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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," whose other best-known series is 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 will be bundled with the BD/DVD releases; since crunchyroll doesn't carry them, 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 merely "assistants."

The Comic Artist and Assistants


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...


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

I say to that: "YOU LIE!"

The Comic Artist and Assistants is unfunny. It's unfunny for a bunch of reasons. First and foremost, it's unfunny because its idea of a gag is just as sophisticated as the sex jokes that middle schoolers make: vulgar, but also strikingly banal, boring, and sometimes just outright offensive. I'm really not at all opposed to sex comedy itself , and my sense of humor actually can fall on the vulgar side; hell, I thought that B Gata H Kei was hysterical. But The Comic Artist feels less like a sex comedy than a masturbatory fantasy. It's literally twelve episodes of an immature and perverted man writing an equally perverted manga while fantasizing about seeing his co-workers' underwear, and if that's not a draw for you (and I really hope that's the case) then this show will be as much of a waste of time for you as it was for me.

I'll get it out of the way and say that The Comic Artist really isn't the series to aim for if you're interested in an anime about making anime (or manga). From Monthly Girls' Nozaki-Kun to Shirobako to Bakuman, there are many better alternatives out there. In any case, Yuki's manga consists of pantyshots and precious little else, and the most effort he puts into his miserable little series is thinking of "creative" ways to stick more pantyshots in, not to mention his laughably inept but horrifyingly inappropriate attempts to talk his female assistants into posing naked for him, dating him, or, as always, showing their underwear to him. They inevitably and justifiably get angry, he goes down on his knees to apologize, and they inexplicably forgive him...only for him to snap back to form and propose they all do their work while wearing Playboy Bunny outfits. That's the gist of most of these episodes, and Yuki really isn't much more than a hypersexual pervert, with the show attempting to curry the audience's favor by trying to code him as a "nice" guy who just happens to be a massive idiot. 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 pantyshots (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 where I was while watching this.

There's nothing much to the girls' personalities, either, except for their various degrees of 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 (the show's token female-on-male violence) 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 find that even writing about this series is a waste of time, and watching it most definitely is. If you absolutely have to watch harem, then damn it, there are examples out there that actually have some entertainment value, in spite of my not really liking the concept of harem in the first place. 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. Is there any reason I can imagine anybody wanting to watch this?

Just...please 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 spend precious time on this?

Version(s) Viewed: Stream courtesy of (Japanese with English Subtitles)
Review Status: Full (12/12)
The Comic Artist and Assistants © 2014 Hiroyuki/SQUARE ENIX, Masashi Project
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