Bakuman 8

December 21, 2011

Tsugumi Ohba / Takeshi Obata – Viz – 2011 – 16+ volumes

I couldn’t resist reading the next volume of this right away. I’m enjoying the momentum building towards Muto Ashirogi’s new series… well, towards several new series, by the end of this volume. I couldn’t put it down.

And that’s even considering this volume was mostly a character story volume! Shujin lands in hot water when Kaya finds out that he’s been meeting with Ms. Ko, and to make matters worse, she spots a letter from Shujin’s old high school crush that he overlooked himself. This part’s lengthy, and I actually loved the way the deadbeat characters just let all this stuff happen to them. I also liked the way that they actually did try to explain themselves, except couldn’t explain farther than the fact that they were innocent of any wrongdoing, and asked to be trusted. Of course that didn’t fly, but I thought that it was an interesting spin on how these fights go.

As was the outcome! I don’t really care either way about the event itself, honestly, but I love that it’s another sign that the characters are aging in this series. It’s super-interesting.

Aside from that, I’m liking all the editorial tweaking that’s going on. Obviously Shujin and Saiko are still disagreeing with Miura, but it is interesting how vested they are in the project at this point. The compromises were an unexpected twist in the story, and… I liked all the conflict resolution and problem solving at work here. All of it was utterly fascinating.

Again, I’m not sure if that’s because all of this is genuinely compelling storytelling or because I am a giant manga geek. It could be that it puts the average reader into a coma, especially since they get very technical and are talking about gag manga, something that the English language audience seems to abhor.

On the other hand, I don’t know anything about gag manga, since I very rarely get to read them. I was super excited to learn more about it here.

Also unexpected was the reveal that Jump characters can’t kill humans. I… suspected as much, but man, that spoils a lot of my fun in a handful of other series. But that’s another rule that Death Note broke, isn’t it? And One Piece, come to think of it. But just the one time. And Oda’s sold, like, 260,000,000 volumes of manga. He should be allowed to do whatever he pleases.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

One Response to “Bakuman 8”

  1. I thought the boys were really immature when dealing with (or rather avoiding) Kaya’s reaction. She had no reason to trust them and plenty of reason not to, and they just decided to ignore her until push came to shove and Shujin blurts something out that’s even more reactionary and immature than ignoring his girlfriend’s concern. I really hope their parents (or Kaya’s parents, as Shujin’s have let him do whatever he wants for ages now) try to stop them before they end up broke, divorced and miserable at 20.

    That said, I loved the volume and can’t wait for the next one!

    *I also raised an eyebrow at the “no killing humans rule.” Death Note. It’s about a notebook. That kills humans. I rest my case. (Actually, Naruto has lots of character deaths. Is it only the “good guys” or main characters specifically that can’t kill humans? And how does Shonen Jump define “Humans” for this rule? It just raises a lot of questions…)

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