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REVIEW: Mama Akuma GN 1


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here-and-faraway



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:24 pm Reply with quote
Awww... this looks adorable. Thank you for the review!
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Big Kahuna



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:28 pm Reply with quote
I just hope it doesn't go Bunny Drop on us.
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ErikaD.D



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:04 am Reply with quote
It's 2021 yet d*ad moms and widower dads still exist. Sad that manga and LN authors still view mothers as d*ad parent. Widowed moms, including the MC ones like MC in Wolf Children, still (almost) doesn't exist. Sad.
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Key
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:33 am Reply with quote
ErikaD.D wrote:
It's 2021 yet d*ad moms and widower dads still exist. Sad that manga and LN authors still view mothers as d*ad parent. Widowed moms, including the MC ones like MC in Wolf Children, still (almost) doesn't exist. Sad.

This is hardly limited to manga and LNs, though. It is still seen all of the time in young adult and children's literature in the West. (That probably has historical roots in the reality of childbirth being an all-too-common mortality factor for women, but Rebecca - who is much more versed in non-anime literature than I am - may be able to comment more on that.)

Mother present/father absent stories are, admittedly, far less common than the reverse, but they're hardly unknown in manga/LN/anime. Major examples that immediately come to mind for protagonists include Toradora!, Bodacious Space Pirates, Fruits Basket (at least in the backstory sense), A Silent Voice (both protagonists, IIRC), and Inuyasha (Kagome).
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Princess_Irene
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 7:39 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:
(That probably has historical roots in the reality of childbirth being an all-too-common mortality factor for women,


At its deepest root, yes. Absolutely. If you want to read some real-life horror, look into birthing practices of the past, which did very often kill the mother, if not the mother and child both. "Dead babies" was a subgenre of Victorian children's poetry for a reason. (For good examples of it, see Christina Rosetti's Sing Song.)

In terms of literature, this essay does a good job of explaining. Basically, in addition to the Orphan Fantasy aspect that I mentioned in the review, the orphan character (and children without mothers were more likely to be considered "orphans" than those without fathers) originates in folklore, and has come to be a symbol of universal loneliness. As Kimball says in the essay:

Quote:
They are the eternal Other. Orphans are a tangible reflection of the fear of abandonment that all humans experience.


Given the symbolism of the mother as the ultimate caregiver and active parent, her removal from the story allows for the child to become more than just a character - they become a literary archetype all isolated or lonely people can relate to, regardless of whether the reader has a mother or not.

In the case of Mama Akuma, I think the author just thought it would be funnier to have a male demon being "mom."
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Minos_Kurumada



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:17 pm Reply with quote
Quite frankly?

I just think killing the parents make writer's job easier.

You get rid of 2 characters to write and don't have to explain why a kid can go around doing as he pleases.
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Key
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:20 pm Reply with quote
Minos_Kurumada wrote:
Quite frankly?

I just think killing the parents make writer's job easier.

You get rid of 2 characters to write and don't have to explain why a kid can go around doing as he pleases.

Oh, I have no doubt that is also part of it. Parents being present would be particularly inconvenient for harem set-ups, for instance. (Issei in High School DxD manages, but some demonic brainwashing was involved there.)
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a_Bear_in_Bearcave



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:58 pm Reply with quote
Single mom characters are easy to achieve without killing dad - eternally working and therefore absent father, like in My Hero Academia MC's, or Watamote's Kuroki dad, absent dad because he didn't want child rearing responsibility, in darker stories rapist dad fortunately absent or kid resulting from mother's stormy past, you can have so many stories without father. It's much harder to write mother off of the story without making her into monster, while fathers in Japanese stories tend to be often absent anyway. No wonder there's a huge disproportion in dead parent's gender.
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Gina Szanboti



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:43 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:
Mother present/father absent stories are, admittedly, far less common than the reverse,

Are they? I'd argue with the "far," but even if the disparity favors present fathers, I'd say that's a conscious correction to the past when fathers raising children alone was the rarity. If the father hadn't pawned his kids off after the mother's death, then both parents had died by truck-kun. In the past, anime men were not seen as suitable caretakers for children, and if we're seeing more of them now, I think it's because it's more of a real life issue now than it was deemed to be before, as more men step up to that responsibility. But even so, if their wives are still around, no one buys that setup (unless it's the very point of the story), other than father as breadwinner, regardless of how prevalent it may or may not be in present-day Japan (I don't know how many Japanese dads are raising children alone compared to mothers).

I've noticed that for whatever reason, sports anime seem to have more characters than average with intact families or present mothers. If the father is missing, he's either dead to motivate the grieving son, or he's just not mentioned at all. E.g., Hajime no Ippo's mom is a fishing boat operator. Yowamushi Pedal's father is never mentioned (but no one notices since Onodera's mom is so awesome Wink). Ace of Diamond has not only both of the MC's parents present, but also a grandfather, another major character who lived with his single mother, the MC's rival's parents are both alive, but he lives with his grandfather, and pretty much everyone else on the main team seems to come from intact families (really, there are so many characters in this series, every combo is represented!). Mix has one dead mother and one dead father, but the blended family has both living parents present. Haikyuu!!'s MC's family is intact, but there are other parental combos. Yūri on Ice!!! has Yūri's intact family. Whatever family drama or lack thereof you're seeking, sports anime will give it to you. Smile

The trope you almost never see is absent mother+sick-or-dying father, while the reverse is common as sand. It's a role reversal where the motivation for the characters is taking care of mom (and siblings, if any) as support, and/or doing whatever to get medicine/pay med bills. I guess fathers just up and die when they get sick?

Long-winded, but I think this is much ado about nothing. People notice what they're looking for, but I don't believe the dead or missing mother/father balance is so lopsided.

OT: This sounds cute. I eagerly await the anime adaptation somewhere down the line. Smile
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ErikaD.D



Joined: 09 Jun 2019
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 12:59 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:
Minos_Kurumada wrote:
Quite frankly?

I just think killing the parents make writer's job easier.

You get rid of 2 characters to write and don't have to explain why a kid can go around doing as he pleases.

Oh, I have no doubt that is also part of it. Parents being present would be particularly inconvenient for harem set-ups, for instance. (Issei in High School DxD manages, but some demonic brainwashing was involved there.)


Well, MC's from Mob Psycho 100 and Katekyo Hitman Reborn have parents and somehow it works. Even MC's from non-anime cartoons like Ben 10, Juniper Lee, Atomic Betty and (most) kids from Codename:Kids Next Door have alive parents and it works too.

As for d*ad mom cliches, that cliche is also exist in U.S. TV shows and movies, I think widowed moms in U.S. TV shows/movies are not common, despite that in reality widowed moms are make up majority while widower dads are minority if I correctly.

What I don't like and bothers me is that even non-fantasy realistic mangas/animes have orphans and d*ad moms/widower dads. I even thinking that based on mangas/animes, Japan has high rates of orphans and d*ad moms/widower dads, despite that in reality, Japan has low death rate than most countries including the U.S. These cliches are not just an overused but it's even a bit unrealistic by today's Japanese (and Western) standarts. Aren't orphans are almost non-exist and widower dads are make up tiny minority than widowed moms in modern-day Japan?
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ErikaD.D



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 1:35 am Reply with quote
a_Bear_in_Bearcave wrote:
Single mom characters are easy to achieve without killing dad - eternally working and therefore absent father, like in My Hero Academia MC's, or Watamote's Kuroki dad, absent dad because he didn't want child rearing responsibility, in darker stories rapist dad fortunately absent or kid resulting from mother's stormy past, you can have so many stories without father. It's much harder to write mother off of the story without making her into monster, while fathers in Japanese stories tend to be often absent anyway.


I heard that being single mom in Japan is actually taboo like most patriarchal Asian countries. I remember reading articles about single moms in Japan and in reality, most single moms are being shamed and humiliated for just being single mom while single dads are apparently not, single dads are probably viewed positive and even "heroes" while single moms isn't. Is this why there are more single/widower dads than single/widowed moms in mangas/LN and animes?

I heard there is a famous public figure in Japan, who is a Kabuki actor I think, is a widower dad and people on online are praising him but if he was a woman and become widowed, I think reaction from Japanese people would be opposite.
I wonder are Japanese views on single moms are negative than single dads and more negative on widowed moms than widower dads?

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No wonder there's a huge disproportion in dead parent's gender.

So much gender equality in mangas/LN and animes. Sad.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 3:30 am Reply with quote
ErikaD.D wrote:
Aren't orphans are almost non-exist ... in modern-day Japan?

Depends on how you define "non-existant" and what parameter you're looking at. There are about 39,000 orphans in Japan. There are somewhere around 80,000 adoptions per year, which sounds impressive until you realize that 98% of those are employers adopting adult men to carry on family businesses (including major corporations), leaving only about 1,600 adoptions of minors.
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SHD



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 5:29 am Reply with quote
ErikaD.D wrote:
What I don't like and bothers me is that even non-fantasy realistic mangas/animes have orphans and d*ad moms/widower dads. I even thinking that based on mangas/animes, Japan has high rates of orphans and d*ad moms/widower dads, despite that in reality, Japan has low death rate than most countries including the U.S. These cliches are not just an overused but it's even a bit unrealistic by today's Japanese (and Western) standarts.

One thing that I think should go without saying is that anime and manga are not supposed to represent actual reality, or at least they're not supposed to be fully realistic. There's always exaggerating and heightening for the sake of storytelling or characterization, and they have a tendency to operate with templates and tropes. Obviously a writer can add their own life experiences and include social commentary and whatnot, but just because there's a lot of stories with dead parents doesn't mean it's a reflection on any concrete thing happening in society.

As mentioned already, killing off parents is just an easy story template to work with, to generate drama and/or provide excuse for minors to do stuff without parents getting in the way. The parents being dead as opposed to sick or absent allows the writer not to have to handle a whole lot of things: the characters have no responsibilities re: caring for the sick, the reader won't expect the characters to wonder about where the parents are or angst about having been abandoned, etc. Hell, note how teenage characters with dead parents rarely ever have any guardians around, and how they tend to live on their own instead of institutions. Unless an abusive foster family is a source of drama for the character, usually the most you get is some vague distant relative financing them, sometimes not even that, and you're just expected to handwave the whole situation away.

All in all, I don't think we should expect manga in general to be a straight reflection of real-life Japan. (Of course there are manga that specifically comment on various social issues, but I'm not talking about those.) That said,

ErikaD.D wrote:
Aren't orphans are almost non-exist and widower dads are make up tiny minority than widowed moms in modern-day Japan?

There are of course orphans, and children who are placed in care by authorities or families themselves. Thing is, adoption and foster care are very much not a thing in Japan - I hear attitudes to foster care has been changing very very very slowly, but overall it's still not really socially accepted, and adoption is even less so (unless it is, as mentioned above, basically for financial reasons - generally people just don't want to deal with strangers' kids). Orphans are either taken in by relatives or, more often, placed in institutions and they grow up there - which is a whole another can of worms.

If you're interested, this documentary about orphans/children in care in Japan is ~6 years old but from what I hear it's still pretty much how things are over there: https://youtu.be/I50yAoCnA64 ("Japan's Throwaway Children")
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me_barron



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 10:43 am Reply with quote
Big Kahuna wrote:
I just hope it doesn't go Bunny Drop on us.


Or the If It's for My Daughter, I'd Even Defeat a Demon Lord. For fucks sake, the title made it clear that it was a father/daughter relationship. Love ya Japan, but sometimes ya nasty.
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Psycho 101
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 2:52 pm Reply with quote
Big Kahuna wrote:
I just hope it doesn't go Bunny Drop on us.


Fair point. I'm hoping it maybe leans more into taking a Mrs Doubtfire approach. I'm not saying have him dress up like a woman and such as William's character did. Rather, lean into those domestic parts the daughter associates with being a mother. Have the apron. Go to cooking classes. Talk to other mom's at a PTA meeting or something along those lines. If the author is setting Seere up, based on Sakura's wish, as a mother figure then lean into that. Have him make cookies, braid her hair, etc. Have him be a sort of mix between Mrs Doubtfire and Mary Poppins. Then eventually when the story ends it's been a few years, Sakura has grown, life lessons and friendships and such are formed, and Seere goes on his way and everyone has grown and learned something. A nice sappy HEA ending eventually.

I just hope the series stays sweet and charming with some nice comedic moments like Sweetness & Lightning did. Which was the first series I thought of as a sort of similar title before anything else.
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