It could be that this is a sign of Takagi being an idiot, and not the writer. He's in High School, after all.
I guess it's worth noting that Iwase is a better writer than Takagi, apparently.
Note that Mashiro was impressed enough by Takagi's three-page dissertation that he decided to work with Takagi. I think the author intends that we're supposed to interpret that Takagi was "right" (at least, in some way) because it's provided the impetus for the other protagonist to join up.
edited 26th Feb '10 6:23:59 AM by Brannock
Well, part of the rant was: "you, personally, as well as the girl you like, are geniuses" so it's not hard to imagine Mashiro being wooed by this.
edited 26th Feb '10 6:20:12 AM by Clarste
...perhaps Mashiro's an idiot too?
I'm just saying that it could be a buildup to an epic retaliation when the female authors get to say their view on the matter.
Well, at this point in the story Iwase already "won", so...
It's a shonen comic. I don't think Ashirogi are going to remain losers for long.
Even if they come back in the long run, she still succeeded easily and on a whim at something they devoted their lives to. Success in Jump just isn't important to her in the way it is for them, so this victory, however transient, is pretty meaningful.
Iwase is made of win. I wanted to read trap, but after Natural came out I think I'll strat buying the merch!
SO THERE I WAS BEING IWASE AND I TOLD TAKAGI: HOW ABOUT DOING THE PROPER, RESPONSIBLE THING, NOT WRITING MANGA. AND HE SAID FUCK YOU I LOVE MY LIFE THAT WAY AND I WAS LIKE FUCK YOU MY LIFE IS BETTER ANYWAY AND THEN I WAS THERE BEING IN COLLEGE, AND IT WAS SO DAMN BORING AND I KEPT FOLLOWING TAKAGI'S ADVENTURES, WITH ITS UPS AND DOWNS AND STUFF AND I WAS LIKE "THIS IS SILLY, HE SHOULD GET A PROPER JOB" BUT THEN I WAS LIKE MAKENASAI SO I DECIDED TO BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF HIM AND TEACH HIM A LESSON, JUST LIKE THAT AND THEN I FOUND OUT HE WAS GETTING MARRIED AND I WAS LIKE "WHO CARES", BUT I WAS DISAPPOINT SO I ...
Meme aborted, can't think of how to make this both funny and in-character. Up For Grabs.
"If you want to go to an easy high school so it doesn't interfere with your budding career as a manga-ka, as is the case for Takagi, then at least seriously consider the pros and cons. Don't study just because it feeds your ego. Don't go to a good college just because everyone says it's the "proper" thing to do. The important thing should first and foremost be figuring out what you want and how to get there."
Your statements there applies more to Azuki than it does to Iwase. Don't become a seiyuu just because everyone says it's the "proper" thing for a girl to do. Don't try to be cute just because everyone says that's what girls should be like. I respect your opinion that being happy is more important than being the best, but not all people feel that way. For Iwase, it seems to me, being the best is what makes her happy. And so I don't think your argument really stands in this particular case.
As for her not being satisfied with her life, I feel the fact that she's still chasing after Takagi is more indicative of her obsessive love for him and that she is pursuing her goal of surpassing him, in the same way Azuki is pursuing her dream of being a seiyuu. I don't see why going after your goals should necessarily indicate that you're unhappy.
If anything, it shows that Iwase is very clear on what she wants and how she's going to go about achieving it. In school: get better grades than him. In college: be a better writer than him. (And she succeeds marvelously - winning a very prestigious competition, gaining some fame as a up and coming young writer). And then once she finds out he's doing manga, she does it as well to surpass him. So I would think, yes, Iwase knows exactly what she wants and how to get it. And she's succeeded, hasn't she? Natural is far better than Trap ever was.
And precisely because she's so talented, the creators can't allow her to be a likeable/decent person, because that would go against their misogynistic ideal that "girls who show their intelligence are stupid and uncute". Look at Aoki. In the beginning she was portrayed as a genius writer and an arrogant bitch. After character development etc, she becomes nicer and cuter... and look how the portrayal of her abilities changes with it. Her new manga succeeds only because various male characters are helping her with panty shots. And the focus is more on her subpar art compared to her storytelling skills.
"As for the fact that [Azuki's] desires happen to be stereotypically feminine, well that's just a coincidence."
That's not "just a coincidence". Takagi is praising the fact that her desires happen to be stereotypically feminine. He says over and over again that she's not being "calculative", that she's acting in this way because she's just "being a girl" and because these are girlish things to do and want. He is praising her TALENT for naturally having stereotypically feminine desires. In short, he's saying that she's smart for conforming to society's expectations of females.
Just throwing this out there: The "smart thing" doesn't always equal the "right thing".
Of course. But, in this case Takagi is saying that Azuki is doing the smart AND the right thing for being unconsciously, naturally stereotypically feminine. He obviously thinks that Iwase is going about her life the wrong way.
Women can't be antagonists, am I right?
^^^^ I think we're talking about different things now. You took my statement about a coincidence and directly compared it with a quote from the original text which I had explicitly declared that I wasn't paying attention to anymore. Your original post convinced me. I changed my mind. I do not think that the manga supports my moral anymore. This is not a contradiction.
Anyway, ignoring that, I suppose the majority of our disagreement lies in our interpretations of Iwase. I cannot see her as happy. Well, maybe she is now, but that came after the realization that she doesn't care what Takagi thinks of her (because she's better than him). She's continuously failed to earn his respect throughout her life in various ways, and seems consistently shocked at this revelation. I don't see how someone who is very talented overall consistently failing to meet their goals in ways that demonstrate that they were completely clueless as to what they were doing wrong can possibly be described as satisfied with their life.
Now, honestly, we haven't seen much of her at all. We never saw much of her in the first place, and then she got written out of the series until quite recently. Maybe she's been happy offscreen. I don't know. No one knows. But from the little bits we've seen of her, she's been consistently failing to meet her apparent goals, and demonstrating a rather bad attitude towards this fact. She's persistent, certainly, but not actually achieving anything towards that particular goal. Only when she changed her goals (realized he wasn't worth pursuing) did she achieve any kind of "victory".
edited 26th Feb '10 10:56:59 AM by Clarste
That's a reasonable argument. I can accept that.
But wouldn't the success of Natural count as a victory? She's finally achieved her goal of surpassing him.
edited 26th Feb '10 10:59:20 AM by Yuen
That is the victory I was referring to. But I'd argue that it also represents a changing of her goals. Originally, she seemed to want his respect, not to surpass him. Given that she respected him in the first place for his grades, she assumed that surpassing him would earn his respect. But it didn't. She got better grades than him, went to a better high school than him, went to a better college than him, and he still didn't care. If surpassing him was her goal, she surpassed him a long time ago.
Then again, my memories of the earlier chapters are fuzzy, and I don't care enough to go check. Has she ever explicitly stated a goal along these lines?
edited 26th Feb '10 11:08:39 AM by Clarste
Why did my lights have to go off RIGHT BEFORE A DEBATE ASPLOSION Gosh dang it,
Iwase became successful, but she became successful for all the wrong reasons. She is motivated by a highschool crush. lol wat? Think about it, how creepy would it be, to try and win back someone you knew in highschool, no seriously, think about it, and follow them THROUGH THEIR CAREER, just so you can prove you're BETTER than them, and that you, are indeed, a WOMAN WORTH BEING ATTRACTED TO.
See? That's the type of female the authors come up with. That's their idea of what a "strong" female character is like. Sexist bastards.
The most "legitimately strong" female character I've ever seen from this particular combo is Rem. And Rem is a freaking death god who got killed by a human male college student. That's empowerment for you.
Brannock: ...I seriously have no idea if you're kidding or not.
edited 26th Feb '10 11:39:34 AM by Yuen
I agree with you entirely Yuen, I think you're overreacting a bit, but I understand because this appears to be your Berserk Button so I'm not too bothered by that.
I am hoping Iwase is going to go through character development like Aoki, I just wish she didn't have to go the SAME character development from Kuudere to Defrosting Ice Queen (Case in point, when Niizuma Lampshades that Iwase acted exactly like Aoki at the meeting).
Whoops. Accidentally double posted.
edited 26th Feb '10 11:49:02 AM by Yuen
On that note, what do you think about the, uh, new romantic subplot with Iwase?
I love Hattori and I can absolutely understand why Iwase is attracted to him, but honestly, I almost thought that it was Niizuma at first, when Iwase said she was in love with someone else.
EDIT: And yeah, it's absolutely my Berserk Button. One of quite of few. I actually wrote a 10-page paper on feminism and postfeminism in Hunter X Hunter for a college class I was taking. I'm currently looking for places to get it published.
edited 26th Feb '10 11:52:34 AM by Yuen
It...it reeks of soap opera-y pettiness to be honest. I...I don't know. It's still in the bud at the moment, so I'm gonna refrain judgement, because the two mangakas have been shown to surprise with character development (Like Nakai), so I'm just gonna reply with a =I
^^ I'm now curious about what you had to say about feminism in Hunter X Hunter.
I believe, applicable to everyone regardless of gender, that being happy is more important than being the best. If being the best make you happy, then by all means go for it, but at least stop and consider what you're doing. If you don't mind being a janitor as long as it pays the bills, go for it. If you want to be a doctor, then work hard and go to medical school. If you want to go to an easy high school so it doesn't interfere with your budding career as a manga-ka, as is the case for Takagi, then at least seriously consider the pros and cons. Don't study just because it feeds your ego. Don't go to a good college just because everyone says it's the "proper" thing to do. The important thing should first and foremost be figuring out what you want and how to get there.
Looking at your quotes, I can see that I misremembered the exact wording and it's quite a bit more misogynist than I remembered. I'll admit that my reading was overly generous and probably incorrect. I don't think the moral I got out of it was though, and this other moral that I apparently came up with myself can still be applied to the characters in Bakuman. Iwase might know what she wants (Takagi's respect, I guess), but it's clear that she didn't know how to get it, until recently maybe. Azuki knows what she wants and how to get it, even if it's hard. As for the fact that her desires happen to be stereotypically feminine, well that's just a coincidence.
Anyway, I guess the author looks pretty sexist, So Yeah.
Edit: Do you seriously think someone who keeps up a middle school rivalry all the way into college to the point where they'll change their career to keep it up, even though they haven't seen the other person in years was satisfied with her life?
edited 26th Feb '10 3:29:14 AM by Clarste