I recently finished Yoshiki Nakamura’s 1996-2002 shoujo manga Tokyo Crazy Paradise, and it got me thinking about the confines of genre tropes and standards. See, this manga (henceforth TCP) is very much a romantic comedy about highschoolers, much like any other shoujo romance series. What makes it stand out, however, are the other story aspects the series touches upon, even if they never receive full focus. The premise of the story is that in futuristic Tokyo (2020, to be exact), women are scarce and as such are often victimized, to the point that many are openly attacked in broad daylight. In addition, our protagonist ends up as the bodyguard to a mob boss, who is the primary love interest. So, with this context, let me list some of the more standout content present in TCP:
- Numerous instances of near rape
- Drug dealing
- Drugging girls on hallucinogens, then forcing them into cage deathmatches and betting on who dies first
- The love rival getting her right arm sliced off at the elbow
- Gang wars
- And an active attempt by supporting characters to get one of the protagonists to cheat on their fiancé
. . .All wrapped up with a bow of light-hearted comedy and soap-bubbly teen romance. And you thought romcoms were all the same.
redball: Do you know why you’re here?
redball: I think you do. But I’ll help you out. You were named. Your buddy John Sato ratted you out. We already heard the story from him. We know what’s going down. Now, you can cooperate with us and this will be easy, or you can do this the hard way.
redball: Fine. Listen, I know you think I’m the bad guy here, but really I just want to get this over with. I have a family to get back to. Let’s just get this under way. Mr. Sato already gave us the goods, but I’m going to ask you some questions anyway. Before we begin, I’m going to read you your rights and tell you how this works.
- You have the right to follow the rule of fives. You are allowed to ask 5 questions, after which you can tag up to 5 bloggers by hyper-linking to their blog; 5 questions because it’s not too many to flood another blogger and occupy too much of his/her time, but yet a large enough number to ask your most important questions, and 5 bloggers to avoid spamming. Hence, prioritize your questions, and who you wish to ask!
- Those tagged are presumed innocent until proven guilty, but nonetheless are obliged to answer the questions in a blog post, and after which, they are entitled to create their own 5 questions and tag 5 other bloggers, so on and so forth. You must answer your own 5 questions as well. You are allowed to tag the person that tagged you in the first place. Also, copy and paste this section on your blog so others can understand how the game goes.
- You have the right to remain silent. In the case where a blogger strongly refuses to answer a question, he/she must instead post a nice anime image, wallpaper or cosplay picture, et cetera in response to that question.
- You have the right to an attorney. To make things interesting, a blogger can include wildcards in his/her 5 questions by placing an asterisk, (*), after which those tagged are obliged to reveal something interesting about themselves that others did not previously know. There is no limit to the number of asterisks one can place (which means there can be up to 5 wildcard questions).
- I’m asking the questions around here, but anyone is free to start the game; you don’t necessarily need someone to tag you. Just create your 5 questions and tag your 5 people of choice. However, the catch is that you must answer your own 5 questions as well.
- We ain’t got all day. To potentially prevent an endless game, this round of games will end on the 8th September 2012, 12pm JST (GMT +9). After which, no more bloggers can tag others to answer their questions.
You got that, kid?
redball: Good. Let’s get started.