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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Happy Mania


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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 3456
Location: Back stateside
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:24 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, I reeeeallly hated Flowers & Bees (I can only watch a hero get humiliated so many times before I feel like I'm being dirty for watching it) but I love Hataraki Man, and Happy Mania sounds like it falls somewhere in between. Which means I now need to hunt it down and add it to my ever-growing list of manga to read. Thanks a lot! ;p
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Quark



Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 709
Location: British Columbia, Canada
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:57 pm Reply with quote
Happy Mania! For some reason, I never see anyone mention this manga ever. I still have the first volume, but unfortunately I read it back when I was in my big prude stage, and didn't appreciate how funny it really was. Now that I've outgrown that stage of my life, and can actually handle it when characters have (oh no!) sex, I'd love to go back and collect them all. Unfortunately, they seem to be hard to find. Maybe the original tankoban might be easier to track down...
Anyway, thanks for shedding some light on this title, as not enough people know about it.
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Moomintroll



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 1600
Location: Nottingham (UK)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:19 pm Reply with quote
I absolutely love Anno's work. Her artwork is fantastically expressive and elegant - especially her faces - and, beyond the art, she has a deliciously malicious sense of humour and a great, knowing, satirical touch that subverts every genre she works in and every social or personal issue she touches on. Her stuff really is something special, even when compared to the likes of solidly entertaining josei contemporaries like Yayoi Ogawa or Mari Okazaki.

Granted, her longer narratives can be repetitive but they kind of spiral out so that with every repetition things get a little bit more deliriously over the top before being reeled back in to start all over again. Works for me.

All four of her licensed works (Happy Mania, Sugar Sugar Rune, Flowers & Bees and the Song Of The Crickets short story in Japan As Viewed By 17 Creators) are great reads and given that each of them was produced for an entirely different demographic, she's pretty much got something for everybody. I just wish more of her stuff was available in English.

Quark wrote:
Unfortunately, they seem to be hard to find.


I think they're all still available in the UK - bookdepository.co.uk does free shipping to North America if there are volumes you can't find locally.
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 3213
Location: NE Ohio
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:49 pm Reply with quote
One of the big problems selling josei and seinen in America is that lots of Japanese ride trains and buses to work, when most Americans are being their own unpaid chauffeurs to get to work.
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rinmackie



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
Posts: 1040
Location: in a van! down by the river!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:44 pm Reply with quote
Actually, the main reason that more mature manga doesn't sell is because most Americans still think comics are for kids or developmentally arrested adults. That and the companies have been so squarely focused on the teen audience, they never really cultivated a market outside of it.
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akhu



Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Posts: 14
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:26 pm Reply with quote
Happy Mania is an excellent manga, amazing josei. Moyoco Anno really knows how write a story and make characters, Shigeta is really crazy, but is a reflect from a modern woman.
I make a review in spanish, if someone speak spanish or want to use a translator =)

http://akihabararoad.blogspot.com/search/label/Happy%20Mania

This manga have an unusual and mature end, I really love it, and all the manga is funny too, totally recommended.
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the_czarina



Joined: 08 Jul 2010
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:10 pm Reply with quote
Oddly enough, I listed my copies of Vol 1 & 2 of Happy Mania on eBay just a few days ago, as part of The Great Downsizing. (Quick, somebody, go and buy them!) I didn't think anyone else really even knew about this series.

I never really could get in to this series... I wasn't a fan of the art, and Shigeta's instability and flakiness just really annoyed me. Oh well - to each his own.
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midnightcoast



Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 4
Location: Manchester, NH USA
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:54 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
One of the big problems selling josei and seinen in America is that lots of Japanese ride trains and buses to work, when most Americans are being their own unpaid chauffeurs to get to work.


This would be true of any manga not only josei and seinen.

Quote:
Actually, the main reason that more mature manga doesn't sell is because most Americans still think comics are for kids or developmentally arrested adults.


Again this is true of any manga.

My thoughts on why josei and seinen manga doesn't sell well... If this is a typical example of the genre I wouldn't buy it either. It's not because of the sex as Quark mentioned in his post. It's the self distructive behavior. If I want to have my fill of that sort of thing all I have to do is listen to certain coworkers on a Monday morning. Or pick up a Hollywood mag or watch any of the "reality" programs that happens to be on TV at the time. I read a manga to get away from the world not to drown in the worst aspects of it. Josei and seinen manga deal with more mature subjects, in a more real world way. If I want the real world with more mature subjects all I have to do is open the door to my house and walk out into it. I don't need a manga for that.
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Shay Guy



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 1141
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:19 pm Reply with quote
Missed a closing italic on the author bio at the end. Again.

Tangentially related: I remember a while back I read a suggestion that Scott Pilgrim might make a good gateway series for manga in America, especially with the movie coming out. While reading the series, I decided I couldn't agree, because Scott Pilgrim is very obviously not manga.

Scott Pilgrim characters have actual sex lives.
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ptolemy18
Manga Reviewer/Creator/Taster


Joined: 07 May 2005
Posts: 357
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:21 pm Reply with quote
midnightcoast wrote:
My thoughts on why josei and seinen manga doesn't sell well... If this is a typical example of the genre I wouldn't buy it either. It's not because of the sex as Quark mentioned in his post. It's the self distructive behavior. If I want to have my fill of that sort of thing all I have to do is listen to certain coworkers on a Monday morning. Or pick up a Hollywood mag or watch any of the "reality" programs that happens to be on TV at the time. I read a manga to get away from the world not to drown in the worst aspects of it. Josei and seinen manga deal with more mature subjects, in a more real world way. If I want the real world with more mature subjects all I have to do is open the door to my house and walk out into it. I don't need a manga for that.


There's other ways of looking at stories about screwed up characters:

(1) Exaggerated suckiness of the character's life makes you feel better about yourself ("My own life may not be perfect, but at least I'm better than *that* poor loser!") (like watching reality television)
(2) Sick fascination, like watching a car accident
(3) Simply put, they're just more interesting than two-dimensional "good" characters
(4) Endings don't have to be happy, characters don't have to be perfect

Sure, there's manga that have turned me off because the main characters are too obnoxious. But personally, I got tired of sympathetic, innocent, noble characters after reading too much shonen and shojo manga.


Last edited by ptolemy18 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ptolemy18
Manga Reviewer/Creator/Taster


Joined: 07 May 2005
Posts: 357
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:24 pm Reply with quote
Quark wrote:
Happy Mania! For some reason, I never see anyone mention this manga ever. I still have the first volume, but unfortunately I read it back when I was in my big prude stage, and didn't appreciate how funny it really was. Now that I've outgrown that stage of my life, and can actually handle it when characters have (oh no!) sex, I'd love to go back and collect them all.


When I was younger I also couldn't get into stories where the characters have sex, no matter how good the story was in other ways. I think many people prefer to read stories where the main characters don't have more sexual experience than they themselves do. And also, apart from the psychological aspect, the art of Happy Mania does get pretty explicit.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 13901
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:56 pm Reply with quote
midnightcoast wrote:

My thoughts on why josei and seinen manga doesn't sell well... If this is a typical example of the genre I wouldn't buy it either. It's not because of the sex as Quark mentioned in his post. It's the self distructive behavior. If I want to have my fill of that sort of thing all I have to do is listen to certain coworkers on a Monday morning. Or pick up a Hollywood mag or watch any of the "reality" programs that happens to be on TV at the time.


Or just watch the Lifetime "female abuse" Channel. Laughing
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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Posts: 1906
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:48 am Reply with quote
I hated Sugar Sugar Rune so much. It's such a nonsensical mess that can't stop dropping plot lines for new, less interesting ones...even the great satire of shoujo love-magic gimmickery.

But the reason I hated it is because I thought it was a huge waste of potential, which makes Anno's other work worth trying.
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Tamaria



Joined: 21 Oct 2007
Posts: 1512
Location: De Achterhoek
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:16 am Reply with quote
Quote:
There's a debate among English manga publishers about whether American readers can get into josei and seinen (adult women's and men's) manga., particularly the realistic stuff, without magic and collectible cards and so on. In Japan, it seems natural to that young readers who grow up reading manga about 14-year-olds will eventually want to read manga about older people, people their own age, as they reach college age, their twenties, their thirties, etc. But in America, even critically acclaimed grownup titles like Golgo 13 and Oishinbo don't sell well, and on the women's side, josei manga hasn't done much better.


That doesn't make much sense, does it? America has a lot of adult comics lovers and it has been ten years since manga became big. The teenagers from then are now twenty-somethings. But then again, maybe the avarage American reads comics to avoid growing up?

The Dutch manga industry uses a completely different tactic. They're specifically aiming for mature readers and have done so from the beginning. Say Hello to Black Jack and 20th Century Boys were two of the first titles of the new manga wave (which is currently so small, even the kids don't it's worthy of a surfboard...).

BTW Even though the Dutch anime/manga industry is very small, we get some neat things Americans miss out on. For instance Monster on DVD Razz
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midnightcoast



Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 4
Location: Manchester, NH USA
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:07 am Reply with quote
Quote:
There's other ways of looking at stories about screwed up characters:

(1) Exaggerated suckiness of the character's life makes you feel better about yourself ("My own life may not be perfect, but at least I'm better than *that* poor loser!") (like watching reality television)
(2) Sick fascination, like watching a car accident
(3) Simply put, they're just more interesting than two-dimensional "good" characters
(4) Endings don't have to be happy, characters don't have to be perfect


(1) My life isn't so bad that I have to watch someone else spiral out of control to feel "better". (superior?) Maybe that's why I don't watch reality TV.
(2) That might be true, but I'm not going to troll the highway looking for car accidents which is what I would be doing buying a series of this type.
(3) That is based on one's taste. I would rather look up to two dimensional "good" characters than look down on two dimensional "bad" characters.
(4) True, however if you are reading manga for entertainment (at least for me) for ten dollars or more, you want a decent ending. Plus if I need to read a story without a happy ending or with less than perfect people I can always head for the documentary section of the library and get one for free.

Quote:
Or just watch the Lifetime "female abuse" Channel.


Ah yes I forgot about that one. Oprah would also fall into this catagory.
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