With the manga ending a few months a go and the 3rd season starting soon, it was about time for me to get watching the second season of Bakuman. Surprisingly, I liked it much much much more than I thought I would.
Bakuman, the manga, holds a special place in my heart. Not only is it far and away my favorite manga of all time, it also gave me a lot of motivation in times that I needed it. Bakuman’s a very inspirational manga, no doubt about it, but the anime, especially the first season, never managed to carry over its charms. It over emphasizes the parts that aren’t Bakuman’s biggest assets and completely forgets the reason why the manga is amazing as it’s supposed to be. I think a big part of me not liking the anime is basically the presentation. The manga emphasizes its “shounen essence” by giving it speed lines, exaggerated poses, different angles. . . basically “The Rush” sort of feeling (kinda like what Death Note did). The anime presents it more subtly (most definitely because of budget constraints) and the manga-anime translation doesn’t go that smoothly.
Nonetheless the second season definitely improved from the first season. The anime is still basically the same besides having the execution slightly sharper so it must be the content itself. It introduces characters that I love like Hiramaru, characters that I felt strong pity for like Miura, characters that just made things more fun like Iwase and characters that get more screen time like Aoki Kou. Everything felt livelier because of this and they finally got to the point where Bakuman just rolls. Competition on rankings, what it means to be serialized, what editors feel. . . all those inside the industry sort of stuff that we never see, the second season tackles with great confidence.
I don’t want to be overtly negative since I really enjoyed what I watched so I’ll stop it here with a positive note (especially since all I wrote about season 1 is bitchiness) kinda like how season 2 ends with Ashirogi Muto finally reaching one of their dreams. I honestly can’t wait for season 3 since this is when Bakuman finally completes the message it wants to give not only to Shonen Jump (or Jack lol) but to every manga reader and editor out there.
Execution: 33/40 (Slightly sharper than the first season)
Engagement: 24/30 (Exciting content made up for a rather lacking presentation)
Characters: 18/20 (They got this one on the dot.)
Production Values: 6/10 (Terrible)
Overall: 81/100 (B-)