>The End of a Journey
September 12, 2010 2 Comments
Note: This is not so much of a review, but more of a remark on how well done this manga is.
It’s a refreshing approach from most similarly themed manga. There are just way too many shounen which attempt to attempt storylines like “saving the world” but in the most annoying method possible. As in: nonstop fighting, dreadful character portrayal, textbook psychology of their characters, over-drama, etc.
Well, in Biscuit Hammer, less is more. And though much of the plot is rather cliche and often too ridiculous to be taken seriously, there is a lot of depth: strong characterization and layers upon layers of emotions and motivations that are delicate and not just thrown in your face. Thus, it does not try to take on too much than it can chew and the plot does not appear contradictory or overtly contrived.
And as mentioned in the podcast, the cast is quite large but like many other titles that work by establishing vast layers of plot and writing, you just cannot build a massive world without having enough characters to fill it with. Otherwise, such an ambitious story would feel empty and incomplete.
There’s a fair amount of comedy that is actually funny, but it’s paired off with enough seriousness to buy you into flowing into the ridiculousness of the story. There is romance and while it has a strong presence in the story line, it isn’t reflected in the scenes itself. The plot itself is fun and because it doesn’t always take itself too seriously, there’s a very strong flavor of subtle humor. Instead of terrible run on gags, you get to chuckle and laugh when the various characters behave unexpectedly. As a result, even though there is tragedy, those tragic moments truly do not over-burden the plot but instead, are touching. And thus, we’re spared from over-sappy moments that might have turned the story into some soap opera, in the hands of a lesser writer.
Also, there is a very strong slice-of-life feel; however both the action and slife-of-life are well balanced-out. When the pacing changes, the writing does not drop in terms of standard and quality. And also, the “slice of life” ties the characters better into the plot because reading about their daily life means that the characters have even better reasons for their actions, thoughts and motivations. In a lot of action stories, you don’t always get to really understand why the cast is doing this and that, only flashbacks and bits and pieces of their daily lives. Even more important, everyone seems more human with concrete reasons for “wanting to live and protect others and themselves” instead of being portrayed as “fighting machines” whose goals are to commit as much destruction and bloodshed as possible. (Well maybe except the crow knight, but he turns around :D)
The art, btw, is quite good and it is very fitting for the story and its content. It’s very expressive and excellent at depicting the characters’ thoughts, emotions and their actions. Truly, this is an artist whose lines gently and subtly invoke emotions.
Now, what it could have done without: all those “panty flashing” moments, though few, were a bit bothersome though I am now used to it. Now, I’m no prude but fanservice is often bland and sterile, since it’s not even stylish sexuality or anything interesting.
This is a good manga for those who just wants to the take the ball and roll with it. The characters are easy enough to understand and while a few of them seem unnecessary, no one really detracts from the experience.
Well… This did turn out to be something of a review eh? And so, it saddens me to see Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer come to an end, but what a hell of a journey it has been.
*Sits and waits for an anime*