I used to feel very guilty about reading manga; something about how everyone else reading it seems younger than I. But then I found out that “the greatest sports movie ever” Ping-Pong was created by a manga writer. So now, manga isn’t my inappropriate addiction but writing research and a big left-brain wack to the side of the head.
Take for instance the hot series Vampire Game in which a reincarnated shapeshifting Vampire king Duzell inhabits the body of a cat adopted by Princess Ishtar, the great granddaughter of the man whose reincarnatation he has vowed to kill. If this was Hollywood, we would already know the plot, and the ending. But this is manga, so when Ishtar finds out that Duzell has been masquerading as her (her face but with a slim male body) and why, she offers to take him on a tour of her relatives to find out which one he needs to kill; after all, she’s not so fond of them and she really likes her cat! Over the series Duzell not only picks up feelings for Ishtar but also the hearts of several princes and an engagement to a captain of the guard. As Ishtar tells him while pushing him out the door in a dress: “Remember, soft music, candles, and lots and lots of Vaseline. Good luck!” This definitely isn’t a Hollywood plotline, or romance. The princes’ attitudes of “I’m in love with a guy? oh well, guess so.” is a welcome break from the daily panicked news about Brokeback Mountain/Walmart bans.
An quiet but Award Winning Manga is Nodame Cantable featuring the tension between Nodame, who is a sort of lazy kooky female genius and Shinichi, a piano student and conductor with promise but who is too serious for his own good. Of course Nodame is determined that Shinichi will be hers but now Masumi, the gay self proclaimed “Queen of the Timpani” has decided Shinichi MUST be his. What is better than music college, sexual triangles, dreams, hopes and sub-stories revolving around the double bass players (I play double bass).
Aria, is a beautiful manga series which explores the myths and magic of Venice through the eyes of a young female Gondola trainee. Set in Neo-Venice, a reconstruction of Venice on another world, this isn’t high drama or romance, but the gentle day to day wonder and innocence at working in a city which ever unfolds. Linda and I both love Venice in the winter and spring recommend the book, Daughter of Venice, for anyone who wants to know what 16th century Vencian life was like for a woman. Aria nurtures that small part of innocence which still exists inside me (after reading my dreams, if you don’t want me in a clock tower with a rifle in your town, you'll encourage me to read this too!).
And now that I am all wholesome and innocent again, I will be spending the morning watching Kissed, the Canadian film from 1997 which explores a young girls’ childhood fascination with death as it plays out in her adult sexuality. She has to choose between the cold perfection of the mortuary or a fetish attracted living boyfriend. I could never find this in DVD in the UK, something to do with Blockbusters unwritten policy on films involving necrophilia no doubt.
Have you ever kissed a dead man?
3 hours ago