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Manga: Bakuman。

"A manga just has to be interesting. If it's interesting, of course it will get serialized." - Hisashi Sasaki, Editor-in-Chief

Moritaka Mashiro is a typical teenager: bored with life and unsure about his future. He spends his free time drawing, inspired by his mangaka uncle, who had only a single successful series before his death. One day while sitting bored in class, he sketches a picture of his crush, Miho Azuki, and forgets his notebook in the classroom. The notebook is found by Akito Takagi, who proposes that he and Mashiro become mangaka themselves, with Mashiro using his impressive artistic skills and Takagi writing the plots.

As luck would have it, Mashiro finds out that Miho wants to be a voice actress, and he asks her to voice the main heroine of his and Takagi's manga once it becomes a successful anime. Caught up in the moment, he goes on to propose to her! Much to everyone's surprise, she agrees to marry him, but only once they have both achieved their dreams.

Created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, the creators of Death Note and themselves an artist/writer combo.

An anime adaptation began airing on the Japanese television network NHK on October 2, 2010. Also a second anime has begun airing on October 1, 2011. The third and final season began on October 6, 2012 and ended on March 30, 2013. It was announced in the spring of 2014 that production has started on a live-action adaptation, set for release in 2015.

The manga has now finally ended in April 2012 with 176 chapters, amounting to 20 Volumes of material.

Now with Character Sheet.

Not to be confused with Bakugan or Batman. Or Pac-Man.


This series provides examples of:

  • Accidental Aesop: An in-universe example serves as Nanamine's Start of Darkness. Originally a Lonely Rich Kid, Nanamine read Mashiro and Takagi's "Money and Intelligence", intended to be a dark, cynical dystopian piece, and had the epiphany that he could just buy friends and accomplish basically anything he wanted through riches and being manipulative.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Sheesh Nakai, you get your first taste of a girl liking you and you act like you're better than everyone.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The Bakuman anime removes much of the droning banter of the manga in the process of paper-to-animation, giving the show a much more breezy and fast-paced style (examples include Akito's explanation of what makes Miho smart and both Mashiro and Akito dissecting what they like and don't like about manga).
  • Adaptation Expansion: The anime adds and rearranges scenes to fill time and add extra dimension and depth to both characters and plot details, giving it a unique feel that's separate from the manga. In addition, the one-shots ideas that appear in the manga like "Two Earths" are expanded to become full stories.
  • Agree to Disagree: Mashiro and Takagi, regarding whether older artists should make a comeback; Mashiro thinks so, while Takagi believes that they would take spots from younger artists. They both decide to drop the argument, realizing that arguing about it won't get them anywhere, and this may be in part because Takagi realizes how personal this issue is to Mashiro, whose uncle wanted to re-establish himself in Jump.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Azuki's mother's opinion.
  • Alternate Character Reading: The main characters are Moritaka and Akito, but they call each other Saiko and Shujin, which are alternate ways to pronounce their respective names. Takagi's friends call him "Shuuto," a name similarly derived from his given name. Moritaka considers his to be an Embarrassing Nickname.
    • The word "shujin" can also be translated as "husband", with "saiko" also being able to be translated as "extremely cheerful". Could also be read as to how close Mashiro and Takagi are.
    • At first, Takagi reacts weirdly to being called "Shuujin", as it also means prisoner (he even asks Mashiro, "are you calling me a bandit?!"), but he takes it in stride pretty fast.
  • Always in Class One: In high school, they were shown to be in class 1-1.
  • Analogy Backfire: After being hospitalized from overworking and malnutrition, Mashiro refuses to go on hiatus or stop drawing. He then makes the comparison to feeling like Joe Yabuki (from Ashita no Joe) heading for his final round in the ring. Which is unfortunate, because Joe dies during his final round.
    • Considering that he had resolved to "risk his life for manga", after his father reminds him of his liking the series, and thought that Joe Yabuki died in an admirable way, it's entirely possible he was completely aware of what he was saying.
    • Fukuda once calls himself the "Romeo of Hiroshima" when saying that he should know more about romance than the people who placed ahead of him with their romance one-shots. Then again, the winner, Aoki, had never been on a date, perhaps making it a moot point.
  • Anvilicious: invokedThe main criticism about Moriya's stories - They're genuinely good ideas, but they're too preachy for Shonen manga according to the editors.
  • Art Evolution: It's amazing how much more sketchy and cartoony the characters become over time. This doesn't detract from the story, though; somehow, it makes the whole thing more lively. It is possible that the art style of the manga is meant to reflect the genre of the manga that the protagonists are working on at the time.
    • In universe example: Mashiro is a pretty good artist starting out, but there's always room for improvement and as the story progresses, Mashiro learns the dos and don'ts of drawing manga in addition to modifying his art style several times either because of an editor critiquing it or to help keep his and Takagi's series on par with that of the brilliant Eiji Nizuma.
      • Heck, Mashiro even learns how to draw faster courtesy of one of his and Takagi's assisants. Shiratori in Chapter 105 does a basic sketch in front of Mashiro of one of the protagonists in PCP and according to him, a basic sketch is all he bothers doing before inking and wouldn't you know it, that's just the technique Mashiro needs to get faster at drawing if he's to get on Eiji's level!
      • To do this he finds he must use less screen tones... a few pages after this revelation this page makes it obvious what too much screen tone can do The dots are screen tones This too And this...and more...
    • Several changes in character design as well. Aoki's breasts keep getting bigger and bigger, and Nakai gets even fatter as the series progresses.
      • The manga spans several years. That might explain the case of Nakai's weight. Aoki, not so much.
      • Compare Eiji's first appearance with how he looks now. He seems to look younger now.
  • Art Shift: Used often during gags and other moments.
  • Asleep in Class: Mashiro falls asleep in class after doing several all-nighters in a row to get a story drawn. Notably, he does this deliberately, rather than accidentally nodding off.
    • On one occasion, Mashiro unintentionally falls asleep in class during a test after spending much of the previous night practicing with a pen, much to his embarrassment. He suggests that he was almost sleepy enough to take the test with the same pen he uses to draw manga.
  • Author Appeal: In-universe, the creator of "True Human" starts putting heavy Happiness in Slavery elements into his manga after discovering hostess clubs. The ratings rapidly dropped. Yoshida sets up a meeting of Real Human's creator with Aoki and her assistants, making it clear through example that hostesses are just nice to men because they're getting paid. "False love" is inserted into the manga's plotline; we don't see the results, but some months later True Human is back to being a top ten title.
  • Author Avatar: Considering that this is a story about an artist/writer duo trying to make it in the manga industry written by an artist/writer duo with some pretty strong opinions about the industry, it's not too surprising that Ashirogi Muto wind up being the the voice for Ohba and Obata's views some of the time.
  • Badass Longcoat: Part of his usual attire when heading home for the day, but also how Heishi emphasizes his authority after being promoted to Chief Editor.
  • Batman Gambit: Hattori devises a cunning plan to both raise Jump's sales and improve the work of several mangaka. The whole thing hinges on making Eiji the first artist to have two series running at the same time in Jump, which creates/intensifies rivalries between several characters. It works well, even inspiring mangaka who weren't specifically targeted to raise their game.
    • Later, Nanamine plots a way to go straight to the top of Shonen Jump via the use of the internet and some clever acting. It works, but he can't sustain the quality and thus popularity of his series.
      • And still later, Nanamine's at it again, improving it somewhat by removing the issues with the consultants being unpaid and anonymous. Once his presence is made known, however, people react appropriately.
  • Berserk Button: Takagi's is pushed whenever somebody says Mashiro is dragging him behind or he should find another artist.
    • Miura takes it personally when the main characters indicate they trust someone else more.
    • Moritaka doesn't take kindly to having his profession belittled.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Fukuda in chapter 67.
  • Blackmail: Nanamine tells Kosugi that if he doesn't go along with his plan, he will go elsewhere, which he suggests will have severe consequences for Kosugi's career, both for giving up a promising opportunity and costing the magazine the services of a popular artist.
  • Bland-Name Product: In the anime Takagi and Mashiro buy and aim for "Jack" magazine instead of Jump, which is published by Yueisha rather than Shueisha. "NEXT" seems to be the anime counterpart to Akamaru Jump. Averted, however, when several manga series and their authors are referenced by name.
  • Book Ends: Toward the end of Chapter 1, Mashiro proposes to Azuki in front of her house. Fast forward to the last few pages of the last chapter. Mashiro drives Azuki (from the completely separate house she had been living in) to her old one, all to propose again in the same way, almost word for word. (In the English translation, the only change is the omission of a single word - "when" - which changes his proposal from the statement of a goal to achieve to a statement that it has been achieved.)
    • To further cement this, chapters 1 and 176 have the same title - "Dreams And Reality".
  • Bowdlerize: The chapters that ran in Shonen Jump remove all references to suicide, even though Nobuhiro actually did not commit suicide.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: This page.
  • Break the Haughty: In Chapter 125, Mashiro, Takagi, Hattori and Kosugi plan to have Ashirogi Muto compete with Nanamine on the same story in order to prove once and for all that their way is better. By the end of Chapter 126, Nanamine has lost all his online contributors, and his best assistant, Nakai, unwittingly brought about his downfall. He's willing to give up hope in Chapter 127 until his editor reminds him of his desire to win, and then resolves to do so with a different method.
  • Breaking Speech: Chapter 120, Nanamine meets with his editor, reveals his 50 people, and tells his editor that his opinion will have no more weight than those of the others while threatening to leave Jump and put Kosugi's career in jeopardy if he doesn't go along with it.
  • Brick Joke: Aoki Ko drinks Darjeeling, not Earl Grey.
  • Butt Monkey: Hiramaru, who often gets tricked by his editor (buying a Porsche so that he'll have to work hard to pay off the taxes) and has no luck in winning Aoki's heart (he planned to give Aoki a ride in his Porsche and give her the necklace he kept in the glove compartment, but the car got towed when he parked it illegally).
    • Nakai more so. He hasn't been able to get beyond being an assistant since starting as a mangaka, and Fukuda tactlessly notes that Yujiro thinks he's only good for being an assistant.
    • You have to feel sorry for Kosugi, Nanamine's editor. Facing the usual pressure to succeed, he picks up a seemingly promising rookie, but essentially gets blackmailed into going along with Nanamine's unethical scheme and told that his opinion has no more weight than any of Nanamine's individual contributors. Takagi, while loath to snitch on Nanamine, decides to tell Hattori after learning about how much Kosugi is suffering.
    • Arai, a minor mangaka, typically comes up whenever one of his series gets cancelled to make way for another character's, and his editor once complains about him being on his third cancellation. His contract ends up not getting renewed late in the story, leaving him out of a job.
  • Call Back:
    • In Chapter 130, Mashiro tells a girl at his high school reunion that he can't drink alcohol. To those who think he's being prudish, recall that he damaged his liver due to malnutrition from overwork back in high school.
      • It's pointed out again in Chapter 162; after Kaya pours Mashiro sake, he says "Thanks, but I can't really drink alcohol..."
    • In Chapter 113, while discussing what they might try for next, the main characters mention an early idea they had about a guy cheating on as many girls as he can at once. That was one of the ideas Takagi had pitched in a meeting with Hattori before they created Money and Intelligence.
    • In Chapter 122, Nanamine's "super-assistant,", hidden behind a closed door, starts describing his talents. The line said is almost word-for-word what Nakai said at one point.
  • Can Not Spit It Out: The partnership between Mashiro and Takagi almost dissolves early on as a result of Takagi not mentioning that he's working on a mystery storyboard, thinking that he's hung up on doing battle manga.
    • Nobuhiro Mashiro and Miyuki Haruno both loved each other, but never got together because they never told each other. Kaya's father notes that Moritaka and Miho will have better chances because they told each other their feelings.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: A lot of the characters, especially the editors, have unique appearances. In fact a lot of the editors are modeled after real people, as evidenced by this picture. Names and likeness were both uses as inspiration.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Death Note is a well-known manga-turned-anime within the series.
    • The only reason why Shonen Jack isn't called Shonen Jump in the anime is that in real life Bakuman is published in Shonen Jump. Otherwise, it's clear that it's Shonen Jump, we even see it's covers with Shonen Jump characters on them.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Not the actual series itself, but the editors do comment that it is far easier to start with a comedic series and make it serious down the road than it is to work the other way around. They also note that Tropes Are Not Bad, and there's no shame in this.
    • However, tensions that develop between Mashiro and Takagi due (at least in part) to Mashiro's reticence towards Takagi writing Rabuta and Peace and Takagi's reticence towards (and possibly jealously over) Mashiro's growing writing skills and desire to write a series with which he can fulfill his promise to Azuki that begin to form around Chapter 100 have caused the Syndrome to begin to present itself in story. The drama seems to come to a head in Chapter 110, wherein: Kaya and Takagi's marriage enters stormy waters (if not that it begins to dissolve); Takagi stops speaking to Mashiro (and actually temporarily moves out of his and Kaya's apartment) in favor of being with Shiratori and Peace; and Shiratori quits as an assistant to work with Takagi on Rabuta and Peace (thereby becoming Mashiro's rival).
      • It seems like Kaya and Takagi's marriage is healthier now. Plus Takagi patched up things with Mashiro after explaining that he only wanted to teach Shiratori how to write his series better.
  • Character Development : Most notable in the main character. He wasn't exactly a happy camper at the very beginning, (pining for his crush, still hurt by his beloved uncle's death, feels he can't pursue his love of manga) but proposing to Azuki was probably when his mood began to visibly change for the better.
    • More recently, he becomes considerably more patient and realistic about when he can expect to get an anime to fulfill his promise.
    • Also most notable in the Official Couple as they start moving from a romanticized notion of their relationship to a far more reasonable one.
    • Aoki wasn't initially set up as an appealing character, but over time she is shown to be a warm, loving woman on the inside. Do you know any real life women who can not just be civil with the girlfriend of the guy they like, but so genuinely kind and tender-hearted?
    • Miura seems to have learned to not have his personal tastes influence his editorial decisions so much, and to give the writers more creative control over their series.
    • Nizuma Eiji originally came across as a spastic Jerk Ass, completely full of himself and his status as a "Prodigy Genius". Over the course of the story, he's had several instances where he's learned that he can still improve further and learn about manga from those around him. He absorbs these lessons with humility and gratitude.
      • Not so much a jerkass, the only time we ever get this is when we see the main characters comment on his letter. When we actually meet him, we find out that he's not arrogant at all, just very eccentric. The "arrogance" that he puts up is closer to a facade to get others going. He's not out to show that his work is better, he wants to encourage others to beat him so that he could have fun reading their work.
    • Even Iwase's getting hers. She's slowing (very slowly, admittedly) warming up to Miura and getting over her Yandere-ness, though her rivalry is still as intense as ever.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In chapter 9, Eiji states he wants to end one manga he hates if he becomes the number one mangaka; in chapter 135, after claiming the number one spot for weeks, he intends to fulfill that promise to end one of his own series.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Ishizawa, the Small Name, Big Ego artist who knew Mashiro and Takagi in middle school, and who offered to help Aoki learn how to draw panty-shots while perving all over her before disappearing from the series. He suddenly reappears after Reversi gets an anime and is responsible for spreading the word about Azumi dating Mashiro and the ensuing scandal.
    • Arai and Hibiki both make minor appearances in the start of the manga as fellow Jump authors before they're let go and eventually roped into Nanamine's ghost-writing scheme.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Mashiro and Azuki.
  • Color Failure: Mashiro and Takagi, at some points, like when meeting with Miura after their manga is canceled.
    • Hattori in the anime, when he reacts, quite negatively, to the Jump-like protagonists the main characters have designed.
    • Yoshida suffers a spectacular one when Aoki accepts Hiramaru's confession.
  • The Comically Serious: Eventually the idea of "serious comedy" is brought up, which is basically this trope applied to an entire series, taking a strange and silly premise and playing it completely straight. Otter #11 is brought up as an example (everyone sees it as a comedy when Hiramaru doesn't intend it to be,) and Ashirogi Muto eventually tries to go the same route with PCP.
  • Comic Book Fantasy Casting: Just about every one of Ashirogi Muto's works have featured a heroine similar to Azuki. See also Expy below.
    • Justified in two ways: 1) It's practically tradition (and referenced in Bakuman directly) for mangaka to feature their idea of a perfect woman as a recurring character in their works. Leiji Matsumoto did this with tall willowy blondes with long hair, for example. 2) The Azuki-clones are made deliberately in an attempt to make sure Azuki gets the voiceacting role if the story gets an anime made.
    • Compared to the other characters, Nanamine is more slender, more angular, and has a long, graceful neck. Rather like Miyano Mamoru, no?
    • In the case of Editor-in-Chief Sasaki, his appearance is based on the real Shonen Jump Editor-in-Chief Sasaki Hisashi.
  • Conspicuous Trenchcoat: Mashiro and Takagi's method of disguise when trailing Hattori.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The most recent fiasco in the duo's efforts to get an Anime Miho can act in comes about when the one guy that could have pieced together something from one of Miho's coworkers' blog post in the two days before it was deleted noticed the post and started an in-universe Internet Backdraft against Mashiro and Miho that somehow seems to sweep the web and media despite the fact that nobody in a position to comment on the matter confirmed or denied it.
  • Creator Backlash: In-Universe example: Eiji has grown to dislike Crow because he can't get to end it when he wants to.
  • Creator Breakdown: An In-Universe example. Takagi starts subconsciously writing PCP to be less crime focused after seeing the news report about the PCP imitator.
    • Also Ryu Shizuka writing his manga, "True Human" to be more about girls when he starts going to cabaret clubs. When he learns how girls act around him when they're not being paid, he decides to show false love.
    • Nanamine has a massive one during What You Need's downward spiral in the rankings.
  • Creator Recovery: In-universe example: Ryu Shizuka from Bakuman。 writes dystopian fiction, but after his editor takes him to a cabaret where he talks to women for the first time, his main character slowly develops into a Mary Sue who spends most of his time with a harem of hot women. After the editor shows him the women were only nice to him because they got paid, Shizuka becomes disillusioned again and continues writing about how all Humans Are Bastards (even women).
  • Cross Over: An in-universe example when Eiji and Akina do a cross over between Crow and + Natural.
  • Darkhorse Victory: When the Editor-In-Chief makes a deal with Nanamine that his next one-shot has to make it into the top 3 or he'll never be allowed to work in Jump again, Team Fukuda and Takahama start working to shut him out. In the end, Takahama's manga takes first place, while PCP is second, and the third goes to...a one-shot by Azuma, who was one of the artists delivering stories to Jump on Nanamine's behalf before Nanamine tossed him aside.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: invoked In-Universe reaction by Mashiro and Takagi to Classroom of Truth. They think that the Shoot the Shaggy Dog ending in which everyone dies, the hero included, doesn't work.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: "Classroom of Truth" defies and picks apart the standard tropes of shonen manga, including hard work and The Power of Friendship, by showing that everyone, including possibly the main character, is selfish at heart.
    • Decon-Recon Switch: Takagi suggests that one way of looking at the manga is a suggestion that cooperation is, in fact, necessary, noting that the selfish members of the class were the first to be eliminated.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Aoki.
  • Determinator: Mashiro and his uncle, who worked himself to death.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Nanamine removes Azuma from his company as a Face Author. This kills his chance of getting in Jump forever when Azuma's one-shot takes the third-place slot Nanamine needs to get serialized again.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Several of the more obscure references to manga get this, such as one time when Kaya's father talks about Nobuhiro making a joke about the younger brother of the main character of "Sally the Witch".
  • Don't Try This at Home: The copycat arc of PCP ends with a pretty blatant PSA-ish panel about not breaking the law. Justified in this case, as Ashirogi Muto was using it to call out a real-life (within the Bakuman world, anyway) PCP copycat who was tarnishing their reputation.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Kaya towards Akito in the first stages of their relationship (yes, relationship).
  • Dramatically Missing the Point:
    • During the Fukuda Rampage chapter, after punching Nakai, Fukuda chastises him for letting himself get so sloppy and forsaking his rivalry pact with the others. Nakai responds by whining about how he never had a girl and the others should stay out of his lovelife, despite Fukuda having just told him he didn't care about it as long as he kept his promise to be a great mangaka.
    • In the "PCP Copycat Arc," the coypcats, as well as the Moral Guardians complaining about it, miss that PCP, in the series, explicitly said that breaking into a bank vault and leaving a note behind is not acceptable, since it would cause the security company's reputation to suffer; they don't do pranks that cause problems for others.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Hattori does it this in Chapter 154 over his desire to be the editor for Reversi. Also, Nakai, after returning home to Akita, and later after getting fired by Nanamine, to the point of almost being The Alcoholic.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Shiratori. Lampshaded when he's hitch-hiking and the driver points out that he's 'as pretty as a girl.'
  • Dying as Yourself: Reversi's ending.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: A few in the anime. Koogy is mentioned a few times before he makes his debut as a mangaka, Kaya appears in the first episode, and Hiramaru overhears a conversation between Mashiro and Takagi about being a mangaka before picking up an issue of Jump and getting the inspiration to become a mangaka.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Mashiro and Miho get their happily ever after - but it takes them both a decade of hard work, struggling to reach the top tiers of their professions, to get there.
  • Edutainment: Being a manga about manga, you'll more likely than not learn something about the world of manga you didn't know while being entertained at the same time...
  • Enemy Mine: "Team Fukuda" first forms to make their work better in order to compete with Koogy's manga, which, despite being inferior to theirs, will likely be at an advantage for serialization with his fanbase.
  • Engaging Conversation: Moritaka's proposal to Miho IN THE FIRST CHAPTER. AND SHE ACCEPTS! And then she says that they won't see each other again until they have both fulfilled their dreams...at which time, they'll get married.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Becomes a plot point in and out of universe. Perfect Crime Party enjoy doing harmless pranks, but in an early chapter, one member vetoes a plan to break into a vault, taking nothing and leaving only a message behind, because the security company's reputation would suffer. Unfortunately, a group of PCP copycats miss the point and copy that "perfect crime", and the Moral Guardians also fail to pick up on this. Takagi, after several weeks of trying to think of good stories that won't seem to promote crimes, decides to write a story in which Akechi, The Rival to PCP, goes after a PCP copycat and gives him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, saying he knew it could not be PCP who was stealing the textbooks because PCP would not cause trouble for others.
  • Evil Matriarch: Shiratori's mother edges on this, but ultimately backs down and allows him to becomes a mangaka after his father, sister and fellow mangakas stand beside him.
  • Executive Meddling: An In-Universe recurring theme is what role editors should play in the creation of manga, and how writers act in response to their editors' suggestions.
  • Expy: Since Comic Book Fantasy Casting has been done several times, it can also be seen as a case of the Expy trope.
    • Several of the main characters resemble ones from the duo's previous series. Moritaka resembles Near and L, Takagi and Nanamine resemble Light, Kosugi resembles Mikami, Miho resembles Misa and Aiko resembles Kiyomi Takada. Also Niizuma's character of Crow shares some visual traits with Ryuk.
    • One of the assistants for PCP looks like Near and is also Older Than He Looks. Ironically, he's more emotional than the real Near.
  • The Faceless: Hiramaru's editor, Yoshida. Whenever he's around Hiramaru, he's either shown from behind, or with his face covered by a word balloon. Strangely enough, whenever he's not around Hiramaru, his face is shown like normal. This may reflect how Hiramaru views him as an editor who won't let him take a break, or it can be seen as an aspect of Yoshida's personality that surfaces whenever he interacts with Hiramaru.
    • This trope is falling out of use with Yoshida, however, as Hiramaru becomes (somewhat) closer to him, which ties into the above.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Mashiro and Takagi are trying to get an anime for their manga. Their first manga, Detective Trap gets cancelled. Their second, Tanto, is difficult for Takagi to write and not nearly popular enough to get an anime. Their third, Perfect Crime Party, encounters opposition from parents that prevents it from getting sponsors. And this is not counting the many one-shots or other pieces they've submitted that did not even place in the contests, much less get serialization. Then again, it is highlighted at several points that it is taking longer than Mashiro had originally thought, and he is gradually coming to terms with this. This is ultimately subverted when Reversi gets an anime and Miho gets the role of the female lead.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The anime's first episode starts with the opening for Super Hero Legends.
    • Likewise, the second season of the anime begins with the opening of Pseudo Detective Trap.
  • Fan Dumb: In-universe example. The public's reaction to finding out that Azuki and Mashiro are in love is not pretty.
  • Fanservice: Yamahisa tells Aoki to include this in The Time of Green Leaves so that a straight romance can succeed in Shonen Jump.
  • Follow That Car: First invoked by Takagi, then done for real.
  • Foreshadowing: Yoshida expresses some concern about how Moral Guardians will view PCP's "perfect crimes". This comes up again as the reason PCP won't qualify for sponsors for an anime.
  • For the Lulz: Most of Nanamine's contributors who stick around until near the late stage of his plan mainly participated for fun.
  • Freudian Slip: This one's quite a doozy, too.
    Aoki: Would you like to see my panties, Takagi?note 
    • Miura yells "Let's crash and burn!" when getting excited about the main characters' manga in their first meeting, then admits it was a Freudian Slip, causing them to wonder what to think about him.
  • Friendly Rivalry:
    • Team Fukuda has this with each other, as they compete with each other to see who can stay on top, but also show concern when one of them is in danger of being canceled, partly out of personal sympathy and partly out of a desire to compete with them.
    • Kanra Natara is a friend of Azuki's who ends up competing with her for the role of the heroine in Reversi. She says that she won't simply hand the role over to her because doing so would be unprofessional and disrespectful.
  • Funny Background Event: In Episode 11 of the Anime, the Teacher and one of the students (the teacher had occasionally been shown calling the student's name for attendance and getting a variety of amusing responses) have a very funny farewell conversation involving thank yous, goodbyes, manly tears, telling the student not to cry in public because it isn't manly, and the student telling the teacher how much he'll miss him. Meanwhile, Saiko and Miho are having a very meaningful goodbye/conversation, silently, by writing responses just as they've been doing the whole year.
    • As Mashiro is standing near Azuki's house, trying to talk with her on the day of their graduation, two girls from their school pass by. Half an hour later, after he gets the courage to ask how long she'll wait for him, the girls pass by again and laugh at how Mashiro and Azuki are still there.
  • Gag Boobs: Miyoshi. Lampshaded frequently.
  • Gag Sub: Episode 1 got a Gag Sub the day the first episode aired in Japan. Here you go.
  • Generation Xerox: Mashiro's relationship with Azuki is practically identical to his uncle's relationship with Azuki's mother, with the crucial difference being that they have openly admitted their feelings for one another.
  • Genre Savvy: Both Takagi and Mashiro show a great understanding of manga/anime tropes.
  • Genre Shift: The shift between gags and battles is contemplated at several points.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Kosugi to Nanamine, Fukuda to Nakai.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In chapter 30 of the Viz translation, the rough draft of Kiyoshi Knight that Fukuda holds up clearly contains "You f-ing dickweed!" (while he talks about censorship, no less and how he's had to repeatedly tone down the contents of his manga).
  • GIFT:
    • Discussed by Takagi in his explanation for why Nanamine cannot succeed. One of the problems he notes is that the 50 people are anonymous and are not being paid, so they have less incentive to put in a serious effort over time than one person whose career hangs in the balance. Some of Nanamine's contributors admit to participating just for fun.
    • The internet reaction to Azuki being outed as Mashiro's girlfriend is quite nasty.
  • Gonk: Hattori and Miura, who look like an octopus and a monkey respectively, eventually though both get less ugly over time.
    • Nakai, an overweight middle-aged man, tends to fall into this, becoming uglier over time. Since working for Nanamine, he's gone WAY downhill.
  • Graceful Loser: Goda, one of the actresses auditioning for the role of the heroine in Reversi, initially appears assured that she'll win, but after seeing the winner in action, concedes how hard she's worked for it.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Takahama. He wears headphones and initially doesn't talk to anyone, but after Mashiro talks with him, he opens up to him and the other assistants.
  • Heroic BSOD: Takagi and Mashiro collapse, drained of energy, when their manga gets canceled.
    • Mashiro has been in an off-and-on one since finding out that PCP won't get an anime and that while Ashirogi Muto excels at planning, they can't necessarily write a manga intended to get an anime.
    • Azuki has one when her manager tells her that she should do a photo book in order to advance her career, claiming that she's only popular because of her appearance rather than her talent.
    • Iwase drops into one in Chapter 140. Her writing is slipping, her editor is more concerned with Crow's ending, and she had the misfortune of walking past some fans badmouthing her series. She gets better.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Lampshaded. Takagi and Mashiro want Miyoshi around during college to avoid any untrue suspicions about them being gay. (This is also possibly a reference to the more...enthusiastic fans who'd see tons of subtext in their partnership.)
  • High School Sweethearts: Mashiro and Azuki, as well as Takagi and Miyoshi.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Nanamine's last ditch attempt to make a manga in Jump is defeated by Azuma, one of the mangaka he disowned.
  • Hypocritical Humor: It's constantly said that "A dark, mature series will never do well in Shonen Jump!" and "Cult hits won't be popular enough to make an anime out of." Then think about what other series the creators of Bakuman did.
    • More of the meta-hypocrisy: Takagi once comes to the conclusion that a good mangaka is someone who can make boring everyday routine look interesting. Mashiro thinks he's talking bullshit. ]He's been mopping the floor for three pages.
    • When Mashiro responds to Fukuda's statement that Nizuma won't teach him anything by saying he just wants to watch, Fukuda, who is only a few years older than Mashiro and has spent much of the previous scene disrespecting the much older Nakai, says "Hmph. I don't get kids these days. What a brat." Nakai then thinks "You're still young, too, and you're the biggest brat of all, asshole."
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Chapter 83:
    Shujin: "Follow That Car!"
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: (X) And (X), commonly working off a pair of concepts ("Dreams and Reality") or two separate events in the chapter ("Feast and Graduation" begins with Mashiro and Takagi eating dinner out with Hattori, and ends with their graduation from middle school). Maybe a reference to that fact the protagonists work as a pair, maybe I'm just reading too much into it.
  • Indecisive Medium: In the anime, Two Earths was summed up by showing manga frames for several minutes, accompanied by voiceovers for the characters' dialogue and the narrator.
  • The Insomniac: Mashiro, so much, but really all of the mangaka and some of the editors have moments.
  • Invisible Parents: Moritaka's father is only shown talking to him on the phone at the end of the third chapter, and Moritaka notes that for much of his childhood, he asked his mother for something and she then asked his father, resulting in them having few conversations. Miho's father also counts, as while her mother appears in several scenes, he has never appeared in person.
  • Jerkass: Of all people, Nakai ends up being one, losing The Woobie status entirely.
    • Ishizawa, who is quite arrogant about his manga drawing skills despite not having much talent, mocks Mashiro's artwork (getting him punched by Takagi in the process), and who offers to only help Aoki if she does poses for him. It turns out he's among those fanning the flames of the Internet Backdraft over Mashiro and Azuki's relationship.
    • Nanamine, an also overly arrogant mangaka, though his beef is with managing manga. He thinks his methods are superior to those of the Shonen Jump editorial department and professional mangaka in general. He got serialized through underhanded means (by posting his works online after he was rejected and coasting off the reaction from it.). Has little to no respect for his editor (doesn't help that said editor is rather meek) and is mostly just throwing in ideas from that of his chat buddies then coming up with anything of his own. He also lies to them, claiming he got the number one spot for the debut of his(their) manga when he really came in second.
    • Miho's manager has no respect for Miho's personal feelings or doubts about decisions, and tends to browbeat her into doing whatever he tells her (doing gravure photos and disavowing her relationship with Mashiro), going so far as to suggest that her career will be over if she doesn't listen. He even claims that she's only popular because of her appearance.
  • Jerk Ass Woobie: After a lot of negative character development, Nakai.
  • Karma Houdini: Nakai, in Chapter 129. He goes to Aoki's apartment in a drunken rage. He hurts Hiramaru when he tries to intervene, says he plans to beat Aoki, and judging from several lewd reactions of his, possibly intended to sexually assault her as well. Nothing came of it, but things went back to normal, and it's never brought up again.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Conversed when Moritaka and Akito are developing Out Of A Hundred Million; they note katanas are popular features of several shounen series, but decide to go with beam sabers instead.
  • Laugh Track: Hattori pulls off a manga version of this by laughing with an emotionless face in the end of every amusing sentence (in his opinion). He stopped doing so in the latest chapters, though.
  • Last Name Basis: Preferred among the characters, even (so far) between Official Couple Mashiro and Azuki. Hiramaru reveals that Aoki, who has started going out with him, still calls him "Hiramaru-san," prompting Yoshida to tell him that her feelings toward him haven't changed to get him depressed enough to write the humor he's best at.
  • Life Imitates Art: An in universe example: In a recent chapter, a mysterious bank robber broke into a bank and left a note, based on dialogue from an early chapter of PCP. To make matters worse, he left a PCP book behind with the note, sending Takagi into a short-lived heroic BSOD
  • Lighter and Softer: Meta Example. PCP is basically a Lighter and Softer version of Death Note.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Shizuka. To a terrifying degree - he hasn't done anything as of this writing, but he looks on the verge of snapping explosively.
    • And then in chapter 93, we see him sloppy drunk in an alley with a mannequin.
    • In his final appearance, he's just as disturbingly cheerful, even after True Human is canceled.
  • Lost Wedding Ring: Hiramaru can't find his wedding ring when he finally reaches the point where he can propose to Aoki, and misses his chance. Then takes charge and rushes off to find it, taking Aoki with him.
  • Love at First Punch: Takagi and Miyoshi.
  • Love Triangle: Averted as Takagi shuts down the love triangle between him, Miyoshi and Iwase as soon as he's aware of it, remarking how stupid the whole situation actually is. He only needs to bring up his desire to be a mangaka, which turns Iwase off him after she proves to be dismissive of his pursuit.
    • Which in itself might be a Take That to any series past or present that would suck this kind of plot point dry.
    • As of Chapter 61, a double-triangle shows definite signs of life between Miyoshi, Takagi, Aoki and Nakai.
      • And just when the reader starts thinking 'Takagi, please, PLEASE put an end to this idiocy' he goes and does exactly that, again. In the most brilliant way possible.
  • Male Gaze: During sports day (Chapter 21), Mashiro tells Takagi to "get a load of Miyoshi." And the two of them certainly do.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Yoshida, Hiramaru's editor. Played for Laughs, of course. If it wasn't made abundantly clear before, he actually complains in chapter 94 that he was running out of ways to manipulate Hiramaru.
    • In Chapter 101, Hiramaru himself acknowledges that he's being manipulated, and tells Yoshida he needs to do a better job than he is doing at manipulating him.
    • And in Chapter 134, Yoshida starts roping Nakai in and playing him off against Hiramaru.
    • As of his introduction, Nanamine, who posts his chapter of "The Classroom of Truth" online when it doesn't get an award, causing a furor online and getting himself called down to the Jump main office, where he shows the editor in chief his next work. He then blackmails Kosugi into going along with him him by threatening to go elsewhere.
  • Meaningful Name: The main characters of PCP have their names derived from "justice" and "truth," for ironic effect, as they are characters who set up elaborate pranks.
  • Meganekko: Natsumi Kato.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The manga begins with a young Mashiro, talking with his uncle about winning an award. It flashes forward several years later to an older Mashiro, who is about to graduate middle school and is
  • Misaimed Fandom: In universe example. Nanamine reads Ashirogi's ''Money and Intelligence'' and concludes that like the Crapsack World it takes place in, money and intelligence are all that matter in Real Life. The work was actually a Deconstruction of that idea.
  • Modesty Shorts: In the Show Within a Show PCP, Annojo Mai has these. Mashiro and Takagi were very deliberate about this.
  • Moral Guardians: Yoshida wonders whether Shonen Jump should have a manga that shows kids trespassing on school property, but another editor points out that manga with people hitting each other would also have to be excluded. Parental concerns over kids imitating the "perfect crimes" prevent PCP from getting an anime.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Mangaka this time. Pretty much the entire premise.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The "Perfect Crime Party" manga, which shows a group of preteens committing small meaningless pranks (like tricking someone into thinking they've forgotten to clean up their lunch tray), but it's treated as if it's Serious Business, with the gravitas of a crime drama. Considering that this is by the same creator as Death Note, it's not surprising they'd go for this trope eventually.
  • Narm / Bathos: invokedExtolled as a desirable trait for serious manga to have. Really.
    • To clarify, it's seemingly serious scenes that can come off as funny if you look more closely, but don't necessarily seem that way to kids.
    • That said, PCP: Perfect Crime Party can come off as an utterly ridiculous sounding name to English speakers.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: Bakuman starts at about the same time the series started in real life, but as of chapter 129, it is taking place in 2016. The publishing of the manga ran for about three and half years, but the final chapter eventually takes place 10 years after the events in the initial chapter.
    • Alternate History: In their world, big hits like One Piece, Naruto and Bleach exists, but may have already finished their run by the time Crow becomes Jump's flagship series (although Hattori has to give editorship of Detective Trap to Miura because he's also editing One Piece), implying that they began much earlier than their real world counterparts.
    • Classroom of Truth is also this in-universe, as one person claims to have been born in 2001 and be 14, making it set in around 2015.
  • The Noun and the Noun: The common theme for chapter titles, often a reference to two events or contrasting ideas in the chapter.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Relationships in the series are very pure and light hearted, the time spent on romance is likely to explore the tight bonds between the couples instead of physical intimacy, case in point being Akito and Kaya, they marry and the narration pretty much implies that they already went through all phases of physical intimacynote , but not much beyond cuddling is shown. While Mashiro and Azuki's long-distance and minimal contact relationship is presented as unusual in-universe, the others are considered to be more "normal" relationships.
  • Not So Different: Nanamine suggests this with Ashirogi Muto, noting that they got where they did by defying their editors at times, and having done Tanto at their editors' suggestion, they should know editors can't be trusted.
  • Obliviously Evil: Subverted with Nanamine's group. They did know that helping him come up with his stories was not a practice a "proper" manga artist would use, but they didn't know that they were helping such a bastard and are rather disgusted when his true nature is revealed. Of course, their motivations varied, and it's implied that by the time there were secret meetings between the nine remaining contributors (out of the original 50), all of those serious about helping had given up and left.
  • Oblivious to Love: It takes Mashiro a few years to realize that he and Azuki had been synchronized staring since 6th grade. It explains why he didn't really have a clue that she liked him since 4th grade.
    • Aoki towards Hiramaru. She starts going out with him in Chapter 114.
  • Official Kiss: The very last page of the series, Azuki and Mashiro finally have their first kiss.
  • Oh, Crap Miura does this after he suggests, rather angrily, that if Mashiro couldn't agree to do a gag manga then Takagi could go work with someone else.
    • Nakai from time to time, such as when he realizes that he can't afford to pay his assistants during the boycott, and when he sees Aoki with Hiramaru.
    • Hiramaru has this fairly often, such as when his plans to woo Aoki fail, and when Otter 11 gets canceled.
    • Mashiro when he wakes up from oversleeping, about to be late for school, without having made any significant progress on drawing the manga.
  • Older Than They Look: Kato is almost 30, but looks like an older teenager.
  • One Steve Limit: Editors Akira Hattori and Yujiro Hattori, which is lampshaded in Chapter 21 and Episode 18's On the Next.
  • Ojou Ringlets: Miho's mom. Mashiro doesn't like them.
  • Overprotective Dad: Miho's father, as Kaya says that he moved to Hachioji to ensure Miho wouldn't have to face sexual harassment on the subway, and would not have to leave for school before he left for work.
  • Pandering to the Base: invokedAshirogi attempts this after reading a bunch of fan letters, and the result is shit. Their editor justifies this by saying it supposed to be their story, not the fans, and it's also indicated that the ones who write fan letters are not necessarily representative of the majority of the readers.
    • Nanamine's style of editing and creative process could be an even bigger Take That or Deconstruction of fan-pandering. His manga's ratings drop lower and lower because of taking too many suggestions from his select fan-pool, to the point it becomes a cluttered mess and eventually gets ten-weeked. This is later revealed to be the result of many of the contributors being anonymous and unpaid, and while it is not difficult to get them to collaborate for a one-shot, Nanamine cannot manage them and keep the story consistent over a long period of time.
  • Panty Fighter: Azuma's manga is based around this.
  • Panty Shot: Aoki gets some help from Fukuda about how to draw them.
  • Pet the Dog : We know Nizuma is a nice guy when we find out he gave most of his prize money to his (poor) parents.
  • Pinky Swear: Chapter 124, Hiramaru and Aoki, with Nakai watching.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Not in the literal sense, but some misunderstandings have put the protagonists on thin ice with their girlfriends.
  • Post Modernism: it's a manga about manga. Didn't think that was possible, did you?
    • More specifically, it's a manga in Shonen Jump about a manga in Shonen Jump that is trying to be made into an anime, which itself is now being made into an anime. Ow, the meta is so thick it hurts.
      • Now check out chapter 99—and remember that the anime debuts in October. PCP gets a novelization and drama CD, much to the delight of the main characters, especially to Miho and Saiko. The novel request was withheld from them as per request by the Editor-in-chief until they find a more experienced author to write it... and then we see what he's hiding in his desk at the end of the chapter. Several anime requests. All for PCP. See Wham Line below to see what happened to that one chapter later...
  • Precision F-Strike: Mashiro to Nanamine in chapter 146: "DON'T YOU FUCK WITH ME!!!"
  • Protection from Editors: invokedMiura loves comedy. The duo's talents lie in drama. Guess what they're gunning for?
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Chapter 80: WE! ARE! ASHIROGI MUTO!
    • Takagi to Kaya in the Viz translation, once the truth about Nanamine's methods comes out.
    Takagi: Don't. Tell. Anyone.
  • Put on a Bus: Nakai decides to quit manga forever, believing that he got into it for the wrong reasons, although an appearance in Chapter 90 suggests that he's not content with his life and might eventually return.
  • Rags to Riches: It's not touched upon, but it is clear as the series progressed the Ashirogi Mutou team has stacked a fair amount of money from their successful hits, they don't ostentate due being Married to the Job and realizing they don't have much free time to enjoy their lives. It culminates in the end where Mashiro buys a Ferrari to pick up Miho and propose to her.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: After meeting with Aoki and her three female assistants, noticing that they don't pay attention to him like the girls in clubs do, and realizing that the girls in the clubs socialize with him because they're getting paid, Shizuka decides to incorporate false female love into his manga. Before this, around the time he had started going to clubs, the story had veered toward the regular human girls having Happiness in Slavery, to its detriment; The manga eventually regains its top ten status.
    • Takagi decides to write a story about PCP defeating a copycat in reaction to the PCP copycat in real life.
  • Reality Ensues
    • After Takagi punches Ishizawa for insulting Mashiro, he gets suspended and there is some concern about it going on his record.
    • Takagi and Mashiro are forced to run away after ripping up the copies of Money and Intelligence and throwing them into the river, because doing so is littering.
    • Subverted when Kosugi punches Nanamine. The victim plans on reporting and suing the puncher, resulting in him getting arrested for battery and losing his job, but decides against it because it would only make him more of a laughingstock than he already is.
    • Few are happy to hear about Mashiro and Azuki's relationship, since they're a famous manga artist and voice actress, respectively, and it makes it difficult for Azuki to get the role. Fukuda calling out those who are raising an uproar over it, while well-deserved, only ends up fanning the flames.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Mashiro and Takagi declare that their manga, having been the results of persistence and hard work, will not lose to one like Nanamine's that is patched together from other people's ideas.
    • In a Show Within a Show case, Akechi denouncing the PCP copycats.
    • Kosugi tells Nanamine his Fatal Flaw; if he has no empathy for others, he can't write believable characters.
  • Red Shirt: Most series are referred to only by their title, and exist to get cancelled and make way for named characters' series. Arai's series often fall prey to this.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Authors are not allowed to quit series while there's still some life in them. This presumably influences Nizuma's decision to cancel his own series.
  • Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: Miura encourages this. It doesn't work so well.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Shiratori is a mild example.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: An in-universe example: after a copycat criminal starts acting out crimes depicted in manga within the manga PCP, Takagi writes a story about a criminal copying PCP's crimes getting caught by PCP themselves in order to clearly demonstrate how the authors feel about the copycat.
  • The Rival: Nearly every major mangaka in the series becomes a rival to either Muto, Nezuma, or both.
  • Rivals Team Up: A recurring theme in this manga (Mashiro and Eiji, Fukuda and Aoki, Eiji and Aiko). Also the "Fukuda group" (see entry for the True Companions trope below!).
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Around half of Nanamine's group leaves him as things start going badly, having opposed his idea of competing with Ashirogi Muto and not liking his attitude.
    • And the rest leaves when they discover that he's been lying to them about the rankings.
  • Sealed with a Kiss: And how.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Averted as far as manga rankings go, as consistently getting above tenth place is good enough to avoid being canceled, and Miura advises Mashiro and Takagi to stick to what they're best at rather than take risks to improve their rank. Played mostly straight with awards, as while Miyoshi considers "The World is All About Money And Intelligence" getting third place impressive, Mashiro and Takagi know that it isn't good enough to submit it for serialization.
  • Senpai Kohai: Aoki is addressed as a senpai by Iwase, as the two go to Tokyo University, and Hattori is Miura and Kosugi's senpai. Some of Nanamine's contributors leave because they think it's wrong to "pick a fight with a senpai mangaka".
  • Sequential Artist: Nearly everybody.
  • Serious Business: For instance, a mangaka who circumvents the editorial process is treated like Light Yagami at his most diabolical.
  • Shameless Self-Promoter: This manga for Shonen Jump
  • Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: In one work submitted for serialization, a survival challenge in which anyone who tells a lie dies. The people who are killed in such a manner disappear, leaving only their clothes behind, while a voice comes from their clothes and announces the truth.
  • Shipper on Deck: Niizuma for Mashiro and Azuki...or at least he doesn't want anything to interfere with their relationship and their dream by helping to make sure that Azuki won't be chosen for the Natural anime's main heroine.
    • In Chapter 114, Mashiro, Takagi, Miyoshi, and Fukuda ship Hiramaru/Aoki as they cheer him on to ask her out.
    • Takagi, from almost the beginning, is a strong proponent for Mashiro and Azuki getting together. Kaya has a similar attitude.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Mashiro and Takagi note that "Classroom of Truth," which ends with all the students dead and the main character chased down and eaten by a doppelganger, ends this way, and that having the main character's efforts be in vain doesn't work well.
  • Shout-Out: Near constantly, due to the in-story presence of Shonen Jump and various other manga. In the first chapter alone there are references to Death Note, Dragon Ball, and One Piece.
    • Interestingly, a Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds poster of Yusei Fuudo was seen in the Shonen Jump offices despite there being no manga version of the series at the time.
    • The characters make references to manga published in magazines other than Jump, but only to manga that predate or had been running during Jump's early years.
    • In the first episode of the anime, one shot of a manga store shelf shows the Hikaru no Go and Death Note mangas side-by-side, Hikaru no Go being the one which made drawer Takeshi Obata popular even before Death Note.
    • The first volume has Mashiro and Takagi say, when stalking someone 'I feel just Gevanni!'
    • The latest chapter has Mashiro and Takagi sitting in similar positions as L and Light respectivly.
    • One of the names they pitched, Hitmen 10, is probably a Shout-Out to the Suda51's games Killer7 and No More Heroes.
    • There was even a reference to Mr. and Mrs. Smith when they were discussing Hitmen 10, although not by name.
    • And There's Ichigo from Bleach here.
    • And there's also Hanamichi Sakuragai from Slam Dunk here.
    • Let's not forget this Nirvana tee. They may not mean the band, though.
    • Fukuda has also been seen wearing a very familiar looking jacket to one Misa Amane's.
    • And here's Shinichi Kudo on one of the covers .
    • Mashiro's insistence on working on Detective Trap despite being hospitalized mirrors the final days of Osamu Tezuka, who too refused to stop working even in his terminal state. When you consider that, it gets much more relieving when not only Mashiro recovers, but also Jump decides not to cancel Trap (at least not by that point).
    • Eiji's excursion as to what a manga hero's eyes look like (comparing Mashiro's eyes to them in the process) includes drawing the eyes of Goku (in Super Saiyan mode), Luffy, Naruto and Ichigo.
    • In Chapter 59, Reborn! and Seikimatsu Leader Den Takeshi! were mentioned.
    • And, impossibly, here's one to themselves
    • Chapter 94, while discussing art styles, includes scenes from Naruto, Bleach and One Piece.
    • Chapter 98's color splash page has True Human represented by a Weeping Angel.
    • Wait...A homeless boy with a Nice Hat who is good at drawing wandering in the cold with only his trusty mutt as companion? I sure hope its not following this.
    • When Mashiro takes up a temporary work as Niizuma's assistant in volume 3, he goes to introduce himself. Niizuma, not noticing who he is talking to (remember that he likes Ashirogi Muto's work), replies saying "Yoroshiku Mechadoc", which is the name of a racing manga that was serialized on Jump in the early 80s.
    • Episode 9 had Takagi doing Light's over the top hammy reactions.
      • Putting our feelings into our fingertips... AND SENDINGTHEM!
      • In the Otter 11 side story, Otter 11 is hailed as a "modern day Kira"
    • Chapter 115 has one which seems to be a direct challenge addressed to Enigme, Jump's newest suspense hit.
      • Chapter 117 has the author of the one-shot admit that he "kinda stole the setting" from it.
    • Episode 20 had Hattori saying "Just as planned." Then biting into an apple.
    • The inference of the timeframe when Classroom of Truth (mentioned under Next Sunday A.D.) takes place brings to mind the protagonists of Neon Genesis Evangelion, who are also 14-year-olds born in 2001.
    • One of the up and coming actresses listed in Chapter 21 plays a character in St. Visual Girls' Academy called Misae Amanegawa.
    • Sakura TV has recently made an appearance.
    • Chapter 151, the new pitch the duo are working on as a means to battle it out with Eiji's new piece. The character designs resemble Zetman, and the story itself about two combatting protagonists, one for justice and one for corruption. On reading it it is not far off to suddenly think of Death Note and Code Geass... especially the latter when you take into account the Brainwashing abilities of their new characters.
    • In Chapter 82, a chapter of Otters 11 has the main character crashing into a TV studio with a truck.
      • Not only that: both scenes are practically identical, down to the layout. And the TV studio is named "Sumire TV", a play on the original's "Sakura TV" (both are girl's names derived from names of flowers).
    • Chapter 127 has this visually comparative panel between Nanamine and Light. Also shown here in Chapter 126. The anime gives us this.
  • Show Within a Show: Or to be more precise, manga within a manga. As you'd expect, the series is chock-full of these.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Nanamine challenges Ashirogi Muto to do the same story, Takagi tells him he's bluffing and hangs up.
  • Slasher Smile: Nizuma, are you quite alright there?
  • Smug Snake: Moriya is quite overconfident in his knowledge of art and looks down on Shiratori. When the name he submits is deemed unpublishable no matter how much he edits it while Shiratori's name is considered a good idea that becomes worthy of serialization with Takagi's help, his facial expression is priceless.
    • Nanamine establishes himself as this fairly quickly.
    • Yamahisa is as smug as he is sleazy.
  • Spit Take: Let's hope his manuscripts survived.
    • Even earlier on in Volume 1 when Takagi suggests that they go to meet with an editor, and Mashiro responds that it isn't quite that simple.
    • Fukuda has developed a character flaw of spraying ramen noodles from his mouth and nose.
    • Takagi does one when Miyoshi first mentions getting married to him.
    • Mashiro does one again when Takagi suggests he initially thought Nanamine had a good idea, but then Takagi clarifies that it only seemed that way on paper, and then elaborates that upon further analysis, he realizes that it could not have lasted in the long term.
  • Spoiler Title: Averted. Most of the times when a chapter resolves a cliffhanger, the title is not obvious enough to tell what happens, but is usually relevant to what is going on. In Chapter 53, "18 and 40," Detective Trap gets canceled, thwarting Mashiro's hope of getting an anime by 18, and getting married. At the end of the chapter, he tells Azuki the news and she tells him to take his time and try again, and jokingly says she would prefer to get married by 40. Similarly, in Chapter 99, "Tears of Disappointment and Tears of Joy," Iwase cries the former after PCP defeats her Natural+, and Mashiro and Takagi cry the latter after passing the editor in chief's test to stay in the magazine.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Mashiro and Takagi end up coming up with the exact same idea on the exact same day, without each other knowing.
    • Mashiro, Takagi, Eiji and Hattori all come to the conclusion that PCP's art needs to improve to compete with Crow and +Natural.
    • Chapter 107: Mashiro, Eiji, Aoki and Iwase all decide to do a romance for their respective oneshots.
    • Mashiro and Takagi both have the same reaction to the news of the second PCP copycat; make a story about PCP encountering a copycat. They point out that their teamwork and trust in one another has improved over the years.
    • Mashiro and Takagi wonder if Classroom of Truth ripped off The Two Earths, but realize that since The Two Earths was not a finalist and was never published, this cannot be possible.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: Justified! While Mashiro and Takagi initially refuse to compete with Nanamine on the same story to let him crash and burn, by the next chapter they're convinced to go through with it. However, rather than simply being forced to give Nanamine a chance just because the plot says so, they're doing it to crush him in a direct competition and prove that Nanamine's way of doing things is wrong; making an effective point is more important than simply letting Nanamine drown. It succeeds and Nanamine does even worse on that chapter.
  • Take That : Do the creators make it clear enough that they hate manga that has virtually nothing but cutesy moe blobs? And that they gleefully imply that the artists of said manga can't really draw anything else?
    • And yet they seem to have liked To Love-Ru (by way of having Fukuda admit that he liked it but couldn't send in surveys without people finding out about him voting for it because of its "ecchi" elements), which isn't too much better. Weird.
    • Their attitude towards Jump SQ isn't that warm either.
      • and Fukuzawa Yukichi isn't spared.
    • See this:
    Takagi: What kind of manga do you wanna do?
    Mashiro: I haven't really thought about it. I like masculine manga though. I don't want anything otakuish or weak.
    Takagi: Yeah, I don't wanna do that stuff either. Sex, rape, pregnancy, abortion, none of that crap.
    Mashiro: That sounds like shoujo manga or some stupid romance novel... might as well add "incurable disease" to the list, that's a big tearjerker.
    Fukuda: The voice actress you like has a boyfriend... Sure, I understand that some of you would be depressed to hear that. That's the fan spirit. (yelling) But even so... using that as an excuse to post all kinds of stupid crap on the Internet is something I can never forgive! Voice actresses and manga artists are humans, too. There's nothing wrong with them having a relationship!
  • Talk About That Thing: Mr. Miyoshi's real reason for challenging Mashiro and Takagi for a duel to enable Takagi to earn the right to marry Kaya; Mashiro's uncle came up in the conversation, and Mr. Miyoshi wanted to talk about the woman he and Nobuhiro both loved without his wife or daughter present..
  • Technician Versus Performer: Mashiro and Takagi are "technicians" who analyze trends to make a success and Nizuma is a "performer," who draws what he wants. In Hattori's terms, they are the "calculating" and "genius types," respectively, with the former being less likely to make a hit, but more likely to have continuing success. This gets even more complicated when Nanamine is hailed as a "calculating genius," for managing (temporarily) to prevent his story from falling in Chapter 2, while Ashirogi Muto are "calculating hard workers".
  • Teen Idol: Makaino Koji AKA Koogy.
  • Tempting Fate: Iwase originally dismisses Takagi because he states that he wants to pursue his dream of being a mangaka, arguing that he will be wasting his life if he does. When she is reintroduced to the story, it is as a manga writer, just like Takagi.
    • Well, not really. She's just a writer, period. As in, an up-and-coming novelist. It's only a bit later that Iwase branches out into manga.
  • Third Time's The Charm: For both their serializations and the events that led up to said third serialization. However, said third serialization has, at least so far, been unable to get them an anime.
  • This Is Reality: "This isn't a manga, so what are the chances..."
  • Those Two Guys: Suzuki and Saito, two of Mashiro's friends from middle school.
  • Threesome Subtext: Sometimes it seems like Kaya acts like a housewife to both Takagi and Mashiro, and Kaya has joked about it when drunk while both Takagi and Mashiro have flirtily called her cute when they were high from the happiness caused by the announcement of Reversi getting an anime.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The preview of Volume 6 shows Mashiro collapsed from overworking himself.
  • True Companions: The so-called "Fukuda group": Mashiro, Takagi, Eiji, Fukuda. Aoki joins them later. Hiramaru claims to be one of them, but he's merely an opportunist. Although there is a rivalry between them, they are willing to help one another in fulfilling their creative potentials.
    • Subverted with Nakai, who was one of the first members of Team Fukuda, but eventually had a falling out with them.
  • Tsundere: Aoki was Type A going "The Cold Shoulder" route. She just seemed like a Jerk Ass at first, but that's because she didn't have much page time for characterization.
  • Twice Shy: It's backstory because they get over it in the first chapter, but Miho and Mashiro were silently crushing on each other for years before they confessed their feelings for one another.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Mashiro, Takagi and Miyoshi.
  • Unlikely Hero: The two main characters being told that the problem with their manga is the utter lack of special main heroes, and that their series' tend to suffer from average people as heroes.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Kitani, by posting about Mashiro and Azuki's relationship on their blog, ends up causing the two quite a bit of trouble without any ill intentions.
    • The new detective manga added during Mashiro's hospitalization play a role in Detective Trap getting canceled.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Nanamine has a pretty bad one in chapter 124 when his manga does poorly.
    • In the same chapter, Nakai after seeing Aoki Pinky Swear with Hiramaru
    • The end of chapter 126 when Nanamine learns how his and PCP did against each other, immediately following the rest of his helpers deserting him
    • Earlier on, Koogy smashes his guitar when he learns that his one-shot did much worse than the ones Ashirogi Muto, Fukuda, and Aoki and Nakai made did.
  • Wall of Text: It's made by the creators of Death Note, what'd you expect?
    • In an early chapter, Akito receives criticism for this from the duo's first editor.
    • Chapter 96 puts in a defense of the Wall of Text - anyone who's enough into manga to fill out the ranking questionnaires will obviously read through the speech bubbles.
  • Weddings in Japan: Akito and Kaya have a Western-style one in Chapter 77, although in the story, this is largely overshadowed by Moritaka wondering if he should quit Tanto.
    • The full color art for the final chapter shows that Mashiro and Miho also elected for a Western ceremony.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 53, the duo's manga, Detective Trap, ends up getting cancelled.
    • Chapter 86: "No"
      • To be more specific: After the duo quit Tanto (their second manga), feeling it wasn't right for them, they managed to convince the head editor to give them three chances to make a better manga. The first two strike out despite experimenting and the third is their last chance. Using all the experience they gained so far, they feel the third one will get in. Despite the editors agreeing it's a good read, the head editor feels it won't be mainstream enough and decides to put it to a vote among the editors. The votes come to a tie with his being the final say... and the above is his reponse in that chapter. Three editors ultimately change their minds, unwilling to cancel a series on this standard or by this narrow a margin, but it was still quite shocking at the time.
    • Eiji and Akina set up a crossover between Crow and + Natural, two of the most popular series in Jump.
    • Chapter 130. Someone breaks into a bank, re-enacting a prank mentioned in PCP, and gets on the news as a result..
    • Chapter 166 Word of Azuki's relationship with Mashiro gets out, resulting in a scandal and threatening her chances of getting the Naho role.
  • Wham Line: Chapter 100: "PCP isn't going to get an anime".
    • Chapter 76: "I WANT TO QUIT TANTO!"
    • Chapter 46: Azuki admits that she has been in love with Mashiro for eight years.
    • A subtle one happens in Chapter 122. It's not that surprising on its own, but when you realize that it's a Call Back to Nakai describing his skills, you realize who Nanamine's "super-assistant" is, even if you can't see him until the next chapter.
    Nakai: I can draw anything or any place from any angle without looking at the actual image. I'm the fastest person around when it comes to effect-lines, shade-flashes and tone-flashes.
    • Chapter 150: "Well, you could say it's my last act of selfishness as editor in chief"
    • Chapter 164: "Congratulations. On Tuesday, September 1st at 4, the anime for REVERSI will start."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: When Detective Trap gets canceled, the three assistants are out of work. The first gets serialized around that time and the second becomes the first's assistant, but it is never shown what the third does, although it is noted that as he has a wife and a kid, it's especially unfortunate for him.
    • Ashirogi Muto plan on hiring him back for their newest series, Reversi. It's mentioned he has a third kid now.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In Chapters 63-65, Miyoshi get upset with Takagi for keeping his meetings with Aoki secret from her, and Azuki gets upset with Mashiro for not telling Miyoshi about Takagi's meetings, and not telling her about her mother being in love with his uncle. The main characters also get scolded for violating their contract by submitting a one-shot to another magazine, and are told that they are being selfish when they express a desire to quit Tanto.
    • Mashiro and Takagi give one to Nanamine after he reveals his plans to them, and Mashiro suggests that his overconfidence will be his downfall.
    • Azuki gets one from Takagi when he tells her that because she won't tell Mashiro about her problems, he's going over to her house and putting them at risk of missing the deadline.
  • Writing for the Trade: An In-Universe version occurs once the main protagonists begin work on their final, tightly-plotted manga. While it has the advantage of offering better overall storytelling, it also ensures that they can't really change the course of the story too much to fit different needs. While it results in steady popularity throughout, it also has to be much shorter than is normal, due to its density and fast pace.
  • Woman Scorned: Iwase, as of the end of chapter 88, with the trope directly invoked by narraration. She's been passed over by Takagi AND Hattori now, and may become a direct antagonist to both of them as a result. She even accuses Miura of sexual harrassment over a relatively minor comment, ignoring her own out-and-out harrassment and pursuit of Hattori during previous meetings.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: When the duo FINALLY gets the chance to make an anime for their most recent piece, they can't accept it right away because they aren't sure they can make it last long enough without decreasing the quality. After a long discussion and some arguing, they eventually work out a solution with Hattori...only to find out that Niizuma changed his mind and is going to compete with them for the anime slot after all.
    • And then Subverted when the Editor in Chief gives Ashirogi the Anime slot anyway.

    Creator/VIZ MediaBlack Cat
BaohMagazine/Shonen JumpBarefoot Gen
BakuganMadmanEntertainment/Anime and MangaBamboo Blade
Baka and Test: Summon the BeastsAnime of the 2010sB Gata H Kei
Assassination ClassroomSh&# 333 ;nen (Demographic)Barefoot Gen
Baki the GrapplerMangaBakuon
Ah! My GoddessCreator/Media BlastersBerserk

alternative title(s): Bakuman
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