Bakuman 3: Bittersweet Farewell – Series Review

Movie Bunker Score:

The Glorious Conclusion of Bakuman

After 3 seasons and 75 episodes, Bakuman, an anime series that has kept us on the edge of our seats with its tension and suspense, has finally reached its highly anticipated conclusion. With a clear direction for its finale, the only question that remained was how well it would be executed. To our delight, JC Staff and Kasai Kenichi delivered an ending that surpassed all expectations.

An Underrated Gem

Throughout its run, Bakuman has unfortunately remained underrated among English-speaking audiences, despite its popularity in manga form. It is a shame because, in terms of character-driven drama, Bakuman stands as one of the finest anime series of recent years. Furthermore, it offers a comprehensive and balanced depiction of the manga industry, making it a must-watch for manga enthusiasts. While Bakuman may primarily cater to manga lovers, just as Touch and Cross Game captivated baseball fans while transcending the sport, Bakuman captivates its audience with the lives of its characters, which is where its true strength lies.

Emotional Closure for Character Arcs

The final episode of Bakuman faced the significant challenge of providing emotional closure for the characters’ arcs. Mashiro, both personally and professionally, is just embarking on his journey, having achieved the top spot at Shounen Jack and now living his fairytale relationship with Azuki. However, Bakuman is a story that emphasizes how life is about the destination rather than the journey itself. Thus, it needed to give us a satisfying epilogue for these characters, as the story’s essence lies in the pursuit of dreams and the people who assist in their realization.

One of the noteworthy aspects of the finale is the acknowledgment of the unsung hero, Kaya. Mashiro specifically takes the time to express gratitude for everything she has done over the years, supporting Ashirogi Muto’s career and his relationship with Azuki. Kaya’s unwavering support, often underappreciated by her own husband, receives the recognition it deserves. Additionally, she steps aside to give Mashiro and Takagi a chance to connect, leading to an awkward yet fitting moment between the two.

An emotional highlight of the finale is the interaction between Mashiro and Kawaguchi Tarou, also known as Uncle Nobuhiro. With four central relationships at the heart of Bakuman – Mashiro’s bond with Takagi, Eiji, Nobuhiro, and Azuki – Nobuhiro’s character serves as a foundation for the story. Despite his infrequent appearances, both Nobuhiro and Azuki play pivotal roles in shaping the narrative. Mashiro’s admiration for his uncle and the inspiration he draws from him are evident throughout the key moments of his life.

A Fairy-Tale Romance

One relationship that receives significant focus in the finale is the romance between Mashiro and Azuki. Theirs is a love story that may not be entirely realistic but is filled with purity and an unwavering commitment to each other. Their romance serves as a tribute to Mashiro’s uncle, representing his connection to the past. The series beautifully captures their journey from the place where they first spoke to an Italian sports car fulfilling Nobuhiro’s dreams. Their long-awaited and well-deserved kiss finally materializes, and amidst the tension, Mashiro’s goofy smile portrays their shared history and enduring love.

An Unforgettable Premier

The finale also confronts the question of how it would handle the premiere of “Reversi,” a manga series within the Bakuman universe. The episode seamlessly incorporates approximately five minutes of “Reversi” into its runtime. With Abe Atsushi and Hino Satoshi portraying the male leads and the protagonist’s romantic interest portrayed by Azuki, the premiere intensifies the uncanny parallels to Death Note. Bakuman excels at creating fictional stories within its narrative, leaving the audience yearning for these stories to exist in reality.

A Farewell to Beloved Characters

Bakuman concludes on a poignant note, allowing us to catch a glimpse of the characters we have grown to love over the course of three seasons. Hiramaru and Aoki are now happily married, with Azuki catching the bouquet, as intended by Aoki. Eiji stands atop of the manga world, finding himself slightly bored without a weekly Ashirogi series to challenge him. Iwase, once again, finds herself being paired with Kosugi. Even Nanamine, though unseen, has embarked on a new series. Lastly, there is a final meeting with the indispensable Hattori, who assures Ashirogi of PCP’s continued success and eagerly awaits their “new work”.

A Bittersweet Farewell

As Mashiro promises to continue chasing his dreams alongside Takagi, the series concludes on a note that celebrates the essence of Bakuman. While the pacing could have been slower in this season, Bakuman remains a criminally under-the-radar series. It holds a special place in our hearts, providing a story we could return to every week, with its characters feeling like beloved old friends. Despite its ups and downs, Bakuman has masterfully conveyed genuine emotions, surpassing the expectations of most series. Bakuman will always be remembered as a tale of love – the love of family, soulmates, friends, manga, and anime. Its impact cannot be understated, and for that, I will forever be a devoted fan.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Bakuman based on a true story?

No, Bakuman is a fictional series that offers a captivating look into the world of manga creation and the lives of aspiring mangaka.

2. How many seasons and episodes does Bakuman have?

Bakuman consists of 3 seasons and a total of 75 episodes, providing a comprehensive narrative that explores the journey of its characters.

3. Are there any plans for a Bakuman anime adaptation?

As of now, there are no official plans for a Bakuman anime adaptation. However, fans of the series can still enjoy the manga, which