Alice and Finch – Update 2

Happy too am I!
Where is Lvsa, my love?

Hello. I am Alexandre Dirge.

And I dub Alice and Finch’s life to be an Archetypal Comedy, and therefore eternal.

Now I digress from my memories of their love story to bring you evidence with the help of Northrop Frye.

Elements of Archetypal Comedy

These are the elements that occur in nearly all love stories (and realities) across nearly all cultures. (Sorry barbarians, you are hardly romantic.)

1

Two lovers. Two lovers who are destined for each other, often both secretly of noble blood; prince and princess. No explanation needed here.

(I will add, however, that the connection to royalty is a very Jewish tradition. For more, read,Song of Songs, which may or may not have been written by King Solomon, or contact your local Rabbi.)

2

Flawed Society. The society is flawed; even if the only flaw is that it does not approve of, or actively denies the love of the heroes.

  • Angry Father. The father represents society itself. Thus, often the father directly manifests the society’s disaproval of the heroes love. The father, usually the maiden’s father, but it could be as distant as a grandfather or even another member of the society, becomes a blocking character.

You can see conflict and excitement, and even longing on the horizon by now, surely.

3

Instant Love. There is nothing in between the lovers. It is as if they have known each other forever. They slip into each others’ lives as easily as they slip into each others’ arms. Love at first sight may be something only found in the realm of fantasy, but surely love at his words must be real.

This is, of course, how I fell in love.

I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
(Authorized King James Version, Job. 23.12 2, emphasis mine, italics in original)

4

Separation. How tragic! The lovers mus separate. It is either caused by a chaos or double chaos (brigands are a chaos. Water is a chaos as well, so pirates, thieves of the sea, are a double chaos.) Usually, however, it is the society’s failure in tandem with a chaos that sets it off.

  • Society. The society did not approve of Alice, the little monster, except for the other outcasts such as Finch the bookworm, the Metch priest, Prince Chloe Rhye, and myself. The guard were the final straw, urged by Ilias, and caused by…
  • Chaos. Alice is a chaos, because we don’t know (at least we didn’t know) what she was, what a Plainkind was. Plus, she was coming into puberty at the time, another chaos from within.

(The chaos being internal instead of external is, of course, very intriguing to me.)

5

Struggle to find oneness. Often this process brings out the woman’s beauty and desirably, as she longs for her husband-to-be. In the man, it brings out the same longing, and in some cases, even suicidal thoughts; “If I cannot be with her, I do not want to live!” (Infamously, Chaereas from one of the most ancient novels, Chaereas and Callirhoe, tried to die at least three times.)

  • Longing. Most of the wishes for death and disparity comes from longing. The pair are soul mates, and without each other, the world is but nothing, they are broken.

Fuck it all and fuckin’ no regrets
I hit the lights on these dark steps
Medallion noose, I hang myself
Saint Anger ’round my neck

And I choke… on the cross
As I hang… as I’m hanging
I just wanna die today
I just wanna die
Will tell you why

I’m madly in anger with you
I feel my world shake
Like an earth quake
Hard to see clear
Is it me? Is it fear?

Searching my head
For the words that you said

The light at the end of the tunnel
Was turned off
And something I noticed
Beating you is thrilling me
I’ve got a secret for you

Tears filled my eyes
As we said our last goodbyes
This sad scene replays
Of you walking away

The tides of change pulled us apart
I feel a familiar pain
In my hour of need,
No, you are not there
And though I reached out for you,
Wouldn’t lend a hand
My darkest hour is every hour
You’re not there
When no words are spoken and please are ignored
Your tears go unnoticed, will you say enough?

Did you ever think I get lonely?
Did you ever think that I needed love?
Did you ever think, stop thinking;
You’re the only one that I’m thinking of.
Goodbye 1000 times goodbye
The thought never crossed my mind
That this would be my last goodbye.

My heart, it hurts
‘Cause it never catches its breath
I’m still staying when I should have left
Come to where the waters meet the shore
I’ll be there
And I will stay, leaving you

I am really afraid
But I am her protector
You know?
You’ll be never alone again,
Cause I am your protector.

Waves—close your eyes and count slow
In this moment things are getting dangerous.
Oh no.
I can’t find my way.
All these things that left me in their waiting.
—I keep shaking.

But the things that she said sounded peculiar and strange
Like she couldn’t believe the words that were shaping
Her future life

(Plagiarized by Alexandre Jutt, and Daniel T.
Credits in order: Metallica, Two, Logic, Metallica, Megadeth, Falling Up, Daniel Triumph.)

The struggle to return as one pits the protagonists against many trials, mostly internal for the woman, and external for the man.

6

Reunion. Of course, there is a happy ending! The man finds his woman, or in the case of stories like An Ephesian Tale or An Ethiopian Story, the lovers find each other.

Sigh.

7

Wedding! Of course, the lovers need to lock in their commitment and become slaves to each other. How romantic, a choking band around the neck—I mean the finger. You will never be forgotten, Alice, Finch!

The old and corrupt society is inspired and renewed by the lovers’ actions and their fated reunion despite it all. The wedding festival brings happiness not only to the lovers, but to the whole city that celibates with them. Even the villains find their good spirit and join the celebration (if only to be arrested or likewise midway through. However, all are happy for the lovers, even they that opposed them see how wrong it was to do so.)

The marriage is very important, it is the symbol; a promise of a new and bright future. (Ah, love is in the air. Are you as excited for Alice and Finch’s wedding as I? Truly, I must finish these writings soon, for they are calling that I help with the preparations.)

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Bye bye, love,
Alexandre Dirge!

…and Daniel Triumph.

Read an essay on the first draft of Alice and Finch Here: Alice and Finch: The Archetypal Recapitulation

You can also check out Alice and Finch – Update 1 here, as it is far short, and less dense.

Finally, the first draft is available on this blog, for free in its entirety. Check it out if you are feeling impatient!

P.S.

Burying all of the evidence
My glamorous words will CATCH HER
Burying all of the evidence,
Some thousands of eyes will HAPPEN

P.P.S.:

STRUCTURALISM IN ART AHHGGGGG NORTHROP FRYE IT IS THE NEW FRONTIER OF SOCIAL SCIENCE AND I LOVE SOMEONE AS WELL WHICH IS VERY IMPORTANT BLEGHH >:3

An Argument for Symphonia and its theme.

This was a reply to a reddit post that essentially stated that Symphonia was a bad game. The poster argued his point by comparing it to other tales games, instead of judging it on its own terms. I enjoyed the critique, but found it deeply flawed.

This argument contains some spoilers for the first third or so of the story, but nothing game-ruining—I could explain to you the entire plot, and the game still wouldn’t be ruined.

Half-elves, duality, racism, sacrifice, friendship (really?), resources, relationships, right to live? Symphonia, at its core, isn’t about any of these, although it addresses each with reasonable depth and competence. All of those are subthemes that either contribute to the main plot, or flesh out the world. Tales of Symphonia is about systems, and subversion;

Symphonia is about overcoming corruption.

Related image
The tower that reaches up unto the Heavens, The Tower of Salvation.

The crux of the game is introduced at the Tower of Salvation, about one quarter of the way into the game. They find out that the religion of Martel that underlies their journey to regenerate the world is a sham, and that it’s just a tool for a failed system. It’s a corrupted system with a convoluted goal, run by the selfish, in-fighting Cruxis. Most of the latter half of the game is Lloyd (the “gentle idealist”) and company rejecting the dichotomy of, either two worlds vying or one of them dead. Lloyd rejects both and tries to find a way where everything can be decent.

Image result for lloyd gentle idealist
Lloyd’s philosophy is laid out in the open in front of Vice-Chief Tiga. (Of course, there is more than what is quoted here. Lloyd wishes to find a way to end the struggle between the two worlds. He seeks a solution in which both worlds don’t have to live at the expense of one another.)

There’s a harmony between the form and the content too, which (academically anyway) is a meaningful strength in a narrative. If the game is about subverting corrupted systems, then with each of its characters, it presents an RPG archetype (or system), and then subverts it. Lloyd, the “shounen-hero” standard, becomes a thoughtful idealist, and then acts on those ideas throughout the plot. Collette, the sacrificial Mary Sue, struggles with physical and spiritual illnesses throughout, and is constantly taking on loads of responsibility… and doing it well. Genis, the genius child caster, is (unusually, if you know the type) still childish, despite his ability. He’s a bit racist, arrogant, and he whines and cries about things. I could go on, but feel free to try it yourself. You can look at anyone from Sylvarant and see a video game trope, but if you reflect further (especially on their actions after the Tower even) you’ll see that they unravel their own tropes to reveal depth and individuality.

This marriage of content and form isn’t only found the characters; even the game itself starts off as a cliched system. Four seals? An adventure to save the word? Magitechnology that has gone extinct? an “empire” of bad guys? Sounds like every JRPG from the Super Nintendo to PlayStation era. But, after the Tower of Salvation, this is again shed to reveal something further down in the core of the game. Notice that the Tethe’alla party members don’t seem to fall into tropes like the Symphonia crew do (and if they do, it’s often far less overt). Zelos and Sheena are very strong examples of this.

In Tethe’alla, the Desians are no longer the main threat; there’s an underlying layer beneath it. Seals also now have a doubled reason for existing—the releasing summon spirits. And, of course, the entire system of the two worlds that need to be saved, instead of just one, becomes the active problem in the game.

You don’t have to like Symphonia. You don’t even have to like video games. Plus, the idea of dismantling flawed structures and tyrannical systems doesn’t resonate with everyone. (If you think about it, the theme might be the reason why it’s more popular in the United States than it is in the more conservative Japan.) I advise that you judge Tales of Symphonia for what it’s actively attempting to do with its narrative. Everything else, in the grand scheme of things, is secondary.

Daniel Triumph.

 

P.S. Here’s the original argument to which this post was a reply to, followed by my original rebuttal.


My original reply, from which this post came:

https://www.reddit.com/r/tales/comments/7xwapl/i_finished_symphonia_spoilers/dud8hio/

“Daaaan”’s Epic list of Albums

These are my favourite albums, off the top of my head. I listen to a small list of great bands and that’s it. Obviously, this list was made for a girl.

Best

  1. Crucible (Halford) [a favourite]
  2. Falling Up (Falling Up)
  3. Youthanasia (Megadeth) [thinking of you]
  4. Screaming for Vengeance (Judas Priest)
  5. Super Collider (Megadeth) [The haters can get over it. You are my track #2]
  6. Crashings (Falling Up) [My heart, it hurts, cause it, never catches its breath!]
  7. United Abominations (Megadeth)
  8. The World Needs a Hero (Megadeth)
  9. Killing is my Business…and Business is Good (Megadeth)
  10. Painkiller (Judas Priest)
  11. Turbo (Judas Priest) [I’m your Turbo Lover!]
  12. Invincible (Michael Jackson)
  13. Your Sparkling Death Cometh (Falling Up)
  14. Reminiscence (Far From Reality)
  15. Risk (Megadeth) [See Super Collider.]
  16. Unfold (Almah)
  17. Glory (Britney Spears)
  18. Hours (Falling Up)
  19. Ram it Down (Judas Priest) [Got me through some hard times]
  20. Firepower (Judas Priest)
  21. House Full of Caverns (Falling Up) [Possibly the best instrumental album ever]

Gr8

  1. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (Smashing Pumpkins)
  2. Dangerous (Michael Jackson)
  3. St. Anger (Metallica) [You give me STANGER. And I want my anger to be healthy!]
  4. Defenders of the Faith (Judas Priest)
  5. Sad Wings of Destiny (Judas Priest)
  6. The Human Paradox (Fractal Cypher)
  7. Crooked Teeth (Papa Roach)
  8. Captiva (Falling Up)
  9. Dystopia (Megadeth)
  10. Fangs! (Falling Up)
  11. Countdown to Extinction (Megadeth)
  12. F.E.A.R. (Papa Roach)
  13. Redeemer of Souls (Judas Priest)
  14. Adore (Smashing Pumpkins)
  15. Rust in Peace (Megadeth)
  16. Dawn Escapes (Falling Up)
  17. Sin After Sin (Judas Priest)

Normal Great

  1. The Connection (Papa Roach)
  2. Restart (Newsboys)
  3. British Steel (Judas Priest)
  4. Warrior (Kesha)
  5. Demolition (Judas Priest)
  6. Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? (Megadeth)
  7. Midnight on Earthship (Falling Up)
  8. Stained Class (Judas Priest)
  9. The Black Market (Rise Against)
  10. The Paramour Sessions (Papa Roach) [Time is running out!]

Pretty Good

  1. Stained Class (Judas Priest)
  2. Satellite (P.O.D.)
  3. Cannibal (Kesha)
  4. Femme Fatale (Britney Spears)
  5. Clarity (Zedd)
  6. True Colors (Zedd)
  7. Blackout (Britney Spears)
  8. Scripted (Icon for Hire)
  9. Halcyon Days (Ellie Goulding)
  10. Endgame (Megadeth)
  11. E.V.O. (Almah)
  12. So far So Good… So What? (Megadeth)
  13. Dark Adrenaline (Lacuna Coil)
  14. Resurrection (Halford)
  15. No More Hell to Pay (Stryper)
  16. Endgame (Rise Against)
  17. Jugulator (Judas Priest)

Good

  1. Liberman (Vanessa Carlton)
  2. Fallen (Stryper)
  3. Mnemos (Falling Up)
  4. Cryptic Writings (Megadeth)
  5. Nostradamus (Judas Priest)
  6. Th1rt3en (Megadeth)
  7. Angel of Retribution (Judas Priest)
  8. Rainbow (Kesha)
  9. Baptism of Fire (Glenn Tipton)
  10. Winter Songs (Halford) [Metal Christmas!]
  11. Point of Entry (Judas Priest)
  12. Bright Lights (Ellie Goulding)
  13. Dawn of the Brave (Van Canto)

Daniel Triumph.

Other Stuff

One of my earliest video games

Life and Memory: An Overview of Programmatic Introductions and Mnemosyne

– The Most Artistic Detective Anime (That isn’t Really a Detective Fiction)

From a programmatic perspective, the opening scene of this anime is perfect. Both scenes. The only thing I could think to change would be the placement of the opening (put it after the opening scene, not before it! It’s more dramatic that way.)

Before I begin, let me set up the program for this review. I’ll be covering the first part of Mnemosyne: Mnemosyne no Musume-tachi, localized as Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne. Although, more accurately it can be translated simply as: Mnemosyne: Daughters of Mnemosyne. I will cover:

  • The first opening
  • Meeting Maeno
  • The Hotel Scene

So, with that out of the way, let’s begin.

The Opening Scene(s)

With the exception of the very “fast” final episode, Mnemosyne is a very tight, well-managed anime. By that I mean that every scene, almost every action, has its place. There would be something missing if you cut five or ten minutes from this show. Compare this to other anime or even television shows—think of how many scenes are just there for fun and may not add anything to the overall story—and you will quickly see why this is a complement.

The opening scene is a great example. Any good anime, television show, novel, play—any art form with a temporal aspect should tell you what it will be about within the first twenty or so minutes of the experience. The simple explanation is that you need to make sure your audience knows what they’re in for. Some people, certain academics anyway, call this the “program” of a narrative. Like the program you get if you go to a play or performance, the program of an anime tells you what’s going to happen, but skips the juicy details. If you’re in, your mind will ready itself for the payoff of the show. If no,  you can switch away knowing that you won’t be missing anything you wanted to see.

Mnemosyne opens with the intro song, which I might get into later, and then an opening scene. A woman is running up a stairwell from someone, a predator—a mercenary, sent to kill her. The setting is dark and urban, I might even call it noir, but I don’t know enough about the noir genre to correctly categorize anything. Who we presume is our hero makes it to a door, wearing only a button up shirt. It’s locked! Moving fast, she pulls out some steel and picks the lock, locking it behind her. Running up the stairs, she makes it to the rooftop just as the mercenary breaks the door down behind her. The, the mercenary arrives, armed with a shotgun. She spots her target and shots are fired. Rin sprints beneath the night sky and jumps to the other roof. Our hero didn’t make the jump—she’s hanging by one hand. The mercenary smiles, and shoots her. We watch Rin  fall to the ground, dead, followed (rather artistically) by her dismembered arm. The mercenary leaves, but not before crushing Rin’s fallen  glasses beneath her foot.

RIN Daughters of Mnemosyne 01 Cats Don't Laugh.mkv_snapshot_03.48_[2018.06.17_19.56.09].jpg
3:49
So, is this programmatic of the anime? Simply put, yes. There are a few important elements. The first would be the violence. Not just blood, but a full disembodied limb. It’s enough to give it its well-earned R+ rating at the very least. Later, there are at least two scenes of torture, so an audience had better be expecting something along those lines. The touch of nudity is also important, if only because there’s a bit of sexuality and nudity in the anime. Violence an nakedness are ever-present aspects of Mnemosyne, so a viewer should know right away that there’s a potential for their depiction. More important than the violence, however, is Rin’s reaction to it. She is very calm, despite her doom. This is also meaningful. It is a valid expression of the overall tone of the anime. Mnemosyne: Mnemosyne no Musume-tachi is a calm, intelligent deliberation on the value of life and immortality.

After this opening scene, Rin wakes up in her bed. A scene later, she’s in an office, wearing standard professional clothing, complete with a vest and tie. Is this a flashback? We’re left wondering for quite a few more scenes. We find out that Rin’s job is something of a jack-of-all trades type private investigator. Almost a Jessica Jones, without all the edginess. Shortly after, we meet another very important character, the character with the problem for the episode. He’s being hunted by some men in suits, and using swift and deadly combat abilities she saves him and they begin to talk.

The man, named Maeno, says he doesn’t know who he is. The scene is rather therapeutic, with him sitting on a red chair, facing perpendicular. “Amnesia?!” Shouts Rin. “No, I have my memory. I also know my address and phone number.” He explains. Maeno has a far worse problem, one a little more original. I won’t give it away, this episode is well worth the forty-five minutes. Right now though, neither party knows what’s wrong with him, although it is revealed by the end of the episode.

RIN Daughters of Mnemosyne 01 Cats Don't Laugh.mkv_snapshot_11.35_[2018.06.17_20.19.14]
11:35
There are some beautiful scenes in this anime, held back only by its budget. This image is the scene on which I’ll end my analysis of the introduction. Rin is on the phone. We don’t know with whom, and we won’t know until well past halfway through the series. This is important for the program though, as it alludes to something going on behind the scenes. (As does Rin’s references to the name “Apos,” and the appearance of the partially-incorporeal figure at the end of the hotel scene later.)

I have a lot more to say about this terrific and oft-missed anime, but I will end it here for today. But first, I’ll reveal whether or not the second scene is a flashback. Or rather, I’ll let the mercenary reveal it for you.

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20:32 (The Hotel Scene)
Rin is immortal, she survived the fall, and regrew her arm.

Mnemosyne: Mnemosyne no Musume-tachi is a brilliant, bloody and artistic series. It’s loaded with symbolism and detail that even after analysing, I don’t think I’ve completely come to understand. It is not perfect. I believe that it needed on more episode, as the final one was a little too rush-paced. But that aside, if you’re looking for something truly unique, and with the ethos of an “anime was produced to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the AT-X network,” then Mnemosyne is not an anime to be passed on.

Daniel Triumph.

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Hajimete No Gal: A Raucous Manga

What?

I don’t think it’s fair to call Hajimete No Gal a romance manga, in the same way it isn’t fair to call it a “rom-com.” There’s an important distinction to be made; romance implies Shoujo, that is, manga marketed towards girls. Usually that means either mahou shoujo like Sailor Moon and Precure, or wistful romances like Fruits Basket or Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii. Certainly, this is not a Shoujo. The reason it fails to be a “rom-com” (and a second reason it isn’t a shoujo) is that the pair are together for a majority of the series. Like, this kind of together:

Hajimete No Gyaru begins with the main characters pairing up, and I think that’s why it caught my eye. I can remember being a young, lovestruck tween, rifling through shoujo and seinen romance anime searching, hoping for a series where the main pairing got together before the final episode!

Please note that this post is an update/rework of a previous review. If you’ve read that one, fear not, this one’s mostly new!

Hajimete no Gyaru

I originally found this manga by its anime. The art was nice, and the main female protagonist, Yukana had something about her… something so rare in female anime character expression; Yukana had confidence. This girl is overflowing with confidence, and confidence is key. The male character, Junichi is no pushover either. The author makes it quite clear, very early that he’s no stock seinen protagonist. He confesses in chapter one, and continues to impress throughout with his steadfast commitment and his inner teenage struggles.

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A note on the anime: It is nowhere near as good as the manga. They mess with timing, and axe most of the protagonist’s development in order to force an implied “harem” that never happens. I would recommend skipping the anime, and heading over to the manga.

The Relationship

This is the core of the story, so we might as well start here. Junichi and Yame’s relationship is… fairly realistic. I want to say it’s the shounen flip of the idealized shoujo manga, and the lack of stupid or petty arguments might give that thought some weight. However, I feel like it’s a step up from that. The relationship they share is something you could imagine existing in real life.

When they get together, neither of them expected it, and they aren’t sure what to do. They start off by doing what is expected, standard societal norms, like karaoke, a movie, and this…

Capture2.JPG
Arcade game, if you’re confused.

Then, later they do more interesting things, like a group trip, and most recently, a comicbook convention… comima I think.

The relationship is pretty stable. Junichi is initially bombarded with a couple of rival lovers, as if he suffers from harem-anime-syndrome. After a couple volumes, thankfully, these pretty much go away. Although, for the record, both are perfectly justified, and have a plot function. They show us the true character of Junichi; that he’s ultimately committed to his present relationship with Yukana, and that he will even stave off a nude childhood friend in that name. I guess we’ll go there next.

The use of Ecchi, aka Fanservice

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The fanservice in this manga can, at times, be fairly overt. The scene with Nene… in fact, both her initial scene, and her swimming scene are pretty blatant. But, I think it is very rare that the ecchi gets out of hand, or even detracts from the story.

Let’s use the Nene scenes as examples. (She’s the one on the far left, above.) Nene is the childhood friend of the main character, Junichi. When she meets up with him after so many years, and finds out he’s dating, she becomes immediately jealous, and uses her physique to try and sway him from Yame. Multiple times. Each time fails. The swimsuit issue actually turns into a bonding experience for the two, and shows us what their true relationship is after the awkward reunion; that is, they are only friends.

There’s actually more though.

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Yame as either doctor, or nurse.

There’s actually a positive aspect to this, interestingly enough. Like Oretach Ni Tsubasa Wa Nai (an anime I think I’ll have to make a review of eventually), there ecchi is used to actually aid the plot, somehow!

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Because the manga has the ecchi tag, the mangaka is allowed more liberties with the intimate scenes between the main pairing… and also with the main character’s fantasies.

I’m actually interested in what the writer will do with this… freedom.

There’s more. Since I’m here, I’ll expand on the point of the utility of the ecchi, if we can call it that. Fanservice is used very tactfully in this manga, especially compared to things like Dog Days’ season 2, or even Nozoki Ana, a manga I actually really like that seems to have a quota for sex scenes. Hajimete no Gal, after the first few chapters, uses their service license tactfully. It never gets in the way of the plot. If anything, it accents it.

“Realism”

There’s no way that Hajimete no Gyaru falls under the genre of realism, but it is realistic compared to other romance manga, with the exception of things like Saotome Senshu. The primary relationship is fairly rocky, but overall strong. The characters have realistic motivations, and realistic problems.

I’ll point out that none of their lover’s quarrels are stupid. Anyone who consumes romance will know what I’m talking about. Usually it’s either something small that gets blown out of proportion for no reason, usually due to a stupid misunderstanding. The other is when a character overreacts about something trivial or arbitrary. Both of these feel artificial, and neither of these are present (in this exaggerated form, at the very least) in Hajimete no Gal. Everything makes sense, or fits with the character, and it’s very refreshing.

The other thing is characterization. Both Yukana and Junichi are very well developed. They have believable character traits, and understandable teenage motivations. Junichi is low-key horny, and confused a lot, and Yukana holds a confident front, but within she’s just as confused as Jun. It works out great, and the characters reveal new facets of their personalities as new situations hit them.

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Sakamoto, Junichi’s friend

The supporting cast is quite three-dimensional as well. Yame’s friend Ranko has her own protective motivations, and a consistent personality. Junichi’s friend Sakamoto is consistently abrasive, as you might expect a glasses-wearing nerd to be. He’s pushy, but helpful, and I was surprised that the “initial derp friend of the MC” remained relevant, and actually continued to contribute to the plot after the beginning of the story.

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Yui, Nene, Ranko

The rest of the cast is pretty good too. Nene remains present after her stunt, mentioned above. Yui (the one to the far right of the diagram way up, who isn’t Junichi) seems to be a consistent rival/threat to Junichi and Yukana’s relationship, so her presence as one of their friends keeps up the story’s tension.

Humour

I almost forgot; this manga is laugh out loud hilarious—literally. I almost can’t read it at night.

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Wasted.

Bad example, but I’d rather not sift through the manga to find something… I recommend you seek it out on your own 😉 .

I’ll keep this section short, because I feel like explaining jokes ruins them. I’ll put it this way: I don’t laugh out loud when I read anything. It’s very rare. There are five things I can remember offhand that have made me verbally laugh.

  • Diskworld novels
  • Slayers, and Slayers Next
  • John Dies at the End
  • Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai
  • This manga.

I’ll let you be the judge.

Closing Remarks on the Main Characters

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The plot of Hajimete no Gyaru is, admittedly, not what pulls this story along. I think that’s okay, since it lets the main cast shine, but so far nothing amazing or unique has happened—aside from between characters.

The lead’s relationship is what keeps things moving. Junichi does more than just pull his weight. He’s a true second half in this relationship, whether his girlfriend is there to babysit his emotions or not, which can be rare in anime. Yukana picks on him, flirts with him, and tests him. She asks Ranko for advice and considers Junichi fairly when he makes an advance. (Although most of the time she turns his advances down. She’s not sure what to do in a relationship either!) Neither of them has been in a relationship before, it’s new and exciting.

Conclusion

If you like more realistic characters, a developed side cast, a good relationship that actually bothers to happen (instead of stringing you along for 24 episodes), and you like to laugh, check out Hajimete no Gal.

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Verdict:

To my surprise, Hajimete no Gal still holds up since the first time I reviewed it. It gets an 8 out of 10. I love it, and if it gets translated officially, I might buy it… when I’m not a student with no money anyway.

Mostly, I write stories, so if you’d like to check one out, click here. If you don’t want to have to chose one, I suggest this. Also, if you’re interested in a more in-depth, but less well-written post on the same topic, as well as ecchi and gyaru sub-culture, check out the previous Hajimete no Gal post.

Daniel Triumph.

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