HomeComics/MangaMANGA REVIEW | "Show-ha Shoten!" - Volume Two

MANGA REVIEW | "Show-ha Shoten!" - Volume Two

MANGA REVIEW | "Show-ha Shoten!" - Volume Two

There’s a science to comedy. It’s not just about getting on stage and telling jokes; you also got to test the air and the waters that engulf it. Depending on the audience, a great joke can sometimes fall on its face; a stupid joke, on the other hand, can potentially bring the house down. Show-ha Shoten! demonstrates this strongly in its second volume, as our manzai duo aims for the top.

Beginning where the first volume ended, Azemichi and Taiyo are prepping for the first comedy competition. Win, and they can grow to become the next big manzai duo; lose, and the dream is as dead as a Monty Python parrot. Knowing what kind of competition they have, Azemichi and Taiyo decide to change their act last-minute. The end result is a comedy bit that plays with a simple fact: if done enough times, anything can be funny.

It goes without saying that Azemichi and Taiyo’s bit, which involves feeding animals at the zoo, is a simple one. But how it’s presented is what makes it comedy gold. As Azemichi tries one too many times to feed the animals, the buildup to the punchline grows bigger and bigger. Taiyo, playing all of the animals and the zoo manager, keeps things at a regular pace, until he switches things up to make the joke run faster. Not only is it presented well thanks to Takeshi Obata’s art, but its pacing is pitch-perfect thanks to Akinari Asakura’s writing.

Of course, the end result in Show-ha Shoten! is about 50/50. Our duo gets second place, but is given the top prize after rival duo Rising decides to resign. Azemichi’s family gives them the go-ahead to continue, but the fact that they won by a technicality stings. Thankfully, the Sprechchor gives Taiyo and Azemichi solid advice that makes them want to go on further. But before they can move onto the next big competition, the two need to work more on their chemistry.

That’s where student council member Akane comes in. Now fully in their corner, she gives the two the task of helping give out pamphlets at the open house. However, until all 100 are taken, they cannot practice manzai. Her objective isn’t to fix their comedy; it’s to fix their presentation. Azemichi still has trouble speaking in public places, whereas Taiyo keeps trying to go for a laugh. It’s dealing with the parents of future students where they realize how to reach their hearts and minds, on top of help sell why their school is perfect for their kids.

Afterwards, it’s time to prepare for the next competition. With Akane acting something as their manager now, Azemichi and Taiyo focus on the proper strategy to gain the victory. But on top of Sprechchor and Rising, there are a few others aiming for the top. That’s when a figure from Taiyo’s past appears, and reveals that not everything Akemichi’s partner said has been truthful. Could it result in some snags in their comedy routine?

Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that Show-ha Shoten! has the brains and funny bone to carry a story such as this. The comedic timing is terrific, and the way these two have grown in the first two volumes has been presented in a realistic manner. Both students are very funny, but pairing two funny people doesn’t always equate to comedy gold. Volume Two of Show-ha Shoten! demonstrates how two different kinds of funny can pair up and lead to success. I very much look forward to seeing just how much these two grow as the story continues.


Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media.

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)