Sentai Filmworks had another sale last month with a lot of clearance items for as little as $2 so I splurged and bought a lot of the cheaper titles. They currently have a Monster Sale going on with some of the same items for the same price as before. If anyone’s interested in a series I reviewed previously, they have the Blu-ray for Kill Me Baby on sale for $7.
For this review, it's a case where one of the low-cost series I bought for $4 called "The Comic Artist & His Assistants" sounded promising but wasn't. The description reminded me of another short series called "Animation Runner Kuromi", a parody of animation production. "Comic Artist" started as a 4-panel manga comic about an artist who draws a 4-panel manga comic. It became an anime afterward.
In the anime, Yuji Aito draws a 4-panel manga comic called “Shy Café”. All we really know about it is it features a lot of panty shots because that’s what he’s interested in. There’s some sort of explanation along the lines of draw what you know or your drawings reveal your soul as or something like that, and there’s a discussion about the type of underwear someone wears is an indicator of their personality like a zodiac sign is.
But despite being really interested in panties and buying them and adult magazines for “research” and “reference materials” for his comic, he doesn’t know much about the people who would typically wear panties. That is, women. When he gets stuck trying to figure out how to draw a breast being groped, he convinces his assistant Ashishu to grope her own breast. She reluctantly does and he, of course, goes bonkers over it.
This is kind of a harem comedy instead of a fantasy because there’s no chance sex would ever take place. Ashishu and the three other women who help him make “Shy Café” put up with his antics, his awkward and convoluted attempts at creating any kind of romantic situation and him not wanting to admit he’s lecherous and a pervert because he actually does have talent as an artist. It’s immediate apparent when they look at his drawings, and later on, he offers good advice about comic production and technique.
I want to give more of a description of what happens in the series, but I can't. There really isn't much beyond that. He is so shallow he swings back and forth between "you don't like me and you're going to abandon me" to "you like me again and here's my obligatory comment that shows I'm still a pervert" in an instant.
He spends long hours playing dating sims to the detriment of the production of his comic but he’ll rush to meet a deadline and drink a half dozen or more F-Cup brand energy drinks to help him stay awake all night so he can finish. He’ll do this weird wiggle with his shoulders and hips, with his hands clasped in front of his crotch like he’s trying to say, “Look at me, I’m cute and embarrassed so feel sorry for me.” Which they do and he’s back to extremely happy a second later.
The moment it’s suggested that if he doesn’t shape up, the woman who is his managing editor might get replaced by a man throws him into a panic at the mere thought of losing her and spurs him into another night of energy drinks and going into overdrive to produce enough that they’ll have no reason to reassign her. One time when she walked into his apartment to check on him, he went on and on about his own mortality and how his comic would eventually come to an end and life will eventually end, and she’s just standing there, annoyed and bewildered at what could possibly have set him off this time.
What was it? Her bosom increased by two millimeters. Two millimeters. Not even a tenth of an inch. Let’s ignore the fact he detected the change through her clothing from over fifteen feet away when she didn’t even know it had happened. Her changing in even the slightest way was enough to throw his world into chaos. He wanted her to physically remain the same forever. Even Sheldon Cooper learned to deal with some change and grew as a person.
This guy never will. All of his attempts to understand other people are limited to using their physical form as reference for his drawings and not to understand them as a person. That’s what made the series so disappointing for me. I really wanted there to be more to it. I kept watching because I wanted to give it a chance to improve. It just never did. Not even the song in the final episode about the virtues of panties offered any glimpse he would ever improve.
Each episode of the series is about 11 minutes long and usually consists of three segments that may be a direct continuation of the previous segment or are unrelated. The home video release also includes six OVAs that are about five minutes long. It's only available with subtitles, so unless you understand Japanese, you can't play it in the background and just listen to it.
Do yourself a favor and skip this one. Even at $4, it’s not worth it.