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OK, if you haven’t heard by now, Nick Simmons plagiarised a bunch of stuff from Bleach, amongst other manga. As the resulting shitstorm grew, I was waiting to see what his official response would be. I mean, what can you say to the evidence of direct tracing of various panels? Well, he’s responded with an official statement, and boy is it stupid.
So, you’re Nick Summons, son of aging celebrity Gene Simmons (one of the guys in the classic band KISS). You want to make it big in the comic world. That’s cool. You lack sufficient talent so you do it by plagiarizing from manga like Bleach and Hellsing. That’s not cool. And he thought that no one would notice?
When I first heard of this manga, I was a bit cynical. It’s meant to be a slightly-ecchi horror comedy, however it’s a shonen manga, so it’s aimed at the 10-18 target market. That means it’ll likely be like one of the too-numerous generic stories out there with it’s cliched scenarios and character interations. Thankfully, I was wrong. Yes, it’s a shonen manga, and yes, it is a comedy, but wow is it dark.
Friendship bracelets! Also, Pigeon Bastard.
OK, so a bunch of guys at Del Rey Manga are sitting around a table and one of them says, “You know what would be cool? Manga-style X-Men.” The other guys look at him and nod sagely.
“Yeah, you’re right,” another one says. “The story is a simple, yet strong one, of super-powered beings having to deal with racism, hatred, genocidal maniacs and mutant politics, amongst other things.”
“Plus,” says a third, “Wolverine.”
They all heartily agree to this, and approach Marvel with the idea of not only doing a manga version of the X-Men, but manga versions of their other comics as well. Marvel leaps at the opportunity. They’d tried “mangafied” versions of their comics before, but most sucked. Here, they have an established manga publisher approaching them who knows both markets well and should have good connections. What could go wrong?
Manga, to me, is a quickly-maturing art form. In the short time that it’s been around, there are genres aimed at everyone and their tastes (for good or ill). While there is a lot of generic crap out there, there are also a lot of intriguing stories that people outside Japan never get to see. Shamo (“gamecock”) is one of these, and after reading a few volumes it’s plain to see why.
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