Super Heroic Confession
So I watched a preview of some upcoming anime called Super Hero Legends. Damn thing looks awesome. It’s some sort of throwback to old school kiddie hero shows. Lots of wacky characters, like robots and aliens and dudes in underwear that can fly. Looks like it’s in the vein of Kinnikuman or Yatterman. Really digging the art style of the show. I’m sure most people’ll say it’s crappy or whatever, but that’s because they think everything has to fall into that narrow “as lifelike as anime can look” look that every other damn show uses. It’s awesome stuff.
But for some reason there was an episode long bonus feature tacked onto the end of the preview. Something about manga artists and stuff. I think it’s called Bakuman. I was wondering why the download was so big for a two-minute preview.
Let’s get down to what I didn’t like about Bakuman. To be blunt, I can’t sympathize with the artist dude and his angst over his uncle’s suicide and how it affects his desire to be a manga artist. You uncle makes it big with one series then bombs with his next two manga series? Then he kills himself for vague money/debt related issues? Maybe if we had more background on why his uncle did himself in I might be a little more sympathetic, like he had issues with depression or whatever, but as is the dude just comes off as a coward.
He couldn’t confess to a girl when he was in middle school. That’s cool, since most of us geeky types were like that as kids. But the dude obsesses over her for the rest of his life and wonders what could have been. OK, maybe the dude did have mental issues, since no one that’s right in the head is so incapable of getting over one lost love like that. But I’m still not feeling any sympathy. Sorry, I’m a bastard like that. This obsession leads him to a life as a manga artist, and he ultimately doesn’t achieve the sort of success he was looking for. It isn’t a matter of him failing utterly. The dude hit the so-called “lottery” once and got a manga made into an anime. That’s damn lucky. But in the end he still isn’t happy and he does himself in.
The main problem with all of this is how it makes the artist kid want to avoid being a manga artist. I guess I can chalk it up to him being an impressionable kid that can’t see the entire situation due to his immaturity, but that still doesn’t mean I have to like the situation. I know if I was in his place I’d find the whole ordeal a motivator to do even better and the shit that I like to do. Rather than succumbing and doing my best to wade through life while moping about my situation I’d likely tell myself “There’s no way in hell I’m gonna end up like my uncle! I might not hit it big, but at least I won’t be a fuckwit and kill myself just because I don’t have it all.” So, yeah, I just can’t feel where this kid’s coming from.
At least he seems to get over this relatively quickly. It may be the result of a similar situation to his uncle’s, where he confesses to a girl and said confession results in some sort of demonic marriage pact that will grow to fruition many years later, but fortunately it looks like we won’t be spending too much time watching him angst over how he doesn’t want to draw manga because of the mistakes of his dead relatives.
Unfortunately it looks like the series’ll be dealing with other family members disapproving of his decision. That I can chalk up to cultural differences. So long as I wasn’t, like, out murdering people or committing other crimes, my parents really couldn’t care less about what career I chose when I was a kid. They wanted me to go to college and all that, but they didn’t care about prestige and social-climbing and all that shit. It was about getting that piece of paper that basically said “Yes, you can go out and get a job that gives you money so you can do the shit you wanna do in life.” I’m not looking forward to sitting through a bunch of family drama where parents tell their kids they can’t be what they wanna be when they grow up. Again, it’s not something I can relate with and comes off as needless drama.
All that said, I still liked the first episode of this series.
When the episode wasn’t wallowing in self-pity it had some really good bits. While I can’t relate with his motivations, I could relate with the main dude’s desire to just float through life and get a decent paying job. The catch for me is that I always saw said “easy street” as a means to an end. Get a decent paying job and spend my free time doing the writing and other shit that I love. So I could relate with that to some extent.
The interplay between the artist and the writer is pretty cool as well. There’s a few good bits of dialogue between them, and seeing how this anime’s about them aspiring to be a manga team we’ll hopefully see much more of their “sparring.”
And I really dug the confession scene. How often do you see the main dude confess to the main chick in the first episode, especially when it’s done in such a blunt manner? It may result in some silly “we can’t see each other until we’re famous” blood pact that’s more plot device than a genuine end goal, but whatever. That bit was awesome.
So, yeah, I dug Bakuman despite spending wat more words bitching about it than praising it. I’ll give it a shot. But what I really want to know is when does this Super Hero Legends show start? I didn’t see a start date or anything at the end of that preview. Does Anime News Network have anything on this? Not that it matters, since I’m sure no fansub group would pick it up. Damn.