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Two and a half years, six cours, three seasons, seventy five episodes. It was quite a ride, ne? Gambare, Saikou to Shujin! Matta ne!

Gods, where to start? I was waiting for this show to air ever since I read its description in a Fall 2010 preview. An anime about two guys trying to become mangakas? Of course I would be hooked right away, especially since I was intensively thinking about my own webcomic at that point. I expected a fun, if low-key anime. What I didn’t expect, was that this anime would change my life.

Bakuman as a story of hard work

“Hard work pays off”, we’ve been taught all our lives. Put in effort, and it will be appreciated. Even if it’s not entirely true, it’s something I would like to believe in.  That’s why this series is so damn uplifting. No matter what difficulties they face, Saiko and Shujin overcome them with honesty and hard work. Illness, shitty editors, sneaky rivals, unfortunate circumstances… There is nothing that can stop the dream team, Ashirogi Muto, from success.

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Hats off for Ohba and Obata – they managed to create a freakin’ shounen, without resorting to super powers and over-the-topness that plagues series like Dragon Ball or Bleach.

There should be more stories like this in the overflow of moe and romcoms. It’s unbelievable how many times Bakuman managed to get my spirits up whenever I was down.

Bakuman as a story of love

“Azuki, when our manga becomes an anime, you will voice the heroine! When that dream comes true, please, marry me!”

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Gods, what a stupid way of motivating the storyline – that’s what I thought at that time. I mean, it’s nice to have goals and stuff, but not meeting your love *at all* until your dreams come true? That’s crazy, just like the other characters point out, especially since becoming a top mangaka and a top seiyuu aren’t an easy goal to achieve. And yet, there is something alluring in following your dreams, social expectations and norms be damned.

It was super effective, to use Pokemon lingo. The last few episodes, when the future of Azuki and Mashiro were at stake, I was feeling as excited as if I were Mashiro. I had that feeling only once before, while watching Clannad. And I almost cried when they finally kissed in the last episode.

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To love somebody so deeply that you are willing to refuse to see him/her, so that you can cherish the time together even more? Hell, I’m jealous. I’d really love to have somebody like this in my life :(

In the end, what the story of Azuki Miho and Moritaka Mashiro’s love has taught was that you shouldn’t compromise in the matters that are most important for you – and that’s something I want to follow, for better or worse.

Bakuman‘s importance in my life

I’ve always liked to draw things; in primary school, I used to draw Pokemons, Dragon Ball characters and short comics about various things. In junior high, just as I began my long-lasting fascination with anime and manga, I began drawing various characters from the series I was watching and I even did a few original drawings. And not long after I finished high school, I came up with the idea for my own webcomic.

But all this time, drawing was just yet another activity that I liked doing in my free time. It was of the same importance as reading books, playing video games or watching science-fiction films.

Bakuman made me realise that in the end, drawing is the thing that I love doing. I may not have the talent nor the skills to become an artist or even a significant webcomic author, but  it doesn’t really matter. The thrill of seeing your ideas slowly taking shape and becoming a reality is something that I cannot describe properly with words; it fills me with pride and excitement to see my characters become alive. And these emotions are what will keep me doing this till the very day I die.

This is why, while I can objectively rate the entire series at around 8/10, for me personally, Bakuman is more than worthy being an 11/10 series. And I am surely going to rewatch it many, many times in the future.

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