Bakuman。, Vol. 2: Chocolate and Akamaru

Bakuman。, Vol. 2: Chocolate and Akamaru - Tsugumi Ohba I still don’t know how I feel about this manga series about creating manga. On the one hand, it can be interesting when Moritaka and Akito meet with their editor and go over their game plan for making it big in the manga biz. On the other, brainstorming their next project and the creative process just isn’t all that interesting. Throw in a very awkward romance, and I’m still undecided about this series.

The guys get a lucky break when they have a meeting with Akira Hattori, an editor at Jump. He critiques their first submission effort, and gives them some hard truths, along with some constructive criticism. Hattori is impressed with how advanced their work is, and he doesn’t want them submitting to another magazine. So he gives them pointers for their next project, gives them his contact info, and tells them to call him when they have something else to show him. Dejected and exhilarated at the same time, Moritaka and Akito head back to the studio and get down to work.

Parts of this series I like, and parts of it I don’t have a lot of patience for. I find the mutually non-communicative relationship between Moritaka and Miho annoying. They don’t talk to each other, even though they sit next to each other, they refuse to see each other outside of school, and they don’t even call / text each other (until later in the volume), but they have agreed to get married after they attain their dreams. Ugh. What are they going to do if they do get married? Stare at each other over the dinner table, never uttering a word? Kaya has it right when she continually tries to get them to get to know each other better.

Speaking of Kaya, I like her relationship with Akito. Akito will argue that they aren’t really dating, but her persistent overtures toward Akito are earning her the reward of a friendship with him. Even though he doesn’t want a girlfriend, and doesn’t want to date, he still makes time for her and slowly begins to think of her as a friend. Between Moritaka and Akito, Akito is my favorite character, by far.

We meet Eiji Nizuma in this volume, and the manga prodigy is something else. He is super self-confident, knows he will have the number one ranked manga, and has declared that once that happens, he will have a say in which series is canceled in the magazine. Not wanting talent like his to slip away, the editor in chief gives him a reluctant “we’ll see,” so I can see that causing havoc for Moritaka and Akito in the future.

Grade: 3.25 stars