mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Reread the first Kai story. So Uncle Kou does show up; and seems to my eye indistinguishable from Uncle Satoru, just younger. Can't anyone in that family say anything but "Haunted house!!!!! Yuck ugh stay away!!!"? Cause it's getting old.

Have also been reading the early tanks. I hope I can find wide-han editions in NYC, or that Tonkam starts issuing on a monthly basis (hope on, for both) because Mr. Redhaired Youkai a) is hard to get a grasp of when he speaks itty-bitty kanji and b) annoys me .

I'm OK with youkai who are morally neutral and do both good and evil because that's how they are. Like the guys in vol 9 who eat human flesh (after it's dead in this case, but still, it's the principle of the thing) but who also are outraged that Mr. Ketchi Miser (whose head they've stolen out of its coffin) left his fortune to some cult instead of his family and who alter his will to remedy the deficiency. They're forces of nature, and you never know whether they'll benefit you or do you harm, and that's fine and natural.

But the part of my Christian western background that I can't shake says that things that do only harm are evil, and Akama does only harm. And he knows it's harm and he likes doing it, the way horrid little boys like torturing animals. Wasn't that someone's definition of evil- doing harm because you can? This quality not only makes Akama evil, it makes him boring. There's no dramatic tension to him- he's bad news whenever he shows up, and one hopes only to see insensible Tsukasa crush one of his eyes in the mistaken belief that she's swatting a cockroach. This doesn't happen nearly often enough. So I'm annoyed there's all these Akama stories to be waded through in search of data on Aoarashi (who plays go with him quite peacefully when he's not snapping at his throat) and I can only hope he reads a touch better in a larger format.

I may be pleased that Ima didn't fall into the easy Deimos trap of making the noxious character harm only people whose own evil deeds merit punishment, or even the slightly more satisfying PSoH one where people's weaknesses cause their own downfall even though they've been warned what not to do. That still doesn't make Akama an interesting character, and I wonder a bit why she uses him so often. All he does is reinforce the notion that humans should stay well away from youkai, which we already knew; and one wonders why Kagyuu, who learned the lesson early on, still went on hanging out with them for so many years. One gets the feeling that Kagyuu, like Kai, was awfully slow to learn.
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