Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Honda-san is at war – with business, with out-of-print books, and with people who love manga! Who knew there were so many laughs to be found at the manga counter of a bookstore?! These are the day-to-day happenings that take place at a certain bookstore where the love of manga is abundant. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san is a simple premise married to simple animation.You have a bookstore clerk, Honda, who’s still adjusting to all the absurdity and day to day shenanigans associated with manga customers. The series uses low-budget animation, but has its own unique style that keeps it from feeling cheap or off-putting. In fact the visual style helps to keep this fun little premise going, even when the comedy starts to become dull. That’s Honda-san biggest problem: Like far too many anime comedies, Honda-san makes the same mistake: Taking one gag and dragging it out to the ends of the Earth.
There’s a lot of room for all kinds of absurdity when dealing with manga and the customers who come to buy it. But Honda-san chooses to focus on a singular gag for its first outing: Foreigners purchasing manga. 90% of the episode is dedicated to inserts of English said with magnificent gusto, or foreigners requesting the most sexual of manga titles. It’s all about Honda dealing with those requests. But the central gag is the shocking nature of these requests and how outside of social norms they are. So while the first skit is fairly amusing, the next then does the same bit, just with different dialogue and different requests.After the third or fourth variation things wear thin and only those who found that initial concept absolutely hilarious will still be having fun. Honda-san isn’t a bad series, but this first episode is extremely one note, and unless it learns to vary up the comedy, rather than drawing from one well at a time, it’s going to feel like a slog.
Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.