A Little Something About Seikon no Qwaser

When I originally read through the original Seikon no Qwaser manga, back before the anime was announced, the combination of shounen fighting formula and near pornographic perviness made it a bit of a trouble for me to sit through. Sure, it was entertaining in places, but the constant fanservice, and the creepier aspects of that (including the ten year old Russian dominatrix) really rubbed me the wrong way. And I consider myself a bit of a pervert, too…

But with the anime coming out (and quickly getting cut to ribbons, leading to an uncensored webcast of episodes popping up), something hit me about the series that I figured has to make some kind of sense: Seikon no Qwaser, in it’s own shounen manga style, is trying to hit the depraved heights of your average Kazuo Koike “jigoku manga”, such as Crying Freeman (or Flying Semen, durr hurr hurr) and Mad Bull 34. These manga, beloved by TV and Otaku USA’s Partick Macias and Otaku USA writer and rape advocate Daryl “Rape-2-Live” Surat are well known for their heaping helpings of sex, violence, misogyny and downright batshit insanity, and the Koike name has become a brand, a seal of sleazy pulp quality wherever it goes.

Of course, Koike’s manga are usually seinen, while Qwaser is shounen, and Qwaser doesn’t seem to go the depths of sleaziness that a Koike work is usually capable of going… And I think that this is what might be my problem with the work: even with rampant nudity, nipple suckling and perversion, everything feels a little bit too pat. Mafuyu and Sasha’s relationship in the manga is nothing you would see in some average modern shounen manga, except a little bit pervier. Tomo just seems to be there to be useless and be kidnapped and jiggle. Nothing seems to go to the level of crazy that Koike goes to in practically every manga he writes, not even to the level even Eiichiro Oda over at Shounen Jump is capable of on an off-day!

So I stopped reading after the first volume, and haven’t picked it up since. And since I downloaded about three episodes of the anime, both in uncut and bowdlerised formats, I might watch those episodes. Maybe. But even so, I probably won’t try and follow the series to its end…

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