31 January 2008

The more exotic, the better?

At times, the fact that something comes from another country makes it seem more glamorous or of a higher quality than it really is. For instance, I am in the middle of watching a British TV series on DVD that is of the "Murder She Wrote" or "Matlock" mystery variety. This type of show would normally not be on my viewing schedule, but throw in a few British accents and I am captivated. There are times, however, when I am reminded that schlock can come from any country.

My daughter M has become interested in manga and has been borrowing books from some of the guys on her bus. I decided to pick up a couple random volumes to see what she was reading. (I do try to put in a few hours on the "good mom" side from time to time.) The first one was Midori Days. Even my attraction to Asian culture would not allow me to gloss over the fact that this is a series aimed at the gross humor of 13-year-old boys.

Midori Days is about a teenage boy named Seiji who longs to have a girlfriend. Since he is seen as a bit of a tough guy, none of the girls will have anything to do with him. His right hand is even nicknamed "the devil's right hand" because he has such a powerful punch. One morning, he wakes up and finds that his right hand has turned into a tiny naked girl. It turns out that while Seiji was wishing for a girlfriend, there was a girl named Midori at another school who had been pining for him. Midori became so sad about not having Seiji that she fell into a coma and her spirit turned into a miniature version of herself attached to Seiji's right arm.

As you can imagine, having a live girl attached to your right arm is a perfect set-up for all sorts of infantile jokes. There are stories showing Seiji's growing affection for Midori, but they are stuck in between stories about Seiji trying to take a bath or use the bathroom without Midori seeing his boy bits. Let's not forget the problems of finding clothes to fit a tiny naked girl. Even the real Midori is naked. If your child is in a coma and you are going to have different doctors coming in to check her, wouldn't you put a nightgown on her? I mean, come on. I made M return this without reading it. I would not recommend it.

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