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Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san, Vol. 1

(Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san #1)

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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  399 ratings  ·  64 reviews
Ever wonder what it's like to sell comics at a Japanese bookstore? Honda provides a hilarious firsthand account from the front lines! Whether it's handling the store, out-of-print books, or enthusiastic manga fans, Honda takes on every challenge!
Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 30th 2019 by Yen Press (first published March 26th 2016)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  399 ratings  ·  64 reviews


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Katy
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I feel seen... If you've ever wondered what it was like to sell comics, then this is the closest I've seen it!
Rod Brown
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was super excited by the title and cover of this book. I was expecting something weird and twisted. Instead I just got some pretty generic stories about being a clerk in a bookstore: stocking shelves, dealing with odd customer questions, getting customer service training. Giving the bookstore employees crazy heads is just a gimmick to hide identities in what is presented as the confessions of a real-life bookseller. So disappointing...
Paul Spence
Sep 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: manga, comedy
For many of us, bookstores are a place of magic and wonder: places we go to find a new story to lose ourselves in – but have you ever wondered what goes into running one? Here with the answers is Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san, which takes a look at what it means to work in a bookshop in Japan!

The story follows Honda-san, a skeletal bookseller who’s in charge of foreign comics and art books in the bookstore he works at. Alongside his co-workers Honda-san does his best to meet the varied and
...more
Ashley
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Honda is a very sincere and hard working bookseller! You could say he works himself to the bone!
I really love this - Bookselling culture vs. library culture here but the common ground is that he cares for the people he serves, the sincerity is true, and we both have adventures with them. Sometimes a patron can make or break your spirit! The chapter with him getting berated over the phone and the next one of the kindest patrons he's had is so relatable I felt like I was in his exact shoes

It's
...more
Llyr Heller-Humphreys
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Glad I watched the excellent anime first, but a very fun first volume.
Shay Vande
Hilarious, relatable, inspires me to improve my customer interactions. (I'm a librarian)
Meitswhatever
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved
This book is hilarious. If you love book stores, customer service stories, and funny coworkers, you will enjoy this. I read the whole series in a day, and watched the anime in 2 days. It's lighthearted and funny for everyone to enjoy.
Thomas Maluck
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga, best-of-2019
Fifth star unlocked by the customer service training chapter, too real.
Schnekk
Nov 20, 2019 rated it liked it
This book gets points for originality and for being educational -- I don't think I ever quite realized that bookstores shrink wrap their own books, or that they're the ones who insert the extra content into the book. What a lot of work! I had always assumed the publishers and/or printers handled those elements.

I'm a little wary of stories that pigeonhole "otaku" stereotypes... so the first fourth or so of the book focusing on the yaoi fans was a little tiresome. I'm glad the story is branching
...more
Laura
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
So relatable. Well portrayed with humor and appropriate dire. Really enjoyed the character designs. High recommend!
Aaron
The time is now for the generation of manga and anime creators whose dismal life experiences echo the millennial misfortune so often ridiculed or discarded as being obsequious or irrelevant. The brand of dark humor that reaffirms nothing is guaranteed and life sucks until it doesn't (until, without warning, it does, again) is also making its way to western shores. SKULL-FACE BOOKSELLER HONDA-SAN #1 is a solid example.

For Honda-san, life is okay. Not good. Not bad. Just . . . okay.

Honda-san is a
...more
Zara Mcaspurren
Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san was one of the anime titles of the past year that I had heard so much about, and had really enjoyed myself. When I saw that the manga had been translated to English, I was very happy to be able to pick it up to read the comics from which the anime had came.

As the title suggests, the manga follows a bookseller - Honda-san, who also happens to be the mangaka - during his work shifts. Honda-san is depicted in story as being a skeleton, but we also see that other
...more
Jill Kenna
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This manga is about Honda, who focuses on selling comics at a Japanese bookstore. This was a really great first volume. I loved learning about how Japanese book stores manage all the manga and comic books that they stock and how all the extras and inserts work. Also, as someone who was in retail for over ten years (and then customer service) I 100% get some of the situations in this manga. I have definitely been yelled at for something out of my control such as being sold out of a specific ...more
William Brownridge
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Working at a book store almost guaranteed that I would pick this one up. I loved the anime so I jumped to get my hands on this.

The anime is exactly the same as the manga, so there's not quite as much to entice everybody, but there are some great additions to encourage readers. Some bonus pages at the end, along with translation notes that dive into the various titles and terms mentioned in the book, are great extra content.

The story is dead on as well. I've dealt with a lot of the situations
...more
Jonah Leidigh
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san has charmed me, and I think I'm in love. I, like Honda-san, work in a bookstore. The stories he tells from page to page strike incredibly close to home, and it's hilarious and awesome. He smoothly displays the stresses of customer service in the bookseller's world while also reminding me why and how much I love and adore my job.

I very much appreciate this manga. I'm already hooked after volume 1. Love the style, love the comedy. I can't wait to start the next one.
Yui
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever worked in retail? Are you a socially anxious person? Have you ever wanted to work in a bookstore? Do you like anime/manga? If you’ve answered one if not all of the following with a “yes” then this book is for you!

It’s a very light-hearted story about a guy named Honda who works in a bookstore and shares some of his and his co-workers’ wacky experiences and is very relatable.

The anime is also fantastic and I HIGHLY suggest you check it out. It’s ahead of the manga, for some
...more
Silvis Library
This manga series was recommended to me by a friend and fellow librarian. I sped through the first two volumes in one sitting. Honda's recollection of her experiences working in the comics section of a bookstore are relatable and hilarious. Despite the variety of good and bad customer experiences she has, she responsibly and optimistically strives to tell these stories in a fun and positive light. It makes for an inspirational read to retail workers.

~Shay
Lyle
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
An endearing manga about a bookstore worker and the anxieties he experiences as he deals with enthusiastic manga fans, corporate training and pushy sales reps. No matter how much stress customers may bring to Honda-san, the humor of this title is never mean and book lovers will have no issues if they see themselves in Honda's customers. An offbeat, hilarious workplace manga that should strike familiar ground to many readers.
Panda
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga
If there's one type of book I'd never ask my parents to buy me it's tentacle porn doujinshi...
Please don't ask your parents for that. Save them from the knowledge that their kids read that.

The art is pretty and the interactions are fun. I'm excited for book 2!!

Genevieve
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
A wonderfully odd and humorous slice of life manga about a skeleton bookstore retail worker and their co-workers (who wear various masks). It's various vignettes about working in the manga section of a Japanese bookstore. Cute, funny and surprisingly informative; I definitely will continue on with this series.
Colten Hoot
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was such a funny and accurate portrayal of a booksellers mindset. Balancing the stress of customer service to recommendations to rushing books to shelves. I really liked the art style, it made such a funny contrast to the calm bookstore facade.
Milliebot
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have no fuckin clue what I just read. It's absurd, it's bizarre, it's chaotic, and I love it! Adventures from a Japanese bookstore where all the staff have crazy identities based on their masks. What even? Who cares? I need more!!!
Lucien Welsh
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: manga
Sad to say this wasn't for me. I've seen clips of the anime (which is HILARIOUS), but I felt the translation was sloppy and the layout of the pages was really dense. Sad to say this is one that probably works out better if it stays in Japanese.
Ericka
Oct 02, 2019 marked it as dnf
Lost interest after a few chapters. I feel like also the translation was weird, like maybe a few things were lost along the way because the storytelling and dialogue did not have a smooth transition like it probably should...
Orcbard
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Overall a very enjoyable manga, based on real experience that author had with real customers.

The book culture is incomparable to where I'm from. I enjoyed learning about the behind the scene stuffs too.

The comedy is hit and miss though.
Jason
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I expected absurdity, and got it in spades, though this was more of a technical read than I expected. Still a lot to love. An anxious skeleton seems to be a perfect metaphor for working retail (at least from my experience).
Kim Compton-Carter
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this series. I watched the anime and I just had to get the manga. There is definitely some more information in the manga. It's like watching/reading about work for me and it's hilarious. Definitely recommend it to other booksellers.
Melanie
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A quick, goofy, fun and relatable read. Loved it and loved how expressive Honda is!
Chris Neumann
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-comic-books
If you've ever worked at a bookstore/library or love manga/comics, this series is for you!
Bianca Woods
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an amusing read, but even more so if you've ever worked at a bookstore.
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