I love discovering new manga and there is a variety of series for all types of readers. When seeking out manga I decided to check out Volume One of Show-ha Shoten by Akinari Asakura, Takeshi Obata (artist). Here are my thoughts on this manga from Shonen Jump!
Higashikata ropes Shijima into performing in a comedy duo with him at a school show. Inspired by their guaranteed success, Higashikata asks Shijima to join him in an audacious dream—to rise to the top of Japan’s comedy scene by winning major events in both stand-up and sketch comedy!
Show-ha Shoten stood out to me when I was looking for a new title to read because it was a manga about comedy. I’ve read plenty of comedy manga in the past, but never a manga that focused on the journey of pursuing the job of a comedian. My interest was immediately piqued. Set up as a slice-of-life manga this series follows two high school students Azemichi Shijimi and Taiyo Higashikata who both have a passion for comedy. Shijimi is known already as “Everyday Shijimi” and has gained notoriety from an online radio show. Higashikata has an acting background but has more of an interest in comedy. The two have a chance meeting at their school and decide to team up as a comedy duo.
This series (from the first volume) moves at a slow pace as readers get to see Higashikata’s and Shijima’s journey of self-discovery and how they work to try to create their comedy sketches and establish themselves through performances. Both have different obstacles to overcome as well as together to improve themselves. Neither has worked in comedy as a duo so they have to learn how to read and ad-lib off each other. On top of that, Shijimi struggles to work through his stage fright. It’s a learning process the duo and readers root for them to succeed because they see the character’s genuine passion for comedy.
I appreciated how the first volume sets up the story while also giving readers some background to comedy terms and performance art for those unfamiliar with it. This series asks the questions “What does it mean to laugh?” or “What does it mean to be funny?”. An added bonus for me was that this series is illustrated by Takeshi Obata from Death Note, which is one of my favorite series.
Show-ha Shoten is a debut series with a lot of charm and characters that have deep sincerity for their passion for comedy. The comedic parts felt a little dull for me, but I’m hoping that aspect will improve in Volume Two. Check out Show-ha Shoten in stores now. This manga gets a 3 out of 5 stars rating from me.
*I received this manga from Viz Media in exchange for a fair and honest review.