Tag Archives: ecchi

Denkigai no Honya-san REVIEW


Akihabara [or more commonly known as Electric Town] is a hive of activity in the Japanese capital. Every day, small fortunes are spent in the pursuit of finding the latest gadget or rare artefact to complete one’s collection be it a figurine or DVD or even a book. One bookstore plays host as we gaze into the world of Denkigai no Honya-san and read up on it and skip to the pictures!

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Umanohome, the name of the store the story is set in, has a rag-tag team of employees which deals with the patrons of the Akihabara district. They range from the greenhorn newbie Umio to the jaded manga artist/manager ‘Sensei’ [the term is ironic for she is actually quite lazy and lacking in confidence] and even the mute Sommelier, a master of manga matchmaking. These characters are led by the perverted Kantoku, a very sexually confident head of operations. With him at the helm, the team manage to generate a good amount of business in the area hosting midnight releases of new manga volumes and tending to the demands of fussy customers. This is a workplace anime sitcom with plenty of slapstick comedy and a distinctly older teen vibe about it. Yet despite the savoury content, it’s remarkably restrained.

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When I first watched this show, I was taken back to when I watched the cult classic anime Genshinken. In that show, a bunch of young adults in college hung out together, each with a different level of affinity with anime and manga ranging from lots to barely any at all. Denkigai no Honya-san seems like a variation of sorts, like what would happen if the setting was a bookshop instead of a club room. It has a adult feeling whilst yet not being pornographic; it’s got that sense of maturity whilst also being pretty ridiculous. It’s not meant to be a hard-hitting analysis of what goes into running a doujinshi store [fan manga store] and reconstruct it in every single way; but it uses the more relaxed and open-minded scenery to create a bunch of characters that would be dubbed ‘socially awkward’ in the real world and see what would happen if you got them working with each other. When you do that, you get some very amusing yet oddly familiar characters such as the mute Sommelier with the paternal instinct [reminds me of Mori-senpai from Ouran High School Host Club]. Each one of these characters has a personality which contributes to the overall story; no-one is superfluous.

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I will give this show credit for tons of charm. These co-workers aren’t just pay-cheque collectors, they are a family. They get on famously and help each other out when times gets rough. With each episode, I am filled with a sense of warmth and comfort, it’s comfort food. I await each episode and feel satisfied after each outing. Each of these outings consists of two or three minisodes within a full twenty-four minute slot so the pacing is kept at a reasonably fast level. Despite the lightning pace though, the show doesn’t half be clever sometimes. On the surface, the show looks very simple and soft but it can actually be quite self-aware about the moe genre and fanservice as a whole. Nothing feels biased or wrong. You expect to be thrust something offensive or striking, but it never comes and instead we get a bout of philosophical debate about the genre. For example, Sensei takes the tried and tested theory of “Schrödinger’s Cat” and swaps the feline with underwear. What’s better, to see or not to see? Sensei and the show takes a popular theory and puts an anime spin on it which is rather surprising.

One figurehead character and the potential candidate for “main character” is Sensei herself. A lot of the plot focuses around her and her ambitions of being a manga artist. However, the show doesn’t make her a prodigy; she’s adequate. Average. Meh. Nevertheless, she ploughs on even though she’s not the best in the business and her hapless friends aren’t much better and may be a hindrance rather than a blessing. I am pleased to see this as it is a facsimile for a lot of people there who have tons of ambition and dedication and may lack the skill at this time; they do it for the fun of it and take it seriously…well, they try! You will become very used to seeing Sensei cry, Shin-Ei Animations must have had tons of practice in how to draw tears after producing this anime; she’s crying all the time over deadlines, comradeship, anything! It’s not annoying, but just very different and a distinguishing feature.

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In the end, Denkigai no Honya-san is a cute anime with a lot of personality and little accuracy; but that doesn’t matter because you can’t get over the friendship on display. It’s not a hard-hitting anime, but it’s a delightful and amusing slice-of-life about a little manga store in the centre of Tokyo. Nothing more. You will find a character you’ll like with no trouble at all; I actually like nearly all of them for different reasons. The fanservice that does show itself is tempered and equally geared towards all persuasions, not just the guys. That’s rather refreshing and I’m glad I got to see that the ladies were catered for just as much. Equal opportunities FTW!

Denkigai no Honya-san is available to stream on Crunchyroll.

RATING: CONTINUE [Simple, straightforward comedy with oodles of charm.]

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(NSFW) RETRO REVIEW: The XXX Files


ADULTS ONLY. Masako delves into the world of XXX anime thanks to a ‘present’ from Benzaie back in 2011. This present being a hentai; and not a good one. The infamous movie Battle Can Can.

ADDITIONAL INFO

Name
Battle Can Can

Distributed by
Kitty Media/Media Blasters

Produced in
1987

RETRO REVIEW: KissxSis OVA (2011)


From the makers of Mahoromatic comes a horribly blatant incest anime involving two sisters going down on their half-brother. Oh boy. Mature audiences only. KissxSis is one of those series in which you know what you’re getting yourself into; the clue is in the name. Granted Keita [our main lead] isn’t blood related to Ako and Riko…but it’s still pretty dang awkward!

ADDITIONAL INFO:

Name
KissxSis

Created by
Bow Ditama

Animated by
Feel

Published
2008

 

Anifile’s Worst 5 Anime of Spring 2014


The Spring 2014 season has had it share of good anime as seen in my top five list, now let’s see what made its way onto the bottom five. This season, like the top five, was a hard one when it came to choosing a list of the five anime I liked the least. Most of the anime I saw were only mediocre or mildly annoying; of course there are some exceptions but the lower half of the list was harder for sure! Like I mentioned in my previous list, I didn’t get to see about ten anime from last season. I will therefore include a small list of the anime I wasn’t sure of when I mentioned them in my preview posts. With that acknowledged, let’s get to the list!

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#5 – Mischief of the Gods

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FULL REVIEW

I knew exactly what I was getting myself into with this one. A thinly veiled reverse harem anime which is framed like a dating sim filled with pretty boys who just so happen to be gods from different religions and time periods. Not only does it feel as flimsy as a soggy piece of paper but it is also laughably ridiculous! When you first meet the gods, flowers blossom before them and show how pretty they are and clearly states that brains are not required…for the most part. I will give kudos to the writers for doing a little research before creating these characters and retaining certain character traits from history but it doesn’t fully pardon this show from making the list. Its vapid nature is not for me. I know it’s aimed for women but that shouldn’t make a difference. Men and women alike want something with substance…you know substance that doesn’t feel like a wet dishrag.

#4 – Blade and Soul

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FULL REVIEW

An example of an unnecessary anime adaptation. Based on a Korean MMO, Blade and Soul tries to envoke the feelings of the game to a Japanese audience which came out not long after the anime started airing. It’s hard to adapt such a massive universe into a linear story; MMOs are meant to be totally non-linear and unique to the player. Instead we got a boring assassin named Alka who got on my nerves with how bland she was. I understand she may have seen some serious stuff growing up but there should still be some personality lingering around, surely! Paired with an unlikeable main cast, overly busty characters and flawed presentation – this show is not worth watching. Play the game. THAT looks cool.

#3 – Dragonar Academy

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FULL REVIEW

Oh boy, here’s when the list becomes easier to quantify. Dragonar Academy is this season’s Magical Warfare. How? IT’S UNORIGINAL AS HELL! It’s like any other magic school that we’ve seen before and doesn’t even tell THAT well. It feels so stock you could make a broth with it! Not only that but it takes the awesome might of a dragon and turns them into lumbering horse-like animals who look like they need to go on a diet. The main duo are also tired facsimilies of characters that we have long since grown tired of; the angry diminutive magical girl and the ‘hero’ guy. Yeah. I’ll stick to Record of Lodoss War or Slayers thank you very much! Remember, kids! Blandness kills.

#2 – Rowdy Sumo Wrestler Matsutarou!!

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FULL REVIEW

What could make this show end up so high on this list? A lot of things, but the biggest crime is that of being a crushing disappointment. I expected something akin to Wreck-It Ralph in that the angry hulk is a timid soul who simply wants recognition…instead we got a hulk who was mean, uncouth and lewd to everybody for the first few episodes; enough to put off even the most forgiving anime enthusiast. It made me feel so dirty after watching it. How could I find hope in such a thing? It didn’t help that Toei’s recent decline in animation quality for anything not Dragonball or Toriko or anything popular is rather distressing and made itself evident with this production. I was shocked with how such a studio could put out something so shoddy both in animation and writing. I understand that Matsutarou is set in the 1970s where things were less refined than today when it comes to gender equality and etiquette for a country bumpkin like our lead, but kindness is timeless. It feels like an anime adaptation that was twenty years too late. Pass.

#1 – Daimidaler: Prince vs Penguin Empire

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FULL REVIEW

Yes. This is the worst. I get that there are two ways you can look at Daimidaler. Firstly, you can look at it as a spoof of all mecha anime and how things can get pretty ridiculous; or there’s the feeling that it’s gone past parody and just become offensive and sickening. I fall in that category. The parody element flew past me and all I saw was something strange, sexist and mean-spirited not to mention be animated so poorly. I was flabbergasted with how poor it was. Studio TNK, the animators of the series, should be disappointed with their ‘work’. The whole notion that a woman’s place is in the cockpit serving the sexual requirements of the male pilot for the good of mankind is enough to drive me to despair. Sick.

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MISSING IN ACTION

As before, here are the shows which I didn’t think much of which I never got around to reviewing fully:

Hero Bank and Dai Shogun – Great Revolution

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Do you agree with my list? Have your own worst? Cast your vote!

KÄMPFER ABRIDGED – EPISODE 7


After a break, Episode 7 marked the second push of production for the series. This episode came out in May 2011 and was one of my favourite episodes to write for with loads of excellent performances by all my cast.

MasakoX – Natsuru, Higashida
Nowacking – Sakura
takahata101 – Harakiri Tiger, Kampfer!Akane
sakurasenpai2008 – Akane
Rina-chan – Mikoto
LittleKuriboh – Seppuku Bunny
Lanipator – Kampfer!Mikoto, Hung Hound
KaiserNeko – Kanden Kitty
whip0falchemy – Shizuku

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