Þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg (000_hester_000) wrote,
Þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg
000_hester_000

The great CLAMP readathon, episode II + other stuff

1. I finished Tokyo Babylon. Quite a while back, actually; I just forgot to post about it.


Last time I read it, I didn't like it. I liked it a lot better this time around. I think the first time I read it, I went into it expecting something more along the lines of CLAMP's later works --- I was expecting something like Tsubasa or Cardcaptor Sakura, both of which are much more "complete" stories than Tokyo Babylon is. There are still things --- a lot of things --- left unexplained in both of those, but they have a clear narrative structure.

Fundamentally, Tokyo Babylon doesn't really have a plot, as such. It's apparent from the get-go that Seishirou is a Sakurazukamori, so there isn't really the sense of betrayal that is present in the typical manga "friend turns out to be evil" plotline. We know from the beginning that Seishirou is a batshit killer, that Subaru doesn't know this, and that Subaru is eventually going to find out and be sad.

It reads much better, I think, if you realize there isn't supposed to be a plot per se; everything up until the moment Subaru discovers Seishirou's true nature is really only there to flesh out the characters. So basically it's a short vignette about someone who's by nature saintly being confronted by evil in someone they love. It's remarkably open-ended, and I appreciated that more this time around.

The clothes are still absolutely horrifying, though. Did these actually look cool in the early 90s . . . ?





2. Couldn't find a scanslation of Man of Many Faces, so I guess I'm not reading that one. Tbh, CLAMP School Detectives irritated me so much that I gave up on it. I just found all of the main characters unbelievably smug. Like, I get that they're supposed to be cute wish-fulfillment characters, but I couldn't get past the 'trio of ridiculously wealthy and gorgeous children help others by being ridiculously wealthy and gorgeous' aspect of it. I kind of wanted to kick them.

Also, the manga trope where a character who the readers can all already see is gorgeous since this is a visual medium nevertheless must continually be pointed out as gorgeous by other characters? It's getting really old for me. It's irritating because it feels like something mangaka do when they're not sure about their characterization.




3. For a long time, I wished I could enjoy nonfiction more than fiction. Especially when I was in school, because it was immensely frustrating to realize that I would slog through the books for my courses but then gleefully read fiction.

I've been trying to make it through Lolita for several months now, and I just can't do it. It's not that I dislike it. It's a good read. But the second I put it down, I don't really have any desire to pick it up again.

It's only now that I realized that it's because my wish finally came true. I really want to read books that have information in them. I just can't get up much enthusiasm for stories anymore. Very mysterious.
Tags: clamp, tokyo babylon
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