Updated: May 6
Manga (漫画, manga) are comics or graphic novels created in Japan generally to share Japanese culture. Its art style is really impressive, as a prospective of an artist, I personally like to draw character designs in traditional manga style.
Bakuman is a shonen manga written by Tsugumi Ohba. This manga centers around two high school students who team up to try and create a successful manga so it can be made into an anime. The plot follows their dream to create manga and the complex relationship with them and people around them. Moritaka Mashiro is the main protagonist of Bakuman. Moshiro is also reffered to as Saiko by his friends with no particular reasons. He is a dedicated mangaka (manga artist) who strives to have a hit series as well as an anime to fulfill his promise to Miho Azuki, his love interest and later on wife. When Mashiro was young, he idolized his uncle, Nobuhiro Mashiro, who was a mangaka for Weekly Shonen Jump. Because of his uncle, he developed an interest in drawing, and was praised for his tremendous talent. Also due to his uncle, Mashiro gained a lot of knowledge on how manga is created, approved and published. When his uncle passed away to over exhaustion, he decided to forget his interest in becoming a mangaka.
Bakuman follows the story of high school student Moritaka Mashiro, a talented artist who does not know what he wants to do with his future. One day he draws a picture of Miho Azuki, a girl he is secretly fond of, during class he forgets the notebook at school. He comes back to find that his classmate Akito Takagi is waiting for him with his notebook. Takagi tries to convince Mashiro to become mangaka, a manga artist, with him, but Mashiro denies. Mashiro goes home and thinks about his mangaka uncle, who had only one successful series before he died due to over exhaustion of work load. Mashiro is interrupted by a phone call from Takagi, who says that he is going to tell Azuki that Mashiro likes her. Mashiro runs down to Azuki’s house to find Takagi waiting for him. Once Azuki comes out to meet them, Takagi tells her that he and Mashiro are aiming to be mangaka. Mashiro then learns that she wants to be a seiyuu, a voice actor, and has shown promise in the field. Mashiro, once again thinking about his uncle, accidently proposes to Azuki who accepts. However, she will only marry him after they achieve their dreams. Mashiro and Takagi after sending in several manga, begin a manga series titled Detective Trap. Shortly after that series is cancelled, Mashiro and Takagi begin their work for their next manga series, Run, Daihatsu Tanto!
The main character of the series. He is a manga artist, who loved a classmate from afar, but never got the chance to tell her before Takagi forced him to. He is fond of his classmate Azuki Miho, who wishes to become a voice actor. To avoid becoming like his uncle, Mashiro accidentally proposes to Miho. She accepts, stating she will marry him after they achieve their dreams on the condition that they must not see each other until then. Mashiro then decides to team up with another classmate a talented writer named Akito Takagi, and try to get published and have an anime adaptation of the series. Most of the times, he highly dissatisfied with his drawings. He is often called Saiko Originally, Mashiro and Takagi work on cult manga; they then decide to make a battle manga instead. Afterward, they begin work on detective manga. This manga, Detective Trap has recently been cancelled due to the lack of popularity after their hiatus. He and Takagi have recently moved on to working on a gag manga, Run, Daihatsu Tanto! The two work under the pen name Ashirogi Muto He is a talented artist, but is follows in the footsteps of his late, uncle who was a mangaka.
One of Mashiro's classmates. After discovering Mashiro's talent in drawing, he proposed that they try to publish a manga together. Although Mashiro originally refuses, the two begin to work together after he takes Mashiro to Azuki house and Azuki and Mashiro decide to get married after their dreams come true. He eventually dates Hazuki best friend Kaya Miyoshi.
Takagi is a writer and writes the storyline for the pair's manga. The two started working under the pen name Ashirogi Muto although he is often called Shujin. Takagi specializes in unorthodox story lines. When he came up against a writers block after they decided to do a gag manga, he started to exchanging ideas with Yuriko Aoki who needed help with her manga. He worked with Mashiro on manga, Detective Trapwhich was cancelled. He and Mashiro have moved on to working on a gag manga, Run, Daihatsu Tanto! which came first in Akamaru Jump. He recently proposed to
Miyoshi in order to clear up a misunderstanding.
Mashiro's former classmate and fiancée. She aspires to become a voice actor and shows promise in the field. She promises to marry Mashiro after they achieve their dreams. However, they must not see each other until then. Since this promise, Azuki has picked up a voicing role, and is gaining growing popularity, one point Azuki’s agent urged her to bring out a photo book, in effect becoming a gravure idol. With Mashiro's support, however, she turned down the offer and persevered in her voice acting. Her mother is the woman Mashiro's uncle fell in love with.
Miyoshi Kaya Azuki's best friend and Takagi's girlfriend. Because her friends all have such high aspirations, she begins to feel left out and decides to become a mobile romance novelist. For her first story, she relates the romance between Mashiro and Azuki, however, Takagi ends up writing it for her. She later changes her dream to wanting Mashiro and Takagi's dreams come true as well as wanting to become Takagi wife afterward. She helps out in inking the manga and generally maintaining a positive atmosphere in the studio.
A 16-year-old high school student hailed as a genius by many people. He wins the Tezuka Award for his manga Large bander, after which Mashiro and Takagi declare him their rival.
Although Mashiro and Takagi view him as a rival, he is very friendly upon meeting them and states he is a fan of theirs. He moves to Tokyo to work on the serialization of his manga Crowon the condition he is able to cancel one series in the Weekly Shonen Jump after becoming the magazine's most popular author. The head editor has described the difference between Mashiro and Takagi to Nizuma is "love of manga". Indeed, Nizuma seems to have been obsessed with and drawing manga since he was 6 and makes loud sound effects with his mouth while drawing. Nizuma tends to act conceited because he is hailed as a genius, however, after working on Crow for quite a long time, he is more humble even claiming to "not be good enough of a Mangaka to be judging other people's work" when asked by his editor to judge for the Golden Future Cup. He works under the direction of the Weekly Shonen Jump editor Hattori Yüjiro and works with two assistants, Fukuda Shinta and Nakai Takuro, who also works with the shojo manga artist Ko Aoki, whose real name is Aoki Yuriko
Fukuda and Mashiro first met when Mashiro decided to become an assistant for Niizuma Eiji.
Fukuda had already won an honorable mention when he tried for the Tezuka Award and also got seventh place in the same issue of Akamaru Jump in which where Ashirogi's Money and Intelligence ran and got third place. Fukuda then became friends with Mashiro and also competed with Ashirogi and Nakai in the Golden Future cup with his original manga, Kiyoshi Knight. Fukuda then got serialized somewhat time after Ashirogi and is now an aspiring rival to Ashirogi, Eij, and Nakai Among these three, he is considered to have the worst drawings, though they apparently match his stories.
A new mangaka who, one day, picked up Shonen Jump for the first time in his life, and decided to quit his job to draw manga. This series is called Otters 11 and became serialized around the same time as Mashiro and Takagi's. He can be overwhelmed easily and finds it hard to deal with the stress of writing a manga. He frequently shows up at the other mangaka's studios to hide, but is always soon found out by his editor, who made a point to send out a fax to everyone explaining what Hiramaru does and asking to call him (the editor) if Hiramaru shows up at their place. He is shown to be a drinker, such as at the New Year's party, where he drank himself sick. He complains about his job a lot and wonders aloud why he ever decided to do it in the first place, but consistently ranked high with the readers in the questionnaires. Due to this, he has been called as a manga genius possibly on the level of Niizuma Eiji, especially considering he has barely read any manga.
Like this, there are lots of other supporting characters as well which everyone will encounter eventually on their way to watch anime or while reading the manga. Hope you enjoy it like I did.