By Annie Gallagher / October 9th, 2014
One particular sub-genre of anime that has always resonated with me is the type that coincides with my own niche interests. It is not hard to see why these particular types of series have taken off with some seeing as how we all like to have something that relates to us. It also helps that even in cases where the series’ content is not particularly deep, their light hearted tone and over the top sense of humor makes them fun to watch. One of the more recent anime with a premise like this is Denki-Gai, a series about a group of people who work at a manga store and tend to share a common interest in manga themselves. So far, Denki-Gai is a series that showed some potential and has made a decent first impression.
Our first part (or first half, the series seems to follow the “two 10 minute episodes”format”) is about erotic books… no, really. The episode’s main theme boils down most people liking ero books on some level and that it is nothing to be ashamed of; a message I can certainly agree with. Admittedly, I am finding it a bit difficult to summarize the first episode seeing as how there was not much of a real conflict and was more so a sequence of events. Strangely enough though, I still felt that it worked.
The main reason why I felt this way was simply because what was shown was entertaining and amusing. While it did seem like most of the jokes were a bit typical for this type of show, it was still amusing and fun to watch. I will also admit that part of what I enjoyed about this episode was just that it did not screw anything up or do anything particularly annoying. While it may sound like something rather simple, I have ended up coming across a lot of these types of anime that end up downright annoying. Typically, it may be due to annoying characters or overly clichéd jokes, but Denki-Gai seems to avoid these things. I am not saying it is amazing, but this episode was fun to watch.
The second part was a bit more structured and easy to follow than the first. This part was about Umio (the main character) discovering that Sensei (the black haired girl with the glasses) is actually a manga author who wrote one of his favorite series. After Sensei states that she is behind on her work and needs to finish that night, Umio and Hiotan (the blonde girl) agree to help her. Once they reach Sensei’s house, she puts on a hair clip that make her look like Ayase from Oreimo (as opposed to her typically looking like Kuroneko) and they begin working.
You see some nice character building moments such as Sensei’s transition from a calm state to childish whining when she stays up too long, and Hiotan’s “motherly aura.” It was also pretty sweet to see everyone help each other out when other people would have just given up. Again, this is not something that is necessarily new in anime, but it was definitely well executed. If I had one complaint though, it was that the ending was unnecessary and not particularly funny. It was not terribly bad but it is just a pattern I hope this series does not follow.
Denki-Gai has made a pretty good first impression. Its characters are likable and its humor has been pretty amusing. Granted, that is not to say that it does not have any flaws. Particularly, the first part seemed a bit inconsistent and hard to follow, and the second part’s ending was a bit awkward. While they did not cause any major problems in this episode, I am hoping they do not start to escalate in later episodes. The reason I am concerned is that I saw some series that were amusing at first but got incredibly annoying due to flaws becoming much more apparent. So far, it seems that Denki-Gai, while not particularly great, is still an entertaining show and I am hopeful that it stays that way.
Denki-Gai is available to watch on Crunchyroll with new episodes coming out on Thursdays at 10:30AM EDT/7:30AM PDT. Non-premium users will be able to watch episodes for free one week after it first airs.
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