Shonen Jump newcomer Akane-banashi is a brilliant new manga

An image of Akane set against a background shows five tablets plus Isso Arakawa.

screenshot: Shonen jump

I started reading Akane-banashi because I didn’t want to start a manga that was hundreds of chapters long. I thought I might try on a new series, cancel mine Shonen jump sub, then go back to pick at my game residue. but Akane-banashi caught me completely off guard with its punchy artistry, light-hearted comedy, and dramatically satisfying arcs. Reading again a few months later Akane-banashi remains the main reason I still pay for this subscription, and reading a new (free) chapter every Sunday is my favorite part of the weekend.

Akane-banashi tells the story of Akane Osaki, a teenage girl who pursues a theatrical art form called rakugo. In rakugo, a single performer tells comedic or dramatic stories using only their body language, facial expressions, and tone. The artist must portray every character in the story, and rakugo sketches always involve multiple characters.

A few years ago, Akane’s father was summarily expelled from the rakugo school, so she pursues professional rakugo to both get answers about his expulsion and to rehabilitate his art in the public eye. Unfortunately, the man who ruined her father’s career is also the most important character in the entire rakugo world, so the stakes in making people laugh are incredibly high.

Despite the emotionally heavy premise Akane-banashi is a light-hearted series that really shines when it shows the creators’ deep love for rakugo. The performances are incredibly fun to read as the artist draws hilariously exaggerated expressions on the beautiful and graceful performers that just seem a little inappropriate. Main characters in most fictional works just have to be beautiful and charming. In the Rakugo of Akane-banashithey can also be sloppy, arrogant, and obnoxious.

Each performance transforms the performer into a whole new person without props or outside help. In one panel, a rakugo performer is a cowardly old man who spends too much money. In another, he is the strong-willed and devious wife. And the drama feels easy to follow because the manga tends to over-narrate the performances. If theater is trickery, then it is Akane-banashi‘s rakugo is honest trickery. The jokes are straightforward, but everyone joins in.

I like to read Akane-banashi as a gentle palate cleanser for other shonen manga. Despite the final arc’s overall competitive vibe, it has its sense of humor remains disrespectful without being mean or crass. The characters treat each other with respect, are aware of each other’s creative talents, and never demean the competition. There’s still a lot at stake and I want Akane to impress all the adults who write her off because she’s young. But I enjoy so much watching her develop as an artist, I don’t feel like I’m in any rush to see her achieve big “victories”.

This is such a welcome change from most shonen manga such as Demon Hunter, in which the protagonist practically self-destructs in order to reach the next level of power. I even had to stop reading slice of life manga Bakuman because it only seemed to plead for burnout. Akane-banashi charms you early on, slowly makes you invest in the characters, and uses his own dramatic skills to draw you in.

The slower pace also extends to how it structures the stories. Akane-banashi It often takes several chapters for a rakugo performance to reach its final point. The joke itself is not the point. Instead, much of the drama comes from the narration of other characters in the audience.

Much like a friend explaining a sports game is often more interesting than the game itself, Akane-banashi shines when the rakugo performers’ peers and peers meticulously break down and analyze the theatrical choices they make in their performance. Because of this, some streamers are more fun to watch than others despite playing the same game. Akane-banashi is not only stubborn when it comes to preserving the authenticity of rakugo; It is very intentional to ensure the audience has a good time.

I’m not the only one with good taste in shonen manga. The first volume of Akane-banashi was praised by One piece‘s famous creator, Eiichiro Oda. And most recently Hideaki Anno, the director of Neon Genesis Evangelion joined him in recommending the series to new readers. Akane-banashi is a newcomer that breaks with many shonen manga conventions, but is nonetheless a confident work that always seems to hold onto the landing in its storylines. Shonen Jump newcomer Akane-banashi is a brilliant new manga

Curtis Crabtree

24ssports is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button