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AKA: Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to, The Comic Artist and His Assistants, マンガ家さんとアシスタントさんと
Genre: Gag Comedy, Harem, Ecchi
Length: Television series, 12 episodes, 12 minutes each
Distributor: Currently licensed by Sentai Filmworks, but also available streaming on crunchyroll.
Content Rating: 17+ (Crude Humor, Bawdiness, Sexual Harassment Played for Laughs)
Related Series: The Comic Artist and His Assistants OAV (Sequel)
Also Recommended: Golden Boy, Monthly Girls' Nozaki-Kun, Shirobako
Notes: Based on a 4-panel manga by "Hiroyuki," who's also known for making Doujin Work. The manga ran in Young Gangan between 2008 and 2012, and as of January 2015, a sequel is running in the same magazine. Six OAV episodes were produced and bundled with the BD/DVD releases; crunchyroll doesn't carry them, so they aren't included in this review.

As far as I can tell, nobody can seem to agree whether the official English version of the title should be "his assistants" or just "assistants."
Rating:

The Comic Artist and Assistants

Synopsis

Yuuki Aito is a mangaka who loves panties. Panties, panties, panties...whether he's drawing them for his crappy ecchi manga, Hajiratte Caffe Latte, or thinking about the ones his female assistants might be wearing, they're always on his mind. So he goes about plugging this one-shot joke into his series, with his assistants cleaning up after his shenanigans and fighting off his increasingly creepy advances...


Review

The synopsis on crunchyroll calls this "a hilarious slice of life comedy".

I say to that: "YOU LIE!"

The Comic Artist and Assistants isn't funny. It isn't funny for a bunch of reasons. First, it isn't funny because its idea of a gag is as sophisticated as the sex jokes that middle school boys make: ridiculously vulgar, but also painfully stupid, boring, and maybe just too offensive to be funny. And hey, this is coming from a girl who thinks sex comedies are hysterical, and my friends will tell you that I definitely make a lot of dirty jokes; I thought Shimoneta and B Gata H Kei were hysterical, and let's just say that I've seen Beavis and Butthead...a lot of it. But Comic Artist just feels like a masturbatory fantasy more than anything. It's just twelve episodes of a pervert manchild writing a manga that only a pervert manchild could have thought of, and fantasizing about seeing his coworkers' underwear....if that's not a draw for you, and I really hope that's the case, then there's literally nothing else this show has to offer.

And don't watch Comic Artist if you want to watch a show about making anime or manga. There's Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun. There's Shirobako. There's Animation Runner Kuromi. There's even Bakuman if you wanna deal with a (kind of) sexist show that still has some substance. You could watch any of those and never miss this thing. Yuki's manga, anyway, consists of pantyshots and precious little else. The most effort he even puts into his miserable little series is thinking of "Creative" ways to fit more pantyshots in, not to mention making laughably inept but horrifyingly inappropriate attempts to talk his assistants into posing naked, dating him, or showing their underwear. Every time, they get angry, justifiably show, and he gets on his knees to beg forgiveness, which, either because of Stockholm syndrome or because they desperately need the money (always a potential reason for why women stay with asshole bosses like this), he gets....only for him to snap right back into form and demand they do their work while wearing Playboy Bunny outfits. That's the gist of every single episode, honestly. The show tries hard to cast him as a "nice guy", but he's just a perverted asshole. He muses on one girls' wearing shorts as being "better" in that it "leaves the panties up the imagination," runs around wearing panties on his head in order to "get a feel" for the manga (or something close to that), and gropes, and gropes, and does more groping. If you're feeling physically ill while reading this, don't worry, that's about how I feel, too.

The show doesn't give the girls a lot of personality, either, except for their all having a love/hate relationship with him. Mihari, his editor, bosses him around but secretly loves him, because...well, I can't figure it out, either. Sahoto, his main assistant, finds him creepy and overbearing...but also secretly finds him interesting, for, again, ridiculous or non-existent reasons. Then there's the busty and air-headed Rinna, who never seems to realize how awful Yuki's schemes are, and Sena, a loli sadomachist whose physical abuse just gets Yuki even more aroused. I guess this is all meant to be a fantasy of some sort: you're a comic artist with a bunch of hot assistants, and instead of spending long hours redrawing frames and cleaning up errors (which, as Nozaki-kun will tell you, is much closer to the actual experience of drawing manga), you try to convince them to show their panties to you. You're not ever successful, but by golly, it beats working, right?

I honestly feel that even writing about this series is a waste of time, and watching it definitely is. If you absolutely have to watch harem, then damn it, there are examples out there that actually have some entertainment value, and I'll say that even though I generally hate harem. I say don't watch it for the harem antics; don't watch it for the comedy, don't watch it for the "manga about making manga" schtick....

...please.....go and do yourself a favor. Don't watch this show.

Oh hey, a creepy fantasy about being a mangaka and sexually harassing your assistants. What could go wrong?Nicoletta Christina Browne

Recommended Audience: Not much in the way of skin or breasts is actually exposed, but panties are constantly on our friend Yuki's mind, and the show literally does not shut up about them for one second. Also, the whole premise is that he's harassing his assistants and that they're ultimately attracted to him for it. If you're over 17 or so I guess this should be fine, but do you really want to watch this?



Version(s) Viewed: Streaming on Crunchyroll.com (Japanese with English Subtitles)
Review Status: Full (12/12)
The Comic Artist and Assistants © 2014 Hiroyuki/SQUARE ENIX, Masashi Project
 
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