< Piro >
Monday - November 20, 2000
Ah, yes, the wisdom of shoujo manga... For those who are perhaps unfamiliar with the genre, here's a little lesson about Japanese Comics:
Manga, the Japanese term for 'comics' are divided into many subcategories and target audiences. There are two main categories: Shounen and Shoujo manga. Shounen manga, or Boy's Comics, are targeted at young boys and men - and generally involve a lot of fighting, cute girls, bizarre sexually charged relationships, and other end of the world scenarios. There are some great shounen manga titles, but for the most part they tend to be a little weak on story. Shoujo manga, or 'Girl's Manga' is targeted at young girls and women - the stories tend to revolve around relationships and interpersonal problems. Typically, shoujo manga has much deeper and more complex storylines.
Of course, these are generalizations, but for the most part they hold true. The most unusual thing about shoujo manga is it's silent popularity with male readers. Here in the US, we don't make any qualms about reading girl's manga - guys like me are even proud of it. In Japan, most guys wouldn't be caught dead in the Shoujo Manga section of the local bookstore. :)
A lot of young people really do look towards Shoujo manga for answers about life. While it's true most of what happens in shoujo manga will probably never happen to 99.95% of the people who read it, there always seems to be *something* there that does help. "See? it's OK if things are a little screwed up - things can get better, things can get worse, it's OK." Shoujo manga usually has a more 'day to day real life' feel to it. In fact, stories like Mizuiro Jidai (that's Yuuko in the screenshot) is so down to earth realistic that you could almost call it boring. It really is just the day to day life of a average (tho cute) young school girl. The manga-ka (manga artist) Yabuichi Yuu has even said that Mizuiro Jidai is really about her own experiences. :)
Oh, er, Mizuiro Jidai can get a little -too- honest and frank about some of the problems facing a young schoolgirl... (ahem) yes, moving on...
Speaking of privacy, I should apologize for last week's screenshot of Kimiko. It's not a sketch that I really planned on posting, but there was something very sad about her epression. One of the things I always believe in is respecting the privacy of my characters. The wrong drawings at the wrong time can change your perception of a character - and i don't want that. There's no reason for you to see her in her shift quite yet. Heck, you don't really know much about her. :)
I was going to write a rant regarding Friday's 'Meth for Dummies' comic - but it seems that everyone's reading of it was right in line with what I had hoped. Largo doesn't really know what meth is - he just thinks its a good way to make a quick buck. My first reaction to a explosion related to cooking meth was that it wasn't funny at all. I've seen what hard drug use can do to people, to some of my friends. It's not a source for humor as far as I am concerned. Don't fuck with that shit, people. The only drug i abuse is caffeine. You can't draw if your mind is fucked up, you can't play games worth a shit if your mind is fucked up. It's none of my business what people do in their spare time, but if you're into that shit... for crissakes people, use your heads.
There. I've said my peace on the subject. :)
oooohkiiie... what else. Oh yea, schedule. Once again, both largo and I missed rants last week. We've both been a *little* disorganized recently - largo is in the middle of a move, I've been trying to get my winter comike submission done. Also, largo and I have been working some of the background stuff for megatokyo - we don't want to goof something in the future by messing up the current episodes, so it's important work. The website needs work, I'm behind on my fredart sketches, i have a whole Japanese version of MT to put together, and three new t-shirt designs to finish... it's nuts. I need a vacation. Perhaps I should just drop the whole mess and run off and live in a cave somewhere...
Having said that, I basically have a four day weekend to crank on all of this - with any luck, MT will be running smoother next week. Largo needs to travel for family reasons, so if MT falls apart this week, it's my fault. :) Thanks for being patient with us. :)
and I REALLY gotta visit the forums... and do email... ugh. 854 messages to go thru... uguuuuu~~