Thursday, 23 January 2014 23:18

Demented Little Man's Top Three Anime And Manga Rage Quits

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So, I've not done one of these in awhile, and I figure now is a perfect time for a new ranting from the mind of this demented little man. Or at the very least a fun little trip through anger and hatred that gives me a little giggle at the shear self destructiveness of it all. Of course I'm talking about the top three rage quits in this genre we all know and love.

Ah, but what is a rage quit? I'm glad you asked. Urban Dictionay defines Rage quit as:

Throwing the poker chips, flipping the Monopoly board, unplugging the Nintendo, taking your ball and going home.

Typically used in a gaming context, it has become synonymous with basically becoming so fed up with the way things are going in what you're doing that you...well, as it says, taking your shit, and going home. You'd think that you couldn't do that in anime and manga, what with contracts, deadlines, obligations, and the insanely likely possibility that you'd piss off the fans and thus, kill your revenue stream, but like any other industry based on artistic talent, you will get the occasional rage quit. They can be quite epic, and are almost always memorable as often the series in question are very popular and such a spectacular implosion leaves one in shock, like watching a vehicle come out of nowhere to kill someone you know in front of you. As such, I'd like to share the top three rage quits that really impressed themselves on my mind.

For my number three pick, I'm going to have to go with Ranma 1/2. No, I'm not going to talk about this story...there's a thousand and one resources out there for it. It's one of the first big hits of anime to come to our shores; there's probably a million and one fans with all the accompanying worship, both good and bad, with all the resources that they could put together. Shit, I think Viz finally finished their dubbing of the series after a couple of decades of procrastination. With that in mind, one could be found thinking, "Wouldn't that almost have to count as a number one pick?" Given the shear amount of time we've had to get over it, and the shear level of frustration I had with the series long before it got to the point where the rage quit would have had any real meaning to me, not really. However, much as I look at it now as a list of what to do and more importantly, what not to do when writing, one cannot deny that this series has had a massive impact on anime and manga whose shockwaves are felt to this very day. Within the story, such as it was, could be found the seeds of so many of the tropes that are in use today. The comedy, the shounen fighting, the tsundere, the harem anime, I could go on and on...the protoforms of these conventions that have been refined to perfect 2chan nose candy can trace their DNA to this creation by Rumiko Takahashi. The problem so many found was that she could keep the status quo going in ways that would make Marvel and DC comics worship her as the money maker she wound up being to her publisher. This girl can keep a series going almost indefinitely, and it showed in Ranma 1/2. The problem is, when she found herself wanting to move on and tell another story, she had taken this story into so many gordian knots that to actually begin to unravel it, she'd have to actually do what it took to unravel said knot...she'd have to cut it. She'd have to actually take it into directions she was not comfortable taking this story she'd crafted. She'd have to say goodbye to characters, possibly killing them or worse. She'd have to have some characters realize that the dick wasn't that good and the pussy wasn't either (whoever's dick and/or pussy we're talking about here). Or she'd have to take their obsessions to their ultimate conclusions...which could be fun or horrific (which could still be fun). Bluntly put, she took a look at what she had done and JUST. LACKED. THE. BALLS. TO. PULL. THE. FUCKING. TRIGGER! So, what do we get? An aborted wedding, with the wedding crashers being the usual suspects, and the Word of God saying, Akane and Ranma get together. No clue how, just that it does happen. The end. If the events up to that point hadn't pissed me off beyond all measure that I'd long since quit reading, I'd be asking, "Are you fucking kidding?" Seriously, if you've got the fucking balls, you can take this story to all sorts of endings that would be satifying. Don't believe me? The Fanfics of Richard Lawson and Kunoichi are two of dozens if not hundreds of ending possibilities that are both good and satisfying. What they all have in common though is that they had to break the paradigm, allow some actual chaos into the fucked up order that this story has become...and the courage to actually go where it would lead. Without it, we get what we got; things going in circles and wound up into so many knots that there was no way to end it within the confines of current story dynamics. Even Alexander The Great cut the knot and kicked some ass in the doing of it. This? This was an unfeeling blue balling of luke warm proportions...the sex had long since become unsatisfying; the woman long hit the wall and there were younger, hotter, tighter, and thirty pounds lighter stories out there. Like I said, you'd read this to study some anime and manga history, and as a study of what to do...and what not to do. It's not really worth much more than that.

For the number two spot...Lim Dall-young.

Yeah, an author...not a story, but an author. You're probably wondering why I'd include an author rather than a story he worked on. That's pretty simple, this guy is notorious for the rage quit. Worse, he sometimes doesn't even realize when he's done exactly that AND CONTINUES ON! One should read "The Legend of Maian" and "Freezing" (especially Freezing) for examples of that. I can only conclude this might have something to do with this man's base personality. He seems to glorify the worst aspects in human nature, almost to the point...actually, no almost about it the stories he writes portrays such things as heroic. Case in point, Freezing...which is kinda ironic since I gave it such a glowing review before it went off its rails. After watching chapters of Bridgette cut a swath of bloody chunks of destruction through the ranks of The Libby's at their school (man, the anime was total CHICKEN SHIT when it came to the blood and guts aspect of this story, however apparently graphic depictions of rape and incest, not even going this far in the original story, were okay; go figure) we meet Bridgette's half brother. A more dispicible psychopath would be hard to find. We find he raped and beat Bridgette on a pretty regular basis, while hanging the fate of her mother over her head, for an indeterminate amount of time before her half sister found out and put a stop to that. At least, we kinda hope she did; jury's still out on weather or not it stopped or he just got sneakier about it. At the point we meet him, he's beat the hell out of the main character, currently abusing and raping another Pandora, and doing whatever he can to get his favorite toy back...including killing said main character. Basically, this guy is a certified monster; the kind who needs to die ten different ways, have someone follow him to Hell, and TEAR HIS SOUL APART! We get to his commupance, and we have...Bridgette crying over his nearly dead body (I have no idea why) and at the end of it all, him walking away into the sunset of the airport heroically, as if he'd done some grand good thing. The end...almost. The story actually kept going later.

That folks, is basically taking a piss in the sensibilities of every decent thing that humanity has to offer, such as it is, and saying the story that was being written and enjoyed meant nothing. The problem is, the story didn't stop there...he kept it going in other directions after having pretty much burned every bridge on it that would make fans actually keep following it. I'd say this man didn't know what he was doing, but his works are filled with characters that are just unsympathetic in every way. This isn't even Michael Bay's penchant of making characters like that and going, "See, these motherfuckers? Watch as I whip them!" basically portraying them as the wastes of space they are, they're instead given starring roles as the main heroic characters, as if we should be finding something about them we like and enjoy watching. It's not just one story, all his stories fall into this in varying degrees. He's not just rage quiting one tale; it's like he's torturing his fans with pure fuck you. I'm not sure where this level of loathing for anyone reading his works comes from, but I suppose it's better this is the outlet rather than going to suiicide bomb a train full of people or something.

Still, even with the, admittedly delicious hatred of the audience that Lim Dall-young has, it pales in comparison to the number one entry of my list of rage quits: "School Rumble".

"School Rumble" is a 22 volume manga by Jin Kobayashi that is basically about the characters of this entire highschool class, several who touch their lives, and the shear crazy they all embark on. It's chaos, it's insanity, it is pure awesome and I enjoyed every moment of it...until it started breaking down. The story starts with our unremarkable heroine, Tenma Tsukamoto, describing her admiration and lust of the class stoic, Oji Karasuma. Actually stoic is a bit of a mislabel...this man is almost seemingly autistic in his function, but as the story progresses, one sees a bit of the why, no matter how badly handled. The thing is that there were dozens of other characters that were all quirky and interesting and tended to have their own crazy shit going on both individually and with each other. As such Tenma's little crush, humorous as it was, was eventually sidelined as the more interesting stories started being fleshed out until finally the main story and characters were no longer Tenma and Karasuma, but the love triangle between Kenji Harima, Eri Sawachika, and Tenma's little sister Yakumo Tsukamoto as together they were so much fun it was a joy to watch them dance around and with each other in their nearly polyamorous fashion. Problem is, the author was fighting the story he was writing tooth and nail. He wanted to write about Tenma and Karasuma, but the story had taken a life of its own, and was telling him in no uncertain terms that the story was not about them anymore. This tug of war resulted in the story, its characters, and situations breaking down in later volumes until finally the author just...screamed "Fuck it!" and quit. Then he threw a pie in the face of his audience. I wish I was joking about that one. The final page of the final volume is a pie in YOUR face after a rage quit because he couldn't write the story he wanted because the story had other plans.

It's truly no wonder his other manga that have come after "School Rumble" have failed miserably. He could be writing something that rivals epics like Lord of the Rings and I'd still tell him to fuck off after that level of douche baggery.

Well, those are the top three rage quits in my list. I suppose in every genre there comes a point where some creators will actually grow to hate what they once loved and just end it all. It screams of copping out in most instances, but in a way, it's probably better than what the comics companies do out here and just keep the shit going and going and going for ever and ever by switching out authors every so often. In some cases I wish it would happen more often. Like for Oh Great! There's a man who just needs to rage quit the business and never come back.

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