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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Hot Gimmick


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littlegreenwolf



Joined: 10 Aug 2002
Posts: 4621
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:52 pm Reply with quote
Ah, Hot Gimmick. I felt horrible that I enjoyed it so much, because you KNOW it's wrong, but the drama is just so damn good. I think this is the closest I'll ever get to those telenoeavo/daytime soaps. The drama is just too good because Hatsume's horrible life/decisions are just too entertaining to stop reading. And oh the twists... a good number of which you spoiled.

But knowing it was horrible horrible stuff didn't stop me, my sister, or any of the various girls I leant it out too in high school (I got a good number of girls reading it who usually wouldn't read comics) to the point my issues got worn out quite a bit if I was lucky to get them back at all. It also made "preggo" a popular term with us - one some of us still use with a giggle to this day.

It just goes to show a good drama/story isn't usually a clean story, and if I think really really hard I really can't think of a "great" story where every character followed the traditional wholesome values society tries to put on us. Someone has to start @#%^ up in order to grab interest.

Would I suggest this to a girl in middle school? No way, but high school I and my friends didn't seem to have any problem at all recognizing that what the guys were doing to Hatsume was wrong. None of us wanted to BE Hatsume, and no one ever held her as a role model, we just wanted to see her get tortured further because tragedy is great entertainment, and I guess we as teenage girls found it rather fascinating to see everything that could possibly happen, happen.
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BunnyCupCakes



Joined: 02 Apr 2008
Posts: 224
Location: The Sunshine State

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:53 am Reply with quote
Hot Gimmick was pretty much my guilty pleasure back in high school.
I've never liked any of Mayu Shinjo's stuff (or smutty shoujo in general) but somehow I ended up liking HG for some reason.

Like what littlegreenwolf said, the drama was just too good (and addicting) to stop yourself from reading lol. But man, I couldn't stand Ryoki (nor Hatsume) by the end of the series. I've tried reading Honey Hunt before but I couldn't get through it because of the wimpy heroine, go figure.
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phoenixphire24



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 259

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:56 am Reply with quote
Sadly my friend sold her copies of this manga after she read it out of hate, since I want to read it out of curiosity. It doesn't sound like something I'd ever buy (if my friend hated it, I'm guessing I will too), so I'll see if the library happens to have it.
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driverstart



Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 214
Location: America

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:50 am Reply with quote
Ah yes, this series. Despite being a guy, I dug into these books and while back and really enjoyed the drama of it. My only frustration is the guy she picked at the end and the reason why. What a load of crap.
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Parsifal24



Joined: 20 Apr 2010
Posts: 281
Location: Holland MI

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:41 am Reply with quote
I could'nt get past page five I even nominated Hot GImmick for The Manga Hall of Shame over on Manga Critic a year or two back. The whole relationship dynamic is just too unsetling for me. My opinion is best summed up in a qoute from Dorthy Parker "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force."
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st_owly
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 3436
Location: Edinburgh, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:53 am Reply with quote
Hot Gimmick to me is basically a soap opera in comic form, but unlike most soap operas, it actually ends. The relationships in it may be terrible and abusive, but the drama is very well written. I read it years ago at the library, but a while back a second hand bookstore near me had the whole series for mega cheap, so I snapped it up to remind me of high school. My life seems so much better when I compare it to Hatsumi's Embarassed
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here-and-faraway



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 1130
Location: Sunny California

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:59 am Reply with quote
I always enjoy your column, but this one was especially well written. Excellent job!
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kyokun703



Joined: 06 Jan 2005
Posts: 2503
Location: Orgrimmar

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:28 am Reply with quote
phoenixphire24 wrote:
Sadly my friend sold her copies of this manga after she read it out of hate, since I want to read it out of curiosity. It doesn't sound like something I'd ever buy (if my friend hated it, I'm guessing I will too), so I'll see if the library happens to have it.

That friend is me, and yes, I hated this series. I bought most of it, because I had a morbid curiosity to see what happened, but after a while I just got so disgusted by the abusive relationship, it almost made me ill. When I moved, it was one of the first things to go into the "to sell" pile.

It did have very pretty art though. I think that's part of the reason I stayed with it so long.

On the plus side, this is one of the rare times where I don't have an overwhelming urge to go immediately buy whatever Jason Thompson recommends. Very Happy
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ptolemy18
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Joined: 07 May 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:04 pm Reply with quote
littlegreenwolf wrote:
It also made "preggo" a popular term with us - one some of us still use with a giggle to this day.


I always thought that was the weirdest translation ever! -_- I'm glad I wasn't the only one. I actually almost got to be the editor of Hot Gimmick for Viz, but they gave it to another editor at the last moment and I edited Hana-Kimi instead.

littlegreenwolf wrote:
It just goes to show a good drama/story isn't usually a clean story, and if I think really really hard I really can't think of a "great" story where every character followed the traditional wholesome values society tries to put on us. Someone has to start @#%^ up in order to grab interest.

.....I guess we as teenage girls found it rather fascinating to see everything that could possibly happen, happen.


That's a better explanation of the appeal of Hot Gimmick than I could have ever said. To anyone out there who hasn't read it, I'm sorry for all the spoilers! I tried to hold back...


Last edited by ptolemy18 on Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ptolemy18
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Joined: 07 May 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:10 pm Reply with quote
I think one of the things which makes Hot Gimmick especially objectionable to people is the actual fact that the character writing is good enough that Hatsumi sort of behaves believably (even if you're screaming at her "NOOOO!! DON'T DO ITTTT!!" the whole time).

I can think of plenty of Harlequin Manga, josei manga, old LuvLuv manga, etc., where the male love interest bosses around the girl and is all like "Come here, you know you want it" and so on, and frankly, in those manga, the women usually give in and fall in love with the guy pretty quickly. In Hot Gimmick, Hatsumi actually does feel nervous and revolted and violated and just plain AWFUL a lot of the time, and it takes a long time for her to 'come around' and start to like Ryoki. (And admittedly, Ryoki is an unusually big jerk even by josei manga standards... but he's also got the 'inner vulnerability' thing going on much more than most Harlequin Manga love interests do.) The main character (Hatsumi) is a horrible role model, but the manga really lets you feel all her timidity and fear and weak self-justifications. It's sort of fascinating, actually.
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rinmackie



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
Posts: 916
Location: in a van! down by the river!

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:28 pm Reply with quote
Let me just say right off that I haven't read this manga yet but I've been thinking about it since it's apparently so controversial. (I have to know what the fuss is about!) But I have to agree with littlegreenwolf, some of the best stories are not clean and wholesome. And I wish people would stop assuming that because an author writes about something like this, doesn't necessarily mean they endorse that kind of behavior. True, it's not something one should emulate but one could also view it as a cautionary tale about how NOT to live your life. Anyway, it's definitely not a book for children but obviously a lot of teenagers can relate.

One other thing, about the underage drinking warning, was that in the original text? Because I was under the impression that it was something Viz added. I flipped through a copy at the bookstore and was insulted when I saw it. I mean, really, of all the things going on in this story, that's something we need a warning about? Seriously, if anyone who reads this is not aware of the underage drinking law and that it's a bad thing, then they probably shouldn't be reading this manga in the first place.
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Julia-the-Great



Joined: 14 May 2005
Posts: 328

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:05 pm Reply with quote
Ah, Hot Gimmick. The manga I hate to love and love to hate. This really is the guiltiest of guilty pleasures for me. Every volume, this was approximately what was going on in my head:

"I hate you... I HATE YOU! YOU'RE SO STUPID, WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?! ... I FINISHED THIS VOLUME, I NEED THE NEXT ONE PRONTO!!!"

Pretty sure everyone in my immediate circle of friends reading it at the time had the same reaction. And the girl who lent it to us was probably cackling with evil delight to see our tormented addiction to it.
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Sewingrose



Joined: 11 Jan 2011
Posts: 512

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:30 pm Reply with quote
And here is a series I will never, ever, read because while I can and do enjoy wanton drama, I absolutely despise series like this and its rape-apologist, misogynistic, disgusting ilk.

Yeah, yeah, characters are a product of their environment that actually does exist, which trust me is a whole 'nother rage I have in a bottle, but hey, it's my entrainment and when I read Manga I like to read fun escapism not something that makes me rage-y to the 11th degree.

(I have cable news for that).
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littlegreenwolf



Joined: 10 Aug 2002
Posts: 4621
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:01 am Reply with quote
ptolemy18 wrote:
I always thought that was the weirdest translation ever! -_- I'm glad I wasn't the only one. I actually almost got to be the editor of Hot Gimmick for Viz, but they gave it to another editor at the last moment and I edited Hana-Kimi instead.


Lol. Now that all us high school girls have grown up, some of us are having kids now, and when anything like that pops up in a convo where we used to say "knocked up" we now say preggo. Preggo is more fun to say, and I guess in a way "cuter". We're incredibly immature even if some of us are becoming mothers.

I guess no one could really take pride of the work they did on a title such as Hot Gimmick, but I'm glad to hear you got put on what's sort of a shoujo classic. I had read Hana Kimi for years previous via scanlations, and was really happy with the Viz editions when they finally came out.

ptolemy18 wrote:
I think one of the things which makes Hot Gimmick especially objectionable to people is the actual fact that the character writing is good enough that Hatsumi sort of behaves believably (even if you're screaming at her "NOOOO!! DON'T DO ITTTT!!" the whole time).

In Hot Gimmick, Hatsumi actually does feel nervous and revolted and violated and just plain AWFUL a lot of the time, and it takes a long time for her to 'come around' and start to like Ryoki. (And admittedly, Ryoki is an unusually big jerk even by josei manga standards... but he's also got the 'inner vulnerability' thing going on much more than most Harlequin Manga love interests do.) The main character (Hatsumi) is a horrible role model, but the manga really lets you feel all her timidity and fear and weak self-justifications. It's sort of fascinating, actually.


Oh yeah, like people have mentioned so far in this thread, I remember many a time where I'd suddenly be sitting straight up and yelling at Hatsume with the book clenched in my hands. The plot may be trashy, but any book or comic that can get a reader THAT passionate about the characters/story has some quality value to it. Which is why I was disappointed when I got my hands on Aihara's earlier work - Tokyo Boys and Girls. I accept that it was one of her first works done a good 5+ years before Hot Gimmick, and you can even see ghosts of plot devices she later used for Hot Gimmick, but Tokyo Boys and Girls was just boring and the main character even less likable than Hastume somehow. I've come to decide though that with Aihara's other works, she's either semi-interesting or downright predictable and revolting. Nothing yet she's put out has grabbed me like Hot Gimmick did.

And yes, the fact that Hatsume actually resisted is part of the reason I think I find Hot Gimmick more appealing than say other josei/shoujo manga that follow that trend - like Black Bird or Walking on Roses - I get bored and extremely annoyed when a girl just straight out gives in or "melts" as you described. Hatsume's struggles and some of the male character's attitudes about sex added a bit of realism to an insane teenage world. Where as the other titles I mentioned earlier, Black Bird and Walking on Roses, all the men are described as being head over heels in love with the lead females, so much that when they're forcing themselves on the girls you're wondering what gives; does the girl have beer flavored nipples or something? You just can't understand why they're attracted to her. Hot Gimmick manages to have context with the act here that actually makes sense. And I really hate saying Hot Gimmick makes sense - but it in this case for me it does.

I also completely agree with you on the bodice ripper/romance novel stance. A couple months back a number of us girls on the forum (and the occasional guy) got into a rather serious discussion in the manga forum concerning Romance vs Rape in shoujo manga, and the trend of the forced-relationship/rape stories popping up in the North American market now. Anyone curious about it can see it here. The discussion ranged on the works of various shoujo/josei manga-ka who touched the issue such as Fuyumi Soryou, Ohmi Tomu, Mayu Shinjo, Kanan Minami, and Miki Aihara (Hot Gimmick), and it ranged from stuff released here to stuff that will never see the light of day here. Lots of comparsions were made with modern day romance novels, and even more older sources like Tale of Genji, to various Western comics.
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ptolemy18
Manga Reviewer/Creator/Taster


Joined: 07 May 2005
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Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:31 am Reply with quote
rinmackie wrote:
One other thing, about the underage drinking warning, was that in the original text? Because I was under the impression that it was something Viz added. I flipped through a copy at the bookstore and was insulted when I saw it. I mean, really, of all the things going on in this story, that's something we need a warning about? Seriously, if anyone who reads this is not aware of the underage drinking law and that it's a bad thing, then they probably shouldn't be reading this manga in the first place.


I don't have the original tankobon with me, but it was probably in the original text. I've seen warnings like that in the Japanese editions of other shojo and shonen manga. They probably got complaints from parents (but not about the rest of the plot??) or something.
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