Posted by Lenlo on 21 November 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Comedy, Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-San

Hello and welcome to another week of Honda-San! A quick note before we jump in. Since this is Thanksgiving week, no doubt most of my posts are going to be delayed. I am flying to Texas for a few days and will write when I can. I will try my best, but wanted to let you know. That done, let’s jump in!

This week, Honda-San was rather dull I found. The topics were generally un-interesting, and while the gags were decent, I was already partially checked out before it even really began. I understand the series is meant to partially educate, but these industry episodes are simply nowhere near as amusing. Our two topics this week were of course Wholesalers, unique to the book industry and already partially covered by Wizard Man last week, and networking. Wizard Man is fun, but no one likes Networking. The only people who like Networking have business degrees, it is literally their job. For everyone else, Networking is a necessary evil I have found. Interesting enough, Networking actually had the better jokes, but I think that is mostly down to Japanese culture vs Western culture myself. Still, they are worth looking at.

For the first segment, Honda-San focused on Wholesalers. People who sell books in mass so the bookstore has something to sell to the public. It was more technically focused than anything else, giving us explanations of how books can get lost in the process. There were some humorous visuals, and it revealed certain cast members as nerds. But they work in a bookstore, I think that could have been assumed. Really, this was one of the weakest segments Honda-San has had thus far for me. Had Honda-San been any longer than 11-minutes, I would have checked out almost immediately. It simply wasn’t funny, and humor is what I come to Honda-San for. Good thing I didn’t though, because the second segment was much better.

Honda-San’s second segment was, of course, Networking. Japan has a very different method of Networking though, involving copious amounts of alcohol. I actually thought it was rather funny, because the whole segment was a meta joke. It’s presented to us as the author of the actual Honda-San series at a Networking event. It self-references, because apparently people in his circle know of the series. It was an unexpected 4th wall break/subversion for me. The gag of the man critiquing the series, only to realize the author is the same person he was talking to, and then to double down on his critique was great. It was a classic Simpsons-esque layered joke, always going one step further than you expected. It’s these kinds of jokes that I want from Honda-San, and its these kinds of jokes that keep me coming back.

So all in all, a rather weak with a strong ending, of Honda-San. I worry that the humor is getting more and more industry focused as we go along though. I know that there are more interesting customer stories. There has to be. There are entire websites on the internet dedicated to weird or terrible customers. But I feel like Japanese polite culture may be playing against Honda-San right now. Most of the customer stories have been foreigners and I feel that Japanese culture/custom is/did keep the author from writing about more… domestic encounters. Even this episode, with Networking, there really wasn’t a critique of the industry. Just humorous anecdotes. This makes me fear that the comedy is going to skew more and more towards industry, and away from the superior client-based interactions. I suppose we will have to see though.

How about you? Was Honda-San funny this week and I’m just being a harsh dullard? Or has it been waning for you to? Let me know below, and have a happy Thanksgiving! See you next week!

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