License request day: More Minoru Toyoda

August 13, 2010

When contemplating today’s license request, I found myself thinking of Scott Pilgrim and his creator, Bryan Lee O’Malley. I remember, ages ago, looking through Previews and thinking that Minoru Toyoda’s Love Roma (Del Rey) sounded interesting. O’Malley confirmed that it was indeed awesome, and he was right, and sensible people have all read and enjoyed that really charming series about the bluntest pair of high-school sweethearts you’re ever likely to meet. But what else does Toyoda have in the wings?

According to Baka-Updates, the funny, idiosyncratic, dare I say O’Malley-esque Toyoda has two series that seem to be desirable candidates, working with the assumption that anything Toyoda does is worth licensing.

Tomodachi 100-nin Dekiru kana (which can be translated as I Wonder if I Can Make 100 Friends) is currently running in Kodansha’s Afternoon. It’s up to the three-volume mark, I believe. It seems to be about a person who has to prevent an alien invasion by making 100 friends, thus proving the existence of love in the world.

There’s a bit more information available on Flip-Flap, a one-volume series that also ran in Afternoon. It’s about a 20-something guy who falls for a girl who works in a pinball arcade. He tries to win her over, though her first love is pinball, and her love for the arcade game is fierce indeed.

The bottom line, though, is that Love Roma is really adorable and quirky and entertaining, and I see nothing to indicate that either of these titles isn’t also adorable and quirky and entertaining, so let’s get on with that licensing thing, shall we?

My favorite Pilgrim pieces

August 13, 2010

I think I’m going to have to overcome my aversion to seeing movies in theaters for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, since two of my favorite writers seem to be encouraging me to do so.

First of all, you have to go read this piece by Linda Holmes in NPR’s Monkey See blog, which examines some of the “get off my lawn” responses to the movie:

“Hating Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is perfectly fine. It’s got a style; you sort of embrace it and dig it or you don’t. But when there’s too much effort given to tut-tutting the people you imagine to be enjoying it, or declaring and promising that only narrow categories of losers and non-life-havers and other stupid annoying hipsters could possibly be having a good time when you’re not, it sounds pinched and ungenerous. And, not to put too fine a point on it, a little bit jealous and fearful of obsolescence.”

Then there’s A.O. Scott’s review for The New York Times, who neatly sidesteps the pitfalls that Holmes identifies:

“There are some movies about youth that just make you feel old, even if you aren’t. “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” based on a series of sprightly graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley, has the opposite effect. Its speedy, funny, happy-sad spirit is so infectious that the movie makes you feel at home in its world even if the landscape is, at first glance, unfamiliar.”

Beyond the fact that I enjoy Scott’s writing enormously, I generally agree with his critical assessments. He also gets extra points for crediting the source material, which seems to be something of a block for people writing about the movie.