jennaria: Japanese kanji (with a heart) saying 'I heart yaoi!' (Generic Japanese)
[personal profile] jennaria
Working my way through my queue, without Wife's help for now:

GURGURE! KOKKURI-SAN - Girl who has no friends, and prefers to think of herself as a doll (because dolls can't be hurt), accidentally summons a fox-spirit (as you do). This leads to Wacky Hijinx, and eventually her giving in and letting Kokkuri-san (the aforementioned fox-spirit) stay with her, because he is her Only Friend.

Honestly, I don't know what I think of this. First episode couldn't seem to make up its mind whether it was taking itself seriously or poking fun, whether we're supposed to sympathize with the characters (and if so, which ones) or laugh at them. It's theoretically possible to walk that line, but all we got was an awkward teeter-totter. I'm leaving it in the queue for now, as apparently we get another character in the second episode which might even things out a bit? ...oh, who am I kidding.

MONTHLY GIRLS' NOZAKI-KUN - Girl tries to confess to the boy she likes. Unfortunately, she phrases it not as 'I love you' but as 'I'm your fan,' and boy figures she's found out about his (not entirely) secret life as a manga-ka, so he gives her an autograph and asks her home...to help ink his manga pages.

On the one hand, exactly how oblivious can one guy be? Especially a guy who writes shoujo manga? On the other hand, he's very straight-forward - he's told people that he draws manga! Just nobody believed him, so he stopped! - and the heroine's exasperation is at least as much directed at herself for failing to say what she means, as it is at the oblivious hero. Also I burst out laughing multiple times, which is a good sign. ;-)

THE COMIC ARTIST AND HIS ASSISTANTS - so a few years back, Wife was teaching a course on anime, and wanted to check out NOZAKI-KUN to see if she could show it in her class. She went online, and came back annoyed: never mind, it was only fifteen minutes, and also wow could she never show that in class.

We're pretty sure she found, not NOZAKI-KUN, but THE COMIC ARTIST instead. Only fifteen minutes long? Check. (In fact, given its framework, I'm wondering if the original manga was 4-koma: it leans short and gag-heavy.) Entire plot-line, such as it is, entirely focused on how much of a pervert the main character is? Check. So not useful or classroom-safe (even a college classroom)? Ooo yeah check.

Part of the problem is the comparison, of course. Two series, both about manga-ka and how they work, both trying to be funny? Of course I'm going to compare them. But it also comes down to this: NOZAKI-KUN might gently poke fun at how oblivious its characters are, but they're all treated as real. THE COMIC ARTIST is just here to yell about boobs and panties and make me worry a little about Japanese teenagers. The characterization is so cardboard it would fall over in a stiff breeze. It got a second season, so clearly plenty of people disagreed with me, but for me, I'm booting it out of my queue.

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jennaria: Woman with mask, as drawn by Brian Froud (Default)
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