A new season with some old faces, or at least names, Lucky☆Star creator Yoshimizu Kagami is back and behind another cute slice-of-life series centering around a group of four girls with Maesetsu! This time it’s really about comedy, as in actual comedians, but has this series succeeded in bringing the laughs so far? Join us as we discuss Maesetsu!’s opening act, as it were, and share our first impressions of the series based on the first two episodes!
All About Japanese Comedy
Although this doesn’t always apply to comedy manga and anime, the unique points of Japanese comedy and its differences from the traditions of, say, British or American comedy, makes some of the jokes in Maesetsu! harder to enjoy for a non-Japanese audience. This is to be expected, given that it’s a show specifically about real Japanese stand up but is worth mentioning nonetheless as it helps contextualize the use of puns, group format, etc.
That being said, Maesetsu! has had some decent bits that don’t get lost in translation already like R凸’s bank-robbing skit at the restaurant opening show that landed just fine. Considering that they’re supposed to be amateurs in the first place, perhaps they’ll show progression over time as well so we can only hope things are on the rise. There’s also potential to be just a bit educational in showcasing Japanese Manzai comedy like Joshiraku did for Rakugo.
Is this Lucky Star 2?
As a series by the same original creator of Lucky Star, Maesetsu definitely elicits comparisons to that classic, ostensibly about nothing, series that goes beyond the moe-as-heck character designs, which are quite nice for the record. There’s a similar focus on a kind of idealised mundanity in the slice-of-life conversation segments that feels very remescient—if not directly referencing—Lucky Star, for better or for worse, given your preferences. Maesetsu! is definitely more structured though, as we already have a clear main plotline of the girls trying to win the comedy competition and even, dare we say, antagonists of sorts in JK Cool.
Perhaps fittingly, Maesetsu! has also arguably gotten off to a bit of a rough start if the general discourse online is to be believed, very much like the early episodes of Lucky Star. It’s hard to say if that means it’s still destined for greatness or not, and is probably not intentional, but, considering its spiritual predecessor, we could see history repeating itself as some sort of divine law of moe when it comes to Yoshimizu creations.
Quirks & Sentiments
Another thing that sticks out with Maesetsu! is how darn cute it can be. Not only do we have the previously-mentioned adorable character designs—that, somehow, are supposed to represent 19-year-olds, we might add—but there’s already a sense of sentimentality between the girls who have known each other for years. This really came across with Rin and Nayuta’s flashbacks of them forming R凸 and, to a lesser extent, their relationship with some of their older comedian friends and restaurant owner. Having the show open with an air band routine was interesting too and showcased a bit of randomness we’d like to see more of! The voice acting has also been great so far!
All-in-all, Maesetsu! is a series with potential that might, unfortunately, be a bit too Japanese for its own good with its focus on manzai comedy that is largely unfamiliar to non-Japanese audiences. There’s still much more ahead to discover so we’d say it’s worth sticking around to see more of, particularly for Lucky Star fans, but we wouldn’t be too surprised if it’s a series a bit lost in translation for many. It also seems to be more of a slice-of-life anime about comedy than a full comedy itself so those expecting constant over-the-top zaniness should temper their expectations and enjoy Maesetsu! for what it is. We’re excited to see what’s next for moe manzai after this opening act!
Interested in manzai comedy? Let us know what you’ve liked about Maesetsu! so far in the comments section below and be sure to stick around Honey’s Anime for more coverage of the latest series and all things otaku! Until next time, see ya~!