Honda is a skeleton, but more importantly, he is a bookseller. And he'll tell you from firsthand experience that the job of a bookstore employee is more challenging than it may seem to the average customer.
Alongside his equally eccentric coworkers, Honda constantly deals with the stressful requirements of the bookselling industry. From the drama of receiving new titles without their bonus material to the struggle of providing quality service to customers who speak a different language, the work of a skeleton bookseller never ends.
Nevertheless, despite the hardships he faces, Honda thoroughly enjoys his job and strives to bring the best book selections and service to his customers.
"No sorry we don't have that it's...uh...SPECIAL YAOI BOOK!" - Honda-san
I'm gonna give this an outstanding score just because. Can I (or we) call this the SOTY (Short of the Year) for 2018? Because this short-form 10 minute series, as simple as its premise goes, drives home perfectly about more than just being a fun and educational series. Heck, anime like this really are once-in-a-blue-moon novelty! And...this is brought to you by director (not Shouto) Todoroki Owl (his very first directorial work). (Aw, Shouto almost had his own anime...)
Originally a Pixiv web comic, Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san is an accurate depiction of Japan's culture of bookstore
staff handling day-to-day bookstore work measures. For the sake of adaptation, the writer himself Honda-san phased himself as a (not so Ainz-sama like) skeleton which is voiced by the ever popular Soma Saito, and honestly, he fits the role of the skeletonized human Honda-san very well. So now, imagine with me on this. If you decide to journey to Japan one day, enter into a random bookstore to see how and the behind-the-scenes look alike, and of course, after watching this series, more often than not, I'd bet that you will have a more appreciative sense of both the bookstore as well as the staff themselves, which is the selling point of the series.
Not to mention, while MC (Momonga) Honda-san constantly wrestles with his own thoughts and opinions against the people in the bookstore, ranging from young to old people with perfectly normal to obscenely random choices of purchase (e.g. erotic, BL etc.) , he does not just go alone. Together with his other staff like Okitsune, Kamibukuro, Gas Mask, Section Chiefs Pestmask and Armour whom deals different sections and catalogues of books of which are handled by the ever-so-flctuating involvement of media companies like Shueisha and even Kadokawa themselves (since Kadokawa censors out popular and obscure titles for research, and is always laughing puns), and even these companies themselves, negotiating for usual stuff like shipping, packaging and receiving stock. Even more so, being a SoL comedic series, I find myself sympathizing with Honda-san and his colleagues for the insane random situations they face, and of course, the laughs, there is always the endless randomizing customer-staff expressional bickering that is worth many damn chockful of laughs. So if you want to upgrade your list of anime memes and endless references, this is the go-to source.
Being a primarily kids-centric studio, DLE's simple art aesthetics are really just for show, and do deliver on the depictions of how Honda-san's actions and expressions are laid out, and that is transferred onto Azarashi-san, which is Honda-san's writer for this series. And for what it is, it showcases greatly and fondly.
But to me, the music is what drives my love for this show sky-high.
"Do you know us? We are natural born “Best Book-Beller”!
Yes! We want to look for your want, that’s precious for you!
Technoboys Pulcraft Green-Fund, which did the OST composition, which features Honda-san for the fun, creepy yet bombastic head-banging OP and indie artist Hiroshi Takano for the calm and happy ED. If you haven't heard the full OST, I'd recommend you to take a good listen coz it'll serve you good that this is music of substance that's worth an endless repeat.
What a handsome old man!" - Honda-san
If there's any takeaway of substance, I would recommend this short wholeheartedly. I mean, come on, take at least 2 hours off your time to binge-watch this series (which is definitely the way to go), and you'd have a very hard time putting this one down. I almost regretted leaving this series to dust before its end, and I'm very glad and happy to pick this underrated gem up again that is fun, educational, hilarious, and a blast to watch.
I'm gonna miss this short with my whole heart, so memorable!
'Skull-face bookseller Honda-san' is without a doubt one of the best short shows of 2018, and perhaps even the best comedy I've ever watched. Seriously.
It revolves around our main character, a skeleton called Honda, as we watch him work through his job as a bookstore employee; within the bookstore, we meet his fellow co-workers, who each have very expressive personalities, and the daily shoppers who visit the store. This whole entire show is comedy gold - especially if you get the references - filled with BL jokes and western tourists along with the relatable struggles at work that Honda and his co-workers go through that
just make you laugh; this all makes for an absolute one of a kind experience. It's astonishing how they humanised these characters with the expressive voice acting and dialogue despite the fact that all the bookstore employee's don't even have faces; in Honda-san's short run time of 2 hours, I've come to love these characters and care for them. The art style is minimalistic, there's not a lot of animation most of the time but it doesn't really matter at all (in fact the lack of animation and minimalistic style is perfect for this show) - it's the story and characters that really keep you watching.
This show puts you at ease: I'll never forget the amazing cast and how the episode's used to just fade into the ending song, and me just sitting there in awe after each episode. If you ever have time to spare, I seriously recommend you to binge-watch this show, sit back and just have an absolute blast watching it.
Selling manga that customer wants , without being overwhelmed by the strange turns, that is the task of a Comic Bookstore. - Honda 2018
This anime series is a Hidden gem in the fall season. A short 15 minute per episode series but packed with a lot of comedy plus actual daily life of a book store employee problems and antics mixed.
The series is basically depicted on the daily work life of a skeleton guy ,yea he is literally a skeleton wearing normal clothes and not only that there are other weird looking characters/employees example, a mummy girl a pumpkin head etc. which will
make it quite weird for the viewers at the start but as the anime progresses you just not only to get used to it actually start to delve and enjoy how the anime is presented with its comical antics and humor.
Not only you get to enjoy the comedy aspect but also learn a lot of stuff about how a book store is operated on a daily basis, the hectic life of employees and also how they have to survive the pressure of handling both the customers and the sales representatives while keeping tabs on inventory and sales of manga, comics, novels etc. Also how the relationship of the bookstore employees with other customers, publishing companies, distributors and managers, basically the entire world of anime,manga industry and how the connection between them works is well presented in a really humorous but in a hidden beautiful manner.
Also there are so many known Anime references,which are thrown into the mix which you will recognize, enjoy and the comedy included with learning how the relation of a bookstore and book company/ the industry works from promotion, to delivery and sales. This show has it all.
Honda's Seiyuu/VA Saito Souma did a amazing job, where he actually brings the character and personality making him really enjoyable and entertaining to watch.
Animation i wouldn't say is top notch but really well done because mostly i think most of the characters and background is made to make it more stereotype and to present the characters in a bit weird manner, but honestly it really doesn't matter because the show will captivate you with its plot and humor , bit of real life emotions and lessons and finally not to forget Honda's antics with other employees and customers.
A really Highly Recommended Watch for sure. Enjoy. :)
Have you ever wondered the life of a bookstore owner?...
Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san is an anime short about a skeleton bookseller by the name of Honda-san voiced by Souma Saitou and his misadventures of daily life as a bookstore owner.
Now this kind of premise at first looks mundane but this being an anime adaptation of a web manga written and drawn by the author's own caricature who was a bookseller in Japan named...Honda, it gives us an insight to the life, trials and tribulations of a bookseller for comedic effect with his co-workers. From keeping book shelves tidy and organized to talking to foreign customers, otaku
culture and how it affects sales and popularity of books themselves and how booksellers work with exporting and importing goods.
Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san's cast is fairly decent with our titular Honda-san having most of the focus but we also get to see his co-workers who like Honda are also caricatures of the real life Honda's co-workers but given stuff put on their heads to disclosure for obvious reasons. Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san's interactions and their own hang ups and comforts of working in a book shop also plays a hand in the anime short and is probably used for the best comedic effect especially with the character reactions as a result. LA's favourite character would have to be Okitsune voiced by Shizuka Ito and Houtai voiced by Eri Kitamura because of their personalities and their comedy bouncing well off Honda, especially from Okitsune as how much of a clashing of personalities Honda and Okitsune have yet works well anyways.
Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san's other interesting thing about it is well actually two things, one is the Engrish used and how it's used with it;s comedy but not in a way that it doesn't disrespects the foreign customers but to have fun with the situation Honda-san goes through (being in charge of foreign comics and all) and the situations Honda has with them are pretty funny especially with his reactions and how he handles each of those situations but the other interesting thing about Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san is how many references Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san does have and because they have the entire "change the name of that popular franchise name" or censor popular well known characters from both anime and Western media, it's nice when LA gets the reference and how that reference impacts the book shop as a result of it.
Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san's animation done by DLE was ok, this being an anime short and all but the animation is intentionally stiff with the characters actions at times but this being mostly a talking anime but nonetheless as stiff as the animation is it has this paper puppet-ting effect to it that gives it it's own charm as minimal of animation it gives itself of, though Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san dabbles in the over the top reactions from the characters faces as stiff as it was and the reactions are priceless but nonetheless the character designs are simplistic yet strikingly bizarre and the backgrounding is minimal but expected. DLE's animation is sparse but fair in this regard.
Voice work, well there is a decent large cast but again LA will bring up Shizuka Ito and Eri Kitamura again but also Souma Saitou as Honda was pretty well done giving him some inflection and giving Honda some great reaction as much of a character with skull for a head he has, still works!. Nonetheless from Yoko Hiakasa, Akemi Okamura, Ayumu Murase and Yuuko Sanpei, the voice cast was great and made the character reactions all the more better.
Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san was probably LA's favorite anime short for Fall 2018, for such a simple premise of the daily life of owning and managing a bookstore, it shown off all the intrinsic, trials and tribulations and heck STRESS it takes to own and manage one all the while making it comedic all throughout it's run time. Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san is a great anime short and LA will give it LA's mark of approval to watch it, mundane yes, but watchable and funny?, HELL YES.