Director, Hu-Girl, Hiotan, Sommelier, Sensei-san, the male protagonist, and Kameko
Denki-Gai no Honya-san is dizzyingly packed slice-of-life comedy that could be mistaken for the offspring of last season’s GSN dash K and Sabagebu! It features 7 quirky teenagers, working in a busy manga shop, while juggling other manga-related pastimes on the side.
There’s a romance angle or two, too, if not a potential love triangle already brewing. So let’s jump right in!
Comic Umanohone is a busy place and DGnHs lets us know that means one thing above all else: employees gotta shrink-wrap a ton of product! There’s also a lot of taping shut ‘must not be read in the store’ product but only when government censors stop by for secret inspections!
There’s so much shrink wrapping that DGnHs spends almost no time in the front of the shop. This was actually an interesting decision because it gives us a lot more time with the characters getting to interact with each other than being distracted by their interactions with customers. More interesting, because they surrounded by product, we immediately see their relationships to the industry…
Sure, this means some throw away “what’s BL mean” and “is he a hentai” style jokes but DGnHs delivers its lines without feeling too stale or predictable. Having Hiotan discover the Director staring in an indie BL ONA was a nice touch too.
Hu-chan is… a character in this show with… uh… weirdly specific looking teeth?
While DGnHs presents 7 cast members, most of them appear disposable or just there to pad the mid season with origin stories and such. Since the protagonist, Hiotan and Sensei-chan start working together (outside of the shop) in this first episode, they’re the natural focus of the show.
The Director exists to generate shop-focused narrative and fill the archetypical ‘light heartedly mean teasing’ guy role. He also films everyone (being a directory of BL and all) so I suppose that’ll wind up a plot thread now and again…
The Sommelier knows the perfect manga fit for anyone and, because he doesn’t talk, Komeko is there to hand over his suggestion. Beyond throw away gags (and maybe cosplay?) they don’t appear to have any real purpose in the show.
And let’s not dwell on Hu-chan, who’s whole purpose appears to be the character with no purpose at all… blargh.
Remember I mentioned DCnHs has some similarities to GSN dash K? Well, literally, the protagonist announces “I love this artist’s work” and is told that “that guy” is, in fact, Sensei-chan. Then Sensei-chan see’s that the protagonist can draw and gets him to help finish her current manga for a tight deadline.
And Hiotan does her betas.
Yeah! I’m not touching that!
Cute scene about staying up late, though the protagonist is kinda a classic japanese male chauvinist in my eyes…
Like Sabagebu last season, I’m not immediately sure if I want to watch DCnHs. When I describe it as packed, I mean visually and contextually: it flings train line jokes, tons of manga covers in the background and little details that I’ve only noticed because I’m pausing to take screen captures (Sommelier’s on stage body guards were just card board cut outs, for example).
Honestly, It’s kinda overwhelming.
Dialog is quick, characters are simple and.. kinda half-chibi/deformed style and half generic. It isn’t hard to look at or listen to but it isn’t special either.
At the end of the day, my only real concern is that DCnHs is tame and not starting off with an especially original idea. Worse, unlike GSN dash K, DCnHs’ cast is generic and we haven’t seen any twists on genre.
Still… I laughed quite a lot! I’m not sure if I was laughing with the show or at it though. For now, I guess I’ll keep watching.
If you caught Denki-Gai no Honya-san this week and noticed something I didn’t (like a reason for Hu-girl to exist??) let me know down in the comments below!