him.

      2. I disagree. You can’t develop a relationship and get to know a person in that way until you spend time with them and talk to them. You could get some textbook knowledge of a person by observing them and how they interact with other people, but that would also typically make you a stalker. Heck, I could know a lot about the life events of say Hilary Clinton. I’ve seen her on the news, I could read her book and learn a lot about her and the way she interacts with people. I could find her attractive (though I don’t). Maybe she’s seen me in the crowds at some event or on tv and thought I looked intriguing. That doesn’t mean we’ve got any kind of relationship or that I really know her. In my opinion, Mashiro and Azuki could hardly even call each other friends at this point in the story (by which I mean currently aired anime episodes).

      3. So you think that if there are 3 people in a room and only 2 are talking, then the third person will somehow know less about the other two afterwards? I will just ignore your extrapolation into watching people perform on TV or reading books. But you do have a point that you can’t develop a relationship without talking to each other. You can get to know someone and even fall in love by just observing, but to take it further you need to communicate your feelings. But they have done that. They have agreed to get married, which both understands that the other one has feelings. They have also spent a school semester exchanging personal information by writing messages while they were sitting next to each other in class.

        But I agree that their current situation is a bit bad as only exchanging short text messages while not seeing each other at all is not good and they risk growing apart. But maybe you should wait for the rest of the story for that part?

  8. I find it to be quite normal actually. I’ve been in that kind of relationship where it was hard to even talk on the phone because we felt nervous and didn’t think we’d have much to talk about. Turns out, just like Miho and Mashiro, that we were more comfortable talking to each other than we initially imagined. haha

    Pathetic, yeah I know. >>”

    1. I started reading the manga after the 1st episode of the anime aired. Been following its weekly release now. 🙂
      Can’t wait to hear Ichigo’s VA to do Hiramaru in S2!

  9. Just thought of something, it doesn’t seem like Shady Detective Trap has a prominent female protagonist… how is Azuki going to voice the anime, if one is produced?

    I’m glad there’s gonna be a S2 soon..

  10. I’m reading the manga, but thanks to my shitty memory I was able to watch the anime like it was something because I literally don’t remenber ANYTHING from that first part of the series. Hahahaha. My lack of “memory skills” were useful this time.

  11. Its rare for me to closely follow the anime adaptation of a series that I’ve already read, but strangely I followed this one all the way through. I’ll certainly be watching season 2, if only so that I can see Hiramaru in all of his neurotic glory.

    Still, I find it a tad strange that he is listed as a “rival.” That seems kind of misleading.

  12. This was a perfect finish for season 1 and I can’t wait to season 2. And I was so happy when Azuki finally called Mashiro, their relationship made me sometimes crazy. But it’s really impressiv how much they love each other.

  13. I dont see how far this show can go on honestly. Its good and everything but theres just way too much to cover from the manga. Unless this becomes one of those 100+ episode long running series, I dont see any viable conclusion from a second season, or even a third unfortunately.

    1. Well, it’s no way around that if they get several more seasons then the number of episodes will reach into the the 100eds. But they are following the manga pretty well, only doing some rewrite of the story towards the end to make it more of a finale and to leave out the future arc story hooks. But there is quite a lot of story left to tell so don’t expect this to end with the next season or the one after that as the manga already have material for more then that.

  14. What’s up with the mysterious new character that they mention was another genius? Anyhow, I’m glad they mentioned that there’ll be a second season. You don’t know how many times I’ve reached the ending of a series and wasn’t satisifed while craving for a second season without knowing if there’ll be one or not.

    1. Its the guy that was eavesdropping them in the train.

      Show Spoiler ▼

  15. Looks like it ended somewhere in chapter 34….

    Wow if they’re going to open with chapter 35 in season 2 it’s going to be [minor spoiler]Show Spoiler ▼

    [major spoiler]Show Spoiler ▼


    Anyway, still a long way to go to catch up with the manga. They ended a little further from where I anticipated the ending since I don’t follow the show anymore.

  16. Maybe a dumb question, but who was it that the mom calls? It was his dad right? I already closed the window that I was watching it in, so I can’t (don’t feel like) going back and checking, but were the volumes of jack he had on his desk just random, or the ones related to them?


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