Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Aurora's best of Manga! Volume 1 - The World God Only Knows

And so the journey begins!

#1 - The World God Only Knows (TWGOK)

I was first introduced to this title as an anime, streaming its way through Crunchyroll, and was immediately taken. The brash character of Katsuragi Keima, the protagonist known as “the capturing god”, is easily the most unlikeable likable character I’ve ever watched or read. With a catchy opening theme, a bumbling idiot savant sidekick, and a new take on an old premise, this was a show I kept my eye on.

At this point, you’re saying “but isn’t this on your MANGA list?” Yes, it is! I mentioned that this was how I was introduced to the series; I was so taken I needed my TWGOK fix faster than the episodes were coming out. I quickly looked online for the original manga, and found it was not available yet this side of the pond. In order to follow the story, I had to be sneaky, and visit a scanlation site (this would be where fans take their spare time scanning, translating, and editing the works directly from Japan). I found a good source, and as soon as it is licensed over here you can be sure that I will add it to my collection! The anime has been green-lit for North American distribution, so I’m hoping the manga is soon to follow.

You probably want to know why I like it, huh? Well, let’s start with the premise, and then it should become pretty clear. Keima is known in the online world as the “capturing god”, stating that he is able to capture the heart of any female, no matter the situation. The Demons of “New Hell” – a kinder, gentler kind of Hell – is looking for a way to capture rogue/escaped souls that have rooted themselves in the hearts of humans. Keima receives a request through his website to help capture hearts, and of course he accepts. What was not communicated was that Keima’s expertise had an addendum: he can capture the heart of any two-dimensional female, within the dating sim, or “gal game”, dimension.

Without the information being known, a cute young-looking girl falls from the sky and introduces herself as Elsie, a demon of “New Hell”. She is there as his case worker to help capture the hearts of real girls. The plan is essentially to take that space in the girl’s heart currently occupied by the renegade evil soul, and fill it instead with love (“an honest kiss should be enough”), thereby evicting the ethereal baddie. Simple, yes? Sadly, for all of Keima’s genius in the gaming world, he has zero tact or desire when live, three-dimensional girls are involved. It takes a threat of death under contract for him to kick into gear, and be able to put a show, episode after episode, where he puts his knowledge of situations in gameplay into real world practice. It’s like an anime version of meta fiction – or, metagaming I suppose? Look at me, inventing words!

I think one of the other appeals is the idea that this is a harem genre without the bumbling male lead. He is callous, arrogant, stubborn, and completely self-centred, and yet somehow, by recreating the situations in the games he plays, he is able to get girl after girl fall for him. Astounding, really.

Thus, my first manga recommendation is, um… recommended? Tomorrow, entry number one for ANIME!!

Ja nai!

No comments:

Post a Comment