Moritaka Mashiro feels as if life is passing him by; with no dreams or motivation, he trudges through day-to-day life. One day, after leaving his notebook behind, he returns to school and finds the smartest guy in class, Takagi, waiting for him. Takagi is happy to return the book, but on the condition that Mashiro agrees to become a mangaka with him. Though Mashiro initially declines, he soon reconsiders when he discovers that the girl he likes, Azuki, dreams of becoming a voice actress. And after promising that she can have the lead role if their manga is ever adapted into an anime, he suggests that they get married once they are both successful! Shockingly, she agrees to the proposal and Mashiro and Takagi embark on their quest to become manga artists.
The students of the Geijutsuka Art Design Class study all the various fields of art, from sketching and painting to graphic design and photography. While the mischievous Noda is always thinking up new ways to have fun with her partner in crime - tomboy Tomokane - the ditzy Kisaragi is content with doodling cats in her sketchbook. With Namiko attempting (and failing) to keep the energetic duo in line, the quiet and mysterious Kyoujyu seems happy to observe the odd behavior of her classmates. Whether they are transforming a congealed lump of paint into a sculpture of a pudding, playing ‘color tag’, or making thought collages, the gang live their life to the max through both their friendships and their art.
Ohana Matsumae is a sixteen-year-old girl with no purpose or direction in life. One day, however, she gets the chance to reinvent herself when her mother and her boyfriend do a moonlight flit to escape his debts. Left alone, Ohana goes to live with her estranged grandmother, but when she arrives she finds herself forced to work at the family’s hot spring resort, the Kissuiso Inn. With her grandmother considering her nothing more than an employee and a roommate who hates her, Ohana’s happy dream of a new life soon turns into a nightmare. Now the wide-eyed girl must learn the value of hard work as she attempts to make friends and familiarise herself with life at the resort.
These two anime have very different plots, settings, and characters. Reading the descriptions of each anime, it might not look like they have much in common at all.
However, both anime are essentially about people who are growing up and working towards a dream. They are similarly paced, and relationships between the characters feel similar. If you enjoyed the feeling and themes of one anime, you'd probably enjoy watching the other one as well, and hopefully enjoy the ways in which they are different!
While examining an old Go board in his grandfather's basement, twelve-year-old Shindo Hikaru is possessed by the restless spirit of Sai, an ancient Go master who has waited for over one thousand years to play the Hand of God: the perfect move. Sai convinces Hikaru to act as a vessel for making his moves, but it is soon clear that Hikaru also enjoys Go and wants to play his own games. Moreover, the rules of Go have changed since Sai's time, and Go players from all over the world are now much stronger, having had the benefit of hundreds of years of evolution and experimentation by the masters before them. Can this unlikely pair form a successful partnership and rise to the top of Japan's Go community, and can Sai finally play the Hand of God and find some peace?
These two shows may seem quite different, but they actually have a lot in common. Both shows feature middle school aged boys who decide to acieve their dreams of working in non-mainstream fields (manga in Bakuman and go in Hikaru no Go). Both animes give you a sense of how the manga/go worlds function, which is not something many people are familiar with. You can really see the growth of the characters in their chosen fields as they learn more and work hard to improve themselves. And they both have rivals and friends around to help them and push them along. If you like shows about average people who work hard to achieve a dream, then I think you will love both of these.
Yukitaka has just left Tokyo, eager to transfer to Kisaragi High where he's been recruited to play baseball. However, upon entering his new apartment, the boy is met by a man with long blonde hair who claims to be… an alien?! After initially scoffing at the notion, Yukitaka discovers that the alien – Ouji – is for real, has amnesia and, what's worse, now wants to live with him in his apartment. The fact that scientists and mysterious guys in black suits are after Ouji becomes the least of Yukitaka's problems as his new guest turns out to be more than a handful to handle!
The story in Level E is very similar to something that Shujin from Bakuman would come up with, as in a seinen like story in a shounen manga (or show.) It helps that the person that narated Shujin's duel-world story is the same as Level E's narator. If you like one you should watch the other.
Tenma Tsukamoto is young, bright, and smitten with the school hottie Oji Karasuma. She's desperate for his attention, which is unfortunate considering he barely gives her the time of day! Throw Kenji Harima, the school delinquent with a crush on Tenma into the mix and you've got one twisted love triangle of unrequited proportions! Can love find the trio happiness before their attention-grabbing stunts end up hurting more than their egos?
In School Rumble Harima wants to realize his dreams of becoming a mangaka and being with Tenma. I found this to be similar to Maritaka's dreams of becoming a mangaka and being with Azuki. So both shows are about making your dreams a reality. If you like one you should watch the other.