Show-ha Shoten! Vol. 1 [Manga] Review - A Hilarious and Informative Manga From The Creator Of Death Note

A Hilarious and Informative Manga From The Creator Of Death Note
  • Mangaka : Asakura, Akinari (Writer); Obata, Takeshi (Artist)
  • Publisher : Viz Media
  • Genre : Comedy, Drama, Slice of Life, Shounen
  • Published : Feb 2023 - Present

Crafting a hit manga is incredibly hard. However, there are several mangaka that seem to have cracked the code somehow, because they always manage to churn out one hit after the other, leaving their peers, new and old, in the dust. One of those mangaka is an artist by the name of Takeshi Obata.

The man has been responsible for the art of some of the most popular manga in history, such as Hikaru no Go, Death Note, Bakuman, and many others. After his latest manga, Platinum End, has ended, this iconic artist is now back with another writing partner, crafting a new manga together. The manga is called Show-Ha Shoten!, and it’s time to see whether it can live up to its amazing predecessors through this brief review.

Contains Spoilers

Discussion Time

Manzai is a form of traditional Japanese comedy where two people perform their comedy act, one as the straight man (tsukkomi) and the other as the funny man (boke), by trading jokes with each other on stage, sort of like a two-man stand-up comedy.

The story of Show-ha Shoten is about two high school boys, Azemichi Shijima and Taiyo Higashikata, who want to be the best Manzai comedians in Japan. Azemichi can write incredibly funny jokes, but he doesn’t have the courage and confidence to perform in front of other people. On the other hand, Taiyo is a former genius child actor who can command any stage, but he’s terrible at writing jokes.

So the two of them decide to work together, with the goal of winning the most prestigious Manzai competitions in the country. Before they walk toward that grand path, however, there is one crucial obstacle that they have to overcome first - convincing Azemichi’s parents to support his decision to pursue comedy. And the only way to do that is to make Azemichi’s father, mother, and sister laugh with their skits.

Why You Should Read Show-ha Shoten!

1. An Insight Into A Foreign World

Similar to Obata’s previous works, Show-ha Shoten! also gives the readers an insight into a world that is foreign to us. In Hikaru no Go, it’s all about the ancient game of Go, while in Bakuman, we get to know more about the process of creating and publishing manga. This time around, it’s about Japanese Manzai comedy.

This form of comedy is practically unknown to people who live outside of Japan, so getting to know some of the insider information about it, such as the Manzai competitions or the structure of the jokes, is incredibly fascinating. Add to that the fact that the story itself is actually interesting to read, and we’ve got one of the most entertaining new series of the year on our hands.

2. Comedy Within Comedy

There are a lot of funny manga out there, but there is one thing that makes Show-ha Shoten! different from them all. It’s the fact that this manga is actually a comedy within a comedy. After all, the story is about people who write and perform comedy. This means that not only do we get a chuckle from the hilarious comments and interactions between Azemichi and Taiyo, but we also get a giggle through reading the comedies that they write and perform.

Granted, since Manzai is a unique flavor of comedy that is most likely foreign to lots of people from other parts of the world, some of the jokes written and references mentioned in this manga may not land as well as intended.

That being said, the main characters perform a wide variety of jokes in this manga, such as silly banter between two friends or even a joke about Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, which is way funnier than it should be. So as long as you’re not completely cut off from the world, there will be something in this manga that will make you laugh.

Why You Should Skip Show-ha Shoten!

1. Rather Formulaic and Predictable

The story of Show-ha Shoten! is structured just like its jokes; there’s a set up, and then we get the punch line. The story is divided into several different parts, and at the beginning of every part, Azemichi and Taiyo will struggle to craft the jokes, interact with several supporting characters, learn some new things, or even get a good idea for the jokes. That’s the set up.

After that, then comes the big performance where the duo perform their completed comedy routine in front of other people. That’s the punch line. You’ll notice this structure way before you finish reading the first volume. And that’s why the story can be rather formulaic and predictable.

Final Thoughts

Show-ha Shoten! is the newest manga from one of the most iconic and influential artists in the world of manga, Takeshi Obata. This time around, his work revolves around Manzai comedy, and it is hilariously good. The story may be rather predictable, but that doesn’t change the fact that Show-ha Shoten! is such an entertaining comedy that manages to give us some valuable insights into a world that is foreign to us. So if that sounds like your cup of tea, be sure to check out the first volume of Show-ha Shoten!

Have you read Show-ha Shoten? If you have, what do you think about it? Let us know in the comment section below.

Show-ha-Shoten-manga-wallpaper-2-700x366 Show-ha Shoten! Vol. 1 [Manga] Review - A Hilarious and Informative Manga From The Creator Of Death Note


Author: Harry

Harry is a manga addict first and freelance writer second. While he hasn’t read every manga under the sun, he has read an unhealthy amount of Shounen and Seinen manga. When he’s not writing in Honey’s Anime, you can find him in his personal blog:

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