It’s not easy being this mangaka’s assistant.
What They Say:
A hilarious slice of life comedy that leisurely depicts the day-to-day life of manga artist Aito Yuuki and his assistant, Ashisu Sahoto!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the four panel manga by Hiroyuki, who created the Doujin Work manga that previously saw adaptation, the adaptation of Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to has a lot of material to work with. The original manga series ran for ten volumes over the years and a sequel series kicked off in 2013. The anime adaptation is being produced by studio ZEXCS with Takeshi Furuta directing with Aki Itami and Titomi Tsuruta providing the character designs. With a good bit of material and some solid credits behind the animation, and an interesting run time clocking in at 13 minutes an episode, my curiosity was certainly piqued since I’m typically interested in shows revolving around manga and comic creators like this.
The series revolves around a manga creator named Aito who works alongside his assistant, an attractive but not a knockout designed character named Ashisu. Like any working relationship in close quarters between members of the opposite sex, there can be some sexual tension, though it can be pretty one sided as well. Or there can be some real sexual harassment issues as well, though it’s par for the course when you have a creator like Aito who comes up with some very intense fanservice and cheesecake oriented pieces for his character designs. With the opening episode here, he’s focused on figuring out how to draw the perfect breasts for his characters, but you can pretty much tell that he’s likely never seen them for real and in person. So naturally, he wants his assistant to let him grope her a bit so he can get it right. In a lot of ways, you can see Aito being pretty much focused on the actual technical side of this, not thinking of it in a sexual way, which naturally leads to a few complicated moments between the two that admittedly made me laugh a bit uncomfortably.
Aito’s problems with this are just part of his problems overall as when his editor sits down to talk about the things that don’t work in the script, it largely comes down again to the idea that he has no clue what a real relationship is like and that the girls in his manga wouldn’t do what he says they should do. But when you reflect on the majority of relationship manga and anime out there, they’re almost all guilty of this in some way so you have to wonder if this show is being more critical of the genres it resides in than one might think it is. But that may just be hoping for too much for it. For the most part, the show in this opening episode largely focuses on the way that Aito has to try and figure out some of the reality of women, with Ashisu being his only true connection to said women, and going beyond the bounds of civility in order to do it. But he also smartly does things that any artist would do, albeit to an extreme. Such is the case when he gets chewed out over the whole panty-showing aspect of his manga and the lack of reality to it. So he goes and buys hundreds of dollars worth of panties from a really nice boutique in order to have reference materials. But that just sort of sets off his editor more than anything else. Which in turn has her chewing him out again as a pervert, but like the groping instance, it’s something that he doesn’t view as perverted but rather just for the pursuit of art.
While not the strongest opening episode and one that’s a bit overactive and hyper at times because of how Aito and his editor interact, I’ll admit that the show made me laugh more than I thought it would. With its slightly shorter run time, there’s less fluff here and more focus on Aito and his pursuit of making great manga and doing what’s needed to achieve that. And in this episode, that involves groping his assistant – after asking her permission to do so – and buying a cartload of panties so that he can draw them in great detail and accuracy. It’s full of awkward fanservice and plain silliness with lots of slapping going on here. But with Aito, I’m curious to see how much of his naive nature here really is just that, since there are more than a few artistic types that I’ve known over the years that can fit a few shades of his character into their own. With some appealing animation, lots of great detail and silly fanservice, I’m likely to enjoy this more than I should.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.