Manga Review: Bakegyamon Volume Two

Bakegyamon Volume 2 has the story and art done by Mitsuhisa Tamura, and the original concept for the series came from Kazuhiro Fujita. Vizkids, an imprint of Viz Media, holds the North American rights to distribute the manga in the United States. This English adaptation, which is presented as an “unflipped” release, was done by Stan!, with a translation done by Labaaman, HC Language Solutions, Inc. This edition of the manga was published in 2009. Bakegyamon is rated “A,” which means it is suitable for readers of all ages.

Bakegyamon Volume 2
Written by: Mitsuhisa Tamura
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: May 5, 2009

This volume starts exactly where Volume 1 concluded, with Sanshiro trying to complete the stage of the game that he’s in. During the course of this volume, Sanshiro competes in two more stages; he’s just starting into a third when the volume ends. Sanshiro also meets some other players in the game: Mikiharo Kawaguchi (a boy who gets ahead in the game by tricking other players), Sayaka Oki (a girl who is friends with a monster who was taken away to be a card in Bakegyamon), and Shu Satomura (a boy believes he must always come in first and be perfect when doing it). We also get a little bit of backstory for Toshio Sageusa (a boy Sanshiro nicknames “London” due to the Union Jack bandana he wears on his head); this character was introduced in the first volume of Bakegyamon.

While this volume does present us some new characters and begins to provide a backstory for an already existing character, I still feel that Bakegyamon feels like a derivative manga property that’s simply taking elements from manga titles with similar themes and just adding a few twists in order to make it seem “different” from these other manga titles.

The art style hasn’t really changed from the first volume of the manga series. In both this volume and the previous volume, I’ve seen a background character who hasn’t been named with a face design that looks suspiciously similar to Shikamaru from Naruto. Sanshiro still has his look and personality that feels reminiscent to Ask Ketchum from Pokemon. However, most of the other characters that appear in this volume don’t look nearly as derivative as Sanshiro.

After reading a second volume of this manga, I’m still left with the impression that Bakegyamon feels like a derivative work. However, if you enjoy such manga titles as Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokemon Adventures, then you might also enjoy Bakegyamon.

I wrote this review after checking out a copy of this manga volume through the King County Library System.

Additional posts about Bakegyamon:

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