Easter — spring 2020 update

Greetings! Briggs N. Stratton, Emergency Blogging Hologram here and I’m guest-hosting this post because someone has been neglecting their responsibilities.”

Mudakun: “Leemmee alone, go away!”

B&S: “See what I mean? five months since the last post, only a few review threads on Twitter; even those have a meh! under-tone…”

Mudakun: “Terminate Emergency Blogging Hologram NOW!”

B&S: “Not happening Buddy Boy. Time to post something, anything.

Mudakun: “Don’t wanna, go away. Fyck off, get lost.

B&S: “Na-nee?

Muda: “For reason numero one, this is gonna be a self-indulgent as wot read for anyone who bothers…

…That’s plenty enuff reason alone. I/ we already test our readers’ patience with the whole TLDR thing. Sure the righty-tighty trolls leave this blog alone because their eyes glaze over at the theory wanking but everyone else’s eyes glaze over too. Time to rework my writing style so that it is short, snappy, fun and morally uplifting: motivational slogans and Zen quotes.

Not blogging until I can be the change“.

B&S: “Howz’at working out fer ya…”

Muda: “Just be ordinary and nothing special. Eat your food, move your bowels, pass water, and when you’re tired go lie down.”

B&S: “It is not enough to be compassionate, you must act.”

Muda: “What is the Blog? Nothing isn’t.”

B&S: “The blog is a wall surrounding nothing”

Muda: “Words are thoughts, thoughts are not truth.”

B&S: “By our own wills and vigilance, may we cut our fetters away”

Muda: “The farther away you are from the truth, the more the hateful and pleasurable states will arise.”

B&S: “All our desires are just things we force on others.

Muda: “it’s not the lasting of a thing that is important, but that it existed.”

B&S: “Reluctantly the Bodhidharma took out his fife.”

Muda: “Cheat! Put that thing away, is dangerous…”

B&S: “You still respect senior bloggers who keep up the good fight and manage regular posting schedules. You look up to them. You keep email notifications turned on, you read their posts. The flame has not died. If yours flickers maybe you are holding it wrong?”

Muda: “Kindly please and thank you fyck right off. We are in the middle of a pandemic and under lockdown. Every trip to the grocery store is like.. like.. Mechanic’s Mate 3rd Class Foyle crawling out of his tool locker to snag another oxygen bottle in the dim hope that it will still have something left in it.”

B&S: “Our taste for melodrama remains intact.”

Muda: “No sapient being ever interrupts a defense mechanism. This shit is dangerous. Anyone who catches a full virus load will die horribly and painfully. If we luck out and only catch a light one it will still be 3-4 weeks of coughing our guts out while hanging over a chair and intermittently shitting ourselves. Bonus bone-wracking aches, fevers…”

B&S: “Ok, yeah. I remember that last “real” flu bout.”

Muda: “…And while we are not exactly young any more, we have it pretty good; plenty of folks are going to die. Every one of us is going to have someone close to us die. This will hurt, the weight of grief will be staggering. Is this really the time to drop 30,000 words on a straight Japanese cartoonist’s weird idea of how to make up queer characters? Like reading the interview with Murakami by the woman writer… [https://lithub.com/a-feminist-critique-of-murakami-novels-with-murakami-himself/] Sensei is playing tetris, trying to make the silly little blocks in his stack “fit” and holy shit(!), real folks, the subset of half the human population that actually cares to read his nonsense, get whiplashed.

Printer go brrrrrrrr.”

B&S: “Ban all poets from The Republic. Small engine maintenance books only!”

Muda: ” …And at the risk of being a real fucking drag™, the lockdown absolutely must persist for another year or so, until a working vaccine is widely available. Until then the entire world is ringed in with landmines. A landmine doesn’t care if you get antsy after sitting in your kitchen scrolling through Twitter for weeks. A landmine doesn’t care if your bank account or pantry are empty.

Landmine go BOOM!

B&S: “Would then this be the perfect time to write tons of posts? Folks need something — as much somethings as possible — for relief against the crushing wave of dire.”

Muda: “Very sorry, can’t think of anything, go away.”

B&S: “Ghost in the Shell Arise is inferior, compared to Stand Alone Complex. And why would a cyborg wear panties, except as service for fanboys?”

Muda: ” Very funny — won’t bite. You do the math, you write the essay. I’ll buy you a fresh air filter if it is readable. Yeah, they could have toned down oversexing the boss woman cyborg’s charms. Also, mullets.”

B&S: “Gotcha, he said in a poised voice.”

Muda: “Quit trolling me. Besides, senior blogger sensei does this far better. I can see her points, even… I will give SAC’s tachikoma their due. Also; tin-man arc… ”

B&S: “Ever notice that throughout the franchise, the one fixed point is Batou? Also, one day she’s gonna tear Spotted Flower a new one and you will go apoplectic – we know she reads Le Paradis.

Muda: “As long as she does not convincingly equate it to My Mother The Car in one short, irrefutable paragraph, I’ll live. I’ll never renounce Maid Dragon but now I’ll never be able to un-Samantha it either…”

B&S: “Desire. You are forgetting, no, eliding desire.”

Muda: “This blog was always a niche operation. On the surface it looked like it fanned out on obscure manga and covered aspects of LGBTQIA+ representation in manga and anime but it never really did, even if we are sympathetic to greater representation…”

B&S: “And why then did we bother with this, again?”

Muda: “Urrrr… Because it was odd that we straight folks make up our own weird little ideas of queer so that our characters can do things we can’t or won’t do.”

B&S: “Vicarious gay secks?”

Muda: “Noooo, well not wrong I guess for some folks — but beyond the alternative cuddles lie the (all caps) RULES. The expectations, the limits, the “social scripts”, the economy stupid. The Taliban – and local variants. The Church, the law, your job, your boss, your coworkers, your neighbors. It was not just a case of “the other”; it is the entire machine that created them and you and me.”

B&S: Pure love? The idea that if society is so against it (or at very least determined to ignore it as long as it frightens not the horses) and yet some imagined two could not stop themselves… that the story becomes a social science hypothesis with extraneous variables stripped out? That kinda thing can go sideways really fast.”

Muda: “Partly it — but more. Any fool writer who sets up this kind of thought experiment with no experience whatsoever, or an extremely partial outsider’s view immediately telegraphs their desires within their little comic books (ooops, “the narrative”) Murakami is either fitting tetris blocks or (and) writing his idea(s) of fun, interesting and dangerous girlfriends — or at least what they could be and what he could be. And the readers who glom onto such tales too; they too want!”

B&S: “Lit-crit 101. The lady writer is going easy on him. She’s a pro and understands how hard it is to write, plus there are part of Murakami’s stuff that she likes and then .. wham! Magic Girlfriend beams down, fascinates the schlub and sets his sorry ass in motion. Tadah! After the quest arc is over, she vanishes and buddy boy crawls down the well again.”

Muda: “I should do 30,000 words arguing that Kio Shimoku is a better storyteller than Murakami. Atone for all the piracy over all these years…”

B&S: “You own physical copies of all his Genshiken tankobons, even if you scored them at Book Off. Grey-channel readings are therefore legit translation aids. While we are at it, why not scan the volume extras that never got fanlations after the final arc started? I’m sure we could find a translator. Posting summaries wouldn’t even be spoiling much and would go a long way towards satisfying a few die-hard fans — including US.”

Muda: “Don’t wanna. Mebe later. Whatever.”

B&S: “Very lame post after a five months hiatus. What’s really wrong?”

Muda: “Nothing much. Enjoyed “Bookworm“, “Black Clover” the reboot of “Fruits Basket” and a few others. I was stanning and pestering all my non-anime watching friends to try “Eizouken“. Not as if any of those properties need me to add more posts to the “Oh yeah, please watch!” pile. Oh yeah, Picard

…Romulan witches need sensible shoes!

B&S: “You ran out of gay stuff to exploit, neh?”

Muda: “It’s not about exploiting gay stuff. If the work looks even remotely queer-gaze and/or queer authored we are inclined to leave it be, unless to bring it up in contrast to straight-folks-making-up-their-own-odd-versions-of-queer treatments of similar themes. Or if it does something neat. The payoff for the contrast is not the “You’re doing it wrong” but the “Why did you feel you had to do it that way?”.

Here’s a dated example: I did a review on Fukakai na Boku no Subete/ FukaBoku when it was surfacing in Fall 2018. [https://heartsoffuriousfancies.wordpress.com/2018/10/13/gender-and-performativity-among-the-josou-maidos/ ] Perhaps I put a smidgen too much edge into the review; a side effect of considering it alongside the earlier ‘Kimi Dake no Ponytail‘ doujin which is light BL smut. What is interesting about the series (considering Ponytail as part and prequel) is how it used common BL and otokonoko schmexy romance cliches as the hook and then went hard into public education mode. Later it even drags the charas off to a Pride parade!

I approve. Good series, if a tad preachy but that’s what it is there for. Praxis. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Reminds me of a certain advanced degree in Community Organizing that is kicking around these parts somewhere. Will I do any further follow-up on it? Doubtful. At this point, such is best done by tojisha voices, even outlander tojisha voices.

See how the series was written up in Anime Herald. [ https://www.animeherald.com/2019/04/22/love-me-for-what-i-am-fukaboku-a-sweet-drama-that-explores-japans-gender-landscape/ ] They do what I can’t and they take extra care where I may be (have been) clumsy.”

B&S: “Step back, resist the urge to overtalk?”

Muda: “If I want music, I’ll turn on the radio. I already know what I think about stuff — or maybe I am still working it out — in any case, where’s the value-added in finding my takes %100 confirmed and mirrored back to me? When more and more diverse voices are stepping up to the plate, maybe I should read the room, hang back and listen up. Besides, I already got to do my Michael Bishop title trick which no one will ever twig to. Or I could grind on other obvious straight-guy-gaze fluff that is still flying around – even if most of it is thin. Fun enough to waste time watching  but damn thin.

F’rinstance; Yena the Hyena tomboi in Murenase! Seton Gakuen/ Seton Academy: Join the Pack! “

B&S: “I like Yena. She, along with Big Wolf Sister are the two most interesting characters in the thing. The rest of ’em are cardboard; buddy boy is particularly disagreeable.”

Muda: “And that’s why I mention Animal High School as exhibit A as to why it’s so hard to motivate. Grind through the obvious components; the trope pile from delinquent high school stories, frustrated teen sexuality poked at through the over-emphasis of “animal urges” then paint by numbers around a few core charas who don’t fit in. I pointed out in a Twitter thread that Yena feels like a shout-out to the Yankee transman in the late 1990’s “Stop Hibari-kun“…

…Whether or not IRL transfolk find Yena’s inclusion in the story useful as “representation” vs annoying as “misrepresentation” is not my (or our) call. Yena’s main function, for the gazes of those like us, is to comically highlight the perils of struggling against one’s assigned place in the social, while pointing out how arbitrary and even paranoid such assignments are (see also nekkid mole rat stuco prez.) All of this is about as complex as the 4th lecture in a senior high-school Introduction to Sociology class. It lacks Theory Moe! ”

B&S: “What of Interspecies Reviewers? It had a not-futa‘d hermaphrodite angel who identified socially as male-ish, a magic Gender-Swap Brothel and another Hyena-gal.”

Muda: “Early 1980’s pay-TV comedy porn. Memories of soldering up bootleg descrambler boxes. Again, a fun watch but way too ridiculous to do an essay on; very low on Theory Moe. Not doing the sex-positive discourse. (I may have missed the last episode pay-off as pointed out to me by a correspondent) Have a 1970’s Japanese after-shave CM collection instead:

Oh heck, have another… ”

B&S: “Urrrrrr... That gate is right outta Black Lizard! Stop touching your face! “

…You COULD have caught up on your academic paper readings, there were a few interesting things that popped up on Academia-edu. What DID you do these last 5 months?”

Muda; “I was seriously contemplating sourdough baking. And Kombucha brewing. Also alcoholic coffee Kombucha brewing. That and yard work… ”

B&S: “And of course, no Japan trip this year. –sigh– ”

Muda: “That was originally an “avoid Olympic madness and price spikes, go later” idea. Then effing Covid-19 popped up. Now nothing but stay home, read, watch anime, do chores and keep an eye out for non-existent gigs. If I survive a bout of coronavirus I will be immune and therefore super employable! Something to look forward to. Otherwise, history stalls until a vaccine pops up.

Please, whatever gods there might be, may all my kin and friends stay safe and not catch this shitty thing and die…”

B&S: “You could monetize the blog”

Muda: “I will not be responsible for regular blog posts.”

B&S: “Do a podcast. Two hours of stream-o-consciousness Blah blah blergh…”

Muda: “…With 3.5 minutes of useful content. Plus paperwork and accounts to snag the monetization while protecting our privacy. Better ROI spending 4 hours hunting down cross-referenced part numbers for the mini-van alternator brush set. Order in the 2 pack that was finally found on Aliexpress for under $7 and revive our original one – a $60 – $80 value, not including time spent bargaining at a junk-yard. Hooray that Nippon Denso makes alternators for so many car models and keeps the internals pretty much the same.”

B&S: “Warning! Extreme Caution. Resist the Angel of the New trap. Piles of debris… You HAVE a replacement working alternator in the minivan and it will prolly outlast the vehicle. Keeping an extra on the shelf is compulsive. Why not APPLY some of that compulsive blog-wise. And stop watching MSNBC well past midnight – the pandemic shit is freaking us out.”

Muda: “Not completely spun yet. We have enough toilet paper. Have a full box of face masks, souvenirs from a previous Japan trip; ¥99 a box! Loaded up on sports drinks for electrolyte maintenance if we catch it and run a fever. Found a working medical thermometer and calibrated the surplus digital lab unit. Does 37.2 count as fever?

B&S: “You owe it to the readership to at least drop a few recommendations. Everyone is cooped up at home and doing the distancing thing.”

Muda: “Eizouken got a live-action version, I hope someone fan-subs it. I also watched a live action J-drama that someone I follow on Twitter fansubbed: Hitori Kyanpu de Kutte Neru/ Eat And Sleep at Camp Alone. [ https://mydramalist.com/40377-hitori-kyanpu-de-kutte-neru ] Most excellent, except that it triggered my camping gear binge-shopping reflex, which I can ill-afford. (Aside –it was so good to see the crew again in the Heya Camp shorts – less gear binge triggers) I found at least two grey streaming services for it, though one needed the VPN built into Opera Developer set to “Asia” to load the video.”

B&S: “No posting links! Don’t burn sources! ”

Muda: “The only thing I fear about Live-Eizouken is that they will kawaii-fy the characters, give them squeaky keigo girly voices. Sayaka Kanamori especially must not lose her essential gruff manner.”

B&S: “You are a sucker for girl-gang sukeban charas in long uniform dresses. Big Wolf Sister too… Meanwhile you have skipped over an entire season’s releases and we have a fresh new crop of anime dropping. C’mon; something good, please:”

Muda: “Sukeban variants have agency and don’t teeter around like stunned sheep flashing skin. Skirts are weird unless they are long. Also: #Pants4Hanagumi”

B&S: “Right, new Sakura Wars. Anything else good out there?”

Muda: “Time for the never-before-done “New season, this looks interesting” mini-review section. In somewhat order of interest:”

Must:
Kakushigoto – Having YA Hime flashback intros adds depth to what originally was a very simple Kumeta gag manga. Is papa’s rude manga a hat-tip toward Gintama? It’s a Kumeta without too much down the rat-hole meta… Yet.

Appare-Ranman! – Can it establish the right balance that lets the overdone stereotypes settle comfortably into this Wild Wild West/ Great Race/ Retro Samurai mish-mosh.
All those turn of the century great race ensemble farce movies were bowdlerization of the actual chaos that did take place during such early public sport spectacles – which would be a good essay topic. The 1904 Olympic marathon frinstance. Whatever. Looks more fun than most steampunk-ish anime — the steam usually eats the plots. Samurai straight-man.

Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa/ Ascent of a Bookworm 2 – Oh gawds, Mi-n (Mi-le) is such a perfect isekai heroine. This is classic “hard” lost-in-medieval-land scifi, a la “Lest Darkness Fall” and “Lord Kalvan”. Making the protrag a sickly, weak girl renews the genre. For me, I want this to stretch out for 6+ seasons, as she gradually upends her society and the economy so that she can have her bookshop.

Fruits Basket 2nd Season – So soft and caring and warm and sweet with unspeakable tragedy, domestic abuse and trauma behind nearly every single character. Razor blades in every piece of fruit. Beautiful and terrible.

Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika Nai Akuyaku – Perfect gag game-world isekai. Katerina, her farming, her toy snakes and her guile-less flag-capturing of every single other chara’s hearts and routes…

Kitsutsuki Tanteidokoro/ Woodpecker Detective’s Office  – Meiji literary bishies. Too many of them. Beautiful artwork. Tanka.

Yesterday wo Utatte – Magic quirky girlfriend but it is done competently enough.

Nami yo Kiitekure/ Wave, Listen to Me! – Straight up Josei. Loud-single-twentysomething Sapporo woman gets conned into hosting a late-night radio show.

Princess Connect! Re:Dive – The guy MC has amnesia and can barely converse. Overpowered magical fighting babes, busty and otherwise converge on him and then nothing much happens except they look for food and eat. There is a llama in bikini armor in ep4.

Hachinan tte, Sore wa Nai Deshō!/ The 8th son? Are you kidding me? – Eyebrows went up at magical sensei but it resolved, I guess. Character dynamics are half a cut above default so I’ll keep watching for now.

Fugou Keiji: Balance:Unlimited – Asshole Insanely Rich Detective is an asshole. This season’s Bayside Shakedown tribute. Amazing how many of ’em pop up.

Might:
Kaguya-sama 2. Still not completely sold on the comedic virtues of elite teen sociopaths’ romance framed within the “love is war” structure. Feels like work — work that other people have to constantly clean up after.

Catch up/ finish off:
Black Clover – ’nuff sed.
Gegege no Kitarou (2018 now at ep 97 !!!).
Dorohedoro – suddenly felt dire, took a break.
Kyokou Suiri – not sure exactly what this is. Social media psychology Vs ghosts?
Boku no Tonari ni Ankoku Hakaishin ga Imasu. – random chuuni guys still random.
Kabukichou Sherlock – please just let it be that kid Moriarty ain’t the ripper at the end.
Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun – gender inverted toilet ghost story, sure, how bored am I?

Trepidation:
Arte – I know enough art history to guess who she is modelled on. Could get dire.
Listeners – an audio jack where?
Kami no Tou – whatever, pass.
Re:Zero etc – pass.
Gleipnir – pass.
Mewkledreamy -pass.
Tsugu Tsugumomo – manga is really cringeworthy ecchi. Hard pass.

…And that’s it. I have now provided value for anyone who has wasted their time reading this far.”

B&S: ” You really should do a podcast. Buy an $20 Aliexpress voice changer and we can do dialogue, even if we go all Henatsu-talking-to-ourselves-in-a-dark-room. You once hosted a late-night college radio show with a win95 laptop running MSTALK as your “guest”… ”

Muda: “Enough, I’m dancing already, stop with the grotty reminiscences! One more thing; since I have not really monetized this blog, not like I am cheating any patrons. This has been self-indulgence, fanning out and typing practice since 2011…”

B&S: “Posting panels from UQ holder with the loli vampire walking on as her friends and acquaintances thin out behind her, bonus 8-bit midi violin sonata music…”

Muda: “…And another thing! Why can’t I digress and do stream-of-bullshit posts every so often. Podcasts! Those things are FRICKING POPULAR! YOU CAN LISTEN TO THEM WHILE YOU CLEAN THE BATHROOM! ”

B&S: “This is well and truly into the weeds. Time to do some Spotted Flower catch-up.”

Muda: “Chapter 32 is out in the latest issue of Rakeun Le Paradis. Also the 4th volume collection/ tankobon is out, with a short extra chapter that we won’t see for a while (unless we buy and machine-translate a digital version of vol 4). The promo card that came with physical copy sales was Hawt As Heck, even if I suspect it was a hat-tip to a notorious 2000’s era guy-gaze exploitation yuri title…

…Is it too Maka-Maka?”

B&S: “Maka-gurls didn’t have the power levels to hair-sniff. Hair sniffing is pheromone drenched lust-fun. And check out SueV2’s sleepy eyes. Eyowwwwch!
Right HERE right NAOW!

B&S: “So SueV2 X OgiueV2 is canonV2. I doubt SassV2 is getting his threesome either. Mebe some Yuri-NTR, which is suspect. Cover card proves that Kio-sensei can do girl-love without making a total mess of things. So do SOME instances of chapter 32…

Muda: “Sue’s food court demands for PDA’s are just the right level of Sue-doesn’t-give-a-fuck, mixed with confident possessive desire. But then a few pages later; back to her slobber-tongue burlesque routine. Kio-sensei could still wiggle out of the clumsy on this but chooses not to. Like he came up with Sue Tongue Thing™ and he is sticking to it.”

B&S: “No idea of course what original Japanese phrase she is using instead of “Suck Face”. The European localisation is opaque; either a colloquialism or an obscure manga/anime reference.” Meanwhile, it looks like the big secret is out and spreading within the group – which was inevitable. This begs the question: when will there be a HatoMada round 2?

Muda: “It is imperative that for Mada to remain sou-uke-hime, he has to be shown to have creeped towards it all along, for his own selfish irresponsible I-can-get-away-with-anything-because-I-am-sarraryman reasons. Would not Hato still want the full package tour? Does Hato need an email referral code for a reputable online pharmacy based in India that can deliver real and effective fuck pills (and antibiotics) to Japan, at low low prices?

Yo Kio-sensei, these DO EXIST.”

B&S: “WHUT? No referral code dropped -here-?”

Muda: “I demand that if Mada continue to get boned, he must be shown to be in full bad-faith “chaser” mode by refusing pharmaceutical assistance, rather than just have him “I wannad toooo but then I go limp. I be subconsciously turned off by sticking my dick IN THERE… So take me again, you dirty, dirty Hato-chin!

B&S: “Yuppers, Mada V2 is much more “useful” for storytelling now that his passive-aggressive privilege has taken the wheel. Are we comfy swiping the “chaser” term? Assuming we got the nuance from western trans-lore right; wherein a straight guy won’t admit to wanting a full guy-guy sex romp, so dates a transwoman but then reverts to “you are really just a guy with boobs so fuck my ass” mode in the sack… This one probably has all kinds of controversy clumped around it within the trans continuum…”

Muda: “but the application of it, to shorthand the Spotted Flower-verse’s chara dynamics is too good to pass up. Bonus that Hato V2 stubbornly resists identifying as a woman. Hato insists, per their creator’s conceit, of occupying their unique trans-fujoshi identity-space. Better than X-gender. More niche than anything the maidos in FukaBoku have come up with, though they still are miles out in front of our fave ero-mangaka for having a robust queer social.”

B&S: “You are doing para-value judgement-y-ness using your “doctrine of authenticity” nonsense again.”

Muda: “Only for in-story plot mechanics. Makes it easier for us pale straight-cis-het oyagi to maintain our detached privileged POV. Keep your hands off my safe space.”

B&S: “Spotted Flower is Genshiken Isekai. Plot Twisty! Madarame is the Last Boss. He never really was a True Scotsman.”

Muda: “The truest true-fan guy is Tanaka-san. Even then, the fangirls have higher stats. Real fans in their 30’s do not forsake the dream; they wear their precarity as badges of honor. Also, I had this take in a draft review a full month before I was scooped on it by a senior blogger!

B&S: “The salaryman is the villain. Should stay in his happy riajuu life, spend his beer money on manga goods and show respect. Also; you snooze you lose.”

Muda: “The mangaka who risks all for their artistic vision is the true hero!”

B&S: “Kio-sensei’s joint, his meal-ticket, his rules.”

Muda: “That should be enough to catch up on Spotted Flower. The three-times-a-year pace in Le Paradis drags the heck out of the story. It does however incentivise regular “fireworks”. If a year of the tale is 3x 8-12 pages, gotta lob grenades to keep the story moving. HatoMada -kaboom-. Nekkid Hato reveal time -kaboom-. Sue X Ogiue, -kaboom-!”

B&S: “why don’t you grind some more on the subject of disillusioned desire in the post Genshiken-verse? Could be worth a thinkee piece.”

Muda: “Would probably end up positing the relationships against an “approaching Arcand’s Declin event horizon”. Time stretches, those falling into the singularity scream for millions of millenia, whatever. Next thing we know, we have Heechee wandering around the wrecked lives as dawn breaks after a night of relationship meltdowns. A dead soul trapped in an AI blathers on about their unending guilt over a one night stand with a dude…”

B&S: “Ok, won’t do that — or maybe later. Or we could say that we predicted EVERYTHING about Spotted Flower back in 2014:”

Muda: “No one will get that reference…”

B&S: “You got one more thing on this, neh?”

Muda: “Hard to pin it down though. Kio-sensei’s cynical (and/or complex) approach to desire and romance. Something about how rare it would be for both parties in a couple to be equally smitten, for equal reasons. Might just be a case of literary conceit.”

B&S: “Might have legs; some kinda of shoujo <–> josei continuum metric. One party is completely head over heels in lust-stoked romantic love (though we can suspect that they have been looking for the full deal for years to fulfill their vague identity needs) against a continuum of the other either with: their own head up their respective romantic folly VS a cynical “rubs feels goods” with other kind of benefits approach…”

Muda: “Inking, cleaning and applying tones.”

B&S: “Sarraryman’s cheat on the wife excellent adventure”

Muda: “Consider the common varieties of improbable. We have “sparkling fluffy” romance, whether in short het or queer vernacular stories – use Nise Boyfriend Lovely or Uso Lily as examples. We also have genre sex/romance stories where expressions of desire are wildly divergent but magically gimmicked by the trope-verse to fit perfectly together. Which if you give it any thought is so freaking impossibly unsustainable, even if both parties are play-acting their roles…”

B&S: “…As to highlight how unrealistic and unsustainable conventional role model expectations are, were they not held together by the full forces of custom and law…”

Muda: “Think of the children.”

B&S: “Not to mention the low orbit energy weapons…Ok, we won’t mention them. Cue bagpipes?”

Muda: “Bad context, Ixnay agpipesbay. Leave child-rearing outta it. Plenty of ways to raise kids well without weaponizing them to enforce couple-dom. If Japan really gave 2 yen about its population decline…”

B&S: “Newtype manga-anime kids-only families! Absent parents send generous regular support payments and big brother takes care of hikki kid sister (or vice-versa) as they soldier on through junior high and cram school.”

Muda: “Fast forward 15 years and Saki jr. is living in a private high school dorm with Hato and Yajima’s kid (Surprise! — I dunno, let’s go with) Shinji as antagonist-from-down-the-hall. Both are suspicious as heck of each other but find common ground in their view that their parent/adult cohort are all irresponsible jerks. THAT would be a Nidaime…”

B&S: “Back to affective <–> transactional Spotted Flower. You picking up on the vibe Ogiue-sensei gives off when faced with and/or succumbing to Sue’s affections?”

Muda: “It does run parallel Mada’s attitude/ “desire” towards Hato, neh? Beneath each of their respective “cover stories” both Sue and Hato are and have been completely smitten. They yearn. Both would crawl over broken glass to answer a drunken booty call from their crushes. They may dissimulate: “Bakka Gaikokujin de Gozaimasu Hai!” and “I must do this for the research, for my art” but no one is fooled. In contrast, both Mada’s and Ogiue’s motives appear transactional. They have “reasons” and below those, more “reasons”. Their approach to desire is internal-facing, opaque. It is hard to put precise words to the condition but they do not pine for their beloveds.”

B&S: “GODDAMMIT! Say not that they are “database animals!”

Muda: “Disillusionment…”

B&S: “.. is the sacrament of Modernism.”

Muda: “Oh shit…”

B&S: “Time to wrap this up. Congratulations, you made it through a post.

Muda:”Make brain concentrate hurt.”

B&S: “Be like that and I’ll be back…

2 thoughts on “Easter — spring 2020 update

  1. Well it is a bad time in history and we get to be alive during it.
    I am going on 83 IF I can make it halfway thru August.
    You are depressed, who could blame you?
    The funny thing is that staying at home is about all I ever did and the shutdown of restaurants and similar institutions really cut out the social occasions but what burns me mostly is that the SFPL is closed. If I don’t survive the damn plague I will never get to read the latest Stross novel about atomic war on an alternate timeline or Harry Turtledove’s latest opus magnum.
    So of course I am filled with resolve to survive which of course never did anyone the least bit of good in plague situations or in delaying the final inevitability.

    So blogging inspiration fails. That B&S appliance must be a sump pump.
    Maybe you will feel better for getting all this stuff off your chest.

    Maybe Kio sensei will continue to use old tropes and to hack on into Genshiken/Spotted Flower returns but I think he is doing better right now in something somewhat different. We should not continue to wail about the characters unless we want to learn to draw our own manga. I forget where I saw it but someone in a manga about manga extolled the virtues of making the characters you draw do exactly what you would want to do../

    Might try looking at Seishun Shounen Magazine 1978-1983 manga
    Author: KOBAYASHI Makoto autobiographical
    or the woefully short “Because Goodbyes Are Coming Soon” manga
    Author: YUKIMURA Makoto Death and the Shinsangummi.
    or An Extremely Attractive Gorilla manga
    Author: Gorilla Gorilla But the Gorilla wears a collar and a tie and
    is as described.
    Of course if you are not completely fed up with unusual sex lives or
    fujoshi/fudanshi as well as other otaku I could add to the list.

    Disillusioned with manga? One step on the road to enlightenment.

    bliss-who is convinced that any Heaven is a Manga.

    • “Of course if you are not completely fed up with unusual sex lives or
      fujoshi/fudanshi as well as other otaku I could add to the list.”

      By all means, please add.

      Briggsy is a battered but still functional 3.5hp 4-stroke lawn mower. 20″ cut and in an odd mood because it snowed yesterday and yet, because of the warm spell before that, the grass will soon need cutting.

      It might be folly to keep up with Spotted Flower as sequel to the Genshiken verse but it is still an ongoing series. And no one is scanlating his current main series. Nothing but Dr Maniax’s chapter summaries to go on.

      Please stay in good health and take care. Best regards /M

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