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Thread: Can Manga With Musical Themes Actually Be Good?

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    MangaHelper 有名人 / Yuumeijin / Celebrity SharkBait's Avatar
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    Can Manga With Musical Themes Actually Be Good?

    Often times it seems people's arguments are that manga that have some focused on music, just can't be good because we need to be able to hear the music to get an idea of the feeling and emotions rather than reading about it. Do you feel this way or think that hearing doesn't really matter.

    At least in reading Zyklus;Code and Soul Catcher(s), I didn't think I needed to actually hear the music to still feel the plot fully or even be immersed in it.

    SoTaku is Love | Team Haikyuu!! | Team Hi-Fi Cluster | Team Food Wars!

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    Re: Can Manga With Musical Themes Actually Be Good?

    Nodame Cantabile is a manga taking place at a music school, and it's been received quite well. It's hard to convey music through pictures, but I think NC has done a good job of it.

    The advantage it has over other music themed manga is that the characters are proficient in classical music, which everyone knows. Even if someone doesn't know the specific piece, they can easily go to Youtube and listen to it.

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    Harasho 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member Kaiten's Avatar
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    Re: Can Manga With Musical Themes Actually Be Good?

    Detroit Metal City was a funny manga, if you can get past the butt ugly art. It was a nice parody of pop music, celebrity, and public image.

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    Intl Translator 有名人 / Yuumeijin / Celebrity ukimix's Avatar
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    Re: Can Manga With Musical Themes Actually Be Good?

    Yes, no doubt about it. Take the five senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste. The question somehow is supposing that the mangas about things that we can see can be good in an easier way that mangas about things that we only can smell, touch, taste or hear (which is the case of music). I don't know of mangas focused mainly on things that only can be smelt or touched; but Shokugeki no Soma is a clear case of a good manga about things that we can only taste. The author has found a very nice formulae, and the intangibility of the flavours is not obstacle to create a good story; his solution is those aftertaste scenes. For instance, how you describe with the drawings of a manga a flavour that in the first moment is subtly pleasant and after some instants, becomes surprisingly ugly?

    Here the solution of Tsukuda Yuuto, author of Shokugeki:

    Spoiler show


    Some languages are powerful enough to describe the impact of the good music on us. For instance, the alphabetical language is very capable to do it. And, of course, manga is a language much more complex and rich than the alphabetical language, because it includes the alphabetical language used in the bubbles and also the drawings. So it's a mixture of two powerful languages. And because of that is pretty much capable to describe any human feeling, no matter how intangible could that feeling be.

    In regards to music, a typical question could it be: How to describe that event when some music talks to your soul? How to put in panels, bubbles and drawings something intangible like that? Hitoshi Ashinano gives a gold solution in chapter 17 of his Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou:

    Spoiler show


    The author has to be very creative and sensible; but I would say, that if the magic happens that will depend not only in the creativity of the author, but also on the creativity of the reader.
    Last edited by ukimix; November 01, 2013 at 10:12 PM.

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    Re: Can Manga With Musical Themes Actually Be Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by ukimix View Post
    Yes, no doubt about it. Take the five senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste. The question somehow is supposing that the mangas about things that we can see can be good in an easier way that mangas about things that we only can smell, touch, taste or hear (which is the case of music). I don't know of mangas focused mainly on things that only can be smelt or touched; but Shokugeki no Soma is a clear case of a good manga about things that we can only taste. The author has found a very nice formulae, and the intangibility of the flavours is not obstacle to create a good story; his solution is those aftertaste scenes. For instance, how you describe with the drawings of a manga a flavour that in the first moment is subtly pleasant and after some instants, becomes surprisingly ugly?

    In regards to music, a typical question could it be: How to describe that event when some music talks to your soul? How to put in panels, bubbles and drawings something intangible like that? Hitoshi Ashinano gives a gold solution in chapter 17 of his Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou:

    Spoiler show


    The author has to be very creative and sensible; but I would say, that if the magic happens that will depend not only in the creativity of the author, but also on the creativity of the reader.
    I never thought of it in terms of applying it to the food manga. Though at least with food you can describe it and artistically show it. Unfortunately the difficulty for food does come up when there is descriptions that arent common or food stuff that one hasnt encountered in their culture or tasted. Though they do a good job of describing it.

    I think for music if they can powerfully show characters reactions then it can work but sometimes if its making references to musical pieces one hasnt heard of, then it can make it difficult.

    SoTaku is Love | Team Haikyuu!! | Team Hi-Fi Cluster | Team Food Wars!

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    Harasho 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member Kaiten's Avatar
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    Re: Can Manga With Musical Themes Actually Be Good?

    Music is a lot like action. We're all so used to action manga that it's easy to forget how hard it is to depict something as visceral as fighting in a stationary medium. Music is also hard to depict, but not impossible. The audience might not be able to hear what the characters hear, but a good story can still communicate that feeling.

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    Intl Translator 有名人 / Yuumeijin / Celebrity ukimix's Avatar
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    Re: Can Manga With Musical Themes Actually Be Good?

    @sharkbait: Have you ever listen some traditional japanese music played with a gekki? If no, then you can make this little experiment:
    - read carefully the scene I quoted above from Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, and see how it results for you, what it says to you.
    - After that, listen some music played with that instrument (if I'm not wrong this song is played with a gekki, but likely Kaiten or others have watched the anime and can confirm it): http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/Tsuki+No+Koto/4e0UK1?src=5, and then read again the scene, and see how it result for you.
    - Finally, if you haven't read YKK, you can read the first 17 chapters of it; the scene belongs to the chapter 17. And once more see how it results for you. The comparison will give you a better overview of the subject and more elements. (For sure, more than the elements I have).

    In my personal experience, to know the music described in a story is not a requisite to be able to enjoy the story. And it's the same with the sense of taste; I don't know most of the ingredients and dishes described in Shokugeki, (it happens also that they have different names on different regions, etc...). But I can still enjoy that manga. I guess it's due to the fact that I can see the emotions and sentiments and stories of the characters that revolve around some dish or some music...

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    Re: Can Manga With Musical Themes Actually Be Good?

    I know that some people disagree but I think that Beck adaptation in anime, although it provides music you can hear, fails completely at giving the emotions of the manga. That is the power of imagination.

    And yes Nodame Cantabile is another great music manga.

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    Intl Translator 有名人 / Yuumeijin / Celebrity ukimix's Avatar
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    Re: Can Manga With Musical Themes Actually Be Good?

    This is really interesting thread. I agree with k-dom. Many times anime and manga are compared in terms of how well each one tells a story. And the comparison could be made and could be interesting in some cases. But on the other side, it's also true that they are simply different languages; I mean, in some sense, they are incommensurable with each other. Human imagination works different with each one, and also with a novel with only text and not images... And all kind of experiences could be enjoyable.

    The idea that manga focused in music can't be good because it doesn't provide the music to be listened, would have also to face and discredit the simple fact that there are many good novels or tales about music, with out any drawings or images, that are really good.

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