The Great Nitpicky Live Blog of El Goonish Shive
e X: Hm I don't really get your problem with the clear result of the fight between Nanase and Elliot. Justin says before the fight that she is better than him. For me, this was always just to establish her as the best fighter (and magic user) in the group. Not that it matters, because, despite being filled with magic and shape-shifters and anime martial arts, there isn't much fighting in this comic. Also, regarding what Cakeman said, rereading it, Grace and Tedd have almost no exclusive interaction with each other before mysteriously hooking up. Worse, she shows never any interest at all in him, and yet is deemed "teddsexual" in later comics!
AHR: Mainly that despite Nanase being better, Elliot is not exactly horrible either. They are probably fairly close, but with an obvious gap. That means that while it might be an inevitable fight, it won't be a clean fight. Clean as in, OHKO, not cheating. Elliot used a move that caused harm, but unlike EVERY move that Nanase did, it was not a physical move. That is what makes it even worse. I just feel that it's veering into 'Would Not Hit A Girl' territory. I consider the whole 'she's too fast to be hit' Lightning Bruiser / Fragile Speedster thing to be this as well, albeit that's more of me seeing unfortunate implications than anything.
Silver 2195: I see your point about the fight; I have similar issues regarding the fights in One Piece. OK, Luffy hit Alvida and Usopp hit Miss Merrychristmas, but both of them were Gonks to the point that they barely looked human, let alone female.
AHR: It's interesting that you mention One Piece. It's one of my all time favorite stories of all time, but I do have a vehement hate streak for it. To the point I wrote my college essay about it I kid you not. So, quite literally, I had two streams of thought there: 'RARGLEFLARGLE SEXISMMM!' and 'RARGLEFLARGLE DON'T INSULT ONE PIECE!' It was amusing. In all seriousness, yes. More importantly, you would never see Nami or Robin go through...say, what Usopp did when being hit with the bat Mr. 4 had.
e X: Without derailing this too much, it is nice to see someone who share my view when it comes to fights involving woman in One Piece. I really love it, but the length to which Oda goes out of the way and avoid putting them in actual, physical fights is nerve-grinding. Just see how he had Usopp defeating Perona! It seems to make huge difference for authors to not only put female characters into fights, but also to get them roughed up once in awhile. So i guess, I can see your point, AHR, I just don't think that was Shive's intention.
I do not think it was either. I do think that it's still there though. There is a reason Unfortunate Implications is a trope. There is no doubt in my mind Shive NEVER had the intention to EVER be even REMOTELY sexist. He still tends to do things that are not exactly, well, free of double standards. It's probably a subconcious thing. We all have stuff like that. Still enjoy nitpicking it.
G Ilphon: You kind of linked to the wrong strip for 100 there. But remember when I said I've always hated the relations arc? Yeah, this is why. This strip, and the consequences thereof. This strip is the absolute worst strip in all of EGS for me. The ones that follow it would be decent by his current standard if not for the fact that they show he's playing this completely seriously. At the risk of getting over-dramatic, my inner writer howls in pain every time I review this part, mentally or otherwise. Just… ugh. That's not how human interaction works. It's just not.
Silver 2195: I think it's believable if we accept that Sarah is too immature to understand her own feelings, but that's a very charitable interpretation, considering that Shive probably wasn't much more mature than Sarah when he wrote that strip.
- Okay, I think I've figured out what my problem with Shive's lampshading is. I normally love self-awareness and 4th wall breaking, but I despise it in this series, though I never really was able to explain why I hated it. Here goes: When Shive lampshades, more often than not, his lampshades lack cleverness. When you lampshade something, you want it to be done in a sly fashion, or an amusing fashion. For instance, in this strip, he has no joke. The IDEA of a school that teaches "anime style martial arts" could be done quite well. But he doesn't have any substance to it. It's merely his means of being able to have anime fanboy fights there.
- Dat waist. It's thinner than her head.
- What the hell are the motivations to Nanase for dressing like that. There's no other reason other than her being an attention whore. Besides, karate follows a strict code of honor- she'd never train that hard and then not wear the gi when she hit blackbelt.
- And OF COURSE Elliot and his girlfriend ARE THE ONLY blackbelts in the class. Of course they are.
- My mind is honestly blown quite frequently by what possesses Shive when he draws some of these comics. What did he expect here? People would read it and say "DAH-HAH-HAH! CARROT TOP!" Did he think that was funny? What's the joke there? Is it an attempt to be like, I don't know... A Monty Pythonesque absurdist-type thing? I know it fails at that, but is that what he was originally going for?
- Also, I will point out that this is pretty much EGS's equivalent of a Chef Brian strip.
- We have another strip here of lampshading. Dan Shive thought of a backstory for the karate school, but didn't think to add a joke. He still seems to think explaining what his joke ACTUALLY IS counts.
- What's he holding in the second panel? It seems to be some kind of carton, maybe ice cream, I guess?
- A_H_R's sister talks like a black person. It doesn't really relate, but I just wanted to bring it up.
- Scaphism, also known as the boats, was an ancient Persian method of execution designed to inflict torturous death. The naked person was firmly fastened within a back-to-back pair of narrow rowing boats (or a hollowed-out tree trunk), with the head, hands and feet protruding. The condemned was forced to ingest milk and honey to the point of developing severe diarrhea, and more honey would be rubbed on his body to attract insects to the exposed appendages. He or she would then be left to float on a stagnant pond or be exposed to the sun. The defenseless individual's feces accumulated within the container, attracting more insects, which would eat and breed within his or her exposed and increasingly gangrenous flesh. The feeding would be repeated each day in some cases to prolong the torture, so that dehydration or starvation did not provide him or her with the release of death. Death, when it eventually occurred, was probably due to a combination of dehydration, starvation and septic shock. Delirium would typically set in after a few days.
- Why is Sarah so smug all of a sudden?
- Why does Elliot say that they'll "forget this ever happened"? Is it really that embarrassing?
- Seductive eyelids again.
- Meh. Nothing to this strip really.
- What exactly is the point here? Why does she hesitate to take off her shoes even?
- The unrealistic diologe bugs me here. This is how the conversation would actually go:
AHR: Cakman had to go and chase pussy. He will be back at some other point. Or not.
Cakman: She was grinding on my dick all night. In addition to 82, I should also add:
- WHAT ELSE WOULD SHE BE DOING ON THE FLOOR LIKE THAT, DAN? SUCKING HIS DICK!? WE DON'T NEED YOU TO TELL US THAT SHE IS REMOVING HER SHOES.
- Third panel contains delicious joke explaining.
- Fourth panel contains wondrous lazy eye.
- Ninth and tenth panel contain shit that nobody cares about.
- Could you ever imagine yourself saying "WHAT?!" when you threw a punch in a fight but it missed?
- Once again. There is no joke here. Just Elliot stating story flaws. That doesn't make it okay. I don't know how many more times I am going to need to say that.
- Once again- he is talking in the third and fourth panels. Why? He wouldn't do that in real life.
- OH GOD WHY IS HER FOOT BENT THAT WAY.
- Why is he tying his belt around his head? What's the point of that?
- I won't even go into joke explaining. Not tonight.
- A_H_R's comments made me lol.
- And now we have a Mary Sue and a Gary Stu, together as a couple. How delightful.
- That idea. That idea is what Shive truly desires to draw. And he would be good at it. Shive would be perfect if he were a middle-aged Japanese man.
Blazing Hydra: To nitpick the nitpicking, I have to point out Cakman that Elliot IS NOT a blackbelt. Or at the very least, he's not wearing his belt; it's quite clearly blue in the second colored comic. Blue is indeed a high belt rank, but it's not black; it's either two or three steps below highest rank depending on your school.
AHR sockpuppeting as Cakman: Lolno. Justin = blue Elliot = black Blackity black black. I am the EGS MASTER. You cannot do battle with me!
- This is actually a funny strip. It's a great strip, actually. Not only is the joke funny, but the characters talk like normal humans. I am willing to hedge a bet, though, that this fucking joke will come back at some point, and be ruined through repetition. Won't it?
- How did Elliot forget about the tradition?
- Why is Nanase still kissing the clearly freaked out Elliot?
- It's not that hard to dodge a kiss. He could do it easily.
- Why not say "No, not right now, Nanase," and be done with it?
- If her hair is covering her face, how can Sarah see the kiss?
- I have tried the "use one elbow to hold down arm while using the same arm to lift head up" when raepkissing before. It is, for the most part, impossible, because your arm will never find a flat surface to pin. So the position doesn't make sense. Either that, or Nanase has three arms.
- What does "nani" mean?
- If Nanase is Japanese, she sure doesn't look it.
- Speaking logistically here, couldn't the teacher just find anime on youtube?
- And once again, our characte goes from dumb to god-mode knowlege.
- The teacher's hand has turned into a bloomin' onion from Outback Steakhouse in the fifth panel.
- Okay! Godmode Sue is gonna tell HIM a thing or two!
- The fact that Nanase is so perfect just makes this lesson ham-fisted.
- It doesn't make it okay. Instead of getting this over the course of the strip, we have to get a B^U textwall. It's just forced. And it's coming from, as I said, a Godmode Sue.
- Nanase has weird arms in the first panel, but it's a new position, so at least he's trying.
- Aw shit. Art shift.
- Wait, no. Just closeups with an angled Elliot.
- WHERE THE FUCK IS TEDD'S MOUTH
- The ice cream place has salt and pepper for your ice cream.
- Of course. You love him. It's not more than a crush. Unfortunetly, ANYONE with a crush would say that.
- I like the cat.
- We still have no indication that Nanase is asian. In any way.
On 76: How the hell did you both fail to point out the gigantic HOLE in Nanase? Seriously, it looks like it would've been a perfectly normal picture except that he erased a good portion of her jacket in the area under her left arm (or more likely, accidentally blasted it with a paint can tool and caused it to get turned into part of the gradient). Or are you telling me you think he meant to have her be only six inches deep at the waist? I'm willing to give him at least a tiny smidge of credit. Cakman's comment on 79 is hilarious, just gotta say. Especially how he links it back to the strip. Nanase in strip 94's last panel... How on earth did that escape your judgement? Ignoring the dislocated arm, her head has to be turned at least 100 degrees to the right right now, and moreover it looks as though her head stayed in place while the rest of the body swiveled under it. Ironically the art in strip 95 is some of the best yet, especially the last panel. Too bad he wasted it on a strip with THAT MUCH TEXT.
I had assumed it was a One Piece waist. My eyes are a bit more accustomed to it, unfortunately. Art wise, there are things I tend to be desensitized to. For instance, I didn't even realize sidemouths existed for a very long time. So sometimes I miss some anatomically incorrect things. My bad. Feel free to yell at me for it.
- Oh my god, she's a Cobra Kai. Run, Sarah!
- Shive keeps introducing things like ki powers, shapeshifting and such. But isn't the story pretty much a gag a day strip with some high school relationship drama thrown in most of the time? I mean, I like shounen manga. If you want to write an American equivalent, do so. If you want to write high school dramedy, do that. Make up your mind.
- I'm judging by how she guessed it was going to happen that he does this a lot?
- Though I've seen similar gags before, it was still amusing.
- Woah! Indoor voice, Sensei Greg.
88-89 Take a note from Superman, kid. A "world of cardboard" speech isn't cool unless you actually hit something. 90
- If Greg didn't want to scare away a potential student, why didn't he ask her to take off her shoes more politely?
- Now I feel the urge to watch Outlaw Star. It's probably not a good idea for a work of fiction to remind you of better stuff you could be watching.
- This is kind of a messed up "tradition".
- "An awkward situation? Retreat! Don't worry about getting a ride home! It's not like there are muggers out and about!"
- Nanase, what the hell? I thought martial arts was supposed to be about learning discipline and self-control. Maybe she is a Cobra Kai.
- Elliot, what did you think was gonna happen? That when the two of you kissed, she'd know you weren't interested? Or are you interested? When were you going to tell your actual girlfriend you were having second thoughts? I'm going to go find a pillow to hit because further violence won't fix this.
- Still hitting the pillow over here.