Wednesday, April 2, 2014

3rd Anniversary Release: Hopeless Kacchan's Love Story

It's been three years, already? Well, there's been blank points where we didn't do anything, so I guess it's not like we've been working 3 years straight, but still, in terms of time it has been 3 years. And as such, here's something that absolutely nobody was expecting, a FKMT one-shot that wasn't even on the last poll for a side project! It was one of his very first works, and apparently it was the first one to earn him an award. It was sent to me to scan by Denji on Batoto, so thanks a lot to him! This little oneshot is super cute, I think you'll all like it. And it's not your standard love story, either!

Thanks to Denji for the RAWs, and to Tambur for typesetting! There will be a mahjong night this Saturday at 22:00 GMT (3:00 PM PDT) on the IRC.

Chapter Link

"My first kiss... should I be... glad...?"
I actually didn't think I'd like this story when I first heard about it, but it piqued my interest when I read that it won an award in the 7th Chiba Tetsuya Awards. And it is quite good, not like incredible, but it's well written and is a bit different from your standard love story. For one, Kacchan arguably isn't the focus of his own love story, it's more told through the eyes of his childhood friend, Sachiko. And there's not much of that mushy lovey-dovey shoujo crap, either... Sachiko outright hates who Kacchan has become until he proves himself by replicating the blockheaded behavior that she remembered from her youth.

But by the by, I should mention that I was considering putting a note in the margins as to the nickname Kacchan, but eventually figured that people who were reading this would probably be familiar enough with Japanese honorifics so I wouldn't need to specify it. But in case you were wondering, Kacchan is a familiar form of Katsumi made by adding the honorific -chan to it. The double c is there just because it sounds better than "Katsu-chan", and sounds more playful. Sachiko is also called "Sacchan" by her classmates, but I always had them refer to her as Sachiko because I figured having a Kacchan and a Sacchan would be too confusing for those not as familiar with Japanese. Also of note is that girls can be called -chan by a much larger group of people than boys, where it's mostly reserved just to very close friends.

But enough about that. There were a lot of aspects of this story I really liked, one of which was how Katsumi was totally different than how Sachiko remembered him at first, but as she spent more time with him she realized he was still the same at heart. The humor is also pretty great, I especially liked the "physical education" line on 060. And I liked how, in a drunken stupor, Katsumi replicated his boneheaded dive into a 1-foot-high river thinking that Sachiko was in trouble. And besides that, seeing him absolutely own Mitsuru on two separate occasions was quite enjoyable. I'm not usually a fan of love stories, but there was something about this one that made me like it.

That's not to say it was without flaws, of course. Like Mitsuru was a pretty crummy antagonist, his plan is basically always "Make sure nobody's around, then fuck the shit out of Sachiko". He could have tried to break Sachiko down by making her childhood friend look like a rapist, then used that weak emotional state to get on her good side and work up to sex, but instead he just straight up rapes her. But I guess there wasn't enough room in the chapter for a very elaborate scheme, just having an antagonist works fine. I also didn't like how Katsumi just started changing in front of Sachiko, but I guess that's why he's hopeless, anyway.

But overall a very enjoyable chapter, even though not a lot of Fukumoto's usual tropes are involved. Katsumi being atypically "Burai" definitely fits in, though. As for the art, it's kind of amazing how little this art looks like Fukumoto's art today, apart from some of the hairstyles and a few of the action scenes. Even the ears look more "typical", instead of the abstract two lines inside of an arch that he has going even in like early pen-chan.

Finally, this oneshot was in a volume of a Poetry and Criticism book that has a lot of interviews and general information about Fukumoto. It'd be a lot to translate, but I imagine I could do it with enough effort. It was printed in like 2011, so it's pretty up to date as well. Here's to another year of Fukumoto goodness! *downs a case of liquor and faints*

6 comments:

  1. Whoa, I wasn't expecting that. I thought you would've gone with Yoroshiku Junjou Daishou or more Akagi anthology.
    This one is actually pretty interesting. It reminds me a little bit of Rumiko Takahashi's style of over the top humor, with an early-Fukumoto style twist. Most of the art looks nothing like the pointy outcasts that we all know and love, but the panels where Kacchan starts feeling the alcohol look really sweet, almost like the power of max zawa in Kaiji and Akagi. And apparently Adachi Mitsuru is a real creep. He even looks like the mangaka himself!
    Finally, I can attest to the paper quality. It's really thin and pulpy, almost like an actual manga magazine. Also it's way longer than the average manga page, which is actually pretty interesting.
    Well, here's to another year, and many more in the future! Maybe one day we'll be all caught up with Akagi and/or Kaiji.

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  2. Replies
    1. I was as surprised as you were

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    2. girls? in MY fkmt manga??

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  3. This was rather amusing, thank you for another year guys.

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  4. I should read that for sure,I would like to know if you guys are planning to start Korinai Samba

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