So a few nights back I was browsing through some anime fansub websites and came across an anime that I had remembered seeing come out a couple months ago but had sort of passed by for ones that had seemed more attractive to me at the time. The anime is called Bakuman, and the brief synopsis seemed interesting enough. High school boy wants to get into the manga drawing business. And I figured it was similar to many other occupational animes.
However, as I started to watch it I nearly turned it off as the opening few minutes nearly drove me off. I had to double check I was watching the right anime! hah But then the 'real' opening song began and I relaxed a bit. Certainly the anime had gotten my attention.
As the anime continued forward, I found myself being drawn into the story a bit. A shy boy with no aspirations named Mashiro has a crush on a shy girl named Azuki. Rather than really pay much attention in class during school he spends time drawing - mostly Azuki from behind. And you get a little bit of foreshadowing as to where his drawing may take him with some slight backstory about his Uncle, who had been a manga artist.
During the episode Mashiro is distracted and leaves his books at school (the ones he'd had drawings of Azuki in) and has to return to school for it. However, a fellow classmate is there waiting. Takagi is one of the best students in the class and sits in teh back and has been watching Mashiro as he draws. And he blackmails Mashiro a bit into considering drawing manga with him.
And in a fun turn of events, manages to trick Mashiro into going to Azuki's house. I'm not going to spoil what comes next - I want you to find and watch the anime. But a promise gets made and a very endearing romance begins that isn't blatant but is a wonderful undertone to the series.
The main characters are constantly growing as well and gives a real 'slice of life' feel to the anime as well. You get to see Mashiro 'becoming more like a man' as he comes to realize some fairly adult concepts of not giving up, of applying one's self to something even when the first time didn't work out. And too, I've really liked that when failures come, we don't spend episodes wallowing in pity and emoness. Rather, we walk through thoughts with Mashiro and seemingly grow with him.
Overall, by episode 10 I have been completely drawn into the story and am enjoying it greatly. If you are looking for something uplifting and enjoyable, this is probably a very nice anime for you. I give it a big thumbs up myself! =D