The 2018 fall season of anime is filled with sequels to great shows, like Tokyo Ghoul and A Certain Magical Index, but one of the best new series is Skull-face Bookseller Honda, a short comedy series about a bookstore employee ... who is also a skeleton.
Based on a webcomic by a man also named Honda, who worked at a bookstore previously, the anime is based on lived experiences. Honda, the skull-faced star of the show, works along masked monsters as they deal with the hardships of working retail in a bookstore that mostly sells manga.
Honda is extremely relatable, even though he’s a skeleton. Outside of the references he makes to iconic manga like Slam Dunk and Berserk, he gets nervous and anxious when dealing with high-stress situations. It’s understandable to anyone who’s worked retail before, even if we never dealt with the exact wacky situations he’s going through — such as dealing with a father unknowingly looking for a very NSFW book for his daughter.
From speaking panicked, broken English to foreign customers to appeasing sales teams from book publishers, Skull-face Bookseller Honda actually has good insight into what working in a bookstore would be like. For somebody who reads a lot of manga and loves to frequent Japanese bookstores whenever I can, the show is a perfect fit.
The animation isn’t anything stunning, but the simple movements and robotic way the studio depicts the customers really contributes to how some of the show’s best gags play out.
Earlier this year, Netflix and Sanrio’s Aggretsuko showed the life of an office worker with a terrible boss; Honda continues the trend of anime mining the mundane for something great. The anime will air for 12 episodes, all in short 11-minute bites. The series simulcasts on Crunchyroll with new episodes premiering on Sundays at 1 p.m. ET.