Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Manga Criticism and Skip Beat 22

The dynamic in the thread is interesting- a woman states that some may not want to deal with mansplainers, stalkers and other wackos while discussing manga, and some dude is like OMG, YOU'RE OVERREACTING!

Now, personally, I don't intellectually criticize manga because really, as a person who has no idea about the cultural context of manga, and who while I do sometimes enjoy vague 'intellectual' grumblings, I'm not interested enough to put much effort into creating them. Even if I wrote a 3000 word essay about the similarities between Tohru and Akito and how that contrast exemplifies the theme of redemption in Fruits Basket, really, is that even necessary?

I think we just have our own fan culture and folks need to try to understand it before they comment on it. For example, most of us rely on translations, so even if the stories are 30 years old, many of us have not read them- we have to rely on whether we can find either illegal translations or the good will of a company. Even manga that was released in the early 00s can be difficult to find in translation, and the conversations of people who read the official volumes only versus those who don't can diverge rather widely due to the time lag in between.

Instead of going on and on about theory, I'll review Skip Beat volume 22. I'm glad that we've gotten back to what's interesting in this manga- Kyoko's growth as an actress. Ren's acting lessons of course are shoehorned in here for Ren/Kyoko fans, but luckily, that doesn't detract much from Kyoko's amazing turnaround. I also liked how Chidori represents one possible future for Kyoko that she has avoided using her talent, and her luck. I was slightly surprised that Kyoko was able to apply makeup so well due to the fact she doesn't usually use it, but then again, that's within supension of disbelief. Overall, a satisfactory volume.

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