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Yuma Arclight
Time to close out this tetrology of pieces discussing genre evolution with one involving one of my favorite manga. GOLDEN KAMUY AND THE FUTURE OF COMEDY MANGA
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Yuma Arclight Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
It's hard being funny and getting long-term attention. The issue is really one reflected in something of an ongoing question regarding Jump, that being "How does one create a new comedy in the modern era?" Back in the early days of Jump, gag manga was the absolute-
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Yuma Arclight Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
-dominating force of the magazine, but, as the years went by and battle manga slowly encroached on its territory with actual ongoing stories that readers could follow, gag manga found itself slowly losing territory. A temporary solution was found by Hideaki Sorachi-
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Yuma Arclight Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
-with Gintama, creating "semi-gag" with actual storylines, character development and such. And, for a while, this worked, with a fair number of manga produced under the format being hits.
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Yuma Arclight Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
Unfortunately, the issue arose again when the 2010s and the rise of the internet saw Jump's landscape change to accommodate faster paced manga. This was a thing some genres were able to easily adapt to, but proved utterly devastating for gag manga. Without time to establish-
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Yuma Arclight Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
-a base, the structure Gintama had established was derailed to a point beyond return. Suddenly, episodic manga become a no go in Jump, not if they weren't a romcom, and the result is that everything gags were built on lost viability. So what was the solution? Well...
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Yuma Arclight Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
Golden Kamuy, written by Satoru Noda in Weekly Young Jump, is the story of Saichi "Immortal" Sugimoto, a recent veteran of Russo-Japanese war who is now living a meaningless life in the Hokkaido wilderness. After learning about a legend of stolen Ainu gold and-
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Yuma Arclight Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
-an incident that confirms the legend to be true, Sugimoto teams up with Asirpa, an Ainu girl with ties to the treasure, and begins a hunt which involves disenfranchised army units, escaped convicts and lots of wild encounters. Emphasis on WILD.
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Yuma Arclight Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
There is a lot of things to love about Golden Kamuy. The story is constantly interesting. The characters are all complex and believable as people. And Noda's knowledge of various Japanese minority tribes is both insightful and admirable. But I'm not going to talk about that.
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Yuma Arclight Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
What I want to talk about is Golden Kamuy structure, and why that allows it to survive and thrive in the modern manga environment. It's been said that Golden Kamuy is a lot like Gintama, and that sentiment is pretty accurate in my opinion. Both are series that work on-
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Yuma Arclight Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
-deeply absurd and irreverent scenarios, but also tense and violent encounters with complex characters that creates a strong emotional tether to the readers. What it differs in, however, is in structure, and that element makes all the difference.
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Yuma Arclight Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
Whereas Gintama and the manga it directly inspired like SKET Dance were series which were purely episodic, Golden Kamuy is very much a work built on an ongoing narrative. Every scenario enacted, no matter the absurdity of it, is always relevant in some way to the-
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Yuma Arclight Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
-central story. Be it character introductions and development, continuation of the treasure hunt or general plot development, Golden Kamuy ensures that the readers never really "tune out" by making every chapter relevant to the narrative.
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Yuma Arclight Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
Furthermore, in terms of its comedy, Golden Kamuy removes the thing which could break the story otherwise, complete absurdism. While some pretty wild shit happens in the series, crucially nothing happens which breaks the reality of the manga itself. There are no-
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Yuma Arclight Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
-fourth wall breaks, non-squiter gags or Yugi Muto popping out of someone's head. Every single action which is taken is stuff the characters are actually doing, and ensures the reader is never once disengaged in what is occurring.
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Yuma Arclight Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
For another example, look at recent Jump+ hit Spy x Family. Yet again, a comedy manga which has a consistent story rooted in the reality of the narrative, and everyone loves it. It's utterly beloved because it's something they can be engaged with while laughing.
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Yuma Arclight Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
The result of both these series is that both series, despite making readers laugh, is able to be something people read because there's a meaning to it. Not random, disposable entertainment, but something with a tangible form. A story.
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Yuma Arclight Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
There is a rather melancholy side to this, namely that this change means the type of comedy premiered by Akimoto and Toriyama is almost completely gone. These were the manga which defined early years of the industry, but now their influence is almost...absent.
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Yuma Arclight Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
In the end, though, that's what evolution does. It says that we can't stay rooted in the past, because eventually the world moves on. So, maybe, it's okay to embrace this new age, because it's what honors the forebearers. Like sakura petals drifting to the surface.
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Enis 最高 Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
!!
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Yuma Arclight Jun 26
Replying to @kanki_stan
I see someone's a fan.
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Enis 最高 Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
One of my favourite manga
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Yuma Arclight Jun 26
Replying to @kanki_stan
Ditto. Easily in my Top 10.
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Enis 最高 Jun 26
Replying to @RainSpectre
I just have a fable for historical based manga
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