anime, review

Denki gai no Honya-san (The Electric Town’s Bookstore) Anime Review

Introduction

A lot of anime fans love manga. I fell in love with manga after watching so many animes and I wanted to check out it’s original source and so I did. The first manga I completed was Kare First Love (check it out if you haven’t and you like shojo manga). Other anime fans who like manga probably started reading it in high school cause I hear some school libraries have a lot of manga (my school only has Naruto, Bleach, One Piece and Yu Yu Hakusho, manga series that I refuse to get into -.-). Others got into manga probably through a friend or someone (if you like share how you got into manga, put it down in the comments). Denki Gai is literally based on working in a dojin shop. I heard of this anime the start of this year and since then was keen on watching it.

Story

The story of Denki Gai is very simple. Just a bunch of people who all work in a dojin shop called Umanohone (Uma for short). I wish I could be more detailed about it’s story line but I don’t know howelse to explain it but I think just saying it like that alone is enough to captivate it’s audience. It’s a unique story line and doesn’t need to be explained in great detail.

As you can tell, the anime is a slice-of-life. If you’re unfamiliar with a slice-of-life anime, than the best way to explain it is a story about nothing

The thing I like about this anime is how it uses so many anime/manga references as it’s comedy. The comedy is really good, not one moment won’t make you laugh. However if I had one problem with the comedy it would be on how it can drag on for too long. I like the slice-of-life element yet it has it’s more dramatic moments that don’t go over-the-top, it’s one of those comforting drama rather then that nail-biting drama.

The anime is unique with it’s story idea but honestly what happens in the show is nothing new, we’ve seen it a million times, the only thing different compared to other slice-of-life anime is of course showing us what it’s like working in a dojin shop which was interesting to see. One thing I didn’t like was how it ended, it is one of those read the manga endings, but you know how when an anime has those endings it at least ends on a note that this is the last episode, whereas Denki-gai ended like, this is just another episode and it just feels like this is no different to any other episode.

Score: C+

Characters

The main appeal of Denki-gai like any other slice of life anime is it’s characters. First we have Hio-tan, our typical innocent, clumsy, airhead who is literally made just for fan service and moe. Then their is Sensei who an amateur mangaka, she isn’t very ladylike (the call it girl power) and she is a crybaby when it comes to making it to a deadline, I could say I relate to her the most out of everyone. We then have Umio, who has a personality that matches a harem animes male lead, he is nice, a bit plain and likes to help others, though the difference is Umio’s character is the definition of an “otaku”, he has a lot of waifus, reads a lot of manga, plays a lot of ero games etc etc. And there is Kantoku (Director), who is the father figure to his workers at Denki-gai despite probably being close to their age. He takes control of everyone and manipulates his workers, especially Hio-tan, he is really weird and honestly that makes him really amusing and he instantly became the first character that made me laugh. Then there is Fu-Girl, who is this soft-spoken and shy girl despite sometimes saying really inappropriate things and being madly obsessed with zombies. Then there is Sommelier (I spelt it right, YES!) who is extremely quiet and hardly talks, he is extremely professional when it comes to manga and knows what people like just by one look at them. He is extremely soft and this one scene with him made me cry

Oh I’m sorry I forgot one last character, Kameko, well in my defence, she has no role in this anime at all other than taking photos, if you took her out of the anime, it’ll be no different. I know the point of her character was not being the center of attention but the creators could’ve easily given her development and one episode to herself. Heck about 40% of this anime focuses on Sensei, we get it, she is a mangaka, crybaby, has low girl power and has a potential relationship with Umio. Speaking of potential relationships, this anime has a ton of them, and the problem I have with Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun is also a problem I have with Denki-gai, they give you false hope that these relationships will happen but they never do, Denki-gai honestly are bigger offenders to this issue then Nozaki-kun is. But despite this, do I like the relationships between them all? Yes, I like both the romantic ones and friendship ones too. The side characters were very likable too, I really like the Ero Hon G-Men who is a professional looking woman who likes erotic manga and yaoi and I adore her relationship and backstory with Sommelier (I still ship Sommelier and Fu-girl even more). I also really like Tsumorin, who is Kantoku’s ex who writes light novels, she was likable though there are times where she irritated me and I can’t point my finger on why.

Score: B-

Animation

The anime was done by Shin-Ei Animation, I have never heard of them so I don’t know any other animes they have done. I think they did a really good job with this anime. It is very simple and comfortable. The character designs are all cute and unique, funny cause some of the characters look like other anime characters.

Top (Left to Right): Sensei (Denki-gai), Kuroneko (Oreimo) Bottom (Left to Right): Hio-tan (Denki-gai) Menma (Anohana)

There is A LOT of fan service but one thing I liked about it is that there is a lot of man service too so it makes it equal for both genders. Either way fan/man service isn’t the most appreciative thing in an anime, most fans get put off this, I on the other hand am not bothered by this at all, if you can handle Free or HOTD then you’ll be fine.

Forgot one more look alike!

shark teeth

Left to Right: Rin (Free), Fu-girl (Denki-gai)

Score: B+

Sound

The OST though not exactly memorable, it is still pretty good. I like the silent movie thing going on with the cat story thing as well. The opening and ending song are both decent. The opening a bit slow which didn’t match the anime though as a song altogether it was alright. The ending song on the other hand had that whole moe thing going on and was really upbeat and energetic, not the best ending song but still decent.

As of this today there is no English dub and considering the fact that this anime isn’t very popular I highly doubt there will ever be one, so going to have to stick to the Japanese. The Japanese voice acting is outstanding, everyone did a good job at their roles, standouts go to Ayana Taketatsu as Fu-girl mainly because this soft-spoken voice is different to her usual deep but feminine voice.

Score (Songs): C+

Score (Voice Acting): B-

Conclusion

Overall I really enjoyed Denki-gai. It was really funny, had many likable characters, cute relationships despite the romantic ones giving you false hope. The animation is really good too. It has a unique story line and does a great job at showing us what a dojin is like. However it suffers from the issue of needing more Kameko, I don’t like how she doesn’t stand out at all, the anime also suffers from too much Sensei, despite her being my favorite in the show, she still needs less moments to herself. I also really want a season 2 this anime ended on a very unsatisfying note. Should you watch Denki-gai, yes, it is definitely an enjoyable slice-of-life anime and is unique in story line ways. I rate Denki-gai a B-. Very enjoyable anime, had a lot of fun with it.

If you like Denki-gai then I recommend

Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun (Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun)

Both animes have very amusing characters and are great comedies. They both revolve around manga somehow and show you what writing one is like. Also unfortunately as I mentioned earlier, both give you false hope with the romantic relationships though despite that their still good. Nozaki-kun is one of my many favorite animes and I honestly see no reason why you shouldn’t watch it.

Lucky Star

Both animes are slice-of-life comedies that have many otaku references. Lucky Star is one of the most popular slice-of-life animes and like Denki-gai, has so much moe appeal in it. The characters in Lucky Star are likable and the comedy is fresh and entertaining always.

I asked you guys in my Sunshine Award thingy and I know this is a week late, but would you like to see a blog talking about my experience at camp? Up to you guys.

Thanks for reading this review, did you like Denki-gai, did you hate it, love to hear your opinions in the comments, till next time guys. 

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