So-Good Sunday: The Rebuttal of Dr. M's Misguided Post on Excel Saga: or How I Learned to Stop Caring and Love the Madness

Excel Saga is my child.

Perhaps that statement requires a bit of explanation. Every otaku has a special series, might not be the best in the world, but every single one has a series that is near and dear to them, because it was one of the first that they followed. I have two: Lain and Excel Saga. They are my childs. :P

Lain was probably the first anime series that I ever watched and was truly, truly blown away by. (The actual first series was Shaman King, back on FOX. Glory days, glory days....). Excel Saga, on the other hand, was the first series that I watched and was so cracked up by it that I practically pissed myself every five minutes.

I have to admit one concession about Excel Saga, the manga is far superior to the anime, and the anime takes some liberties and leaves out a lot of material that would have been much better had they not decided to mess with the formula. There's some stuff about the anime that makes my skull hurt, like, idk, CHANGING VOICE ACTORS EXCEL HALFWAY THROUGH THE SERIES. That pissed me off but good.The Great Will of the Macrocosm is a mystery to me. I have no idea what that was about, it's actually totally at odds with the manga, because in the manga, one of the main running jokes and a point of great amusement is Excel's fantastic ability to never die, despite being put through the paces in a number of ways. So, Great Will's constant reviving after Excel gets killed...bad kill on the producer's part. There's also a lot more fourth wall breakage that I don't know that I approve of. All in all, READ THE MANGA, OKAY?

Because, the manga is brilliant. Everything good about the anime, is in the manga. Everything bad in the anime, is not in the manga. There's also an entire surplus of good things in there, just for fun!!!!

For example! There's some amazing characters and backstories. Ropponmatsu and Ropponmatsu II are more present, everyone loves those homicidal androids, right? Also, there's a lot more of Dr. Kabapu and the ever-growing fight between him and Il Palazzo. The fight, by the way, gets huge and completely insane. There are some really crazy implications for these characters so far, and in one section Dr. Kabapu and Il Palazzo both run electronics corporations and go at it economically!

Also, as I recall, Dr. M's post was a Ta-Ta Tuesday. There are a plethora of fine ta-tas to be had in the manga, even more so than the anime. For example, Elgala, who joins Hyatt and Excel, has a sizable chest and flaunts it as often as possible. Elgala is another example of why you should read the manga!
The spoiled Elgala.

There's also the Oubliette. This is the section at the back of every book that takes up anywhere from two to ten pages, and has in-depth explanations of sound effects, cultural references, and so on. The editor that writes this is genuinely very clever, and I always make time to read them because a) they make the manga easier to understand and b) they're hilarious!

But being a simple parody is easy. I wouldn't have the entire manga series, up to now, sitting on a shelf if it was just a parody series. Excel Saga becomes, slowly, and without warning, a real, heavy-hitting, masterpiece. If you've read any MegaTokyo, a very similar thing happens. Characters become deep, they have real emotions and backgrounds, and you start to really, truly be intrigued by them and invested in what happens to them. I firmly believe that a well-written comedy series can be among the most highly empathic styles anyone can do. To make someone laugh, but also to make them realize true talent has been at work.

In summation, watch the anime first, because without any outside knowledge, it's still hilarious and lampoons some pretty obvious anime themes. Then, pick up the manga and experience a truly masterful parody series that goes beyond simple lampooning to become a series worth standing on its own.

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