Mar 31 2012 11:58 AM
Bakuman 2, the immediate sequel to the 2010 hit prequel series. Taking off from when Mashiro and Takagi just go their first serialization, the show progresses all the way to serialization of their third work, PCP.
Story wise, this is much better than the events of season with a great mix of suspense, romance, and strong character development. While Tanto's serialization was definitely boring as expected, it was still enjoyable to watch on average. I was actually worried at one point that they may not get to PCP's serialization but really glad to did and very much excited for the third season this fall. A good cliffhanger and stopping point to leave at the end of the second season (even though I know what happens afterward).
Animation wise has improved since the first season by a little bit, mainly transitioning from a SD show to an HD title. Art, however, got a bit cheap. Whether or not it was meant to bring out the personality of a few characters, it felt wrong at times or misplaced.
The OP was good and first ED was even better. Really disappointed when they switched to the second ED since it was really boring, and likely the worst of the 4 ED themes thus far. The rest of the music and voice cast stayed the same as the first season.
Enjoyment? The first 10 episodes of this show were a really thriller with Mashiro meeting up with Miho for the first time since middle school and the romance was fantastic. On the other hand, the follow-up with Tanto was probably the bottom of this series but can be treated as your typical "shounen training arc." The good thing about this arc was that it wasn't the type of arc where the protagonists suddenly get amazing at manga. There was a lot of build up material, which really separate it from a lot of the other shounen titles currently available (obviously barring the action).
Overall, a modest improvement from Bakuman 2010 and I really look forward to Bakuman 2012 later this year. It's a good watch and a nice change of pace from shounen titles constantly being action driven like Bleach, One Piece, and Naruto. I guess what's ironic is that Bakuman 2 is effectively telling the story of itself, which makes it a rather unique approach. The highlight of the second season for me is still when Mashiro was in the hospital but the series definitely manage to hold its ground throughout. With this, we reach chapter 91 of the manga out of the currently 172 available, which leaves plenty of room for adaptation. Next series should be when things really get going, especially as the Bakuman manga seems to be getting closer and closer to its end. Fourth season (if there is one) will likely be the last.Preliminary Score: 8/10
Final Score: 9/10