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

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

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

Sometimes tragedy can result in comedy. In many stand-up routines, a comic will tell of a scary and harrowing time of theirs, and warp it into a way that makes it funny. But in some cases, the dark side of life is left offstage, with a comic hiding their sad past and instead building a wall of laughter to keep that part from escaping out. Taiyo in Show-ha! Shoten definitely falls into the latter side, as the fourth volume shows.

Taiyo and Azemichi finish their set with a minor speed bump, and the results of the contest tallied up. Good news hits the ears of One-Way Ticket to the Top, as the duo sets their sights on what to do next. But first, Taiyo has something important to do, and it involves his estranged mother. What follows is a story about how a former child star found his way back into the spotlight, starting with a new wacky friend.

The friend, Kunugi, enters Taiyo’s life in the wildest of ways, as his friend Chiyuri literally lands in Taiyo’s arms after a tumble. Kunugi invites him to a comedy show, where he and his partner are set to perform. His partner arrives, who is revealed to be someone readers already came across in Show-ha! Shoten. However, said friend appears to be walking away from the comedy spotlight, with Kunugi looking to find a new partner.

This leads Taiyo to enter the realm of comedy, as the entertainment bug comes to bite him once more. But then, tragedy strikes as Kunugi hides a health risk from Taiyo and many others in his circle. It results in a moment that pushes Kunugi over the limit and straight into a hospital bed. And then, the worst thing happens.

It is a good back story that’s showcased, as it does a stellar job of showing why Taiyo is aiming to get back into the spotlight. But there’s a problem: stories like this are a dime a dozen not just in manga, but also in Western media. And if you don’t have something sharp or unique to add to this formula, it’s not going to stand out. Good laughs and heartfelt moments are plentiful here, but a unique narrative is missing from it all. As a result, the story of Taiyo and Kunugi — while an engaging read — doesn’t stand out much from the crowd of similar narratives.

Volume Four of Show-ha! Shoten has great laughs and some decent drama. Yes, the back story is too familiar, but it’s good enough for what the narrative wants to do. Where it will matter most is how Kunugi’s former partner will play into the narrative as a whole, and one has no idea when & where this may occur. Until then, consider this volume of Show-ha! Shoten a decent prelude for the biggest challenge yet for One-Way Ticket to the Top.


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)