While it is no secret I hold a healthy dislike of El Goonish Shive, even having dedicated a whole live blog to it, I decided to try and at least attempt a somewhat fair review of the series. Reasons to read this series:
- Fanservice: If you like lesbians, gender benders, furries, or transformation stuff, then without a doubt, you will like this comic.
- Characters: It can be fairly easy to get wrapped up in the characters. You have a huge cast of females and males, and most of them get at least one point to shine, more or less.
- Plot: El Goonish Shive is a Fantasy Kitchen Sink, and when it's not caught up in highschool drama, Shive can pull off some pretty impressive scenarios. The highlight of El Goonish Shive is easily Shive's willingness to make use of Alternate Universes. Unfortunately, it has yet to be used to its full potential.
- Readability: It's been going on since 2002, and Archive Panic is a very fear when going into this, but DAMN is this thing easy to binge.
- It Gets Better: No, really, it does. If you aren't sure if you'll like it, skip to past the Painted Black arc, and see whether you can tolerate the art and plot handling then.
- It Gets Better: ...but it's based off of the old badly done plots, resulting in a lot of complicated retcons, and attempts of making deep characters that were made of superficial origins.
- Fan Service: For those who do NOT like fan service, some might find it laughable the great lengths Shive goes to convince you his series is squeaky clean, and any type of bikini-clad girl is just a 'joke'. No. Really.
- Shive can't do Cerebus Syndrome: Shive recently prefaced his newest arc with "We're Bringing Silly Back." While a light hearted series is fine, the fact that he is purposely avoiding the realistically darker moments tend to just lead to Angst What Angst.
- Pacing: Nine years of comics, and the plot moves at a snail's pace.
- Shallow Characterization: Many characters have one trait to their name, mostly to clumsily show Shive's supposed 'progressiveness' which is really mostly tokenism.
- Double Standard s: AKA sexism, on BOTH sides.
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