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Shaenon K. Garrity
This is where I write stuff.
New Smithson! 
14th-Sep-2006 04:47 pm
Atagoul
And the juggling thrills just don't stop.

http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/smithson/series.php

Also, it's time for another installment of Overlooked Manga Festival! Yes!



This manga is so overlooked that it doesn't even have an entry on Wikipedia. That's pretty damn overlooked. Even Tokyo Mew Mew has an entry on Wikipedia, and frankly, if you enjoy Tokyo Mew Mew and you're also old enough to type stuff into a wiki, there's something wrong with you.



Wild Act is hilarious and adorable, even when it's being incredibly disturbing. It was published by Tokyopop, although it's currently out of print and Tokyopop's online store doesn't even list it. Viz currently publishes one of Rie Takada's other manga, Happy Hustle High, which is similar in tone but vaguely grounded in what humans might recognize as reality, which Wild Act most definitely is not. In my mind, that makes Wild Act better. Your mileage may vary.

Anyway. Yuniko, our heroine, is a teenage cat burglar and martial artist who specializes in stealing memorabilia related to her favorite movie star, the late, great Akira Nanae. She does it like this:



Her father is dead and her mother has amnesia, so naturally she's been raised by a kindly theater company. She carries high-tech gadgets developed by a pervy nerd who has a crush on her (and allows her to pay him by beating him up) and she owns a flying squirrel named Kamui. (In one of the later marginal notes, we learn that this sidekick was inspired by Takada's own FIVE PET FLYING SQUIRRELS. Seriously.) Yuniko's got more charming yet completely implausible character quirks than Jennifer Beals in "Flashdance." Also, she is totally awesome. Enjoy her in some rappelling action!




So far, so good. But what heist/theater comedy/drama would be complete without a dashing love interest? Yuniko hooks up with Ryu, an up-and-coming young movie star who can defuse an out-of-control mob (provided the mob is composed mostly of girls) by just leaning against a nearby wall and aggressively looking hot, and soon the two are making beautiful music together. Naturally, there are lots of ridiculous complications interfering with the couple's happiness, most of which can be solved by stealing more movie memorabilia. And at Volume 4 the manga tosses us an extra-creepy curve ball. But through it all, the duo remains pretty darn upbeat.



Not that there aren't problems. After all, Ryu is a famous and popular movie star, and he has to hang out with beautiful leading ladies, and from time to time there's bound to be hard feelings...



"The Phantom X Men." Yes.

But overall, the central relationship is surprisingly healthy and positive for a shojo manga. I'm totally shocked to read a shojo manga where the heroine actively enjoys sex, instead of displaying the more standard attitude of "I'll lie here and let him do it to me because I love him so much and otherwise he might leave me...ooo, what is this warm feeling?...okay, good, it's over." In general, this is a manga that doesn't angst around a whole lot.

It also has what may be the greatest panel in comics, ever. Yuniko and Ryu have had a spat, causing Ryu to spend his nights roaring off in his motorcycle, and Yuniko fears the worst:



Eventually, she gets fed up and follows him in a taxi, determined to learn the truth:



Monkey orgy sex fantasy. That's better than anything that happened in the entire run of whatever manga you're reading right now.

America, you suck for not reading this manga. Do you not like awesome heroines? Do you not like handsome heroes? Do you not like funny jokes? Do you not like absurd V.C. Andrews-like plots that also include movie stars and rappeling? Enjoy Wild Act! Also, make this into your LiveJournal icon:



Comments 
15th-Sep-2006 01:15 am (UTC)
Her father is dead and her mother has amnesia, so naturally she's been raised by a kindly theater company.

I think you have just hit on a solution for our country's foster care system!

Theater companies! They're an untapped resource!
16th-Jul-2008 10:23 pm (UTC)
At some point, I think you just have to trust that the money is doing good. My friends give away millions, and all they do is b–ch and moan that they didn’t get the results they wanted.
16th-Jul-2008 11:22 pm (UTC)
Oh spam bots. You brighten my day!
15th-Sep-2006 01:16 am (UTC)
Wild monkey orgies, cool - but where are the cybernetic implants? I am seriously trying to convince myself to not scan the appropriate page.
15th-Sep-2006 01:46 am (UTC)
"I wanted to ride bareback in a tutu. Don't judge me!"

I'm going to be laughing all night at that one. :D
15th-Sep-2006 03:25 am (UTC)
"Nice, plush lips - just like Jell-O"?!?

15th-Sep-2006 11:05 pm (UTC)
I'm guessing it's mochi in the original Japanese... which, admittedly, is only slightly less weird.
15th-Sep-2006 03:39 am (UTC) - Still Got the Moxie
Cog Sci represent! Er...I've still got the balls.
15th-Sep-2006 04:15 am (UTC)
One day, when I have money saved and there's an anime con, I'm making a huge list of everything you've mentioned on these pages and seeing just how much can be found in stores.

(it took searching across three provinces and many blank stares at music stores when I set out to find out who this 'Incredible Moses Leroy' was that you recced several years back. I figure this is all cool as you say yet highly obscure)
17th-Oct-2008 04:25 am (UTC)
They just know how to do it better, maybe they can see those anime and stuff with a little more realism than we do.
17th-Oct-2008 06:12 am (UTC)
So when we see those people face to face, we know they are not that “character”. They don’t have super powers or a split personality or whatever.
15th-Sep-2006 05:15 am (UTC)
Gosh, are all Japanese thief-girls Christian? And they always pray before doing stuff? This is going to mess with my head. I'm going to be about to download an MP3 or someday, and I'll find myself going, "Dear god, please help me not to get spyware from this file-sharing program."
17th-Feb-2007 03:40 am (UTC)
Wild Act is one of the most underrated Shoujo mangas ever made. Seriously. I am 100% in love with it. Sadly, I was able to read the first 7 volumes at a local bookstore and then it went out of business while I was out of the country and now I'll never be able to buy it. Seriously, I would really hope that the popularity of Happy Hustle High and Punch! would make Tokyopop get off its lazy arse and put this back into print. It's so, SO incredibly addicting, and everything you'd ever want in a shoujo manga.
17th-Nov-2007 02:40 am (UTC)
I'm totally shocked to read a shojo manga where the heroine actively enjoys sex, instead of displaying the more standard attitude of "I'll lie here and let him do it to me because I love him so much and otherwise he might leave me...ooo, what is this warm feeling?...okay, good, it's over."

Eh? While BL manga is full of weepy ukes who cry "no, no, no" til the bitter end, IME any shoujo manga that actually has sex in it (even implied sex scenes) is light-years ahead of that attitude. I could give a list of titles, but then I'd pretty much be naming every shoujo manga I've ever read... (Except maybe some of the Ribon ones that are about like 6th graders, and only because they're not having sex.)
3rd-May-2008 05:06 am (UTC) - re
find discreet fuck buddies here fuck buddies
19th-Jan-2009 01:06 am (UTC)
:O You actually featured it! I love this series, and it was actually one of the first series I ever completed!

I loved the completely impossible-yet-so-delieveable plots. I mean... Come on, peeing flying squirrels are amazing!
23rd-Apr-2010 02:53 am (UTC)
i really enjoy read Wild Act manga

Regards
Smystery



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