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  #2281  
Old 04-11-2013, 08:18 PM
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skip beat is the secret best shonen series y/n
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  #2282  
Old 04-11-2013, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Zef View Post
So, again: are there any shonen series out there that aren't either moe harem fanservice or just endless tournament arcs disguised as plot? (Or worse, both. See: Negima.)
I'd say Bakuman qualifies, especially since it itself ran in SJ. The characters actually get older-- beyond their teen years and into their early 20s. One of the main duo gets married. It's still very Shonen Jump but since the writer is the same fellow who wrote Death Note, he's very aware of the magazine's tropes and winks at Jump's teamwork etc. ethos consistently in the way the arcs are presented.

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skip beat is the secret best shonen series y/n
Nay. It's great and I love it, but it doesn't read shonen at all to me.
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  #2283  
Old 04-11-2013, 08:30 PM
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every acting job is a new opponent and kyoko keeps leveling up

okay maybe i didn't really think this through
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  #2284  
Old 04-11-2013, 09:41 PM
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Default The manga recommendation/derision thread

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every acting job is a new opponent and kyoko keeps leveling up

okay maybe i didn't really think this through
No, I was gonna joke post Skip Beat too. Lemme give it a go:

Much like Jojo's is so manly it circles around and makes fangirls' hearts go doki doki with its homoerotic tension and the starting point of CLAMP's mega shoujo empire, Skip Beat's unabashed embrace of shoujo tropes is so intense it wraps around to being totally badass. Kyoko's going to be the best, dammit, she's gonna to Japan's number one actress! She'll sit on a broken leg and perform a tea ceremony just to not ruin a take, beat all the other wannabe idols just for a role in a stupid soda commercial, work several jobs while going to school and audition for roles. She'll keep slamming herself into wall then pick herself up and do it again and again and again. And just like all shounen action series Skip Beat is about friendship, FEMALE FRIENDSHIPS even. She'll turn her catty rivals into friends, she'll beat them into submission with her unbridled enthusiasm and acting skills and touch their cynical hearts reminding them why they wanted to get into showbiz in the first place before it transformed them into the jealous harpies they are today.
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  #2285  
Old 04-11-2013, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Zef View Post
...didn't Yakikate, a series about bread, devolve into an EFF tournament arc too?
I love Yakitate Japan, but actually calling it a series about bread misses the joke. Parodies like Yakitate are part of why I can't take that old shounen jive seriously at all, because the real thing is not that much less ludicrous than the parody. It's like that thing about Even A Monkey Can Draw Manga, where it's funny until you read enough manga to realize it's a ha-ha-only-serious kind of joke.

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Seriously. Real is superlative as well, though it doesn't necessarily fit into this discussion.
I haven't read Vagabond yet, but I did read the first two or three of Real, and man, I was not expecting so many of the main characters to be such completely unlikable assholes.

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I'd say Bakuman qualifies, especially since it itself ran in SJ. The characters actually get older-- beyond their teen years and into their early 20s. One of the main duo gets married.
I like Bakuman a lot too, but it's a stretch to say the characters "get older". Time technically passes, but it's insanely glossed over and the characters don't really develop (and don't get me started on the completely unbelievable non-romance that leads to that wedding).
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  #2286  
Old 04-11-2013, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by tungwene View Post
Much like Jojo's is so manly it circles around and makes fangirls' hearts go doki doki with its homoerotic tension
I'd sure love--and this is not said sarcastically--to be able to twig onto things like this naturally. But I don't see any shippy-slashy in Skip-beat! I'd call it between the gals before the gents, but still don't see it.

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Kyoko's going to be the best, dammit, she's gonna to Japan's number one actress! She'll sit on a broken leg and perform a tea ceremony just to not ruin a take, beat all the other wannabe idols just for a role in a stupid soda commercial, work several jobs while going to school and audition for roles.
There's cross-pollination between shonen and shojo going back far further, like Glass Mask which also features a heroine who bleeds out her spleen to be the best actress, beat her rival, etc. and the gutsy (guts!) heroine of Ace o Nerae from the '70s and I'm sure it goes back further than that but I'm an ignoramus who can only read English and can only present two examples.

With Skip-Beat! something that makes her story very shojo, centered on emotion, is Kyoko's initial motivation. She's been thwarted in love and seeking revenge on the guy who ditched her. A shonen hero whose story starts that way would be truly unique... but that is so not happenin'.
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  #2287  
Old 04-11-2013, 11:01 PM
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Default The manga recommendation/derision thread

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I'd sure love--and this is not said sarcastically--to be able to twig onto things like this naturally. But I don't see any shippy-slashy in Skip-beat! I'd call it between the gals before the gents, but still don't see it.
I think you misunderstand. I wasn't saying Skip Beat had any slash appeal. I was using a quintessential shounen series that has well known female readership and pointing out what element commonly found in shoujo it has that makes it so unintentionally appealing and positing that Skip Beat is a similar example only the other way around.

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There's cross-pollination between shonen and shojo going back far further, like Glass Mask which also features a heroine who bleeds out her spleen to be the best actress, beat her rival, etc. and the gutsy (guts!) heroine of Ace o Nerae from the '70s and I'm sure it goes back further than that but I'm an ignoramus who can only read English and can only present two examples.
I'm not disagreeing that a lot of elements commonly people associate with shounen series aren't found in shoujo as well. In fact I think aside from some superficial differences stories aimed at that certain age group whether its meant for girls or boys are a lot more similar than stuff for those respective genders aimed at older audiences. For those reasons I've long felt Sailor Moon remains one of the best action fighting series Japan has ever produced.

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With Skip-Beat! something that makes her story very shojo, centered on emotion, is Kyoko's initial motivation. She's been thwarted in love and seeking revenge on the guy who ditched her. A shonen hero whose story starts that way would be truly unique... but that is so not happenin'.
There isn't a shounen hero whose origins exactly match Kyoko's but her motivations is a variation to a type that is all the time in shounen stories. Something bad happens to Kyoko that is beyond what she capable of normally handling. She shuts down (briefly) then to cope she swears off the rest of the rest of the world. Everything is dead to her, she will never allow herself to feel again, she will never allow what just happened to her happen again, she will find the person who did this to her and destroy him. Sure it's not, aliens have invaded earth, ninjas killed my entire clan, or what not so I snap and it unleashes my hidden demonic potential but it does feel familiar.
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  #2288  
Old 04-11-2013, 11:44 PM
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man if you can't see hints of lesbian desire between kyoko and kanae i don't know what to say

i mean, it's overcompensation over not knowing how to do normal friendship, but

kanae giving kyoko her birthday gift

kyoko fantasizing about kanae nursing her back to health

these two are totally gay for each other, just without being gay
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  #2289  
Old 04-12-2013, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by tungwene View Post
There isn't a shounen hero whose origins exactly match Kyoko's but her motivations is a variation to a type that is all the time in shounen stories. Something bad happens to Kyoko that is beyond what she capable of normally handling. She shuts down (briefly) then to cope she swears off the rest of the rest of the world. Everything is dead to her, she will never allow herself to feel again, she will never allow what just happened to her happen again, she will find the person who did this to her and destroy him. Sure it's not, aliens have invaded earth, ninjas killed my entire clan, or what not so I snap and it unleashes my hidden demonic potential but it does feel familiar.
Comeback from a crash/nadir, yeah, that's all over the place both shonen and shojo. East and west.

I hope we aren't talking across each other here 'cause I do agree with both you and liquid that there are similarities between Skip-Beat! and ye olde Shonen Jump and the "guts"/leveling up story. (and the relationships that can be parsed as homoeroticism.)

A difference between Skip-Beat! and shonen, that is a similarity between it and other shojo stories... the mysterious masculine figure who supports our heroine emotionally and is or could be a love interest (also in Sailor Moon).

If we were in a room together we could spend an afternoon on motifs, but my ability to pick this stuff apart is far greater than my ability (and patience) to type about it.
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  #2290  
Old 04-13-2013, 01:41 PM
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so because it came up the other day I sat down and read all of that first Battle Angel Alita series again. hadn't flipped through it in years. two main thoughts.

- the Motorball story just completely stops even pretending to make sense after a while. still looks cool though.

- the last volume is an all-time achievement in the field of hilarious batshit lunacy. I had forgotten about so much of the fucked-up shit in there, like Desty Nova's spring-loaded pop-top skull. makes me all the more sad that whatever publisher-politics bullshit has sent the original series down the memory hole.
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  #2291  
Old 04-13-2013, 02:13 PM
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I liked the original ending. I realize I may be in the minority.
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  #2292  
Old 04-13-2013, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe McGuffin View Post
I like Bakuman a lot too, but it's a stretch to say the characters "get older". Time technically passes, but it's insanely glossed over and the characters don't really develop (and don't get me started on the completely unbelievable non-romance that leads to that wedding).
Bakuman is just a sports manga pretending not to be one. Seen as a sports manga it does basically nothing new, and yeah, the characters are a little rubbish (and relationships are worse). Still, it is fun - but then, so are a lot of that genre. It's no Hajime no Ippo.
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  #2293  
Old 04-13-2013, 04:56 PM
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I liked the original ending. I realize I may be in the minority.
I will fight anybody who doesn't like the original ending.
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  #2294  
Old 04-13-2013, 05:03 PM
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I could see how it was rushed and could have used some fleshing out. But...not like this! Not like this!!
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  #2295  
Old 04-13-2013, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Pombar View Post
Bakuman is just a sports manga pretending not to be one. Seen as a sports manga it does basically nothing new, and yeah, the characters are a little rubbish (and relationships are worse). Still, it is fun - but then, so are a lot of that genre. It's no Hajime no Ippo.
Let's not forget that Bakuman is also essentially a love letter to the commercial, rating-obsessed culture of manga creation, that is largely responsible for the issues with the shonen demographic expressed earlier by Zef.

I've even heard (though not read myself) that Tsugumi Ohba has stated in interviews that he wanted Death Note published in a shonen magazine so that nobody would analyze the themes or think too deeply about it. I imagine he got what he wanted.
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  #2296  
Old 04-13-2013, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ghosttaster View Post
Let's not forget that Bakuman is also essentially a love letter to the commercial, rating-obsessed culture of manga creation, that is largely responsible for the issues with the shonen demographic expressed earlier by Zef.
Yeah. The "we might have to wrap this up at any time" side effect of that system is what makes series start out episodic (and typically more heavily comedy-based than they later turn out) before the series proves popular enough for the author to try for bigger arcs. Other times, series convert to battle manga because their popularity is declining (I can't decide which of the two Hitman Reborn was, but Medaka Box is assuredly the latter), which I think is addressed in Bakuman - or at least editorial pressure to write that sort of series.

It's that crap that makes even One Piece (but shedloads of other series too) have such irritating introductions, while on the other end decent comedy series end up being spun into generic battle manga at a moment's notice too - leaving both series compromised and unsatisfactory for fans of either. Bah!
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  #2297  
Old 04-13-2013, 06:44 PM
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/me pours one out for Yu Yu Hakusho.
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  #2298  
Old 04-13-2013, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Pombar View Post
Yeah. The "we might have to wrap this up at any time" side effect of that system is what makes series start out episodic (and typically more heavily comedy-based than they later turn out) before the series proves popular enough for the author to try for bigger arcs. Other times, series convert to battle manga because their popularity is declining (I can't decide which of the two Hitman Reborn was, but Medaka Box is assuredly the latter), which I think is addressed in Bakuman - or at least editorial pressure to write that sort of series.

It's that crap that makes even One Piece (but shedloads of other series too) have such irritating introductions, while on the other end decent comedy series end up being spun into generic battle manga at a moment's notice too - leaving both series compromised and unsatisfactory for fans of either. Bah!
Negima and Rosario Vampire both get more modern versions of this, although I think the former was more because even Akamatsu had a problem running the whole middle schoolers chasing an elementary school genius straightfaced.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Mightyblue View Post
Negima and Rosario Vampire both get more modern versions of this, although I think the former was more because even Akamatsu had a problem running the whole middle schoolers chasing an elementary school genius straightfaced.
I was told to check it out when the whole Magic World thing started. Turned out to be a DBZ with magic, endless training arcs, spiky-haired people boasting their power levels at each other, and everyone still needing to get stronger time after time. Only with really disturbing amounts of fanservice, perverted characters whose perversity was portrayed as heroic, and the absurdity that everyone involved in those battles was under 15 (making the fanservice creepier.)

So... yah. Not in a hurry to see if there's any underlying plot worth the EFF and moe harem stuff.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:37 PM
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so is claymore still any good or what

i kind of want to start picking it all up, but it's also a jump action series, so...
Nah, it got worse after time skip (like so many other series). The series peaked during a certain story arc that ended in a shocking massacre, but after that it's a dull slog of increasingly fucked-up ultra-powerful beings killing each other while the main cast of characters mostly just skittering around being ineffective and having countless almost-dead situations.

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Originally Posted by Joe McGuffin View Post
I like Bakuman a lot too, but it's a stretch to say the characters "get older". Time technically passes, but it's insanely glossed over and the characters don't really develop (and don't get me started on the completely unbelievable non-romance that leads to that wedding).
Hikaru no Go did the time transition thing more smoothly and is overall a better series than Bakuman. Still the most realistic (*well, apart from the spirit coming alive thing) and down-to-earth shonen series I've read. Also surprisingly devoid of a romance sub-plot. It's very much a love story, but always between the kids and the game of go itself (*I've been meaning to check out Saki, which seems like a female counterparts of HnG, only with mahjong; but I can't quite wrap my head around the rules of that game. Also, distracting boobs).

Bakuman is still worth it for its subject matter alone, tho.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:45 PM
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Romance subplots would be great if they actually went anywhere. When they're just there by necessity but never resolved (except maybe an implied eventual relationship after the final chapter) it's unbelievably frustrating. Not to mention all the issues there are with treating relationships entirely as trophies to be eventually won, with said objects of affection expected to wait for years and years so as to always be available. At least Bakuman did better than that with one of its pairings, and knew the other one was being absurd and unrealistic.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:26 PM
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I will fight anybody who doesn't like the original ending.
I've never heard of anyone who didn't like the original Battle Angel ending.

I'm planning to sit down and re/read all of BAA and LO in pretty much one go over the next couple days. I half expect it to turn me into Flaming Carrot. I got Aqua Knights around here too, which I never read past the first volume but my friend swears is the best thing Kishiro ever did.

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Originally Posted by ghosttaster View Post
Let's not forget that Bakuman is also essentially a love letter to the commercial, rating-obsessed culture of manga creation, that is largely responsible for the issues with the shonen demographic expressed earlier by Zef.
It is beyond hilarious to me that the closest thing Bakuman has to a "villain" is a guy who just thinks the editorially-driven style of manga creation is bullshit. I'm not a fan of crowdsourcing myself, but the characters themselves admit that they enjoy the manga he creates, and they believe it's high quality, but it is rendered evil by the sinful nature of its origin. And then he becomes a cartoonishly evil strawman because Shonen Jump morality.

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Originally Posted by ghosttaster View Post
I've even heard (though not read myself) that Tsugumi Ohba has stated in interviews that he wanted Death Note published in a shonen magazine so that nobody would analyze the themes or think too deeply about it. I imagine he got what he wanted.
There's something to that effect in How To Read Death Note, yeah. I thought it actually was in reference to his own writing (as in, he didn't feel obligated to have the characters themselves dwell on the underlying morality of the premise rather than get on with the plot, not that he didn't think the readers shouldn't think about it), but I don't feel like digging it out from whatever box I stashed it in to check.

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Originally Posted by Zef View Post
I was told to check [Negima] out when the whole Magic World thing started. Turned out to be a DBZ with magic, endless training arcs, spiky-haired people boasting their power levels at each other, and everyone still needing to get stronger time after time. Only with really disturbing amounts of fanservice, perverted characters whose perversity was portrayed as heroic, and the absurdity that everyone involved in those battles was under 15 (making the fanservice creepier.)
My local library has a surprisingly good selection of manga (like, they even have Saturn Apartments and Children of the Sea), so Negima was one of the things I checked out to see what the fuss was about. Your takeaway is not wrong, but Negima is actually sort of fascinating to me in that it reads exactly like one of those long-running webcomics where eventually every character is revealed to be a demon, or half-angel, or becomes a cyborg or gets some magic power and the series is less motivated by actual plot than just sort of ruminating on all the angsts of everyone wanting to hook up with each other.

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Hikaru no Go did the time transition thing more smoothly and is overall a better series than Bakuman. Still the most realistic (*well, apart from the spirit coming alive thing) and down-to-earth shonen series I've read. Also surprisingly devoid of a romance sub-plot. It's very much a love story, but always between the kids and the game of go itself
That's another one I've been meaning to borrow from the library, yeah.

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Romance subplots would be great if they actually went anywhere. When they're just there by necessity but never resolved (except maybe an implied eventual relationship after the final chapter) it's unbelievably frustrating. Not to mention all the issues there are with treating relationships entirely as trophies to be eventually won, with said objects of affection expected to wait for years and years so as to always be available. At least Bakuman did better than that with one of its pairings, and knew the other one was being absurd and unrealistic.
I dunno, the Shujin-Kaya "relationship" is like three or four volumes of him constantly thinking "Man, I don't think I like this chick that much, I should break up with her" and then he abruptly proposes. His complete coolness to her was so jarring I thought it was at least going to lead to a subplot or something, but nope, that's just the Bakuman version of whirlwind romance!

The alleged misogyny in Death Note sort of passed me by because really, it's more misanthropic, nobody comes off too well in that, but in Bakuman it's really hard to ignore how all the women are really just second-class citizens in the narrative (not to mention the occasional outrageous dialogue like "Women will never understand a man's dreams."). Naomi and Misa (at least when she first shows up) are at least empowered actors in the series that the male lead is forced to react to.

Last edited by Joe McGuffin; 04-13-2013 at 09:46 PM.
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  #2303  
Old 04-13-2013, 09:55 PM
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Yeah the women are portrayed pretty badly in Bakuman. Even when they're characters who aren't romantic interests, you have the unobtainable mystery girl in Aoki, Aiko's entire character is based around her love/hate with Takagi, that one assistant girl is basically crushing on Mashiro the whole series... they're all defined by their relationships to the men, I guess. And yeah, Kaya just does nothing but put up with a guy beyond all reasonability when he barely appreciates or even likes her, but they somehow get along really well out of nowhere.

And yet. That's still a breath of fresh air in comparison to, say, the romance subplot in Hajime no Ippo.
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  #2304  
Old 04-14-2013, 06:44 PM
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I will fight anybody who doesn't like the original ending.
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:52 PM
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death is all over the goddamn place thematically so its good to ehar the author was aware of that

it's kinda telling that the first thing that happened when they gave the story to an experienced director instead of a rookie writer was he chopped off the last half of the plotand used the central object of the story in a genuinely surprising way
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:43 PM
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I'm planning to sit down and re/read all of BAA and LO in pretty much one go over the next couple days. I half expect it to turn me into Flaming Carrot.
Yeah, I wouldn't call that a wise decision, but I'm interested in the results.

Aqua Knight I remember being a blast, with much lighter art than Kishiro's grim sci-fi stuff. But I last read it in like 1998. I should likewise page through that again sometime.

also I agree with Ohba in re: thinking at all about Death Note is really not worth your time.
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  #2307  
Old 04-14-2013, 09:14 PM
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also I agree with Ohba in re: thinking at all about Death Note is really not worth your time.
One of my coworkers used to love throwing conundrums at people as a crypto personality test. "If given the choice between doing something that changed the world for the better, and having close friends your whole life, which would you pick?" Something that would never happen in real life, and the purpose of it so transparent that it's an irritation to be pressed to consider it.

That's the response I had to Death Note, too, well at least for the first volume. After that it was an over-the-top suspense story, and not too bad I guess, though I haven't read past v. 5 to know how it all wraps up.
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:37 PM
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It turns out my copy of How To Read Death Note was in the same box as my copies of Aqua Knight, so I figured I may as well transcribe that bit since we're all talking about it. I will say that in hindsight, this is exactly the response I'd expect from the person who wrote the "fuck art, crowd-pleasing entertainment is the true nature of manga" bits of Bakuman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by page 69, The Author's Intent With Death Note
Is there a theme you wished to express through the series?

Not really. If I had to choose something, I'd say "Humans will all eventually die and never come back to life, so let's give it our all while we're alive." Given that, I don't think it's very important to debate whether Light's actions are right or wrong. Personally, I look at it as "Light is very evil," L is slightly evil," and "Only Soichiro is good."

Meaning that Death Note is not meant to push an ideology or make a statement about good and evil?

I didn't think about that at all. Near's words toward the end about how justice is something that we all think about and decide for ourselves would probably be closest to my own beliefs. I understand that the series brings up questions of right and wrong, but because the answers to these questions always eventually become ideological I decided from the beginning that they wouldn't be a part of Death Note. It's dangerous, and I don't see it as being interesting in a manga.

So the series is meant to be all about enjoying the plot twists and psychological warfare?

That's why I'm very happy to be able to tell this story in Weekly Jump. Because it's aimed at the young, you're able to naturally push back ideology and focus on pure entertainment. If the story were aimed at an older audience, they would expect more debate over the issues and therefore it would have had to go in that direction.
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  #2309  
Old 04-14-2013, 10:03 PM
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The Raider Dr. Jones The Raider Dr. Jones is online now
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yeah, this explains a hell of a lot actually.

aw fuck that means I just thought about Death Note.
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  #2310  
Old 04-14-2013, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe McGuffin View Post
The alleged misogyny in Death Note sort of passed me by because really, it's more misanthropic, nobody comes off too well in that, but in Bakuman it's really hard to ignore how all the women are really just second-class citizens in the narrative (not to mention the occasional outrageous dialogue like "Women will never understand a man's dreams.")
Japan's men are determined to make their next generation just as shitty to women as the last, ensuring the birth rate will continue to decline until nothing is left.
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