Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to The Animation Review

This is review number three hundred and ten and a half. This anime is part of the Spring 2014 lineup. Some shows will share a number if they run for less than five minutes or, in this case, if it doesn’t fulfill a regular thirty minute run. The anime I’ll be reviewing is called Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to The Animation or The Comic Artist and His Assistants. It’s a twelve episode anime that runs for thirteen minutes. It’s a show about a guy and a bunch of girls and they draw manga or something. Let’s read on.

Story

This anime is about Yuuki Aito. He is an established mangaka with a work that runs on a monthly magazine. Being a mangaka is tough since he has to meet certain deadlines. The work is tougher for everyone around him though who has to put up with all his perverted ways. His editor and three assistants have to put up with his dirty mind as they try to create some manga together.

Taking the Pants Off

I’ll be closing the Spring 2014 lineup with four anime shorts. This one is actually thirteen minutes long though but it doesn’t really have all that much in terms of content. It runs like a less than five minute anime but it’s longer. These shows are pretty easy to write since they just revolve around their simple premise. It’s really just up to the audience if they’re willing to invest in them. Let me tell you. I’ve seen some ridiculous less than five minute (LTFM) anime in my personal journey. From talking shiba dogs in uniform to cheap flash animation monstrosities, it’s really just up to you if you’re willing to waste time in them. I think these shows were created to fill in time in between regular anime shows. Animax used to dump random tarepanda episodes when a series, that fills an hour, ends the series in the first thirty minutes. So, really, they are time wasters. It’s up to you if you think this show is worth your free time. For this anime, I’d say it’s worth the thirteen minutes because it’s just so gawddamn dirty. You have to love a show with its first segment about the main character asking his assistant to grope herself. “Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to” has some pretty special dirty moments in it to truly make the anime experience worth it. This show rewards viewers, who sit through all the boring dialogue, with some pretty incredible Ecchi scenes that doesn’t really border Highschool DxD territory but are still dirty as hell. I want to like this show as well for all its dirty content but I also think this anime is pretty bland. It doesn’t really offer much and really, it’s up to the audience if they think investing time in something unremarkable is worth their free time. As someone who is forced to watch it because he promised to leave no stone unturned though, I do have some mix feelings regarding the show.

This show is about this mangaka named Yuuki Aito. Each episode usually happens in his home where he is working on his manga with his assistant. The man has no inside voice though. This unpredictable pervert would do a lot of stupid things and the show’s main hook is basically about how the assistant tolerate him. Yuuki is an annoying guy that would do a lot of Ecchi things or he’ll often start dirty conversations and the assistants often have to do their best to get along with the guy. The first episode alone looks pretty promising, to be honest. Each episode is divided into three segments, as for four panel anime rule, and they all have the same format. Yuuki starts it off with a random yet dirty topic and it slowly escalates from there. The first episode opens with Yuuki suddenly blurting out that he wants to grope the assistant’s breast. This was met with a resounding “No” which then ends with the assistant groping her own breasts. It’s your pretty standard Ecchi anime, in my opinion. Yuuki’s perverted tendencies would often be met with a slap or a punch like how the first episode ends. It doesn’t really standout that much but Yuuki is really the only reason you’ll like or hate the show.

I guess the main appeal of the show is the awful fact that some people can relate to Yuuki. Some of us often think of what it would feel like to grope a girl’s chest. We often think about panties, fantasizing someone in their underwear or acting out Ecchi tropes in real life. Yuuki’s dirty ways is really something that some of us have thought of before but we just silently think it to ourselves and then just think of birds or something to avoid erection. Yeah, don’t f*cking judge. Yuuki is someone that just happily blurts out all our inside thoughts and I think that’s the big reason why I immediately liked the show. I’ve seen Ecchi shows before and this anime doesn’t really impress me that much. I just finished a Spring 2014 anime about giant robots and non-stop boob groping. The things Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to presents looks tame compared to that. It’s really just how Yuuki acts that’ll draw you in to the show. He isn’t just a random pervert though. Yuuki often has segments where he would defend his perverted ways that often makes a whole lot of sense. It’s kind of hard to explain properly without me looking like a total bra sniffer (which I’m not, it doesn’t do anything for me) but I’m sure seeing the first episode is enough. If you think Yuuki’s over the top dirtiness is tolerable then you might like this anime as well.

Another thing I like about the show is how it often escalates and it’s often in abrupt fashion. A good example would be the first episode as well. I expected the assistant to shoot down Yuuki’s request to grope her boobs but I didn’t even imagine her squeezing her own and it was awesome. There are a lot of segments that amplify the dirtiness in unexpected fashion. There’s a scene where a girl needs to pee and she’s stuck in an elevator. I bet you wouldn’t believe how far the show went as well. It’s not just the dirty stories though. Some stories are just plain stupid like Yuuki dressing up as a woman or the group coming up with a mascot character. These stories escalate randomly as well. It’s a weird payoff for sticking with the anime. It sets itself up with a boring narrative but then it’ll pull the rug underneath you and just randomly surprise you. I honestly zone out during heavy dialogue scenes but then the randomness happens and it’s often hard not to watch the show. It has its high moments and I must say they’re worth it. Both the dirty and the stupid stories have something entertaining to offer.

If the show isn’t escalating the segments then it’ll often just focus on Yuuki and his relationship with his accidental harem. As the show progresses, Yuuki gets more assistants and a tsundere editor. Some of the segments moving forward simply involve Yuuki and the slow growing relationship he has with the girls around him. Again, the segments are nothing new. They’re predictable and a bit bland since it’s a relationship that doesn’t really look all that impressive. It’s your typical story about a perverted guy and the girls that appreciate all the little things he does. Since he’s a massive pervert though, they can’t bring themselves to actually admit that they like the f*cker. These segments often starts with the girls stuck in a romantic scene with the guy but the dirtiness often sneaks itself in and makes itself comfortable. Take a look at this scene where the girl with a sickness was undressed by a panicking Yuuki who is also seizing the moment:

If not the dirtiness then it’ll be the stupidity. For these segments though, the appeal is about the girls themselves. Some segments will really only matter after you’ve grown to love, or tolerate, the girls in the show. Once you understand the dynamic of the show, you’ll soon realize how likeable the girls in the anime are. For being able to tolerate their perverted boss to reacting to all his dirty urges, the segments regarding their romantic connection comes off a bit sweet because of how well you understand the girls. They are also pretty bland characters but they do grow on you. The show does a great job of using its cliché and creating some fun with it. I certainly enjoyed the episode where the tsundere editor got into a romantic angle with Yuuki simply because I like her character at that point in the show. I know it’s not much but the show does do a great job of making all of its components look good.

Lastly, there are also some elements of life being a mangaka doing a story for a monthly magazine. This one is pretty obvious since it served as the setting of the show. There’s very little done in the whole technical aspect of the business though. There are just glimpse of what they do and how they do it. These are things that aren’t also new information. If you have a good grasp of the manga industry then the show is just giving you common sense ideas. It’s still something worth noting though. It served as a backdrop for the anime. Some conversation starts with manga related things like how it’s important to have panty shots in the story or how mascot characters are popular nowadays. Things escalate from there. There are also scenes where the assistant is asked to draw the background for a panel, ink it and even detail the drafts. Sadly, some of them are done off screen but the spirit of the manga business is still there. The show also went a bit soft towards the end when it followed the story of one of the assistants trying to get her work published. I didn’t know that you need to win an award before you get noticed but apparently, it works like that in the manga business. It sounds a bit cut throat considering the sea of works out there. This story of the poor assistant getting her work rejected also gives us a glimpse of what most mangaka experiences. They face countless rejections and they still pick themselves up then try again. Yuuki also gives this advice of never stop drawing and aim for the best which I found pretty quaint. Again, it’s a timid element of the show but it’s still a part that completes it.

The characters are all pretty decent. Sadly, they’re all stereotypes you’ve probably seen done better in other shows. The characters really just grow on you and that’s only if you let them. Yuuki is your typical perverted character but he comes off as childish and he does possess some child-like innocence. He also lacks a bit of tact which makes for some entertaining moments with the girls. I also love how he just runs on stupid energy. Completely concerned with a sick girl, he decided to change her clothes but he did it in the dirtiest way possible. Sometimes, it looks like it’s really not his fault since he thinks like a child but it makes sense that he receives whatever is coming to him afterwards. The girls are also stereotypical like our main character. I think there are three assistants and another girl that completes his accidental harem. All of them have personalities that blend well with Yuuki’s rapish tendencies. There is one girl that acts meek but also reacts rather violently towards his attitude. She often allows Yuuki to go all perverted when she’s around though and it’s eventually hinted that he looks up to the guy since he is an established mangaka. I enjoy her character a lot because I also wish I have a girl that would openly welcome all my random dirty tendencies. There’s a lot of foam in my fantasies and I hope she’s open to that.

Another girl is your typical tsundere. She speaks loud but also blushes as loud. She is also the childhood friend of our main character so she has deep history with our hero. Like all the girls, she has to put up with all his idiotic tendencies and her reactions are pretty priceless since she is a true born tsundere to the core. She would often react in the most violent though towards Yuuki. The show would often slow mo or repeat the scene when the girls punches Yuuki on the gut. It looks cute and she is cute because of her little history with Yuuki. I won’t spoil it but there are episodes completely dedicated to her and I especially like them a lot. The other girl is this small girl that demands to be recognized as a reliable adult. She insists people think of her as a great professional even though she gets upset when she can’t open an ink bottle on her own. Her character is great because she is literally a kid and one can only imagine how a kid would interact to someone like Yuuki. They have some great scenes including an unexpected elevator ride you have to watch for yourself. The last girl is your typical happy type that just piles on with whatever is happening. She has the least interaction with Yuuki even though she acts the most willing towards his random personality. It’s mostly because the rest of the cast is more of a standout than her. She has big boobs but it really ends there. You can’t beat a tsundere. This show has two of them.

Again, this show is really both good and bad. It has its high points on some segments but also understand that certain episodes are too dialogue heavy. The cliché also often works against the show. Some episode like that boring umbrella episode didn’t really mean much because the characters just talked. It was a point in the show where you’re already accustomed to the characters but it’ll really test you. Shows like these are supposed to be enjoyed in increments. I marathoned the damn thing and I suggest you don’t do the same since the dull moments really outweigh the good ones. In one episode, there’ll be two boring cliché uninspired segments and one segment that works great with its dirtiness that escalates. This mostly happens towards the later parts of the show as well when the anime somehow wanted to add more character development in the mix. It didn’t really need it since shows like these gradually just develop characters. You didn’t need to force it. After all, I still remember the characters of Aiura and f*cking Shiba Inuko-san which ran shorter than this anime. All in all though, I’d say this anime is a pretty good one. If you take in the time to invest in it then I’d say the time is well spent. It doesn’t really have any bad moments and it has some really great segments that’ll entertain. Zexcs did a good job on this anime. Considering the last show I’ve seen them do is Diabolik Lovers then anything is really a big up after that. Then again, it’s really hard to mess up an anime short so I’m still up in the air for this one. Zexcs often does a lot of experimental pieces like Aku no Hana and Zetsuen no Tempest. Some of their normal works are often forgettable despite being good. I’m guessing this show will be as well. I’m fine with that since Brain’s Base is kinda in the same boat except Brain’s Base releases more work than Zexcs. It’s all good but they should really try to be aggressive as Brain’s Base who is still finding that one anime to make people notice them. I’m late on the lineups though so they may already have. Here’s hoping Zexcs does as well.

Sight and Sound

Hiroyuki’s manga is pretty decent. His designs are good but they often lack detail. I’m mostly frustrated with how he awkwardly position faces on his drawing. It’s evident he do them last and it looks sloppy. Certain facial designs look bad and it’s typical four panel sh*t where you can tell the mangaka didn’t give it his all. The designs themselves are really decent though. He took cliché designs and made it his own. He has a lot of tall lanky characters and their body builds looks pretty clean. He is able to give us well rounded looks for the characters even making sure their attire is appropriate for the scene. Some of the girls look really stylish and the long limbs, with the nicely created outfits, make his character standout. The face ruins it though. They just look out of place. Other than that then everything else looks good. Of course, it doesn’t really standout that much. Stereotypical designs don’t really mean much. I love the stylish dresses he makes but it’s not really enough. Bolder lines and more emphasis on certain areas could really bring his characters alive. Still, I don’t really expect much from a four panel manga since majority of them are lazy works like this one. Props to Zexcs though for embracing his designs and really making them shine. Each studio has certain styles to them. Production IG usually has amazingly detailed eyes that don’t blink while A-1 Pictures make great skin color for their characters. If you watch enough then you’ll notice that Zexcs have a certain color palette they stick to. Along with tall well-built characters, you can easily spot a Zexcs anime. These traits for Zexcs works amazingly for Hiroyuki’s design. It fixed the horrid face placement and adds emphasis on his designs. You’ll notice that in the manga Ashisu have a great body but in the anime, there is a big emphasis on her legs and the imaginary absolute territory the anime loves to feature. The anime still captures some of Hiroyuki’s panels though during certain scenes and you can tell these ones have the most effort in them.

Animation is decent. It doesn’t stand out as much but it’s good enough to tell a thirteen minute anime. I usually look at the facial expression for shows like these and they’re decent for this anime. It’s inconsistent. Some scenes capture the manga’s overly detailed reactions while certain scenes share the lazy awkward face placements. As I said though, it still captured the stupidity of the scenes and the perverted nature of the segments. The visuals are really what give the great scenes of the anime some justice. It captured Yuuki’s random tendencies and the reaction the girls make. It honestly could’ve been better but it is good enough to present the essence of the manga.

mangaka4

The anime’s OP is “Junsui na Fujunbutsu” by StylipS. It’s a decent OP song. The singers’ voices nicely standout but it felt like your standard Op song. It doesn’t really feel all that special, if that makes any sense. I love the OP sequence though. It’s bright and vibrant that it nicely captures the spirit of the anime. It nicely summarizes the show and also sets you up for all the craziness in it. It can really help convince you into watching the anime and I love how it sets up the harem without spoiling all the good stuff. The anime’s ED is “Spica.” by StylipS. I like this song a bit more than the OP. It doesn’t sound like your typical idol group song which I lean more into than the one in the OP. Stylips sounds like your stereotypical girl group in my opinion though. This one stands out because of the voices blending well together and the solemn pace makes it easier to appreciate. The ED sequence features all the girls in a manga like scene unpainted and looking all cute. It features great animation though and ends with the girls walking together. It’s pretty great.

Overall Score

5/10 “It has its high moments but it’s dragged down by boring and dialogue heavy scenes.”

I, for one, love me some well executed Ecchi and the show does have some wonderful segments that’ll make you stay. It also have some really bland and boring narrative though full of talking. The show does grow on you but it takes a lot on your part to truly enjoy this show. If you enjoy some wonderful Ecchi scenes then you’ll enjoy this anime. If you like some stupid random comedy in your anime then you’ll like this one as well. As I said, it doesn’t have any bad moments but it has tons of mediocre ones on top of amazingly executed ones so it’s really up to you if the show suits you. It wouldn’t hurt to try though since I’m sure you’ll easily be drawn in after you see the first episode.

Thoughts~

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