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kajarainbow ([personal profile] kajarainbow) wrote2009-06-11 02:02 am
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A ramble about crap manga, and the strangeness I love

So, I read a lot of Japanese comics. I do mean a lot. For an assortment of reasons (availability via certain sources online being one--I'm poor).

I run across a lot of stuff I'm just tired of. A lot of stuff with somewhat interesting premise that flat-out ruin it by thrusting tedious cliches in.

Example: A comics about cats having territorial struggles. Could've easily been interesting, whether it's done with full-out cats, or with catboys/catgirls. But this one I took a peek at just because of the premise had a magical collar everyone's trying to get, all kinds of silly powers, the Ultimate Wild Cat or whatever, a breed 'more wild than the norm', and the concept of a power-up just by tearing off ones collar. Essentially, it's a bunch of boring silly manga tropes with cat ears/tails tacked on.

Another example: a comic about a fairly nice person trying not to turn into a human-eating ogre. Except that it became increasingly evident that the creator was just following the typical Shounen Jump formula (i.e. Naruto/Bleach). I quit reading about the time the main character got tossed into the Underground Training Ground for a Training Ordeal.

On the other hand, there's some series that seem to somehow manage to pull off utter ridiculousness. Others reuse those tropes in a way that's at least somewhat passably tolerable, and their execution's at least enjoyable. But what I really want is the strange stuff. I'll enjoy some of the less 'out there' stuff, but it often isn't my favorite.

And while there're definite trends both visual and story/character wise in the stuff I've seen, there're some fairly different works. I've really liked a number of those. Stuff like Tekkon Tinkreet, Uzumaki, My Street (this one is Korean), Sexy Voice and Robo...

So, let's see. I wouldn't mind recommendations, actually. Not just Japanese comics, any kind of comics online or offline will do. Webcomics as well as printed comics.

I like surreality--not the bland "Look! Talking penguin, gamer girl, Satan as roommate!" crap found in so many webcomics, but more of a dreamy or hallucinative quality. I want stuff that arouse intense emotions in me just by their visuals, especially. FLCL, Kageoru, Listening to 11.975MHz, Tekkon Tinkreet, Milk Closet. (Not necessarily constantly trippy, but frequently so.)

I tend to like a certain macabre touch (thus my interest in the 'nice guy trying not to turn into flesh-eating oni' premise mentioned above and annoyance at its disappointing execution). Anything by Junko Mizuno, Higurashi no Naki Koro ni, Hellsing, stuff with amusingly grisly carnage or morbid outlooks. A number of the 'gothy' comics out there simply disinterest me, but Serenity Rose's an exception.

Perhaps the ultimate fusion for me would be cute, macabre, and surreal. The game Yume Nikki manages to combine all those elements as an example. Another example, Junko Mizuno's stuff is cute and macabre and often a little strange (a giant pig that sells meat cut off himself, Cinderalla wishing to become a zombie so she can join her beloved undead musician named Prince, just most anything in Pure Trance, and so on).

There're other sorts of comics I like, but those tend to be the types of comics I most want more of. I also wouldn't mind recommendations of movies/series/games/whatever in a similar vein. And, frankly, I'll sacrifice general quality in a number of aspects for something that stimulates me enough (though well-executed surrealism has its own challenges). This crazy shit energizes me. It's mental food for me. It fills my head with imagery. It excites me. I love it.

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