Hump Day Husbandos: Shinta Fukuda (Bakuman.)

Hump Day Husbandos

Another Hump Day Husbandos column, another excuse to write about a character that the one and only Junichi Suwabe portrays, right? In this case it felt only natural to follow up last week’s Mello from Death Note with a character from the series that Death Note’s writer and artist duo worked on next: Bakuman.

Bakuman. is the complete opposite in content and tone to Death Note. Instead of shinigamis, mind games and death around every corner, Bakuman. is a light-hearted drama rom-com all about creating manga. There are many remarkable elements that draw parallels to one another between the two series, however, such as the characters of Mello and Fukuda. It’s too perfect, so let’s get into it.

Who is Shinta Fukuda?

Shinta Fukuda from Bakuman.

Shinta Fukuda is a supporting character of Bakuman., initially introduced as one of Eiji Niizuma’s assistants. Fukuda would see his career flourish at the same time as Muto Ashirogi’s growth, having been placed alongside one another within Akamaru Jump during their one-shot pitches, and their friendly rivalry is solidified when they compete further together during the Golden Future cup.

This is ultimately topped off with Fukuda being as greatly recognised and rewarded as a mangaka could hope to be, with an anime adaptation confirmed by the end of the series for Road Racer Giri, his magnum opus. But before that well-deserved wrap-up to his character, Fukuda firstly has to get a manga of his own serialised, and he does so with Kiyoshi Knight.

After getting his own assistant Yasuoka and editor Yujiro, Fukuda would work tirelessly at further cementing his name within Jump Magazine while wholeheartedly supporting the dreams of those around him to feel further fulfilled in his dream job.

Why we love him

Shinta Fukuda from Bakuman.

Fukuda is passionate for a number of reasons when it comes to working as a mangaka. Firstly, he hopes to change Jump for the better from the inside, particularly with regards to the current process of votes affecting a manga’s position in said magazine. Secondly, it is to further drive not only his own motivation in fulfilling what he himself deems as quality manga (which most of the time is too outdated and old-school to be accepted, bless him), but to also spur on his rivals. It not only unites them but makes everyone work harder at their shared goals.

It probably goes without saying but this is one of the major reasons as to why we adore him. Despite never wanting to outwardly say it or make it all that obvious, Fukuda’s seemingly defining characteristics, such as being extremely competitive or boisterous, actually make him surprisingly altruistic. While making so many notable bonds and ties with fellow mangaka gives him numerous rivals within the same field, it not only motivates himself to do better in the long run, but also helps inspire every single other character he builds any kind of rapport with.

A very early example of this is when he lends a helping hand to said rivals, providing tips in improving their art or even offering to draw it himself – see his offer to Aoki to save her from drawing unsavoury panty shots. Or when instead of simply motivating others, he goes one step further by providing emotional support and stability during tougher times – see how effective his tough love is when dealing with a defeated Nakai during his fallout with Aoki.

Why you will love him

Shinta Fukuda from Bakuman.

Fukuda tends to be emotionally charged, which is played up for comedic purposes more often than not, but it still showcases just how much he really cares about those he values most. Many of his outbursts are actually meant to better guide or offer a word of friendly advice despite how boisterous he always is. Due to this being his approach, Fukuda manages to strike the perfect balance of being a pervert and a romantic. He can be goofy at times for comedic value, but his soft-heartedness is where his true value lies.

His favourite manga is To-Love-Ru, after all (Respect – Ed.), and yet, this is the same guy who cries buckets over the love story between Mashiro and Azuki after hearing about it from Takagi, then proceeds to rather aggressively defend their relationship on a live radio show. This, of course, is also the catalyst in helping push Azuki herself into coming clean and owning up to their previously secretive relationship for the sake of her career as an aspiring actress in a courageous move that best illustrates just how far she has come by its last few chapters.

Fukuda can basically be summed up as a jerk with a heart of gold, or rather a more lukewarm/approachable Mello. Both are hot-blooded individuals who have a keen interest in either riding or drawing bikes, but are also extremely, fiercely loyal. If you loved one then you will most certainly appreciate the other.

If you happen to have missed out on Bakuman. then I encourage you to give it a try. You can buy its manga box set over at Amazon or pick up all its volumes individually.

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Lilia Hellal
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