Umio is a shy kid who just started his part time job at a manga store smack dab in the middle of the city. But his lifestyle isn't as glamorous as the neon lights that illuminate the city. Umio's closest friends are his co-workers who are all unique characters, to say the least, and although they're nice people, they have their quirks. They are a tight knit group of friends, have nicknames for each other and spend their weekends inside, sheltered from the extravagant scene happening on the outside.
Welcome to Umanohone bookstore, one of the bookstores across Japan that sells manga, light novels, and doujins - even the dirty ones. The bookstore has an interesting workplace with a variety of characters that you won't feel dull encountering at. Denkigai no Honya-san is one of the few slice of life anime this season, and as the first few anime starting this season, it shouldn't be ignored nor forgotten.
The story is simple - just characters interacting together and partaking activities in and out of the bookstores. Nothing much can be detailed further. But what I can say is that the comedy is great. Certain tropes
and same jokes may have fallen but it's great that it has sustained well from episode to episode. There are plenty hilarious moments from the characters which may be memorable for a while, and these show what's true in their character. What is not expected in the anime is the romance. Halfway through it, I can spot a few relationships between the characters. While they are not very developed as the story progresses, it is sweet to see how two people in one relationship interact. Of course, you may feel tired seeing similar interactions, but like I said, it really didn't develop much.
But both comedy and romance in the anime are balanced well, and nothing had overshot to break the story and hence it becoming worse.
The anime uses a number of references from manga, light novels and anime. I wouldn't have spotted all of them since a lot of references are not very similar to the real counterpart. A few of them do give away, try your best. The fanservice doesn't really exceed to become an ecchi anime, but there are still some of it throughout. Some may say they are definitely not needed, but looking at the context, I think a bit of them is enough.
Each character in the anime is special. It might have been a typical cast of slice of life characters, but in this anime, they have a nice range of emotions and thoughts. They are likeable and funny, depending on how they act. Development-wise, not really much for a slice of life anime. But looking at how the characters feel in their relationships, I think they are trying hard to be normal, since he first steps of romance can be hard and shaky. Also, looking at Umio, as the most recent hired employee of the bookstore, he adapts well with his co-workers and that's great!
It's also great that the cast is small and it didn't introduce a ton of characters. There are a lot of anime with has a huge cast and it's really hard to keep track of all of them. But in this anime, even with a small cast, there are a lot happening in the story.
The anime's art is simple but not very dull. I like the colour palette to pull of a bright cheery feel. The scenery, both interior and exterior, look good, enough for a slice of life anime. I like the character designs as the characters look cute in them. The facial expressions are funny and adorable. Not much noticeable visual effects but overall, I think the atmosphere is fresh and sometimes lively, depending on the story.
I really don't know how the opening relates to the anime. Sang by one of the voice actresses in the anime, Taketatsu Ayana, its theme is about apples. It doesn't really match the context of the anime, although the animation of it does. Ignoring that fact, I think it's sweet and lovely. Who knows, I think it's a perfect Spice and Wolf S3 opening. The ending song, sang by four voice actresses of their counterpart working in the bookstore, is more cheery and catchy to hear. The background music doesn't really stand out a lot but they are nice and chilling to listen to. The voice acting is great as the voice actors tried their best in acting out the emotions of the characters. Most of them aren't relatively new to the voice acting industry, so there shouldn't be any screw-ups.
I read some chapters of the manga before watching the anime and I love how the anime adapts almost all of the manga used. Maybe the last episode may have been an original, and trust me, that was an awesome episode to end off the anime. Back to point, I think that the director did a good job in using most of the source material and added a few originals in.
Overall, the anime is fun to watch. It doesn't lack anything much, so it shouldn't disappoint you. If you need some laughs now, it is a good time to watch it. I don't mind a second season and I don't know if there will ever be, but for now continue reading the manga.
Since this is based solely on my opinions of the show and I'm not an expert or specialist in the area, I would call this a commentary rather than a review. Also, because it is my first time writing something like this, minor spoilers and misjudgments are expected.
I will begin by stating how I quite enjoyed Denki-Gai no Honya-san. After getting to know about the show and reading a bit about it, I sincerely did not expect much from Denki-Gai. As time went by and episodes kept airing, I began to like it more and more and ended up being a good, short one season
Story - 6
I believe that the story of Denki-Gai was quite simple. Definitely not the strong point of the show. Although that doesn't mean it was bad.
What I took from every week's episode was that the story was about the people who worked at the bookstore, how the bookstore itself worked and it gave me a bit of information about the manga industry in Japan. More specifically, about "doujinshi", a word I heard a couple of times but had no idea what it actually meant.
There were also references to other anime which were quite smart and amusing, but the one which takes the cake, in my opinion, (SPOILER ALERT) is the one in the last episode, in which the characters cosplayed other characters from different shows voiced by the same seiyu. It's a shame that I only recognised the simplest one, Kantoku as Kirito from SAO (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu).
Art/Animation - 6
To clarify things, I did not found the animation bad. It was not that good, but in hindsight, I felt that it was appropriate to the anime.
I won't say/write anything else about it, because I have very few knowledge about anime animation.
Sound - 7
I found the OP and the ED songs enjoyable and quite cheerful. Other than that there was nothing about sound that stood out for me, except for, the (SPOILER ALERT) "Boys don't hate underwear" voice.
Characters - 8
With Denki-Gai no Honya-san you don't get a lot of characters overall. What you do get are quite a few characters very relevant (Hio-tan, Umio, Sensei, Kantoku, Fu Girl, Kameko and Sommelier), two not so relevant, which still matter (G-Men and Tsumorin) and finally the rest, which I feel that are only there to make the store look legitimate and provide some extra laughs, for example, the manager.
My opinion is that the character development is acceptable. You get to know more about the characters' past and you see, in some, them changing a little bit gradually.
I would just like to add that I kept thinking that Umio was being ignored midway and at the end of the anime, but with the last episode, that "issue" was fixed. Also the seiyu for Sommelier should receive an award for best seiyu of 2014 because those lines were just class. XD
Enjoyment - 9
This is where, in my opinion, the show shined. It was so entertaining, I started laughing in the beginning and would only stop after the episode ended.
Needless to say that was always happy to know it was Thursday and I would be able to see a new episode of Denki-Gai.
All in all, for me, this show was comedic gold. No matter how I was feeling before watching an episode, I always felt much better after watching it. The anime certainly gave me a lot of smiles while it was airing.
I apologise if the review/commentary is a bit long so...
tl;dr: Great comedy and characters, short and enjoyable anime; Tomita Takahiro best seiyu 2014 AHAHA.
Having a passion is often a rewarding experience. A hobby or talent that brings one more joy than anything else. We understand this easily; for us, anime is one of our passions. Talking about a compelling story, comparing favorite characters, and listening to opening and ending music tracks are just some of the many varying attributes that anime entails. And through anime, through our passion, we are able to converse and connect with others. This scenario is seen with all groups, not just in anime. For example, the world of manga. For Denki-gai no Honya-san, manga is the
passion and the setting, but little is found beyond the panels.
Denki-gai follows the lives of the crew working at Umanohone, a local manga store. Umio, Sensei, Kantoku, Hio, Fu Girl, and Kameko deal with everyday life while attempting to juggle work and relationships.
This anime is first and foremost a comedy. The situations involved are often silly in nature, with the characters usually taking part in gag-like humor. Sticking to its "seinen" roots, the jokes are usually sexual or more adult-oriented. Despite where it all takes place, the comedic moments require the viewer to be a bit older to understand let alone appreciate the funny events for what they are.
But already two problems arise, one small and one big. Starting with the smaller, the anime attempts to incorporate romantic developments between the characters. That is, instead of focusing solely on the humor, it shifts its attention at times to romance. Not only are these elements unsatisfactory and largely unexplored, but their inclusion deters from the comedy that is at the show's core. Moving to tackle this issue, the anime tries to then use the romance as a stepping stone for the comedy. But it doesn't work because the feelings and emotions between the characters feel weak and unwarranted. In other words, it tries and fails to be a romantic-comedy.
The bigger of the two problems is located within the comedy itself: repetition. What's strange is that Denki-gai actually contains some rather unique jokes or funny dialogue during certain moments. But in-between these exist the same exact set-ups time and again. Examples include Sensei's "girl power," Fu Girl's zombie hatred, and Umio's obsession with Tsumori. Repetition isn't necessarily a bad thing; characters can have hilarious shticks that can see quite the degree of variation. Denki-gai, sadly, doesn't do this. A clever joke involving Sommelier's talent in the past or an "inspiring" speech by Kantoku is drowned out by the use of the previously mentioned, already-used jokes. In conjunction with the poorly executed romantic elements, much of the comedy that the show aims at presenting is ultimately lost.
Beyond the comedy, romance, and repetition, Denki-gai gives us at least one life lesson. Whether you are having fun with your friends, staying up late to finish some work, or pining after the one you love, at the end of the day, life is what you make of it. The events you experience are shaped by you and those around you, and they become everlasting memories. Even when tomorrow becomes "work per usual," as long as you had fun in the moment, its impression will last a lifetime.
Denki-gai offers a mixed bag when it comes to the art and the animation.
The art style feels both unique and generic at the same time. The locations are often typical (work place, someone's home, in the city), but it all feels devoid of detail. The character designs, on the other hand, hold a different vibe. Fu Girl's sharp upper teeth, Kameko's afro, and Hio's sparkling eyes are simple examples that show off how different they tend to be when compared to other shows. Also of note are their general body heights. They all (minus Sommelier) appear quite short, but they are in fact older than at first perceived.
The animation within Denki-gai errs on the side of caution. It contains some rather well done moments with a good amount of character action, typically thanks to them exploding the situations. However, during its downtime, there isn't as much extravagance to be had.
The characters of Denki-gai play their parts, generating an overall nice cast.
There really isn't a main character within the anime. If anyone gets the title, it falls on Umio. As "otaku" as they come, his initial reason for working is to be close to the subject he loves most. Helpful towards his friends and understanding of the situations they find themselves in, he more often than not experiences more trouble than the majority of the cast. He's your typical, everyday enthusiast, "one of us," if you will.
Having a strange nickname, Sensei is an aspiring "mangaka" to be. Her low girl-power, low self-esteem, and low tolerance for difficulties may make her out to be a rather annoying person to deal with. But behind these layers of low lie a much more refined young woman. She constantly seeks to better herself, be it with her drawings or in the art of love. At the same time, she is no stranger to accepting aid, giving the audience the opportunity to contemplate such actions. That is to say, everyone can always use a little help.
Hio is known for her general clumsiness and large bust. While quiet, she is prone to outbursts, especially when dealing with Kantoku. Among the whole cast, she is often the most at odds with the feelings she maintains. It's difficult for her to properly express herself because she cannot seem to comprehend the idea of the person she loves feeling the same way towards her. Complex emotions are generally hard to articulate, and she serves as a nice example.
As a gentle giant, Sommelier is the watchful guardian. Silent at all times, with eyes almost never noticeable, he seemingly has a sixth sense when it comes to people's tastes. Even from a young age, his heart has always been in the right place. For him, his motto is "actions speak louder than words."
Fu Girl has a strange name and an even stranger personality. Reserved in all things but the zombie apocalypse, she's a kind young girl looking to have the one person she holds most dear look at (and consequently, down!) at her. Part of what makes her special is how out of place she seems, even among everyone working at Umanohone. Her actions are usually either non-existent or extreme in nature, lending credit to the argument that everybody is different.
Last, and indeed perhaps least, is Kameko. Placed on the sidelines for nearly the entire season, she is quite dishonest with herself. She prefers peering at the world through a camera lens as opposed to with her own eyes, giving her the chance to capture those all-important memories. In a way, she acts as the audience member; never contributing much to the on-screen antics, and merely along for the ride.
The best part of the OP comes in the beginning. It has a more whimsical feel about it, giving it a "Christmas-y" vibe. The little bell chimes add to this effect, while the rest of the composition is mostly uninspired.
The ED is quick, and fits more in line with what the anime offers. The vocalists take turns singing, creating a fun little arrangement that, combined with the nice drum beat, makes it a catchy tune. Plus, the "pa-pa-pa" parts at the beginning and end are just as silly as the rest of the song.
The soundtrack contains mostly float-y and nonchalant pieces that fit the mood of the scenes at hand. None of them are particularly standout, however.
Voice-acting-wise, there are no notable performances to be had. Special shout-out to Takahiro Tomita for his role as Sommelier, where he has nearly zero actual lines!
As a comedy, the show is largely hit or miss. The repetitive jokes never made me laugh, but the cleverer, unique ones were certainly able to at least get a chuckle. Again, the issue is that the more witty jokes can only be found by trudging through what the rest of the anime has to offer. It's never going to make you laugh consistently the whole way through. And while comedies don't have to accomplish such a feat, the amount of laughter that this one got out of me was just too minimal.
The romance, while out of place, at least helps it slightly. Tons of blushing and attempts at getting him or her to notice were fun to see. However, since the anime isn't particularly interested in developing the romances in the first place, it unfortunately leaves many areas largely open-ended, with no clear future for any of them in sight.
As a comedy anime, this one is less than stellar. While the characters represent more than their outward appearances may show, the story and animation elements just don't reach the same level. The workplace can be quite the hilarious topic, but Denk-gai no Honya-san couldn't capture this feeling.
Story: Bad, "adult" comedy lost among misplaced romance and misused repetition
Animation: Fine, art style, character designs, and animation are each average
Characters: Good, Umio, Sensei, and the rest personify more than just their quirks
Sound: Fine, bad OP, okay ED, okay soundtrack, average VA work
Enjoyment: Bad, laughs are few and far between with unsatisfying romances
I like that every other manga or poster featured in the background settings have become anime now. Kuma Miko, Servamp, Re:ZERO, Taboo Tattoo.
The story and "plot" is pretty simple. Bunch of co-workers, friends working at a manga shop. It's nothing too special except for the fact that there are romantic tension between a majority of the characters.What bothered me is how the story introduced the romance between the girls and the guys. They kept it subtle at some-points during the story. Then there were scenes where anything could happen like kissing or... maybe sex but not really.
The second bothersome part of the story is that
nobody was paired together towards the end. I couldn't fathom what the point of adding all of those intense scenes where characters could have potentially had created a romantic relationship; if there was no intention of acting upon on it. It left a bad taste in my mouth.
As for the comedy that the story has to offer. It's actually not that bad. There are a bunch of random moments where hilarity ensues and those moments are quite effective! Besides the romance, the comedic moments where something that I had fun looking forward to seeing each episode.Overall the story was good however, I felt like if the romanctic intentions were acted upon, then the story would have been much more satisfying to sit through. Too much teasing and not enough action were my main reason of giving the story a low 5.
The art and animation was certainly unique. I think the character designs were the best thing about the show. I felt like the character designer did a great job of making characters both stand out and... cute. Background settings were pretty nice too. As I mentioned earlier there are a lot of shout-outs to other popular light novels and manga featured in the background of the work shop.
The sound department could've been better however, I don't really think it had much of an impact on the show. When I went back to re-watch this, I noticed that the soundtrack doesn't really play a part in a majority of the scenes that play out in Denki-Gai. The voice actors were great. They did a pretty amazing job with the romance scenes. I felt that they put a lot of emotion into their characters and that made them feel "real.'
The characters themselves were great to a certain extent. I felt like each of them had a good personality to them. They were likable and there interactions with each other were always fun to watch. Especially when they would do competitions with their rivals. My only problem with the characters would have to be the lack of pairing. As mentioned earlier the romantic tension between most of the characters was play a big part in why I loved the series. However, not having the characters properly confess and pair up in the end ruined my experience.
Enjoyment for the series was above average. I was able to remain engaged in the story, there were plot developments that took me by surprise, and I was happy with the comedic moments. It's sad that the only thing that killed a lot of my hype and good impression for the series was the lack of pairing the couples together.
Overall Denki-gai no Honya-san is pretty good, despite the failed relationship pairing and romance. I gave it a 7/10 because it manages to remain interesting as well as hilarious at times. When there are romantic scenes I like feeling involved in them. I would highly recommend this series for casual watching.
Disclaimer: The manga listed in this article contain dangerous quantities of sweetness. We here at MyAnimeList are concerned for our reader’s safety, and strongly recommend seeking treatment for diabetes after reading any of these titles.
Fujoshi can definitely claim to be one of the most contentious words ever. With so many uses and meanings, and all of these with different emotional interpretations, it's no wonder many are thoroughly confused. It's definitely time to put fujoshi under the microscope.