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.