Manga Review: Ebisu-san and Hotei-san

Spoiler warning

Author: Kizuki Akira/ Satou Nanki
Year: 2010
Length: 1 Volume (5 chapter)
Scanlation Group: Lillilicious
Genre: Romance, Drama, Slice of Life, Yuri, Bullying

Hotei is neither a very efficient worker nor does she really take her work seriously. One day Ebisu Mayo is transferred from the main office to the branch that Hotei works in and from that day on things start to change. Not only does Ebisu work twice as much and twice as efficient as any other office worker there, she also refuses to socialize with others more than necessary and never works overtime. Of course her behavior doesn’t gain her the best reputation, but even though Hotei hates her just as much as all the other coworkers do, she’s the only one finding out about the real Ebisu and soon finds herself feeling terribly sorry for her childish behavior.

I don’t really understand why stories like these are so rare. It doesn’t always have to be two school girls falling in love with each other. In fact it’s really nice reading about (slightly) older women and a romance happening at work rather than in school.
So did I like the story? Oh yes I did!
And even though I usually hate it when such interesting stories only come with so few chapters, I can still say that the length of this manga is perfect. It starts out strong, stays interesting and ends just at the right time.


Hotei (left), Ebisu (right)

It’s funny how just from their first brief introduction, I immediately disliked both of the main characters. Hotei seemed to be a two-faced bitch that talks bad behind people’s back and really doesn’t take her work seriously, while Ebisu behaved like she didn’t care about anything and did her best to make everybody hate her. What great first impressions and what an interesting start!
I’m pretty sure there are many people who drop stories just because the main characters don’t immediately appeal to them. In this case, I think you should probably not act too quickly, because the more we get to know the characters, the more their sometimes stupid behaviors will make sense to you. So in the end we see that Ebisu seems to be having enough problems at home already to really worry about her reputation at work and Hotei… Well she tends to act like a bitch because she’s been humiliated by Ebisu before and furthermore she’s a pretty insecure girl to begin with.
The one thing that I probably liked most about this manga is Hotei’s mental development. First she’s the one most eager about bullying her new workmate and she does it not only to compensate for being less efficient at work than Ebisu but also to take revenge on her. But after she finds out about Ebisu’s little secret, she starts feeling remorse and tries to stop acting like an underaged jerk and actually helps her workmate out a little. And simply because she’s too proud to openly admit her wrongdoing, she starts acting like a complete tsundere whenever there is an opportunity to atone for her prior behavior. It’s really cute seeing her try so hard but even though you might think her actions will bring the two of them a little closer, one of them immediately crushes your hopes by falling back into old patterns and acting like a complete ass again. Their relationship really is one hell of a roller coaster ride.

Page example, click to enlarge

Total Enjoyment:
This is not really one of my all time favorite yuri manga. It just didn’t leave a big enough impression on me, which is why I think this is one of those manga that you will probably easily forget after you’re done reading it. Still I pretty much enjoyed reading this one, not only for the fact that a story like this is very refreshing but also because it was really well done and I absolutely loved how Ebisu and Hotei’s relationship developed.
Story: 8/10
Characters: 7/10
Art: 6/10
Yuri: 7/10
Total Enjoyment: 7/10

17 thoughts on “Manga Review: Ebisu-san and Hotei-san

  1. Yeah, i totally forgot this one 'til now. I liked it, though i didn't liked the ending… well, it's that i always want moar yuri >////< but this was cute and different enough.


  2. Frankly, I would've liked this a lot more if their editor didn't tell them “oh yuri has to be all hush-hush and never confirmed” in 2010 like the world stopped with Marimite. And instead of subtle it comes across as cowardly.


  3. Personally I don't think the yuri in this one came across very cowardly. I mean they could have put in a little more obvious yuri and maybe also a little more romance towards the end, but I still think that the way they presented Ebisu and Hotei's relationship was pretty well done.


  4. Cowardly may be the wrong word. There are stories that can pull off being subtle and never acknowledge the couple being together because it's not necessary. Here on the other hand, they portray their growing relationship well during the course of the series but the last chapter feels off in that regard because the way the story is structured, keeping it non-commital doesn't really work. It feels like a editorial mandated coverup, because that's partially what it is. It's not actually cowardly (after all, it's a yuri story in a yuri magazine) but it feels like those old “those two are… you know” stories because they intentionally put the lid on things when it would've worked better without.


  5. That explains things much better and I think you might be correct here but yet again, and I think I say this way too often, I wasn't bothered by it.
    I would even say, I liked the last chapter and in general how things ended in this one.


  6. I tried to read this manga, but I must say it was not good enough to make me keep reading. Although the plot is very interesting to me that personally, like non-school stories. But it was still kind of boring. As you said, is forgettable, the chapters I read were wiped from my memory.
    I suggest chapter 7 of the series “I can't tell anyone” by Shigisawa Kaya. The series is het but this chapter is yuri and disconnected from the rest and has a similar premise as Ebisu-san and Hotei-san. Worth.


  7. Oh “I can't tell anyone” has been in my to-read list for a while now, but I don't really know whether I'll read this for one chapter only and the art doesn't look that nice as well.


  8. Is no different from reading an one-shot, after all, since the previous chapters are not connected with the story of chapter 7, you can skip them. I was very surprised by this chapter that, in my biased opinion was the best of the series.
    I, a complete stranger, I'm telling you, give it a try.


  9. It's offensive? Ok, now you got me interested 😛
    I probably won't have enough time to read it within the next few days but I'm quite curious, in what kind of way is this chapter offensive?


  10. Offensive? Why? I do not want to give spoilers, but just because it hasn't a happy ending does not mean to be offensive.


  11. There were simple ways to fix their problems but those thoughts are never even entertained. Instead it's angst, angst, angst and finally they break up because such a relationship is apparently impossible.

    So far it's just a lazy way to have drama and a breakup. Then one of them ends up married to a guy because that's how you achieve happiness as a woman, ya know. The other hetero couples – including the cheating, incestuous cousins – get some kind of happy end in this book I might add. That has some really awful implications. It's essentially a anti-yuri story.


  12. The girl marrying a guy is a very common scenario in yuri, sometimes it generates a new love, and in others it is the end.
    It sure has a lot of anguish, almost suffocating the reader. But it is very clear from the beginning that this relationship will not last longer. We watched it crumble. The couple is not even likable. And people do not do what is simplest to solve their problems, they have insecurities, fears, poor communication …
    'Ending' was sad and tearful, but for me, it has its own kind of beauty.


  13. I have not yet read it, but your conversation makes it sound damn interesting to me, but now that the term “anti-yuri” was used, you kind of opened Pandora's box 😛

    It's no problem for me that the two of them don't end up together, that's just how things go and that doesn't mean it's anti-yuri, even when we add the fact that the incestuous cousins get a happy end.

    I had a similar talk with someone who asked me how I liked the anime Maria Holic, which apparently a lot of people see as an anti-yuri anime.
    Personally I wasn't bothered by it which is why I'll probably not see this one as an anti-yuri manga as well.


  14. “oh yuri has to be all hush-hush and never confirmed”

    The extra chapter pretty much confirms it, i do get what you are talking about though.


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