Mr. Empty: My Favorite? The Favorite? They're ALL My Favorite

Favorite is such a subjective word.

I just want to do a quick run-through of some of the series that ran through my head when I thought of "Favorite Manga". Jormungand, Shaman King, Hellsing, What a Wonderful World, Loveless, Cage of Eden, Mushishi, Negima, Laon, MPD-Psycho, Saikano.

But then I remembered. I had a flash of lightning hit and explode me. Then the Great Will of The Macrocosm brought me back to life and I remember that Excel Saga is AWESOME AS HELL.

Now, if you'll remember, I may have mentioned that I love this series. I actually started with the anime which is good....then I picked up the manga which is a work of genius.

The only thing I can even start to compare it to is the television show Arrested Development. The plot is thick. And when I say thick, I don't mean a hearty broth at your granny's. I mean THICK as in the most bootylicious bootyshaker of all bootydom. There's a twist on every page, and they usually have nothing to do with the actual story, just arbitrary strokes of misfortune. Which is what they want you to think. You read a twist in volume two, and it has no ramifications until volume twenty. Continuity on a really impressive, full-on War and Peace scale.

Besides being an impressive work, the series is genuinely hilarious. It's not really the cheap gag manga I think it will occasionally get dismissed as. Granted, there is a copious amount of wordplay. The wordplay is really weird and being weird it gets funny, but I think a lot is lost in translation. The stuff that really gets you is when you get hit with a joke that comes from a half dozen volumes back, and you snap up and go "oh! oh! OH!!" and then you laugh. Those are the great ones. That's my favorite kind of funny.

There is also a sense of severity somewhere underneath all the jokes. There's a massive battle going on between some sort of ancient superpowers, and they run through dozens of various encounters, including actual battle via their minions, corporate sabotage, predatory pricing, biological warfare, robots, mecha, and more explosions than you can shake a stick at. Everything is still light, but you get the sense that not everyone sees the full big picture and then you maybe have that Lovecraftian sense of tiny, insignificant bugs caught up in a massive game they can't even fathom.

And that's why I have to run with Excel Saga as my favorite manga to date. 

1 comment:

Dr. M said...

ARGH! I do not understand. I suppose I will have to give it another try.