Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to Actually Tells Profound Themes on Manga and Work Ethic
Who could had thought? Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to, a currently airing anime in the Spring season, is basically those ecchi harem story; the main protagonist being the mangaka, with hordes of assistants under him as his harem. Or at least, one would normally expect something like that from such a setting. However, when scrutinized, the anime actually tells profound themes on
ecchi manga and work ethic.
1. Glimpses or full views of panty shots
This may not seem like much from casual viewer, but I feel this is something every ecchi mangaka would struggle to choose. Similarly, Yuuki Aito, the main protagonist of Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to who possessed an odd fetish for panties, the question is of utmost importance. This is where the aesthetics of panty shots play a role in effecting the dynamic of characterizations or perhaps the nature of the manga itself. By having half, subdued panty shots, it just seems to symbolize where the heroine in question is struggling to keep her innocence in check. With full views, it seems to symbolize the opposite. As a byproduct result, this in turn also effect the level of pervertism of the manga, the former subdued, while the latter hardcore. Also, there is also some charm in having no panty shots too, and it’s something the anime even recognized. Most of the charm here would mentally arose using imaginations, to visualize something which isn’t shown. For example, who could forget the infamous Mio’s shimapan from K-ON? Which is something only hinted (and never shown), yet the fandom, especially the illustrators, went wild with it. The concept of “imagination of unseen panties” also work it’s way around the nopan trope, in which our mind mischievously contradicts itself repeatedly, which is a certain charm in itself. But, I digress.
2. To satisfies your ego or the fans
In episode 2, Miharu tried to introduce a new rival character whose handsome and rich to Aito’s romantic comedy manga, HajiCafe. Aito didn’t want it, since he feel his character wouldn’t be able to win. He also claimed that the manga he drew is for the materialization of his dreams, in other words – wish-fulfillment. While unlike such a specific case, I think similar problem like this is what most mangaka would be forced to face in some form or another. Authors, artists, songwriters, musicians; most creators love using aspects of themselves as a mean of expression in their art or media. When one started getting popular however, you can no longer only think about yourself, but your fans who got into your works. This is why “fame” is such a tricky thing. Without fame, one have the freedom to work in just about any style he wants to. With fame, you need to take the fan’s accounts into consideration – most of the fame and quality of a product, is effected by fans reception. Yet, one would lost his own unique “flair” by following the trends too much, indeed, fame is truly a complex thing.
3. The balance between fanservices and characterizations
A lot of typical ecchi anime seems to have some level of general complain, in that it’s “mindless fanservice”, and it’s hard to feel anything for the characters. Such characters usually are being criticized as being one-dimensional, without a clear characterization, and only serve as an “eye-candy” role. If we are talking about ecchi, I guess one or two panty shots (or with perhaps other steamy scenes) are unavoidable, but I think striking the balance between fanservice and characterization is what’s important. It’s one of the reason why I adored the Rosario+Vampire manga (but detested the anime), the characters feel solid, and are fleshed out. Furthermore, there’s a gradual character development for the protagonist, despite all the fanservices on the foreground. Indeed, just like what a certain green-haired chief editor in Mangaka-San to Assistant-san says, the more [insert heroine’s name]’s charm grows, so will her panties as well.
4. A facade of maturity at work
When one enters the workforce at an early age, it’s like a sheep entering a lion’s den – it’s easy to get underestimated by everyone else. The elders would make fun of him, had he shown a single weakness, thinking something along the lines of “Oh, he made a mistake. Well, he’s still just a kid.” Most young, new workers had to remain strong, vigilant, calm, and not to show a single exposition of weakness. This is why Sena’s headstrong altitude is something I can really relate to. And honestly, getting made fun of is even the least of one’s worries. Worst case scenarios include cases like bully (yes, bullying is present even at work, not just at school), manipulations, backstabbing, betrayal and the only way you can retaliate is to work your way up the ranks, to obtain some level of authority.
5. Balance between keeping a relationship personal or professional
In one episode, we seen a certain flashback regarding Miharu and Aito. The flashback dealt with how Miharu decided to cut her originally long hair short. I will not spoil anything, since it’s actually a pretty good backstory, but in general, the story dealt with the concept of interpersonal relationships between colleagues. I find that finding the balance between being a “friend” and a “coworker” in a workplace is something I can really identify. The bond that you developed “on work”, and “off work”, begun to clash one another. Perhaps you may know a very good, old friend of yours in your workplace, or perhaps some familial relationship, or perhaps even a lover. Even so, one must deal with them professionally, disregarding the bonds they developed off work. Time spent together which would originally had been used to play around with, is suddenly used to talk about business in a serious, and even grim expressions. It’s something I feel every worker would face on a frequent basis.