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Moritaka Mashiro (Takeru Satoh) doesn't want to follow in the path of his uncle who worked as a manga artist, but ultimately died because of exhaustion. Moritaka Mashiro figures he will graduate from school and work at an office. Things change though when falls in love with a girl at school. The girl, who hopes to become a voice actress, tells Moritaka they can marry, but only after they both achieve their dreams. Moritaka then teams up with fellow classmate Akito Takagi (Ryunosuke Kamiki) to publish their first manga.
|Cast :||Takayuki Yamada Kenta Kiritani Hirofumi Arai Kankurô Kudô Lily Franky|
|Genre :||Drama Comedy|
I have a newfound respect for Mangaka's and the turmoil they endure for their art---I have been a fan of Manga for close to 20 years, and I have always had a great respect for the medium. There are so many series and artists that I love and that have helped inspire my own art style, from Kishiro Yukito to CLAMP, and I love the incredible variety that the medium provides for every type of reader imaginable. As a fan, I have never questioned the amount of effort it takes to be a Mangaka, and I actually took for granted how a single person could be responsible for a story, script, layout, art and colors. I mean, how do these people do it week after week, month after month, year after year for little to no real pay until you make it "big"? That's essentially what this movie aims to achieve; to create a window to the blood, sweat and tears of an artistic savant, and how much they love their craft to even sacrifice their own health and well-being. The film was wonderfully acted, directed, and the SFX was very beautifully implement. All of the technical details are top notch. But it's the message behind the film that is most important; do what you love simply because you love it. If you love what you do, things will ultimately fall into place. Creating Manga takes tremendous effort and talent, and only the Japanese are capable of focusing their efforts to create something so cohesive and indicative of the society. The film is wonderful and any fan of Manga and Japan will love everything about it. Fascinating is an understatement.
The manga business is less desirable than you might think.---Note: Check me out as the "Asian Movie Enthusiast" on YouTube, where I review tons of Asian movies.An amateur artist teams up with an amateur scriptwriter (both of which are still in high school) to create manga and break into the business at Weekly Shonen Jump, but the demands and stress of the industry may derail their plans. The stress of working in this particular industry is a major theme here, and it's communicated in multiple ways.First, there's the competitive aspect. Our protagonists are very quickly roped into the cut-throat nature of business and almost immediately create rivalries with other manga artists. Success at this particular company is dependent on sales of the manga you're drawing, so every week a Top 10 list is posted in the office, which gives everyone a gauge as to how well their manga is doing. That creates rivalry, because you need to perform better than the other manga artists to stay on that list.Second, there's the survival aspect. If your manga does not sell well, it is discontinued and you will have to go back to the drawing board to produce something else. But you're not a permanent employee of the company, so if your manga fails, you may never get another one of your works published ever again. It all depends on whether or not they like your stuff. It would seem to me that the job security of this profession is not good at all because you're constantly fighting to keep your job.Third, the weekly deadlines result in very long working hours. It seemed like these guys were working about 80 hours per week, at least. In fact, it's probably more because at times they had difficulty finding enough time to sleep. That's just insane. I previously worked at a Big 4 accounting firm for 5 years, so I know what working long hours is like. But even I was horrified at what our protagonists were going through in this movie. It almost makes the profession of manga drawing seem undesirable. This is not a film that glorifies the industry, and I like that.Bakuman has a fantastic cast of young acting talent. Start with Takeru Satoh, who recently starred in the awesome Rurouni Kenshin trilogy. Then we have Ryunosuke Kamiki, who starred in Poison Berry In My Brain, The Kirishima Thing and has appeared as a villain in films like As the Gods Will and the second and third Rurouni Kenshin films. Then we have Shota Sometani, who is practically everywhere recently. He was in the Parasyte movies, Tokyo Tribe, Wood Job, As the Gods Will, etc. Finally we have Takayuki Yamada, who had a lead role in the Crows Zero movies, and has appeared in Lesson of the Evil, 13 Assassins, and many others. So we have solid core of young acting talent that helps to establish a foundation for Bakuman to build on.Another big positive is the rhythm and pacing, which will keep the viewer glued to their screens throughout the entire runtime. The film keeps moving and it maintains interest. The story plays out very naturalistically; even the romantic subplot is nicely portrayed and really like how it concluded. There's a nice dramatic impact to everything and the protagonists have very likable personas. There are also some very funny scenes along the way, which always helps to humanize the characters and make them even more relatable.Stylistically, there are a few creative sequences that use manga drawing special effects that are blended with the live action shots – and it works really well. It's something a bit different, but I liked it. One final surprise, for me at least, was the scoring and soundtrack, which are really good and were apparently performed by a Japanese band by the name of Sakanaction. I may have to check out some of their stuff.I definitely recommend Bakuman, and I can't really think of any big flaws to complain about. This is a solid movie.
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