Humanity Has Declined #4: Panel Surfing

Jintai has always been delivered with a generous helping of cynicism, but this week’s episode was the first time that the vitriol felt particularly heavy-handed. Episode three was very broad in scope when one allowed oneself to move past the oh-so-obvious claim that it was a criticism of fujoshi culture. Episode four, on the other hand, was direct to the point of forthrightness. The commentary on the manga industry was so obvious it was almost insulting. It didn’t have any of the subtlety of previous episodes, instead it felt extremely personal. It felt like the author was bemoaning the state of an industry which had rejected him – instead of publishing an iyashikei manga about the end of the world, they’d rather go for Shounen Battle Fight EX. Maybe that’s why Romeo Tanaka made Jintai into a light novel instead? Of course, this is all conjecture, but you never know.

So maybe Tanaka got spurned once by some executives at Shogakukan. Like any classy ex-boyfriend, what does he do? Protests about how he never wanted to make a manga anyway, what sort of idiot writes manga. And anyway, the manga industry is stinky! Instead of writing an angry post on his LiveJournal, however, he immortalises his scorn in print. Maybe some people get trapped in a manga and have to make up a story to get home? Hey, here’s a good idea: their manga has to be popular or they die! And maybe they create an utterly derivative manga, with no original ideas and filled only with illogical plot twists and moronic revelations? Ha, that’ll show Big Manga! Skip forward five years and Jintai is being made into an anime. The state of the industry is very different now, less saturated due to the financial crisis but with a greater focus on quality. Now all this anti-establishment, “Killing in the Name” bullshit feels somewhat unwarranted. The joke’s on you, Romeo.

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4 thoughts on “Humanity Has Declined #4: Panel Surfing

  1. Great episode and it gives future manga people a peek into how it works…well…sort of…I read lots of shounen style manga ie the big three! So I can sort of get behind the whole popularity chart, but yeah the cliffhanger things are so true! Every week the stuff I read ends with either

    A) New character reveals
    B) Surprise siblings
    C) Someone getting “Killed”
    D) Dead person returns!

    So all and all it was just a dream?! Either way it was fun <3

    • I have a lot of respect for the people who read the massive manga, simply because I would never be able to read through the sheer number of chapters, the series’ quality notwithstanding. But blimey, do those formulaic plot twists not get boring after a while?

  2. tbh, I like a bit of anger in the satire I watch. I agree I wasn’t so keen on the directness, but the bitterness I did enjoy. People need to make cartoons about how bitter they are more often. That’s how we got Evangelion

    • Anger’s great when used to good effect – I’m reminded of your dissertation essay when you discuss David Mitchell on 10 O’Clock Live – but I just think there are bigger and better targets for said anger than comic books.

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