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I_Lam_Edhellen
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PostSubject: The Bad Manga Thread   Sat Sep 12, 2009 4:41 pm

Thread revival; you know the drill. Post rants about the bad manga you find that isn't bad enough to get its own thread.

Behold a piece of misguided shoujo glory, Houou Gakuen Misoragumi.

Now, the problem with this series is that its premise could make a fantastic story. In fact, ths is something I've noticed with a lot of shoujo series. The premise is fantastic, but the execution sucks. Kinda the opposite of most shounen series, where the premise sucks but the story rocks.

Anyways; I imagine that the thought process behind this story went something like this: Everyone knows that girls don't like plot. Girls only like tiny side plots and lots of touchy-feely bishounen in compromising poses. Even more than that; girls love harems. That means groups of touchy-feely bishounen in compromising poses. What's an excuse for there to be none of those pesky females in the picture... I know! Make her go to an all boys school! Better than that, make it a wealthy private academy. Everyone knows that rich guys are WAY hotter than regular guys. Now, there needs to be an excuse for her to be there and for her to be the "unwilling" center of all these gorgeous bishounens' attentions. This is a hard one... dad is a basket-ball fanatic, nah, that's been done. Oh perfect! She's a lesbian whose mom is trying to straighten out (and possibly land a rich husband!) What a twist!

If it weren't for the story trying to be a romantic comedy for straight girls to fap to, this could have been a great psychological horror thriller. A lesbian teenager forced into an all-male academy by a controlling mother who wants to turn her daughter straight; that would really screw with the characters' heads. There is tons of room for a lot of thought-provoking, poignant drama. But this...
:headshot:

Garo 'lass!
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PostSubject: Re: The Bad Manga Thread   Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:01 pm

Not having read any of it - if you took out the creepy homophobia I'd be down with that. It's like Ouran except without the adorable crushes girls have on Haruhi.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bad Manga Thread   Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:18 am

I_Lam_Edhellen wrote:

Anyways; I imagine that the thought process behind this story went something like this: Everyone knows that girls don't like plot. Girls only like tiny side plots and lots of touchy-feely bishounen in compromising poses. Even more than that; girls love harems. That means groups of touchy-feely bishounen in compromising poses. What's an excuse for there to be none of those pesky females in the picture... I know! Make her go to an all boys school! Better than that, make it a wealthy private academy. Everyone knows that rich guys are WAY hotter than regular guys. Now, there needs to be an excuse for her to be there and for her to be the "unwilling" center of all these gorgeous bishounens' attentions. This is a hard one... dad is a basket-ball fanatic, nah, that's been done. Oh perfect! She's a lesbian whose mom is trying to straighten out (and possibly land a rich husband!) What a twist!

.... I haven't read it, but somehow, Aerandria's summary made it sound so much happier:
Quote :
Kei is a girl who’s only interested in other girls! However, tricked by
her mother, she enrolled in an all boys school, thinking that she’d be
able to make her high school debut at a co-ed school. To normal girls,
being surrounded with hot guys at an all boys school might be heaven,
but to Kei, this is hell! What is Kei to do at this place without any
other girls, where she has to try her best to keep her real identity a
secret?!


Aaaanyway. Bad manga. Oh lordy lou, have I read some bad manga. For long and complicated reasons, I have read a lot of yaoi (a LOT), and while 90 % of the genre is varying degrees of crap, there are some authors that really stand out. The first one I come to think of right now is Kamo Nabako.

It's not that she does anything particularly horrible - there's none of the extremely graphic and hideously anatomically impossible sex-scenes (I do believe she even spends time on the foreplay, eliminating the whole AAARGH NO LUBE thing - though her foreplay is pretty lacking at times), and I've read yaoi with worse plotlines - it's just that she seems to take every bad cliché and turn up the volume ten notches.

Wagamamana Ningyosama, for example. It's been licensed and released in the US as Selfish Mr Mermaid - which is the entire plot right there in the title. The volume opens with Mr Uke (I seriously could not remember the names of the characters because they bored me so much) coming home after a bad day at work, crying because everything's gone wrong and his whole life is just generally shitty.

His apartment building is flooded, he finds his neighbour asleep in a flooded bathtub, only to have said neighbour wake up and claim to be a mermaid (dude even has pearly tears to prove it!) and in typical high-paced yaoi fashion decide to move into Mr Uke's bathtub - where he proceeds to be an asshole in a lovely domestic abuse fashion.

Mr Uke is obviously delusional, as despite the consistent ill treatment of him from Mr Mermaid ("Fetch me this, bow to me, stop mumbling and cook me dinner, BITCH!") he somehow gets into his head that Mr Mermaid is essentially a kind person (how "Stop crying damn it!" = kindness, I don't know) and of course, they end up doing the horisontal mambo in the first chapter (or maybe the beginning of the second).

What follows is an endless parade of Mr Mermaid being abusive and Mr Uke weeping. Bucketloads. I mean it; no matter what happens, he cries.

Mr Mermaid is mean - he cries.

Bad day at work - he cries.

He forgot to call his mother - he cries.

Mr Mermaid is NOT mean - he cries.

He is left alone for more than thirty seconds - he cries.

Top this up with Mr Mermaid threatening to physically abuse him every time Mr Uke dares protest against something - or even breathe too loudly - and you have the stuff that true romance is made of. Right?

Observe - page from the first chapter:

The lower half of the page sums up the main characters' usual mode of interaction - Mr Uke screams and cries, Mr Mermaid punches him in the face.

There's also a retarded sideplot about Mr Mermaid being mermaid royalty (we can't have no two-bit fish people stinking up our comics here, no) and having a rival whose name he can't remember, which ends with a giant clam turning into a shota-vibe-y bishounen at the end, but by then I was to tired of Domestic Abuse = Love Forevers! to really pay attention. The only thing that can be said in Selfish Mr Mermaid's favour is that there are no obviously rape-tastic scenes. Consent in the first sex scene is a bit strange (Mr Uke believes he'll be eaten - bones crunched and all - but instead it ends up being a very bad sex scene), but there's no obvious rape.

Annoying characters, stupid plot, badly drawn and if there's ever a drought in, say, Africa, all they'll have to do is call in Mr Uke and tell him he sucks - the following storm of tears should clear up the problem.


The list of bad ukes and retarded semes goes on - famous examples include one seme falling in "love" (read "sexually attracted to") with a horribly loudmouthed bitchy uke who does nothing but scream and verbally abuse him and rant about how his little dog is so much more important than the seme. Consent is dubious in this - they tend to be drunk during most of the sex scenes, and break character completely at all times, and the uke wakes up the next morning wailing about abuse. Then there's the one where a school director blackmails a kindergarten teacher into selling his body in exchange for not shutting down the daycare center the teacher works at. Or what about the one where a manager at a company rapes his subordinate while they're working late and then proceeds to force the poor boy into having sex repeatedly until said boy simply gives up resisting and goes along with it - sounds like the greatest romance of all times, doesn't it?

My biggest problem is the characters, really - I simply can't understand why they claim to be in love with each other, when they do nothing but scream abuse, cry buckets or rape each other up and down every damn page. I think I've read one work by Kamo Nabako that had main characters that honestly seemed to like each other, who did not have epic screaming matches, and which involved no dubious consent-scenes, and that one scared me off with its hideous eye-to-face proportions. Kamo's ukes have eyes that cover 80% of their faces - even when they're not in chibi-mode.



I have dozens of other examples, but this post is getting long, so I'll stop here.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bad Manga Thread   Sun Aug 25, 2013 6:16 pm

When I first read your post, I thought you were talking about Ningyo Ouji, which is a fantasy aimed at pansexual women, like me. (A woman gets dumped by her boyfriend because she gets promoted over him at work, meets a merperson whose sex changes depending on the ambient temperature, and sexifuntimes are had by all, except the sexist loser she dumped.)

Yeah, most "romantic" manga/fiction aimed at heterosexual women sucks. A few friends and I once had a long conversation about this, (mostly about how much the rapiness of it creeps us out) and we came up with several analyses that we figured might be likely.

Women in patriarchies are supposed to be sexless and libido-less unless it is on the man's terms. Women often self-police these qualities in forms of slut-shaming. So the only way to get a relationship and not end up being a slut is to have the relationship happen to you. So, the female/uke self-insert blank-slate character for the fantasy will end up being blackmailed then raped, enslaved then raped, drugged then raped, or just raped.

Women also aren't supposed to pursue relationships either, which is why the pursuit part of the romance will end up so lopsided. Men/boys/seme in these stories often stalk and harass their love interests obsessively, often doing all kinds of awful creepy, horrible shit that you'd never actually want to happen to you.

Now, women don't actually want to be stalked and raped (most, anyways) so a third characteristic of the Seme appears: extreme possessiveness and desire to protect her/uke from all those other seme (this part of the story is based on the assumption that men are zombis controlled by their dicks so you can't blame them for raping the main character).

As for why women and girls are getting into Uke skins for these stories... my friends and I all have our own theories about this one.

I think that a lot of it has to do with het. women being more interested in seeing dicks than they are interested in seeing vaginas, but they still want the rapey dynamics of the story.

One of my friends thinks it has more to do with wanting to put a little more distance between oneself and the violence of the story.

Another friend thinks that women are so used to living through male characters, because almost all successful stories we get to read/watch/play are almost entirely written from a male perspective. Even stories written by women are based in a male perspective. So, they're more comfortable with these fantasies being played out by male characters, even if one is only nominally male.

What do you think is going on in the female hetero yaoi/slash brain?
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PostSubject: Re: The Bad Manga Thread   Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:42 pm

This thread...finally somewhere I can ask questions without being attacked by rabid fangirls. If anyone wants to bitch at me, please go ahead but I'm just stating my opinion/what I've seen lots of pppl complain about. Maybe we should change this to manga/anime so all the weeabos have a topic to conglomerate to, even though it 4+ yrs old.


I seriously don't get the whole women love yaoi crap; though I understand the need to project oneself onto a character to understand the feelings and emotions in the story--or something like that. I can't project myself onto a male char, so I change them to female so I can or usually make the lead female. I can't get off to yaoi; so that's mainly why I don't read it or like it that much. That and butt sex freaks me out. Most of the time the characters are such douchey/tropey idiots that no one would want to be associated with them in real life. This isn't just in shoujo--shounen has this too, more so in the more popular series. Sadly, I'm having trouble finding good shoujo to relate with- maybe because I'm not a doormat that is super feminine and blah so I can't really relate to many female protags. I do like Fushigi Yugi by Yuu Watase, though I never got all of the big 3 pack volumes and have been to lazy to look it up to read online. What I read was decent enough, though it is rather old so it falls to some characterization and plot tropes, plus the harem idea might not be for everyone but I rather enjoy it. I honestly go for that art style rather than the plot and I like teh way she draws.

I do love Vagabond, too. Samurai are one of my favorite JPN things, along with ninjas, and the author does a cool job with fight scenes. I love actiony mangas about beating the crap out of stuff, but this also satifies my need for a decent plot. Kojiro seems to be a good foil to Musashi and then his best friend going against him subplot is keeping me slightly more intrigued.

Sad to say, Naruto is getting boring and predicatble as fuck lately. I used to love the tactics and planning in the fight scenes, and that has started to come back keeping me entertained, but all the characters have been thrown by the wayside or killed for the sake of 'plot'. The plot is boring, cliche and I can guess what is going to happen by the end; all the good villans and tension is gone too, and the MC's development is just....BLAREGH! I hate you Naruto, and Sasuke. sakura has been crap, even though she said she would try to improve herself from now on, but she hasn't done shit in the past 3 yrs. I've honestly been reading it only to make sure Kakashi survives and gets a happy ending--and I highly doubt he will. He's sadly one of the few characters that are kind of decent- but then again he's an expy of a video game character whose series has been abandoned and left on a cliffhanger since 2008. Honestly, this is more of the author's fault than anything but I hate him for it. Mario, his mafifa manga he tried to pilot to JUMP, doesn't look that interesting though it's probably the reason why he wants to rush and finish things up here. Dumbass, once you start something, finish it with a bang, even if you are tired out. I hate it when things get half-assed...

I tried reading Bleach too and got up to the part where they smash into the Soul Society with a cannon thing, in the very beginning but I never got past that part. Dunno why...The art style of One Piece is a turn off for me, but I watched the anime opening and thought it was sorta cool...
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PostSubject: Re: The Bad Manga Thread   Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:23 pm

Kakashifan727 wrote:
I seriously don't get the whole women love yaoi crap; though I understand the need to project oneself onto a character to understand the feelings and emotions in the story--or something like that. I can't project myself onto a male char, so I change them to female so I can or usually make the lead female.
Really? That's fascinating; I've never met a person who couldn't put themselves in the shoes and empathize with a character, no matter the gender. Heck, people can empathize with robot characters that don't have genders at all.

Kakashifan727 wrote:
I can't get off to yaoi; so that's mainly why I don't read it or like it that much. That and butt sex freaks me out. Most of the time the characters are such douchey/tropey idiots that no one would want to be associated with them in real life.
Meh, the gender of the characters and the means of sex doesn't really factor into it for me, it's the dynamics of the relationship, and how realistic the drama of the story is. Even tropes/clichés don't bother me; it's how they interact and how well the story is executed that makes the difference.

There is a cultural difference that you're spotting, (not excusing it here, it bothers me too) but women in Japan pretend to be stupid and easily manipulated to flirt with guys. They'll raise their voices to please-kill-me-now high pitches and speak in nothing but baby-talk. So, when the idiocy of the female lead is played up like that in Japanese stories, you're meant to find her cute and sexy. Yeah, it's actually creepy and enraging, but it's a thing in Japan. On the other hand, playing up the stupidity of male leads is supposed to make them likeable and relateable.

Kakashifan727 wrote:
This isn't just in shoujo--shounen has this too, more so in the more popular series. Sadly, I'm having trouble finding good shoujo to relate with- maybe because I'm not a doormat that is super feminine and blah so I can't really relate to many female protags.
That bothers me so much! When I was a teen, I didn't read/watch fiction that was supposed to be for teenage girls, because the teenagers I saw in these stories were horrible people; or I felt I was being talked down to, being told, "you should be like this girl" or "if you are like this girl, you should/will be punished". These stories rarely felt like they were meant for straight Christian girls who are terrified by their awakening libidos and being told that all men are EVIL (except for THE ONE. THE ONE isn't evil. Only all of the other ones.). It may have felt even more-so like that because I'm not straight, I was raised in a sex-positive, feminist household, and I'm an atheist.

There's a topic... Annoyingly preachy manga. There was one I tried to read that ended up being one long diatribe against the way Japanese Medschools work... Team Medical Dragon (Yay, Engrish!). I couldn't get through it; everything in the story got sidetracked or just stopped over and over for the author to rant about the evil medical establishment. The art was good though.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bad Manga Thread   Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:09 pm

Bad art turns me off more than anything. That or generic art/characters. Hence why I don't try to read much manga that much; I mean, I don't mind a cliche Hero's journey or romance story ecery now and then, but after searching for so long I'm tired of seeing the same type of plot. Kinda like fanfiction; can't professional authors come up with something other than story X, Y, Z? Literature has exisited for thousands of years; Or maybe I mean art...think like the Odyessy compared to Harry Potter or Eragon. Or even Shakespeare to Poe.

Okay, I want to state I was born in an conservative, Christian household that was fairly open in views on sexuality and femininity. I've thought of writing yaoi stories before, but not in the mood to figure out what would happen if I was found out. Mind you, I'm talking smut here, at least 16+ rated and also het as well. I do have gay family members and I love them dearly, as do my parents; we have no problems with them at all and treat them like everyone else.

Honestly. I've never tried reading yaoi/yuri and I'm not against them at all. I blame the Naruto community for this; they force their shipping on people and attack others who don't share the same views/don't understand why their pairing is the ultimate end all. That and bad fanfic in general. I feel I could enjoy one if it was well written and not have rape-creepy undertones like most romance stories tend to have, be they het or other. (Hell, even the stories I'm writing now I'm not sure how to define consent in them. Sorta like a sex=energy transfer sort of deal, maybe. That's more coercion than anything. I dunno..the line is hard for me to find. Human relationships are hard for me to figure out, though I understand basic things thanks to literature/school/observations.)

I just never liked the uke/seme thing and how it alters personalities beyond the sex, whether it is het or yaoi, etc. Why couldn't they switch it up? Have a top be bottom, etc? It must be another weird JPN thing; they have a lot of cultural BS I'm not really into or understand. A good example of this would be damsel in distress tropes in Western/anywhere lit and Tsunderes in JPN literature. Gender doesn't matter; if you like the fucking person, just say it ot their face and not act the complete opposite. Then again, that's a hate to love/love to hate you thing that's prevalent everywhere...Expressing myself with words is difficult sometimes and even I don't get what I say or how it comes across. That or I go on tangents and get excited like right now. Lol, I think half of these paragraphs is more stream of consciousness than discussion.

One more thing I want to add; I probably have said it before. I just find it annoying when females are cast into tropes where they have to be saved by men, or even other, tougher females. I understand that everyone needs a helping hand and sometimes characters make bad decisions that they need help out of from comrades. I don't mind it every so often and I enjoy when actions have consequences. I...I had an example but I don't remember what it was. I do understand that there are differences in men and women where each is better than the other and it can't be changed. But we are mostly talking about fiction here, so I think that some leeway can be applied when it comes to the 'men are physically stronger than women 75% of the time except when the women is on roids/training/etc. or other crap'. I do hate that most of the positive tropes are applied to men and women usually seem to get the short end of the stick; and pretty/well bred characters, no matter the gender, always seem to outclass the rest of the cast.

I guess this is because we live in a patriarchal society where men do have lots of influence, though women are trying to become more equal and blah. I don't mean to turn this thread into a feminism thing or are bashing on men; I like men most of the time, and I do have instances where I wish I was born a dude sometimes/just hate women for their BS. I had a point here, but...I think it got away from me. A trope example before I go; women using beauty to seduce men so they can kill/steal/etc from them. What if the character is not beautiful or smart? A nice manhwa is ugly duckling to swan, where a fat girl wishes she was beautiful in order to get hot guys to notice her. She is then beautiful but when it rains she turn ugly again and a kiss will make her lose the beauty and turn fat again forever. I haven't read much, since I don't know how much was translated but I hope this would be a good example that looks don't' matter much. Sadly, I feel it will be the opposite since Asia in general has huge dislike of fat people from the preconceived notion that fatties are lazy and eat too much instead of maybe having gene problems/whatever else makes you fat.

[url=http://www.mangapanda.com/1478/miunohri-to-swan.html]U. Duck to Swan[/url]
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PostSubject: Re: The Bad Manga Thread   Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:17 pm

Quote :
Anyways; I imagine that the thought process behind this story went something like this: Everyone knows that girls don't like plot. Girls only like tiny side plots and lots of touchy-feely bishounen in compromising poses. Even more than that; girls love harems. That means groups of touchy-feely bishounen in compromising poses. What's an excuse for there to be none of those pesky females in the picture... I know! Make her go to an all boys school! Better than that, make it a wealthy private academy. Everyone knows that rich guys are WAY hotter than regular guys. Now, there needs to be an excuse for her to be there and for her to be the "unwilling" center of all these gorgeous bishounens' attentions.
It sounds like the thought process that leads to the typical female harem series is pretty similar. Most don't even bother with the excuse for the settings; fuck it, just drop an abject loser with no personality, talents or redeeming value, and make a bunch of women gravitate around him for no fucking reason.
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