Warning! Contains spoilers for Akane-banashi Chapter 49!Akane-banashi, one of Shonen Jump’s best manga debuting last year, just made a hilariously unexpected joke based on a common One Piece motif, and it works on a variety of different levels. One Piece, the pirate manga by Eiichiro Oda is one of Shonen Jump‘s oldest and most popular manga that has influenced various series that followed it. Even so, it may not seem to be connected to Akane-banashi, which is a manga by Yuki Suenaga and Takamasa Moue about a girl named Akane trying to become a master of Rakugo, a comedic ancient Japanese performing art. But the two are more related than many fans may think, which is shown by a subtle nod in its latest chapter.
In chapter 49, an explanation about professionalism is accompanied by a humorous visual metaphor. The Rakugo master Urara tells her assistant that if Akane tried to do one type of performance while delivering a completely different one, it would be unsatisfying even if the performance itself was good. To underscore this, the manga shows a chibi version of Akane serving Urara what she says is french cuisine, but is actually a bowl of Katsudon. The dish is revealed with a “(katsu)Don” sound effect, which is a humorous twist on the typical “Don” sound effect that One Piece uses whenever something epic is revealed. This hilarious play on One Piece’s iconic onomatopoeia combined with the expressions on the chibi versions of Akane and Urara make this joke work extremely well on its own, but it also works perfectly on a meta-level as well.
Akane-banashi and One Piece are More Connected Than They Seem
One of the reasons why Akane-banashi has attained its current popularity is that early in its publication, One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda recommended it to his fans. It makes sense why Oda would enjoy the series, given how much comedy is featured in One Piece as well. The series has also had some other metatextual connections as well, with Kappei Yamaguchi, the actor who voices Usopp in the One Piece anime, voicing Akane’s father in promotional videos for the series on the Shonen Jump YouTube Channel. But despite connections like these, the two series hadn’t directly referenced each other in any meaningful way before this latest chapter.
With this joke about the “Don” sound effect, the two manga are now connected directly in the best way possible: through a joke. This sort of reference fits the tone of both series and is thus a great way for Akane-banashi to acknowledge the debt that it owes One Piece and Oda himself. It also gives fans of both series hope that there will be more references like these in the arcs to come. While these aren’t direct crossovers like other Shonen Jump series occasionally have, it is still a fun detail that shows that the creators of these series respect each other and enjoy each other’s works.
Akane-banashi Perfectly References One Piece With Comedy
Given how different One Piece and Akane-banashi are, it may be surprising that they share so many connections. But fans of both series shouldn’t be surprised, as they are both some of Shonen Jump’s best manga right now. And if Akane-banashi follows the same path that One Piece did, it may eventually become one of Shonen Jump’s most iconic manga as well.
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Akane-banashi Chapter 49 is available to read from Viz Media.