Gary Tang July 7, 2007
With the school projects and final exams finally coming to an end, I suddenly found myself with ample amount of spare time (until summer school starts orz). Therefore, I decided to sit down and do some major reading catch up (Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, …) and also started some new titles that I’ve been hearing about (Kodomo no Jikan, Air Gear, …). As I read through some 300+ chapters from various manga in the past two weeks, I began to question myself: exactly what factors made all the famous shonen titles a hit amongst fans?
-warning- incoherent rambling ahead (mostly involve dissing Naruto *cough*)
When I look for a book to read (not that I do :p), I’d always look at the front cover design, the title, and finally the description on the back. Likewise, I do the same thing for manga, except rather than flipping to the back, I’d research a little bit on the general story synopsis. (On a side note, this is usually where I end up not picking up titles, because most synopsis is usually written in such a crappy manner that I just can’t develop any interest for it *sigh*) I place a heavy emphasis on story, because I believe that a manga without story is like a pig without any meat. Fortunately, I seem to have a pretty low standard for what qualifies as “story”, because it seems that there’s only one general template for all of them: the
pathetic protagonist that rises to the top. Really, these people never get bored of drawing protagonists that have the potential to level up infinitely for all eternity. And you know what’s so awesome about it? There’s always someone out there thats bigger, badder, stronger, and more gar than you!!! ワイ~~~~~~~!!! Oh the bloody joy. After spending much time thinking, all 0.00004 seconds of it, I’ve came to the conclusion that story is not the deciding factor in shonen manga.
What about logic and well-thought development? While I was reading, I regrettably found out that the severe lack of this skill is a ubiquitous trait amongst most shonen mangaka, or so they tend to demonstrate. For example, what’s with Naruto trying to defeat every single badass in his way with 3 shitty spells and 1 that’s a double edged blade? And wasn’t it about how Naruto is going to become the next Hokage, not how unbelievably hardcore Naruto is for Sasuke? While I’m at it, why in hell is Asuma so bloody weak??? At least Doraemon didn’t even have a plot to begin with. *takes a deep breath and exhales* Ok, maybe I just hate Naruto, but it’s pretty hard to deny the severe lack of logic and good development.
If plot, story, and logical development isn’t the deciding factor of success, then what is it? The answer is simpler than it seems: action. What makes people boil is the glorious journey of the protagonist rising to the top, but more importantly, through the use of crazy maneuvers, hotblooded screaming, and law-defying actions. Indeed, it has reached the point where crazy fighting skills, shown in a stupendously glorified manner, can stand alone on its own and elevate a title all the way above the clouds. In other words, as long as it totally looks cool, who cares about the rest.
I can’t really accept kick-ass actions alone, but what’s one person compared to mainstream society. Even though DeathNote is also shonen and arguably a big hit, it suffered much hate due to its long text and lack of progress, or some critics tend to claim. I bet they probably think DBZ is the most progressive anime ever invented…but really, that’s a story for another day. I don’t even know what the hell I’m talking about anymore, so I’m just going to shut up now before my
stupidity rambling goes even more out of control.
Category: Rants & Raves
Disclaimer: Certain presented facts may be fictitious in nature due to lack of motivation to do proper research. I hold no responsibility for misleading information, creation of internet drama, or stealing candies from little babies. And errr... I don't have awesome writing, nor am I fully sane, so...just bare with it. I'm also not a picture person, so don't expect to see more than one color at a time.