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Freebies, Interviews Marks Bakuman Manga's End in Shonen Jump Alpha

By May 10, 2012

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Shonen Jump Alpha May 7 2012After almost four years and 20 volumes, Bakuman by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata came to an end. The May 7, 2012 issue of Shonen Jump Alpha featured the final chapter of the 'how to make it in manga' series by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.

To mark the occasion, Shonen Jump Alpha will be featuring exclusive interviews with the creators, including a video of Obata-sensei doing a drawing demo that will only be available in their entirety to Shonen Jump Alpha subscribers. The Obata interview is featured in the May 7 issue, while the Ohba interview will be included in the May 21, 2012 issue (Shonen Jump Alpha is taking a 1-week break, since Weekly Shonen Jump took a break for Golden Week, usually the first week in May, when several holidays mean that many Japanese people take the week off for some recreation and relaxation.).

In addition to the Ohba and Obata interviews, Shonen Jump is also offering a fun digital freebie for all Bakuman fans -- free digital wallpaper for your laptop, iPad or cell phone. You can download your choice of two designs at Shonen Jump's Bakuman wallpaper page.

In case you haven't read the series yet, Bakuman follows two high school-age boys: aspiring artist Moritaka Mashiro and aspiring writer Akito Takagi who team up, and hope to create the next big shonen manga sensation.  As the two boys go from promising amateurs to successful pros, they go through their share of ups and downs. They meet other manga artists who are both their friends and rivals, they get a look inside the editorial offices, the people and the processes at Weekly Shonen Jump. All the while, Moritaka and Akito strive to meet their goal: to create a successful series that'll eventually be made into an anime series.

Bakuman iPad wallpaperOne thing that made Bakuman so fascinating is how it gave Western readers a glimpse into the manga publishing business in Japan.  Shonen Jump Alpha editor Urian Brown compiled his list of 10 things we've learned from Bakuman, including "Being a Mangaka's a Great Way to Get Girls" and "Being a Mangaka's a Terrible Way to Get Girls."

If you'd like to catch up with Bakuman but don't want to blow your budget to read it all, you can check it out online, or download it to read it on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch  via VIZManga.com. You can read a 63-page free preview, or purchase Bakuman Volumes 1-10 on VIZManga.com for $4.99 per volume -- roughly half-off the cost of the print edition.

Or join in the fun and subscribe to Shonen Jump Alpha today to get your weekly dose of manga, straight from Japan. If you sign up before June 22, 2012, you'll receive an extra special gift: a limited edition Yu-Gi-Oh! card, Slifer the Sky Dragon.

If you've read the final chapter of Bakuman, what did you think? Did it meet your expectations? Did it leave you satisfied or  let down, or were you left wishing there was just a little more to tie things up?  Add your comments below!

Image credits: BAKUMAN 2008 by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata/SHUEISHA Inc.


May 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm
(1) Tony Yao says:

I think the ending was perfect. What more was there left to say?

I’m looking forward to seeing the next work of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.

May 15, 2012 at 10:04 am
(2) Gr8Sk8r says:

It’s not the manga that’s the focus of attention it’s the manga creators, not unlike what Genshiken did with the focus similarly placed on a group of manga, anime and video fans, instead of the usual fictional manga plot. Of the two Genshiken appealed to me more because of the realism and didn’t really need great talent or ability to propel the plot.

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