Saturday, October 26, 2013

Manga Binge: Why Nickelodeon is Awesome and Other Cool Stuff


Yup, another manga post. As I'll be on a little manga binge for the next 2 or 3 months my posts will constantly be flip flopping between manga and anime.

Last manga post I disparaged a lot of rubbish. This time I'll be sharing some thoughts on three manga that have either finished its run but have yet to be finished translated or are simply still up and going.

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This manga hits all my soft spots. It's kinda really pretty flippin' adorable.

The story starts off with a young woman who gets dumped by her boyfriend when inquiring about marriage. She gets wasted and returning to her apartment she realizes she really needs to take a piss. The elevator is busted and so she has to run up the stairs, but she can't hold it in and eventually ends up knocking on some random dude's apartment begging him to let her use the loo. The dude, whose apartment she crashes into, is a loner who spends his time working online and messing around with the random junk his brother sends him. Wasted girl gets interested in his hobby and a romantic bond blooms between them.

Like I said, flippin' adorable.

The plot is minimalist as essentially all it is is two people living mundane lives and finding purpose with each other. Inherently, characters and the relationships they share are sheerly charming and easy to love. The romance is so beautifully genuine and awkward and feel-good and sweet and adorable.

I had to stop reading it in public just because I couldn't stop myself from smiling like an absolute idiot and any piece of work that makes me smile like an idiot is a good piece of work.

The neat and tidy artwork and the cleant-cut organization really bode well with me, tacking on a little more joy to its simplistic nature and showcasing that sometimes, the simpler, the better.

Bonnouji has already ended its run, but the last three chapters haven't been translated yet, GAH!


What a trainwreck this is.

An amusing trainwreck, that's for sure, and if this wasn't a manga where I could just breeze through the chapters I would have already dropped it. I mean, there's literally (and I mean literally) no thought put into this manga and the whole story is just all over the map. Fukashigi Philia is the kind of series that rides on nothing but tasteless sensationalism where the author seemingly wrote everything on a whim.

It's kinda like a mesh of Durarara, Deadman Wonderland and Mirai Nikki. It's set in some run down city where a couple of horribly handled and characterized vigilantes fight crime and crap like that. Traumatized by the murder of his parents, our male ringleader of the whole gang is obsessed with serving justice, even through violent means and just as long as it doesn't result in murder.His love interest is a useless whiny girl who's into masochism. His childhood friend is also some whiny girl that does nothing more than to add some pointless love triangles. Then there are two other dudes that the manga doesn't even bother to really introduce. They just kinda show up conveniently as plot devices for the benefit of our "heroes". Oh, and the antagonists are all your typical bat-shit crazy psychopaths who are evil just to give our "heroes" some tension.

So yeah, it's just brainless violent entertainment about psychopaths fighintg psychopaths. Deus ex Machinas and ass-pulls are at constant use with characters just happening to know where to find each other, jumping to perfect conclusions with little observation and, like the anime Code Geass, you can't help yourself but ask "How the Hell are these unrestrained teenagers who act on instinct without a second thought able to pull off all these schemes?"

But again, I do find its heinous storytelling amusing in manga-form and with only 2 chapters left to be translated, I'm overly curious to see how everything will tie together in the end considering how many "significant" subplots and plot points they've poorly stuffed in. So if you're looking to burn some time by reading some trash, Fukashigi Philia's got you covered.


Man, I don't even know where to start with this. I was contemplating whether or not to dedicate a whole post in attempt to analyze everything I read out of this, but I decided that a post like that would never be finished.

Nickelodeon is an ongoing manga consisting of separate short stories that don't last longer than 7 pages. Some stories interconnect with others while some are just stand-alone (or do they all tie in together somehow? I dunno, bro).

From what I've got out of the 26 chapters that are out now, some chapters are like Aesop's fables, except with the ridiculous level turned way up, and some chapters are just plain nonsensical.

We've got vigilantes, water Gods, satanic bears, terrorists, Hitler, hypnosis, girls falling into deep love, girls severing their own hand, girls hunting monsters, girls blowing up and surviving, girl hiding decapitated fingers in their mouths, girls whose salivia has been turned to beer... and pretty much a whole lotta crazy.

and it's kind brilliant.

The short stories Nickelodeon contains are far better told than most stories other manga try to tell in several volumes.No matter how bizarre and meaningless stories are, they're all fantastically well-crafted and masterfully presented. And oddly enough, its story telling is quite restrained for most part, knowing damn well when to and when not to completely defenestrate subtlety. I wholeheartedly love how the series is able strip everything back to let the moments speak for themselves.Oddly enough, because of how firmly grounded with sensibility the magna is, even the most twisted and sociopathic tales from the bunch never delve into becoming too uncomfortable or so forced that its appeal becomes limited.

But while I loved the nonsensical tales, the ones that really compelled me the most were the most realistic ones. The "normal" ones, you might say. Not only do the series' most realistic and simple stories signify the diversity of the author's story-telling, but, one for example, a tragic love story about a couple who encounter each other at a hospital's waiting room really tugged at my heartstrings.

So yeah, Nickelodeon is, without a doubt, one of the strangest things that I've read so far, but it's, also without a doubt, the most highly imaginative, whimsical and beautiful manga I've read so far. Its appeal is quite open for most to pick up and I highly, highly recommend reading this work of art.
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