Sunday, 11 July 2010

Manga/Anime whatever the eff it's called.

I like to think I'm pretty up on my popular culture; I visit The Daily What every day, I spend all my free time watching HBO boxsets, and generally know what's going on, as long as "what's going on" is the obscure kind of fact that won't get you a girlfriend.

I didn't know anything about Asian pop culture though, the mangas, the animes, the weird tentacle cartoons, and the girls with their fingers in V shapes like a (slightly) hotter Winston Churchill.So, not wanting to be left behind, I bought a copy of Naruto of which there are now about 26,000 volumes (at £6.99 a pop), and attempted to read it in the way most people books.

"NO!" It told me. "YOU'RE STARTING AT THE WRONG END!" Ok, thanks book, but I'm pretty sure as a reader of books for over one years, I should know how it works. But apparently not. With Japanese manga (is that right? I keep wanting to call it mango) you start from the back. You read the speech bubbles from right to left (but not the words, I tried that and it didn't work) and it does take a bit of getting used to for all us used to reading books that don't do that. Or have speech bubbles.
Naruto, a tale of a young ninja and his band of friendly emos (I dunno) failed to grip me, and so I then tried a series called Love Hina in which a hapless man-boy stumbled across some kind of strange hotel run by attractive females. There was significantly less nudity than I had anticipated, and for this reason I was somewhat disappointed.

To cut a long story short, I ended up buying Scott Pilgrim, and it's brilliant. Sorry Asia.


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