Manga Hipstering – Sunday Rant – 001

Yeah, I intend to do a shit ton of these over time, and we’ll see if they catch on. First and foremost, Manga Hipstering. Yep. If you came here hoping I would trash talk about Manga Hipsters who just seem to jump on whatever genre seems popular at the time than you’re a shit out of luck. Well, I might actually have something to say about them, but mostly I want to take a crack at an alternative meaning to a hipster with anime and manga. I’m not so sure how this happened, but it seems as though Anime and Manga has taken hipsters to mean those who go out of their way to watch or read what absolutely nobody is, and be very anti-mainstream. How the fuck did that meaning change?

I really don’t know what caused that change, but I do know that when I think of Manga Hipstering, I think of those who fall under those set requirements, anti-mainstream and staunch fans of the unpopular. It ultimately makes no sense to me. Especially when you consider most mainstream Anime and Manga are intended for rather young audiences, you’d think this group of fans would be seen as far more rational and normal. There’s really only so long that you can hold onto series that feature little kids having romances with each other and rather questionable fan service when you really get down to it. (Granted the body types of the female characters always seemed way too physically developed than what would be fitting for their age in these.) What’s more is that there are genuine gems of anime and manga that often fall under the cracks and remain undiscovered by large crowd whether that be because the books didn’t get scanned and put out their for free to read, or an English version was never released to give a rise in the United States. I’ll admit, to quite some degree, I resemble the Manga Hipster or at least would have while I was still a fan of Anime and Manga.

One series that I personally love that ultimate surprises me with the lack of popularity it gathered is Sweet Rein with no Anime and as far as I know no way of finding it online; and I would also like to say Ga-Rei. For this rant, I would like to focus on Sweet Rein over Ga-Rei for multiple reasons. (1) Ga-Rei actually is accessible online for everyone to read in English, the only barrier is in obtaining a physical copy of any of the volumes in English since they’re all in either German or Japanese as far as I can find. (2) Browsers will ultimately know what you’re talking about if you type in “Ga-Rei” into the search bar. You can find plentiful background pictures and wallpaper art, suggesting that it’s at least popular enough to be recognized. (3) The Mangaka Hajime Segawa currently working on another entertaining Manga Tokyo ESP is specifically know for his work on Ga-Rei as it’s a one-shot series that gained enough attention to warrant multiple volumes. (4) An anime has been made of the series that people are likely to talk about and watch on online platforms. It didn’t go over too well as far as I could tell seeing how a follow up to Ga-Rei Zero never happened. Point of the matter is that Ga-Rei’s popularity warranted reason to release an anime based on the Ga-Rei universe itself.

As you can probably tell, Sweet Rein doesn’t fit any of the criteria that excludes Ga-Rei from the conversation. At no point has there been a Sweet Rein Anime. Maybe I’m wrong and there’s one lying around somewhere that’s just not in English or wasn’t redistributed large scale enough to be heard of. Let alone Sweet Rein itself is rather obscure. I found my copies at Barnes & Noble and noticed how it stopped only at 3 volumes. I think the part that left me the most perplexed is seeing one of the few series that I would keep up with the most stop short. I suspect some of it had to do with the odd decisions made by the Magaka. Likewise, Unlike Ga-Rei, Sweet Rein is almost none-existent online. Even the Wikipedia page dedicated to Sakura Tsukuba links to a virtually empty page for Sweet Rein. Really, when I first looked around it had been about a year ago, and I was trying to find suitable background images for my laptop, and could find any images under Sweet Rein actually part of Sweet Rein or related, and what little I did find was very little. Let along trying to find any images character specific like Nene. I think initially, I might have underestimated the level of significance Sweet Rein had to the author though. I hardly think I could be blamed for that though.

Alas the finisher, Why am I so perplex by this? Really, it’s for the story and premise to the story. Image if I tell you about a Manga around a romance between a Reindeer and his Santa who’s a young adult girl who lives in the middle of Tokyo. The set up of the story along ought to turn some heads if not more so out of the “the fuck is this” sort of mentality. The actions taken by the female protagonist Sakura comes off as so natural to the weirdness of the Reindeer’s immediate attraction to her. The personalities between the Rein and Santa comes off as somewhat polarizing with the Santa being a little more aggressive, reserved and quite natural and with a Rein who is compulsive, overtly clingy and oddly unnatural with his interactions much like a foreigner trying to adapt to a entirely different culture. I think throughout the 3 volumes it’s really hard to say if the same level of affection is mutual seeing how Sakura is most certainly as expressive as Kaito the Reindeer. Perhaps the part that’s loosing people is that they imagine Kaito as only a physical Reindeer when mentioned, and my best answer to that is well, sometimes. Details on how he goes from Reindeer to Human and Human to Reindeer is best for others to figure out. I think that’s about as much Ranting as I would like on the subject and I hope I peeked some people’s interests with this.

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