Thursday, April 06, 2006

Manga, innocence and kissing dead men

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?

14 comments:

B.V. Brus said...

OK, so now I've got a second window open to Ping-Pong, and it looks like I'll be chasing it down soon. Thanks. ... Re manga, dead people and other sexually related thingies: I've never been a big fan of the genre, although I can appreciate its virtues. I grew up on standard superhero fare (40-yr-old guy, remember). I don't suppose you'd recognize a DC series called "Camelot 3000?" My first major break with the capes-and-masks genre, and the first time I had the reaction of, "Eh, so they love each other. OK, then" (re Isolde and Tristan). 20-odd years back, that was a biggie for me.

elizabeth said...

Have I ever kissed a dead man? Well - does it count if I kissed a man who I wish was dead? (I am only kidding - I'm not nearly as evil as you are - a mere 32%)

elizabeth said...

Oh yeah - and a man I kissed when he was alive is actually dead now so - I get points. Right?

NOTHING said...

i cant say if kissed a dead man, then agen iv never kissed a guy b4, id say ud get some points, not much but some

Elizabeth McClung said...

b.v.brus: Ping Pong is in my top 5 films - and available in the US. I heard of Camalot 3000 in the UK where it is fairly big but never read it - I think the first "comic" I really liked was Batman begins back in 1989 - but then my parents believe cartoons and comics were evil so I was only allowed the "Christian" versions of Archies (like is there an R rated version) where Archie spends time passing out bibles (no seriously, there is a Christian version).

Elizabeth - you get points (was it one the mouth?). I've never kissed a dead man. Linda has, but since she was trying to make him one of the undead at the time I am not sure that counts. I've kissed lots of pets that are now dead (not by me, not by me), sorting working my way up the mammals.

Nothing: well, points for kissing a dead girl too.

elizabeth said...

YES it was on the mouth (dirty girl!).
Who knew? Christian Archie comics. Learn something every day. Were Betty and Veronica still dressed like little trailer trash girls in this version?!

elizabeth said...

Did you say you kissed a dead girl - by the by?

Elizabeth McClung said...

Elizabeth: I'm going, "What so dirty about whether it was on the cheek or the mouth....ohhhhhhhh! Yeah, that is dirty."

elizabeth said...

LOL. Maybe I'm the dirty one. (Mind out of the gutter I say!)

Elizabeth McClung said...

Dead girl kisses? no, but I spent a lot of time trying to get this one girl to do more than "friends backrubs" who later disappeared, drug related circumstances (same girl from post - Changing my life: Men). But, no lip lock, alas.

elizabeth said...

:-(

elizabeth said...

I think we are responsible for a total burn out on Blogger - we must all stop typing our witty responses so quickly - we are confusing them.

elizabeth said...

Holy crap! You got an advertising aleady! How'd you manage that? (apparently the naked dancing dead people thing picked up a bit....)

Zephyr said...

Kissed was an amazing movie that changed my perspective on death and necrophilia. Molly Parker is sooo beautiful.