queenlua: A black-and-blue jay perched on a branch. (Yucatan Jay)
[personal profile] queenlua
and then today i got so excited about it that i blathered about it to a friend, and then on tumblr, and then i, uh, accidentally like 2k words about cool stuff i noticed while rereading the script.

the thing's so damn long i probably should've just posted it here instead of on tumblr but, whatever, just linking to it from here for now.

Date: 2017-02-17 04:40 pm (UTC)
amielleon: The three heroes of Tellius. (Default)
From: [personal profile] amielleon
re: lovable flaws--I feel this! But also, I think there's a gray area between "genuine flaw" and "covert strength".

Asano: [...], but I decided that I didn’t want to ever be preachy after that. That’s what I’m talking with my editor about all the time now — how to make my new manga without being preachy.

–What do you mean by “being preachy”?

Asano: I really like to put my own thoughts and opinions in my manga. Up until Punpun, all my manga was absolutely chock full of scenes where I’m just talking about myself, or these dialogues where characters go back and forth just to show how right my opinions are. I’ve had enough of that stuff. I just want my characters to say whatever silly things they want, living in whatever silly way they want.

So like, one of my favorite things about Oyasumi Punpun is that he'll go on these self-righteous rants about how people don't understand his circumstances, and the people around him react in-character: they give him contemptuous looks, they retort defensively as if he's attacking their own values, they kindly counter it by sharing their own lives, they hold their head in their hands and ask him to please stop. When I read this interview after Punpun I was like "What? Preachy? No way! Oyasumi Punpun is incredibly self-aware and its willingness to attribute self-righteousness to its protag as an ugly thing is part of its beauty."

But then I read his other work, Girl on the Shore, which he wrote at roughly the same time as he did Punpun. And suddenly, I totally saw what he meant by his preachy tendencies. Aside from the overarching plot basically being a nerd revenge fantasy (outcast boy grieving his disfigured brother's suicide-post-bullying has a fling with a girl who's just using him for sex; ultimately he beats up the bullies and when the cops arrive the bullies are arrested for pot possession, and then the girl comes around to decide that she loves him after all but by that point he's over his depression and has the luxury of rejecting her) the little moments where the protagonist spouts off are received so differently. The other characters may offer a nominal protest, but it's clear the narrative sides with him: in lingering shots on peoples' faces as they take it in, in the way other parties are at his mercy and their inability to understand him is painted as precisely that: an inability, their weakness.

And I ultimately just did not like Girl on the Shore. And the reason I didn't like it is precisely because of Inio Asano's One Big Characteristic Flaw--which, in Punpun, had been transformed into a strength.

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