I know, I know, it’s on the list. If you look through my completed goals, you’ll see I’ve been to Japan. I do like Japan. I like Japanese food. I like Japanese cinema. I really enjoyed Akira. I played FFXI for a few years.
That being said, I’m not such a big fan of the manga in general or the anime it produces. I know, for some it’s like being a big fan of all things Italian and saying you hate pasta. But I swear that there’s much to Japanese culture that does not involve Manga and/or anime. And perhaps this is what annoys me about it – it’s a portion of the culture, yes, but it’s not the whole thing. It would be like assuming all American culture was country music and everything associated with it.
I suppose I don’t like these stories for a few reasons.
First, there’s the sense that there will never be an end to the story. I realize this makes no sense since I’ve enjoyed superhero works, but those are actually the comics I’ve stuck with the least – for the same reason. At some point, I want a story to have an obvious arc to it. At least with the DC/Marvel superheroes, you’ll end up with definite arcs. In my experience, the manga tends to meander and may or may not have a vague quest/love-interest/goal to get that may or may not be central to the story. This annoys me.
Secondly, the drawing grates on my nerves. The wide-eyed, small-nosed girls with exaggerated hair and bodies that would make Barbie cry…yeah, I think it’s a guy thing. Specifically a guy deep in the throws of puberty thing. I know, I know, there are plenty of female manga fans out there that are fine with the drawings. More power to you! And, hey, when I volunteer with the kids I’m one of the first to play Barbies – so call me a hypocrite. At the same time – I’m not identifying with anyone in these stories ever. It’s not the same as Harajuku girls by a long shot – I’ve been there and while the costumes are bright and colorful, their faces still look real.
Lastly, too much mythology. I think this is the same reason I’ll never be a huge fantasy reader. It’s probably also the reason I didn’t watch Lost. Heroes was lucky to get me. There’s only so much mythology I’m willing to memorize. I’m always amazed with the few fantasy novels that I do read to find the guides listing all of these details I’m willing to read past. To those willing to find the details – kudos! To the writers willing to keep the details in the broad strokes so I can enjoy the books – sweet! To the books where I end up having to know the mythology…I’m tired.
Yeah, you really wanted an entire thing on why I don’t like manga, didn’t you? Well, I figured it was only fair, since I didn’t really like this one way or the other.
It’s a cute premise – boy calls the wrong number and gets a Goddess Help line. Goddess shows up to grant his one wish. Instead of wishing for money, power, or even a new car, he wishes that the Goddess has to be by his side forever. So she is and he’s immediately kicked out of his all-male dormitory. I won’t get into the ridiculousness of the wish, as it’s sort of implied that he wants her as a love interest, but the book keeps them from even so much as mentioning a kiss for 7 chapters; even then, it’s nothing but a kiss on the cheek for a boy suffering from a terrible cold.
Outside of this, the Goddess, Belldandy, goes everywhere with Keiichi Morisato. The stories follow Keiichi first trying to procure them lodging, and then they shift to stories of Belldandy doing good deeds for Keiichi’s friends and family. Keiichi mostly eats, tries to keep Belldandy from telling everyone she’s a goddess and later tries to make moves on her.
I’d try to make this sound more exciting, but I’m not really the intended audience.
But I tried! 4 years ago