For those of you who loved “Hot Gimmick” my question is very straightforward:
Why is it that you like this manga?
Please, give me a good, coherent answer to this question. Not answers such as Ryoki is so romantic and all the bishies are so cute for that is is just mainly considering the nature of the artwork.
Also, if your answer is that you can relate to the story then please state how and how Ryoki is the epitome of the romantic boyfriend?
Sure, perfect ideals of romance sucks. Hell flowers and candies are not going to stimulate everyone but verbally calling someone “idiot” and “stupid” all the time gets boring.
I am also looking at the interests of sadomasochists, masochists and sadists and I know that almost everyone nowadays has some of their tendencies. But even erotic stories as such include dynamics besides such boring repetitive name calling.
As I am not sadomasochistic or a sadist or a masochist I cannot enjoy the idea of my lover prancing around with “a greater than Thou” attitude or worse “a greater than God” statement and not even correcting his idiotic God complex. To see Kira from Death Note is inarguably fascination – to see his sadistic side is beautiful because the mangaka doesn’t excuse it as a reasonable romance nor an agreeable behaviour. In fact, supporting Light Yagami is not considered criminal because he began with a naïve nobility on justice. He decides to clean up the world but the psychological aspects are conflicted and we are introduced to this detail.
There is depth beyond depth in that manga. Kira twists and tangles incidences and manipulates his lover-girlfriend-psuedo-girlfriend Misa and helper Kiyomi (who is also a lover but not the central one). One can admire Light but hate him too. The manga Death Note may belongs to a different genre but easily does an expose on the characters be them dumb or smart, radical or neutral.
Does Hot Gimmick do that?
The heroine’s passivity was not something she herself desired but came out of compulsion. Also her alleged “boyfriend” comes forth via compulsion. Personal views aside (as one commenter once spoke in another site that we minus personal beliefs and be objective) the love-angle of such a relationship could only bloom with circumstances changing. This change is not only the verbal statements of Ryoki saying that he wants Hatsumi’s love but that he proves he does.
People are different. People do not change. True. Then why does Hatsumi believe that her so-called fiance will change after marriage? She desires better from him. She desires him true but desires the good side of him that Ryoki manages to show at times.
This story would have been successful if more emotive and psychological aspects were explored. The mangaka clearly wants to do this but fails miserably. Ryoki’s behaviour which was aimed at empathy and sympathy gets lost along the way within a formula in wanting to stand out as unique.
As one wise friend of mine said that unique or difference for the sake of being different has no value completely. Ryoki is not truly a unique character but Azusa, Shinogu and Subaru are.
What is the mangaka trying to say that if you abuse and if you are pretty and academically intelligent you can get away with everything?
Seems to me that Ryoki does entirely that.
Hatsumi does the same. Just because you were bossed around all your life and had no boyfriend does not mean your moment of independence comes via choosing your first boyfriend despite the wishes of others with only the reasons that your heart is decided.
People make mistakes. To err is human. Thus those consequential apparatuses make the manga which decided to be strong issued and deep become hollower than a dry well in a desert.
Hatsumi and Ryoki need not change as in make a complete 360 but they could portray themselves as more matured beings. To go through all those things without learning anything is an evidence to show that both are weak and both are not strong enough as the mangaka wanted them to be portrayed.
Ryoki changes slightly but even this slight seems non-existent. If one believes that he will gradually change then his partner must exhibit qualities to help him do so. She does not.
The truth: their pairing is a Deux Ex Machina and nothing can change that.
The argument “that its only fiction” can only be permissible if the mangaka illustrated the phenomenon surrounding her characters with more dynamics and capability. There are glaring holes in this otherwise beautifully constructed origin. Thus the manga fails. Sure it has some great subplots and gives some entertainment but it fails.
I expected more and truly thought the manga in the end gave excuses such as:
1.Abuse equals “love”
2.The beautiful boy must end up with a dumb girl
3.Beauty pardons you of all your crimes
4.Intelligence is not a factor to be considered
5.If intelligence is considered then it is as superficial as academic capability
6.Abusive personalities must be pardoned as they have “reasons”
7.Protagonist must be so altruistic that she can prostitute herself if need be
8.Antagonists and antagonistic actions are resolved via “understanding”
9.Growth is superfluous thus unnecessary
10.Emotional issues and psychological introspection are never needed in love and/or any other situations.
I truly did like the story initially hoping it would give some great insights. There are are some great twists but it is not a great manga. A great manga would dig deeper into the issues it challenges itself to involve not end up as some harlequin trash or mills and boon nightmare.
I still want to cheer for Ryoki and Hatsumi if their storylines were changed and greatly delved into. I wanted to cheer for them but their behaviours and actions proved to me that their “love” is not worth it.
“Escaflowne” had a love-story, “Death Note” had a love-story even if it was one-sided and irrational it gave some reasons, “Honey Hunt” has some reasons and even “Bitter Virgin” has great reasons and that is also an imperfect love story but “Hot Gimmick” fails colossally and cannot redeem itself.
It becomes trash. And surprisingly, despite some of its good potentials and addictive holds leaves me on the fence. Cannot satisfy anyone even without a personal attachment except a few who has not dug deeper besides Ryoki getting “hurt” and his good looks.
So, I’m sorry Miki Aihara you have great ideas but must have a pathological low self-esteem. Ironic – you are one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen.
Can you nurture your awesome talents? This comes from a person who loves your artwork and wishes that your talents were mine. This comes from a person who wants to be your fan.
Best Shoujo manga yet: “Revolutionary Girl Utena” by Chiho Saito.
(Originally Posted On The Manga Fox Forum on the Hot Gimmick section)