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I love perverted manga, no not boob in your face ecchi manga but manga that explores the perverse mind. It’s my favourite genre in all kind of media. Sono Sion’s filmography is my comfort food because it’s chocked full of the artistry of being a pervert, an outcast.

I seek fiction because my life is boring because I am boring. I am the perfect self-insert bland male lead – unassuming, generic, nothing spectacular and very very safe -. If you ask 20 people who I am, you will either receive 20 different answers or no answer at all. It’s either because I have no set personality and act differently among wildly different groups, or because I am inconspicuous due to being socially lazy. Part of it is by design because I am lazy, part of it is because I don’t know my real self but the bulk of it is playing it up to social norm. It’s only in fictional work – where things run rampant and my imagination boundless – can I find anything resemblances of a consistent self. The consistent reaction I got from a consistent genre of works shaped the self.

Perverse manga is so fascinating to me because it reflects a very interesting reality. We as a society in whole pretend to have decency but we all have degenerate thoughts inside, or at least I have. I will never admit to being a lazy degenerate who spends most of his day lazing around and jerking off because I want to uphold the correct image that is deemed fit for society. I don’t want to be seem as a hopeless bum.

Am I pretending to be decent? Pretending is probably not an appropriate term because you don’t pretend so consistently for 20+ years. You can’t put yourself through lies and deceits for your whole life. I also don’t think I am acting when I keep dark degenerate thoughts to myself and trying to portray a wholesome lifestyle. If I am lying, it will be torturous but it’s not because the wholesome potrayal of a somewhat upstanding individual is also my true self. However, it feels dirty because it seems like I am deliberately hiding part of my disgusting self with the knowledge that it will only jeopardize whatever I have if I am being too honest. Society is too dishonest and shallow, they focus too much on the indecency of everyone’s complicated self and tend to ignore that you are probably decent 90% of the time. That’s where perverse manga comes in.

Perverse manga such as Prison School runs wild and put degeneracy front and center. They make you question how the author came out with such perverse thoughts when they seem so unassuming on the outside. They are brave individuals that share their most wild and perverse imagination on paper and spread it across to millions of people. They are honest and sincere in this utterly dishonest society ,and I think that’s what struck a chord in everyone. There’s a reason why No Longer Human, a novel that detailed a troubled man who thinks he is putting on a facade to live up to everyone’s expectation, is the 2nd most popular novel in Japan – a very repressive society where everyone has politeness drilled into them regardless of who they are.

That being said, it’s not all true honesty. It’s boldness of honesty hiding behind the abstraction of make belief and that is exactly what is so enticing to me. It’s both honest and dishonest, which in return, perfectly encapsulates the underlying nature of society as a whole. Prison School portrays borderline criminality and degeneracy for laugh without actual repercussions because it can. However, these fantasies are as real as they can be, even though they aren’t acts that anyone could accept in real life. It’s this interplay between reality and imagination – things that you can imagine of doing but will never want to or ever do – that capture the exact formless and seemly indecisive nature of what I am as a person. They speak to me on a deeply personal level and that’s why I hold them with such high regards. It’s a release that can be secretly enjoyed in this highly repressive society. It’s having the cake and eat it too against normalcy while upholding normality.

Kokou no Hito is a manga adaptation of a Japanese novel by Nitta Jirou that journalize the mountain climbing exploit of a real Japanese hard ass mountain climber in the 30s named Kato Buntarou who have written essays of his solo climbing expedition that were used to adapt to the novel which then again got adapted to the manga by artist Sakamoto Shinichi with help from the adaption of the novel’s story by Nabeta Yoshiro even though Sakamoto Shinichi did the story after volume 4.

Yes, it’s a complicated web of multiple authors but Sakamoto Shinichi is our guy here because it’s ultimately his own story. He deviate a lot from the novel which took place in the 1930s and modernize it. I personally deduced that this complicated web of different authors explained the different in directions and focus the comic book took after the first few volumes.

The first few volumes acted like a shonen sport manga. Our hero Mori Buntarou(before he changed his name to Kato Buntarou), an anti social student with a mysterious past got inspired by a hard ass shonen hero’s rival and took up mountain climbing as a hobby. The story then introduced us with a passionate mentor and a likable innocent love interest that will act as the pivot of the love triangle between our hero and hard ass shonen hero’s rival. Not only that, it also introduced a mysterious bishonen rival that seems to be related to our hero’s dark past. It’s build up as a competitive adventure that will teach us valuable lessons on bonding and friendship through the sport of mountain climbing.

And……….. all of those got thrown away after the first few volumes. Our hard ass shonen hero’s rival became a con man and a worthless adult throughout the comic. The passionate mentor got a rock in his face and died. The love interest became a prostitute that stole our hero’s money because she is a bitch. Mysterious bishonen rival only appeared in 2 chapters and shown to be dead in the K2 mountain by the end. Our hero learned that he really enjoyed the solitude after all his buddies died during a dangerous expedition. Every time he tries to play the friendship game, it will hinder him and the only way he felt at home is by going solo without any friendship and bonding bullshit to bog him down. Most of the time when he meet new characters, they are awful human beings that are selfish little piece of shit that hinder his mountain climbing ambition.

Awesome.

If there’s a deconstruction of shonen manga, Kokou no Hito is the one. It’s an anti thesis of shonen sport manga. What you normally think that will build up as a hot blooded shonen plot, it will then subvert the shit out of it and tell you that this shit will never fly in real life.

In the end, the manga is not really about mountain climbing but a psychological analysis and character study of Mori/Kato Buntarou . It’s all about how an outcast with no other desire than mountain climbing live and feel. All the other side characters(that got thrown away like garbage) and mountain climbing stuff are tools to develop Buntarou as a character . You get lots of interesting metaphorical imagery to describe Buntarou as a human being.

Buntarou is an interesting characters and his story gave you a interesting perspective of a different lifestyle of solitude without condemning or approving that lifestyle . Normally, stories will tell you that bond is good while solitude is bad and even though Kokou no Hito does slightly adhere to that moral near end, it also says that solitude isn’t really that bad and bonding might not be that amazing either. In the end, you need a bit of both, be considerate to people around you while still living your life aloof.

I bought and read like 70 volumes of Naruto but I pirated the last 20 chapters because I heard that the characters have kids and want to see if Naruto and Hinata got together. In the end, that’s the only thing I really care about because the story turned into woman alien planned this shit and Sasuke is so feeble in his motivation that you can lie to him that eating shit makes him strong and he will believe it. Like “Yea, Sasuke, hatred makes you strong, eating shit cause you hatred and make people hate you, you won’t have any friend if you eat shit so your destiny is to go eat shit.” and he will proceed on in eating shit without knowing that you duped him.

To be honest, I am quite impressed by Naruto, sure, it’s not tightly written but it didn’t succumbed to its own weight by having really obvious plot holes( though it did crumble on its own weight by getting overly convoluted and contrived to cover these plot holes). Most shonen manga like Dragonball and Hokuto no Ken gave the shit up and blatantly recon the shit out of things and having tons of plot holes just to lengthen its story. That’s not to say that it’s planned very well because it did pull a lot of things out of its ass and it’s obvious that Kishimoto dropped a lot of things like Byakugan being strong, Zabuza and swordsmen, Rock Lee’s side story and  basically all the other side characters arc. He even wanted to salvage Ten Ten by showing that she might be able to use the Six Sage items to do something but nope, Ten Ten is still fucking useless.

The early Naruto is actually pretty good because they have strategic battles and villains aren’t really that overpowered, you feel that anyone could really beat anyone. Even though this lessen the tension because our heroes are in lesser predicament but in the long run, after seeing overpowered shit like Madara and Kaguya, I think it’s really for the better. Because in the end,  only Naruto and Sasuke could do something and battles are decided by who could make the biggest kamehameha.It did try to have some strategic fights but after seeing the trick of clone techniques for the one millionth time, you couldn’t really call that smart. In fact, beside Shikamaru’s fights, most fights in the second part are kinda sub-par.

Onto the characters, Naruto’s woman characters are at least league better than most other stuff in term of gender equality and strength. Yea, they are still not good enough but at least the poison is less poisonous on this side. The other characters like Rock Lee, Hinata, Killer Bee, Kekkaishi, Minato, Naruto’s mom and many others except are good to above average characters. Hell, besides Sasuke and Sakura, I don’t really dislike any of them, even  if they are useless like Sai and Ten Ten. Seriously, what’s the point of Sai and Ten Ten?

Oh, and the twists. I guess Itachi was planned to be a good guy because I have that vibe since he first appears(It’s a cop-out reason to kill everyone just because you are very evil, Kishimoto had since shown through Zabuza that he at least put some thoughts into character building. Though Itachi’s story is really not that good and sensible and it’s really a disappointment because I expected better written stuff that is not contrived) and it’s very obvious that Naruto’s father is the 4th Hokage earlier on. Other stuff like Tobi, Madara, Black Zetsu, Kaguya and such? Nah, don’t think so, they are all made up as they go. Very contrived, twist for the sake of twisting, I don’t even feel surprise or whatever and just let it goes and accept whatever shit it throws at me without thinking too much.

It may seems like I hate Naruto and think it is a piece of shit story but well, in actual fact, I think Naruto was worth the money and effort. I liked Shikamaru and some of the characters like Jiraiya and Killer Bee among many other likable stuff. The good strategic battles, the really great first 26 volumes, great detailed wtf did he really drew that in 1 week art, the hot blooded and cool lines, the grand scale of chaotic summoning battles, the above average characters that try not to be generic and really inventive jutsus far outweigh its flaws. It’s not even far fetched to say that Naruto is one of the best Ninja anything because honestly, name me another serious, non b grade good ninja anime/novel/manga/movie whatever. Basilisk? Dagger of Kamui? Ninja Trilogy(Ridiculously awesome but not really serious) movies? Ninja Scoll that is more like samurai than ninja? Path of Assassin maybe. I like Flame of Recca better but honestly, Naruto is the better written work.

There’s a justified reason why it got so popular and ran for 72 volumes, it has its own charm and a veneer/illusion of depth that are league better than run of the mill generic shit even though it’s not good enough to be in the top tier, unlike One Piece.

Themes? What themes? I just want to see ninjas fighting ninjas and don’t really care for consistent theme. I don’t learn moral lesson from this shit. Fuck moral lesson but children should really learn from Naruto because beating up dog is very cool and talent reign supreme over hard work. It’s all about the genes and bloodline dude. Hard work is bullshit without talent because you can’t be the best without talent. Children should understand that and don’t hope for anything that’s untrue.

P.S: Woah, I read the internet and Naruto fans love to over think shit. Maybe you can analyses why it got so popular but hell no should you over-analyses the plot of Naruto so much, it’s not that even that deep. There’s even delusional fangirls that still ship Naruto and Sakura by finding things that are not even there. Woah! Dude(err, woman dude so GAL?), move on.

IWICSYI

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