Shonen Jump’s Bakuman Has a Shojo Sister – and the Series Is Underrated

The world of anime can become rather meta, with some anime series knowing that they are part of a popular and distinct industry. Sometimes, this is done for parody or satire, such as the isekai series Konosuba or the bizarre Gintama, but then there's the Bakuman series, which actually pays tribute to its manga origins and explores the manga industry as a whole.

Bakuman, written and drawn by the same creators as Death Note, has a shojo rival -- a short but sweet series known as Stupid Love Comedy. Although it never reached Bakuman's level of fame, Stupid Love Comedy is a quick and fun read for any fan of the shojo genre, "how it's made" fiction or both.

How Stupid Love Comedy Explores The Creation Of Shojo Manga

Stupid Love Comedy, written and drawn by author SyuSyuSyu Sakurai, is a semi-autobiographical exploration of the world of drawing manga, and the author reimagines herself as an enthusiastic young artist named Sakura Suzu. Sakura loves to draw shojo manga and identifies strongly with it, but she is also known for her chronic tardiness and procrastination, and her new editor, the handsome Hasegawa Osamu, has no patience for it.

Hasegawa is something of a kuudere, being Sakura's tough but fair editor who hides his true feelings but urges Sakura to do her best and realize her potential as an artist. He doesn't like Sakura's personal advances on him, but the cancellation of Sakura's ongoing series would be a far greater tragedy in Hasegawa's eyes.

Along the way, Sakura explores many other aspects of the manga creation process for the benefit of the readers, and the story usually ties all this into Sakura's amusing antics and procrastination. She interns with a senior manga author at her home, meets a graphic designer to figure out the cover art of her new book and even reviews the complete manga publishing process, from handing in the final draft to the magazine ending up in bookstores for purchase.

Readers can also get a taste of how office politics and romance work in this industry, and they can see for themselves just how complex this process can be. There's much more to manga than drawing and inking -- there are also committees, printing thousands of sheets of paper, driving the finished product to the store on time and more. Sakura is just one piece of a much larger machine, and if she delays her work, everyone else down the line suffers for it. However, if Hasegawa can fan the flames of Sakura's passion, Sakura will work herself ragged to draw her manga on time so readers can fall in love with her wonderful stories.

Reading Stupid Love Comedy, The Shojo Bakuman

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Fans of manga about manga or shojo or office romances can give Stupid Love Comedy a try, even if there is no anime adaptation for this series, unlike Bakuman. SyuSyuSyu Sakurai's manga is a rather short one, made up of just three volumes, and manga fans in the West can collect it either as those three volumes or an omnibus edition. Barnes & Noble's online catalog stocks the omnibus of Stupid Love Comedy in both paperback and digital editions with Nook, and the individual volumes are available in digital format only.

Right Stuf Anime's online catalog stocks the paperback omnibus of Stupid Love Comedy as well. Meanwhile, Amazon's online catalog stocks the paperback omnibus edition of Stupid Love Comedy as well as the three individual volumes in digital format.

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