I'm staring at the cover of a couple manga sitting on my work desk - Tenshi Ja Nai volume 6, and Hana Kimi, volume 3.
Yes, I read manga during my breaks. Or just plain read. #nerd.
Anyway, I was re-reading both of these series for the tenth time, being the sappy romantic that I am, and I noticed a few things now that I didn't a few years ago.
Like a common ploy in dramas, not just manga, is to introduce a character early on that challenges the relationship between the protagonist and his/her love interest, making at least ONE of them figure out how they actually feel, while the other one is blissfully ignorant (Tenshi Ja Nai). And then later, the author does it AGAIN, just to give the second person a good kick in the arse so the audience doesn't get bored and say, "Oh, he/she is totally clueless again. When will we get to the good stuff?!" Apparently, the author doesn't trust the characters to figure this crap out on their own in a timely fashion.
I don't blame her. They're teenagers. I rarely understood myself at that age.
Like the next most common ploy is to make one character dense as all hell (Hana-Kimi). How else can you keep the story going if they get together too fast? *rolls eyes.
Like how the author makes it seem plausible for a teenage girl to have a romantic relationship with her teacher, a grown man at least six years older than her (Tenshi Ja Nai). When I first read it, I was too busy thinking about how tragically romantic it all is. Yeah, no. I have a bone to pick with "romantic tragedies," but I'll save it for another time. Regardless of the guy's personal preference (boobs versus no boobs), there is no freaking way a teen girl would act "normal" around her teacher. Have you seen girls whose crushes have admitted to liking them back? There's no way to hide that. None.
Like how ridiculous it would be to have a boy masquerading as a girl in an all-girl's school (Tenshi Ja Nai). Yeah...during the teens, girls have done most of their pubescent changing, while boys are just hitting theirs. This explains why I was the tallest person in my class until 9th grade. Then I was second tallest until 10th, when the boys suddenly sprouted like weeds and I had to tilt my head up at them. My point is it's silly that we, the audience, could buy into the concept that a cross-dressing BOY would not only keep his secret from the girls at school, where he LIVES, but also from his fans because he's a high-profile ACTRESS.
Of course, on the flip side, Hana-Kimi, one of my favorite series, has the protagonist, a girl, masquerading as a boy in an all-boys school, and that's a sports environment instead of an entertainment environment. But apparently, we can believe in feminine boys better than we can masculine girls that keep getting taller and have their voices change. But whatever.
Like how it seems so cute to have a girl sharing a room with a boy when she thinks he's clueless, but he actually KNOWS (Hana-Kimi). Would a normal teenage guy just go with it? Or, not just go with it, actually help and she STILL stays clueless? Oh, who am I kidding, I like believing in nobleness of character. :) *squeeeeeee!
Yes, this is the kind of teen smut I read.
And I love it. :)
Well, so long as it doesn't affect my writing. You are what you eat; you write what you read.