By Annie Gallagher / November 8th, 2014
WARNING: The following article contains SPOILERS for Denki-Gai Episodes 4 and 5. If you don’t want to be spoiled, please stop reading. You have been warned.
I will admit, I probably have a bit of mixed feelings on episodes 4 and 5 of Denki-Gai. Neither of them were bad episodes by any means, but I just found them rather underwhelming. I do suppose that not every episode could be as funny as episodes 2 and 3 were, but there was still the hope that this series would be batting a thousand. Regardless, both episodes had their good and their bad parts and I plan to go over each one.
Episode 4 decides that it also does not want to wait for its Valentine’s Day special, so it just goes ahead and does one anyway, despite it being October when this aired. This episode had a fairly enjoyable plot about Hiotan creating a display set based on the manga she liked the most. The main conflict of the episode was that Hiotan actually did not get to read that much manga. The initial gag was that her display was initially made up of Boy’s Love manga, but she decided against it.
So the rest of the cast then tries to introduce Hiotan to how they approach new manga. They explained the idea of how with each potential series, you will never know for sure what experience it will give until you decide to read it for yourself; and the fact any series could potentially be something you love. This ended up relating to me heavily seeing as how it is often my philosophy for approaching stuff. I almost never pay attention to professional reviews of games and I have always preferred to form my own opinions. Even in cases where I end up disliking a game or anime like everyone else, I still feel as though the negative experience manages to help shape who I am in some way.
In terms of humor, there were a few amusing gags such as Sensei’s Girl Power meter and the various eroge magazine covers. However there was one gag that I felt was unnecessarily cruel and rather disturbing. There seems to be some type of running gag in this series about Fu-Girl mistaking Umio for a Zombie and bludgeoning him with a baseball bat. Ignoring the fact that it gives me traumatic flashbacks to Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro Chan, there is also the fact that it makes no sense and is overly random. Also in this specific episode, the camera cut away and showed blood splatter on the ground. This gag was unnecessary and it came across as rather disturbing.
Episode 5 was less solid overall. While Episode 4 was still enjoyable with the exception of that disturbing joke, episode 5 just seemed like it tried too hard to be absurd. Most of the jokes in the first 10 minutes of the episode were about the etiquette for drawing panty shots in manga. While this may have been something that could have worked, it was played far too straight to really be funny. Basically, the main plot was about Sensei needing to make her manga more popular by having more panty shots. This may just be me, but the thought of telling someone of the female sex “yeah your manga is good but it needs more panties” just comes across as very uncomfortable, and Sensei’s reaction seemed to mirror that.
What made things worse was that Umio seemed rather painfully out of character in this episode. He seemed like he was way too direct with being perverted. Granted, I do not blame him too much seeing as how Sensei also was out of character when she asked Umio if he wanted to see her panties. While none of the characters were particularly bad, the gags came across as really forced. The rest of the episode was enjoyable, but not particularly memorable.
Overall, despite these two episodes not being as good as the second and third ones, I would still say they were pretty good overall. I found them enjoyable to watch and they had a few funny moments. I am personally still looking forward to what else this series has to offer and am confident that it will have some good material for later episodes.
Denki-Gai is available to watch on Crunchyroll with new episodes coming out on Thursdays at 10:30AM EDT/7:30AM. Non-premium users will be able to watch episodes for free one week after it first airs.
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