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Join the staff of Umanohone (うまのほね, “the horse’s bone”), in their daily efforts to avoid complete chaos at the store during holiday sales and special events, while pursuing their personal goals and even possibly finding love? Umanihone is a refuge for lovers of ecchi comics, unbridaled otakus and shy newcomers to fan culture alike. It is a haven where you are free to embrace all your quirks and kinks with the helpful clerks more than happy to offer advice and suggestions. It looks awesome. I would love to have anything even remotely similar around here.

You may be surprised to hear this, but I google images of anime characters drinking a lot. “Anime drunk” is probably my top Google search. And pictures of this show came up so often that I figured I really owed it to myself to give it a watch. I’m not sure how to explain this but it managed to be both exactly what I expected and completely different.

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not so much expected as hoped for

Visually speaking, Denki Gai solidly embraces that moe aesthetic. You know exactly what you’re in for. I do enjoy these types of designs so I would consider it a plus but I have to admit it’s probably the least detailed and pretty I’ve seen in the genre. I appreciated seeing a lot of different male characters though, almost all the show’s I’ve seen with these types of images where entirely (or almost) female casts so the variety was interesting.

The voice acting was competent and I’ll admit that I hardly even noticed the soundtrack. There wasn’t that much animation at all but the story rarely called for it. The few action scenes were well done and the art remained consistent throughout. All in all, everything was fine to good without ever being exceptional in any way.

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can’t think… too cute…

I remember thinking the intro looked and sounded exactly like a 90s sitcom. It just had that particular quality to it. And then I realized the entire episode seemed like it should have had a laugh track. Although there is some risqué fanservice (nothing much) and the greatness of smut is a frequent running gag (the first episode has the line “Humanity needs ecchi books”), there’s also this goofy dorky vibe throughout that’s very in line with old-school sitcoms. The fanservice never felt like a the character’s weren’t in on the joke and the embrace of ecchi is fun and joyful, never creepy.

The stories are in fact a series of vignettes of varying length. In many ways, they seem to be slightly extended four panel stories. This said, the independent stories are a bit of a mixed bag. I found quite a few to be truly enjoyable and some even had me honestly laughing out loud but others were rather boring and I found my mind wandering. To me, the show was at it’s best when it succumbed to flurries of absurdist fantasy. I loved the addition of the silent art film “lime cat” in random episodes. Unsurprisingly, I was less interested in the dramatic romantic storylines.

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no worries, it ends well!

The characters are actually quite well done. It’s a very large cast and most of them could have used a bit more development but they all manage to have distinct and very pleasant personalities and no one is painfully stupid or inept. It’s a little sad but I consider that a win for these types of shows. I was quite fond of everyone here and would be friends with all these people in real life. Their quirks were entertaining without becoming annoying. I also desperately need to get invited to a Sommelier party. I’ll buy the plane ticket if I must.

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I guess I could take part in this too

Fact is, I don’t have a whole lot to say about this show. I enjoyed it, I don’t regret watching it but even though I finished it a few days ago, I’m already starting to forget it. At 12 episodes, there’s certainly worst uses of your time. If it had managed to sustain the more comedic moments, I would have warmly recommend it but as it is, I’m rather tepid.

As for the most important point. There are several episodes that feature drinks and a few of the characters got pretty epically drunk but it’s not a main element of the show or anything.  

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my new best friends

Favorite character: Sommelier-kun

I like to have a martini,
two at the very most,
after three I’m under the table,
after four I’m under my host.

Suggested drink: an Erotica (don’ worry it’s just a drink)

  • Every time Hiotan blushes – have a drink
  • Every time we see anime glasses – have a drink
  • Every time anyone has a drink – join them!
  • Every time Sommelier carries someone – be a little jealous
  • Every time Umio goes full out otaku – have a drink
  • Every time anyone says “eroge” – raise your glass
  • Every time Hiotan calls Director “nice – have a drink
    • Every time she calls him “mean” – have another
  • Every time Fu Girl goes into zombie mode – have a drink
  • Every time Director is in a speed – have a drink
  • Every time Sommlier is shirtless – cheer
  • Every time Sensei looses girl power – sympatinze
  • Every time Sensei becomes a baby – have a drink
  • Every time G Men shows up – have a drink

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10 thoughts

  1. I barely remember this show, though what I remember I remember fondly. I also remember cinging a little, though I don’t remember what. There’s one exception:

    That black-and-white picture of the cat the you posted? What a brilliant piece of animation! The existance of this one skit (and to a much, much lesser extent its retread in a later episode) justifies the existence of this anime. One of my favourite scenes of the year.

    That’s the thing: even if the show’s ultimately forgettable, it’s got its own unmistakable style, and every so often it just works. And this once it worked so well that the show ended up with a Hall-of-fame level of scene.

    (I do remember other little things, like the derailed non-confession: “You’re my ideal…” I expected some kind of punch line; it was so obvious that it wasn’t a confession, but I still ended up having every bit as much of an “eh?” reaction as the person in question. At the very least, it’s a show that knows what it’s doing.)

  2. Denki Gai is also the story of several characters from other anime. Sommelier-kun is Chad from Bleach. The reddish haired girl with the sharks teeth (Fu-girl) is the younger daughter of Twin Star Exorcists, who got Chad’s arm for their fight when he retired. Fu’s older brother is the doctor-friend of the guy who is raising a tanuki and reopening his noodle-shop up on the coast. The doujin shop is one that was being visited during the Gate events, on the same street as the orc and dragon invaders showed up. Fu-girl is so aggressive with the bat because she still remembers her parents fighting actual zombies, so that’s genuine battle-trauma, and why she’s retired to a doujin shop rather than a regular manga store. According to the fan theories, anyway. Its more fun to consider the way the characters look and act as a deliberate nod to these other shows.

  3. With my list of anime to watch being as big as it is, and this not really looking as if it’s my cup of tea anyway, I think it’s safe to say I will give this one a pass. Enjoyed your review though, and the captions for this were priceless 😂😂

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