05
Feb
09

Oblivion High – Osa 1 Vaihdokas (Part 1 Transfer Student)

More of the previous artist, who did the “Vesi Oli Mustaa”(Water Was Black) I was told by a mysterious anonymous person that she has improved! So I went on my happy quest of snark and cynicism and opened the book that has a cover like this:

My hair is matted. And oh crap my belts open again.

My hair is matted. And oh crap my belt's open again.

I have to say first.. I am on a very very mellow mood today. Let’s see if it affects the level of snark, shall we?

I was also singing along. Is that bad?

I was also singing along. Is that bad?

SO! This comic was done last year by Nina Von rüdiger and Johanna Koljonen.. but I have no idea what Johanna did. I quess she did the plot. Go figure. They did the comic under the collective name of Ms Mandu because.. you know, all big japanese mangakas do that too like Clamp. I think I have found the secret formula of instant mangaka and it is; halftones and nicknames.

I see Nina repeating the same mistakes she used to do in her previous comic like foreshortening

What just happened!?

What just happened!?

General anatomy

GIANT HEADS! OH MY GOD!

GIANT HEADS! OH MY GOD!

Perspective

Now I understand why she does so much faces with no background.

Now I understand why she does so much faces with no background.

..that chair there reminds me of this

And let’s not forget the rather bland expressions

You would never quess what situation these people are in.

You would never quess what situation these people are in.

Maybe the crying one starts to be a bit better but.. there’s no soul in those empty eyes. Nothing but the empty shell of a one-dimensional animu character who has never felt anything.. *sheds a single tear*

She has learned a whole new trick to show emotion though and it’s sparkle-eyes

All hail the hypno-animu!

All hail the hypno-animu!

Ahaha, oh they look adorable.. fragile and precious thing- wait no! Snap out of it! You can do this! HURNG!

She has also adapted one really damn weird thing.

You see, some people, when doing animu – try to adapt japanese habits no matter how stupid they may be, considering it makes no sense outside Japan to have them. Like drawing their comics “backwards” aka right to left unlike the western way of left to right.

But sometimes it just goes too goddamn far. Like when you live in Finland and you write ALL THE SOUND EFFECTS IN KANAS!

I dont have the slightest idea of what these are supposed to say. Not a slightest clue. And Im not going to learn a new writing system just to read one badly drawn comic book.

I don't have the slightest idea of what these are supposed to say. Not a slightest clue. And I'm not going to learn a new writing system just to read one badly drawn comic book.

To make you understand just how bizarre and pretentious this is, imagine this. Finland is a small country where a good knowledge about different languages is vital. Everyone knows english here(which is part of the reason I decided to use english with this blog) and we all are FORCED to learn swedish even that only 5% of Finnish people speak it and… that 5% all understand finnish because they were born here!

But japan? HAHAHA! You have to have a BIG junior high or internationally-aware university OR go to a special course to learn even the basics. Even russian writing system is used more here, this is ridicilous!

But what does the artist herself say about this?

Shes not arrogant at all. Nope.

She's not arrogant at all. Nope.

Really? I thought the whole idea of comics is to convey a message to the people in as simple and clear means as possible. Like.. extremely stylished characters, clear frame-order or understandable text! As a person who’s always struggling to write clearly I cannot possibly understand why someone would go trough such means to confuse their audience.

Also, her comment uses the “emperor’s new clothes”-analogy. If you cannot see it or fathom it, you’re stupid so everyone will try to go “well, yeah of course, I understood it without the text” to not look stupid even that it’s really not their fault that the comic sucks.

Of course at some parts it’s very apparent of what they are saying or what onomatopoetics are used

..I think

..I think

But because her dramaturgy and storytelling skills really are medicore, it becomes absolutely non-fathomable due to using marks totally obscure to the majority of Finland’s and the world’s population.

I have no idea what that thing in the first box is and I had to double-take before I realised that he slams the door. Wat. Theres not even a panel of him running towards it! And the door doesnt even show in the background!

I have no idea what that thing in the first box is and I had to double-take before I realised that he slams the door. Wat. There's not even a panel of him running towards it! And the door doesn't even show in the background!

Why is it so hard to introduce the situation first and then go with it? Speaking of introduction.. she doesn’t do that. At least not with her characters. When I started reading this thing I was utterly confused because everyone looks the same and no one is introduced. Just try and fathom these!

Let me clear it up:

Im not even sure myself

I'm not even sure myself

Who IS that black-haired guy!? Not once do they say his name during this whole comic!

Who IS that black-haired guy!? Not once do they say his name during this whole comic!

..and great face for someone who’s being kicked on the stomach by knee. It’s not like a person would be.. you know.. horrified or scared or maybe even hurt in that kind of situation? That guy’s more like “IT’S OKAY, MY POWER LEVEL IS OVER NINE THOUSAND ANYWAY!”

I’m even quite sure that she has recycled the characters from her previous comic.

Recycling will save the earth! ..but youre doing it kinda wrong.

Recycling will save the earth! ..but you're doing it kinda wrong.

Unbelievable..

They have probably been recycling some half-tones too or is that.. dot disease I’m seeing!?

Theres even stripes! You should get that checked, girl.

There's even stripes! You should get that checked, girl.

Nooooot smooth.

And should we talk more about the dramaturgy and storytelling? Oh yes, let’s talk more about that!

This page has to be one of the best her storytelling is capable of producing

A naked spirit of kid-drowning water sits on a tree, with the bag she stole from some kids because it had some lunch in it(drowned children taste kinda bland after few decades) and in it is a letter what gives him an idea to pose as a japanese student and move in with the Svenson family.

A naked water spirit of kid-drowning sits on a tree, with the bag he stole from some kids because it had some lunch in it(drowned children taste kinda bland after few decades) and in it is a letter what gives him an idea to pose as a japanese student and move in with the Svenson family.

It would’ve been really nice if they would’ve shown that this letter is FROM THE JAPANESE KID or something, I got the idea that he just found her address. And why would a drowner-spirit want to pose as a japanese transfer student anyway.

The plot is so one-dimensional! It’s about junior high kids(13 years) and the bad guys are the ones who hate Japan(LOL) I’ve heard this being described to be a “Strikingly realistic portrayal of how cruel kids are in that age, running behind the latest fashions and mocking those who are not ‘in’.” but it’s just very bland. It only appeals to people because it’s so general they can relate. Relating is pretty much the cheapest way to sell a comic or a  movie.

The main characters are not very interesting and because they are not introduced properly it’s hard to attach to them, so when they get teased by the kids who hate Japan I felt very indifferent. And the white-haired boy main character is just an angry, “cool” bishie. Some sort of anti-hero.

Which reminds me of my prediction here

This is what I said in my last entry

This is what I said in my last entry

And oh yes.. yes he did.

And oh yes.. yes he did.

Oh my god! I’m better at predicting stuff than Nostradamus! On your FACE beard-guy!

neener-neener-neeeeener!

neener-neener-neeeeener!

..to return to that comic page with the letter;

The main character’s surename is Svensson. And it’s pretty fucking corny in here.. it’s kinda like if a black person’s surename was Brown or Black or I might almost say Nigga(if someone wants to generalize and speak down about swedish people they will call them svensons.. we finns are finski in there in speaking-as-lower-terms)

But oh! Her first names are Soon Mi which translates straight as Ees Me. No wonder she gets picked at school, I’d fucking beat a kid calleed Ees Me Svensson into a bloody, pulsating pulp! How goddamn swedish can you get if your name means I’m swedish oh for god’s sake..

ba-dum-dissssh!

ba-dum-dissssh!

But it might be true she has improved a bit.. maybe. I mean, look! She didn’t miserably fail at perspective!

Not very extreme angle but hey! great job!

Not very extreme angle but hey! great job!

And I gotta say, despite the dot-disease I kinda like this face

It even fits with its emotion into the scene its taken from!

It even fits with it's emotion into the scene it's taken from!

Also, she is starting to learn this “cool scenes”-thing. I think she understood that special effects are a good thing for people to stay interested.

I need to pee now

I need to pee now

There’s even dramatic jumping!

Like a cat

Like a cat

But it doesn’t last very long untill our dear friend Wonky Anatomy comes visiting again

What is that pose supposed to be?

What is that pose supposed to be?

It’s like she referenced a picture of herself posing to the mirror, but because it was not full-body mirror and she couldn’t run towards it while taking dramatic pose-picture, she failed with the pose. That arm looks painful.

Also, because the eyes show under the hair she gets alot “stuck lines” in her work. Especially if there’s a guy with glasses she has to draw

Stuck line means two lines that go so near eachother so that they obscure themselves. They dont even have to touch, just be badly placed. Its deemed to be a professional mistake, though.

Stuck line means two lines that go so near eachother that they obscure eachother. They don't even have to touch, just be badly placed. It's deemed to be a professional mistake, though.

Even someone as awesome as I am can do this mistake

See?

See?

Aaaand for some reason the comic has these walls of text. I read the first of them but I am very anti-social and not much of a “snoop”(I have to make a friend of mine to dig out information about the people I talk about here. Bless him.) so reading something trying to imitate a diary of a 13-year old girl just made my brain hemorrage, eyes to bleed and decide I will not read any of those text walls from now on.

NOT gonna read those pieces of fine literature thanks.

NOT gonna read those pieces of "fine literature" thanks.

Besides anything that strays from the plot is BAD for this comic. It’s barely comprehensible anyway!  I read these trying to find if they have anything to do with the plot and when they didn’t and I wasted all that time on them, got even more confused about the bad plot, and finally ended up just frusthrated.

What made me really angry was that when I had read this thing trough and got the very last pages, I find this

NOW YOU TELL ME WHO THEY ARE!?

NOW YOU TELL ME WHO THEY ARE!?

There’s even their friggin blood type!(Just like reel animu gaiz!) why wasn’t this in the beginning of the comic!? Were they afraid of spoiling it!? Because everyone knows that the white-haired boy “Nix” is a friggin water spirit because 1# he looks just like the previous guy from her previous comic who was also a näkki-waterspirit! 2# “Nix” is Näkki aka drowning water spirit in swedish.

Please for the love of puppies and everything that’s fragile and precious, introduce your characters! I swear my hand on manga bible that it’s actually really important to do as the very first thing!

Looks like it’s time for the summary now. Here, let me condense that comic into one page for you

Now you know what its like

Now you know what it's like

In other words: if you want to be utterly confused and troughly frustrated while trying to read a badly drawn comic, buy this. But even then, get it second-hand, just to ease the pain of the poor person who bought this for 15€ Only well-done thing in this is the hands.

My next entry will be the first finnmanga I have ever read and LIKED it afterwards. I actually read it before most of these and I’ll finish my finnmanga-theme “month” with that one.

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15 Responses to “Oblivion High – Osa 1 Vaihdokas (Part 1 Transfer Student)”


  1. 1 Anonymous
    February 9, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    What do you mean by dot-disease? Using screentones on skin is bad?
    Gotta agree though that using japanese sfx is utterly ridiculous. It’s not like the storytelling was particularly easy to follow to begin with.

    • 2 finnishcomicsdissected
      February 9, 2009 at 10:05 pm

      I have heard this term been used only once before, but I adopted it immediately, “dot disease” meaning that the screentones are so big you can basically count every dot and it’s quite distracting.
      This comic was even read left to right, so why they chose to japan-it-up with obscure marks is.. weird. Please even pick the lesser evil!

  2. 3 nvjinx
    February 18, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    “Jet lagiä”? PROTIP: There’s a term called aikaerorasitus. O wait, using English terms makes you cool!

  3. 4 nvjinx
    February 18, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    Oh yeah, almost forgot. Great job with the blog man. The English is a bit rough around the edges but hell, you should get a medal for this.

    • 5 finnishcomicsdissected
      February 18, 2009 at 5:37 pm

      Good call on the jetlag xD though I have to admit, it’s temptigly short compared to aikaerorasitus.

      If you notice any mistakes in my english, please point them out. I have edited this almost dozen times already, but it’s good to polish it. And yay! I’ve never got any medals or even deserved them before.

  4. 6 antimateria
    May 10, 2009 at 10:20 am

    All I can say about the drawing style is that the author has been reading (watching? It’s kind of a visual novel, I’m not sure which term should be used) too much Togainu no Chi and most likely the gay doujins based on it and tried to imitate it. Horribly. Well… just look.
    http://yfrog.com/63togainumillmilk01coverj
    No I will not tell how I am able to notice she’s imitating some R18 yaoi doujins.

    Great article by the way, I could really feel how my guts were about to burst in anger and rage even if I’ve never even touched the whole book. It’s even worse that Oblivion High seems to be getting relatively popular in Finland.

    • 7 finnishcomicsdissected
      August 19, 2009 at 7:08 pm

      I will not inquire about that then. We all have our secrets hah!
      ..and that is rather interesting influence if it’s true xD

      As I’ve been on a hiatus for MONTHS.. now they have put out a new part. More work for me!

  5. 8 muura
    May 11, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Fucking christ this is excellent! Me and my friend laughed ourselves to tears while browsing this comic and seeing you rip it apart is even better. thank you!

  6. May 18, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    I’m not a best drawer or a story writer,but!I must say the comic is awful.If you really want to bublish your comic,to a big public with mutch pages,you should first to learn to draw good,and,the story must be great and simpple to anderstood,thats why i think why the people buy i then.
    I still must train with the storys mutch…if you want to read some new comic of my, you find me on deviantart,with the name chiusai.=3=
    I can tell you, that you find mutch fouds with my english in there. it was midnight when i put most of the tekst’s in it…or something like that.=_=

    • 11 finnishcomicsdissected
      August 19, 2009 at 7:02 pm

      Keep on practising and do what you love, even if angry critics like me go after you 😀 That’s part of the fun!
      But yeah, it’s a bad idea to go for a LONG comic as your first one, but the sad thing is that this lady has done previous comics and haven’t still quite got it. Life is a journy and an artists life is a fucking trip.

      Ja täällä on lupa kirjoittaa Suomeksi! Ei hätää.
      Ps. En ole kuukausia myöhässä vastaukseni kanssa. Ainakaan en myönnä mitään.

  7. 12 mari
    May 18, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    here we see it again!I have great mistakes in my english.=3=
    I’m sorry.: D i did mean mistakes, with fould.O_O
    oh shiiiit.my english rules.=_=’

  8. 13 S
    August 16, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Precious and fragile things… Depeche Mode! Someone who listens Depeche Mode, can´t be evil, right?
    Since music is so important, do you listen to NIN too?
    BTW, nice blog you have here.
    Open critisism is so rare these days…

    • 14 finnishcomicsdissected
      August 19, 2009 at 7:25 pm

      Ohh don’t get me strated on music, I swear. This conversation won’t fit on this page otherwise.
      But oh yes, NIN.. I’m not really big fan for them. As a pretentious asshole I listen to drone(Sunn 0))), Goblin Cock, Ufomammut..) and minimal(Autechre is the only one) but when no one sees I listen to Depeche Mode and sing along.
      But I think you might just be a NIN fan 😀 What do you think about the radio version of “Closer”? Censorship is a magical thing, eh?

      There’s not enough open criticism. When I started this some of my friends wondered if shit will hit the fan, but this far nothing’s happened. I think people have some sense of humour after all.


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