Moritaka Mashiro feels as if life is passing him by; with no dreams or motivation, he simply trudges through his day-to-day life. One day, after leaving his notebook behind, he returns to school only to find the smartest guy in class, Takagi, waiting for him. Takagi is happy to return the book, but only on the condition that Mashiro agrees to become a mangaka with him. Though Mashiro initially declines, he soon decides to reconsider when he discovers that the girl he likes, Azuki, dreams of becoming a voice actress. But after promising that she can have the lead role if their manga is ever adapted into an anime, he inadvertently 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. With Takagi writing and Mashiro drawing, does the pair have what it takes to succeed and get their manga serialized?
Freshman Kanji Sasahara is a shy otaku with low confidence and poor self-esteem. With few friends, Kanji's social life was lacking as well until one day he discovered Genshiken, a school club for anime, manga and video game-loving otaku just like himself! Together, Kanji and the Genshiken gang enjoy a wide range of activities such as building figures and attending cosplay events, all the while growing closer together. Through it all, will Kanji learn to accept himself for who he is?
Both Bakuman and Genshiken take a look at Otaku Culture. While both approach it from different angles - with Bakuman looking at two boys trying to publish a manga and Genshiken focusing on the otaku themselves - both are entertaining, so if you enjoy one, it's worth reading the other.
Both series focus on a similar subject matter, the late teen/early adult years, the life of an otaku (more creating in bakuman more consuming in genshiken), and being awkward in love. They also have quite similar protagonists. If you like one I recommend the other.
Tanaka Yukio is bored with life; he lives unremarkably from day-to-day, never doing anything to make himself stand out. With barely any presence, no social life and an embarrassingly bland taste in music, Yukio doesn't have much going for him. However, after a chance meeting with the outspoken rocker Ryusuke and his peculiar dog, Yukio's dull existence changes forever. He receives an old guitar, begins to learn how to play and is discovered as a talented singer, earning him a way into the new band Beck. As Yukio begins to shred his way to the top alongside his outrageous band members, will he be able to transform from an awkward and nervous young boy into a man worthy of being an idol, and will it be enough to muster up the courage to confess to his old friend Izumi? One thing's for sure: it's time for him to make a stand, on stage and in life!
Both mangas are inspirational, serious stories about a young boys striving to achieve their dreams. Both main characters are slightly shy, but very dilligent, and dedicated to the work they do. The main difference is that Beck is about forming a rock band and Bakuman is about drawing a manga.
Both titles have very unusual romance, that doesn't take the center stage, since that spot is reserved for "achieving goals". Both are very detailed in portraying what hardships awaits those, that want to try their skills at those fields of work (manga and music).
Tsukamoto Tenma is a girl in love. The object of her affection is Karasuma, but there's a problem: he doesn't even seem to notice that she exists, and on top of that he's transferring out of school at the end of the year! However, even with such a short amount of time left, Tenma still can't work up the courage to tell Karasuma how she feels. Meanwhile, Harima Kenji is the school delinquent and just happens to be in love with the oblivious Tenma; but like his crush he also suffers from a lack of bravery when it comes to confessing his love. When every attempt to express their love by the clueless pair ends up in some kind of misunderstanding, will either of them ever be able to reveal their true feelings?
In School Rumble Harima wants to realize his dreams of becoming a mangaka and being with Tenma. I found this to be similar to Moritaka's dreams of becoming a mangaka and being with Azuki. So both manga are about making your dreams a reality. If you like one you should read the other.