Every quarter we are running a Manga Review Contest where you can submit a review from a selected list of manga. If you want to participate or learn more, click the link. Continue on to see what a fellow customer thought about the comedy manga Show-ha Shoten!.
This review is written by Elizabeth
After failing to impress his crush with his jokes, shy Azemichi vows to improve his humor game. He writes material in secret, submitting it to a radio show under the name Everyday Shijimi. He teams up with popular classmate Taiyo, a former child actor with broken comic dreams of his own. They vow to become the most beloved comedy team in Japan, but must win the hearts of skeptical parents, indifferent schoolmates, and talented competitors in their way. So begins Show-ha Shoten!, the new series written by Akinari Asakura and drawn by Death Note artist Takeshi Obata.
In his afterword to volume one, Asakura talks about his own short-lived-middle-school comedy duo. It's hard to tell whether or not they were a hit from the anecdote, and he claims he can't remember any of the jokes. For his part, Obata is fascinated by laughter itself, and how different individual responses to comedy can be. With such offbeat, cerebral perspectives driving the work, perhaps it makes sense that actual routines are kept to a minimum in the story. (I admit to wondering how jokes would work in the first place, given that stage and page rhythms are so different and translation is notoriously complex.) Azemichi and Taiyo's strategy is to tailor jokes specifically to each audience, so we get insight into other characters as well as the leads. As a comedy fan, I wished more jokes landed for me personally, but as someone drawn to the joke-writing process, I appreciated the detail.
Show-ha Shoten! has much more in common with Tsubasa Yamaguchi's art-school series Blue Period than any comic manga I've read, and not just because Yamaguchi's Yatora resembles a curly-haired Taiyo. Both series involve young people not only discovering their life's passion but what they need to do to make it a reality. The margin between failure and success is razor-thin for these heroes, which makes every friendship and artistic rivalry feel intense along the way. You may not see much art or read many jokes in either series, but their insight into the creative mindset is mesmerizingly honest. While I'm still hoping for some giggles in the next volume, I'm rooting for this dynamic duo!
Check back every month for our manga review contest page as we will be adding new manga to the list! Don't forget to submit your reviews for a chance to win a $75 gift card like Elizabeth did!
Show-ha Shoten! Manga Volume 1
Shy Azemichi Shijima has secretly been studying the art of comedy. His outgoing classmate Taiyo Higashikata has big dreams of being funny but no follow-through. When the two team up, they just might take the comedy world by storm! Higashikata ropes Shijima into performing in a comedy duo with him at a school show. Inspired by their guaranteed success, Higashikata asks Shijima to join him in an audacious dream - to rise to the top of Japan's comedy scene by winning major events in both stand-up and sketch comedy!Add to CartLearn More