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Full Version: "Genre" discussions: categorizing Silver Spoon, is it "slice of life"? "school drama"?
Fullmetal Alchemist Discussion Board > Discussions on Arakawa's Other Works > Silver Spoon
jacksparrow589
<Note: This topic was split from Silver Spoon chapter One discussion thread. smile.gif ~ Tombow>

QUOTE (allykatty1 @ Apr 13 2011, 10:04 PM) *
On a side note, is this really going to be considered a "shonen" series? XD It hardly seems that way so far to me! Unless the high school turns out to be a front for something epic! wink.gif Doubtful, hah.

This could very well be a shonen manga. "Shonen" simply means that the target audience younger males, about 10-18. Beyond that, there don't seem to be any other real "requirements", least of all for being epic, even if a lot of shonen has that tendency.

On that note, I'd argue that this series very much has the potential to be epic in its own way. Clearly, you can't say much from a first chapter, but it looks like Hachiken's got some sort of inner struggle going about his dreams, and he's going to have to overcome/somehow deal with that. This, in fact, was a lot of what made FMA so epic for me. Also, it looks like it's going to be pretty hilarious as Hachiken tries (and, I'm going to guess, succeeds to some degree) to adjust to the culture of the school.

Really, when all's said and done, does it matter that much if it's shonen or shojo or seinen or josei, or if it's not the common contemporary definition of epic? I'd wager that Arakawa doesn't draw because it's shonen or because it's epic, but that what she draws what she wants to, and that (mostly, at least--I'm no aficionado of her works!) happens to be labeled shonen. (And epic, I think.) I can speak only for myself, but I'll read it as long as I like it, shonen or otherwise. smile.gif
allykatty1
QUOTE (jacksparrow589 @ Apr 14 2011, 08:44 AM) *
<Note: This topic was split from Silver Spoon chapter One discussion thread. smile.gif ~ Tombow>

On that note, I'd argue that this series very much has the potential to be epic in its own way. Clearly, you can't say much from a first chapter, but it looks like Hachiken's got some sort of inner struggle going about his dreams, and he's going to have to overcome/somehow deal with that. This, in fact, was a lot of what made FMA so epic for me. Also, it looks like it's going to be pretty hilarious as Hachiken tries (and, I'm going to guess, succeeds to some degree) to adjust to the culture of the school.

Really, when all's said and done, does it matter that much if it's shonen or shojo or seinen or josei, or if it's not the common contemporary definition of epic? I'd wager that Arakawa doesn't draw because it's shonen or because it's epic, but that what she draws what she wants to, and that (mostly, at least--I'm no aficionado of her works!) happens to be labeled shonen. (And epic, I think.) I can speak only for myself, but I'll read it as long as I like it, shonen or otherwise. smile.gif


Ha, I only threw around the term "epic" as sort of a joke, but I actually agree 100% with your reply, in particular in regards to Hachiken's dreams or lack thereof and the fact that Arakawa draws whatever she wants to. Two of the things that I loved the most about FMA were its' character development and overcoming adversity and the fact that it really was unlike anything else out there - it was "shonen," but somehow much deeper than most shonen and it drew from other genres as well. And my very favorite plot element of all is seeing how much Ed and Al grow up and change (though it helped that it was in the midst of classic epic - I'm a sucker for any well-done fantastical plot). It actually makes me nostalgic for my own family and childhood and I'm not one to usually show those types of emotions. wink.gif I always get annoyed at people who happen across FMA and immediately assume it's a little boys' fighting cartoon. Thus, I can already sense that this new series will be much more than a "school genre" or "shonen" or what-have-you. happy.gif
jacksparrow589
^Completely agreed. I think Arakawa should have her own genre, considering how often she defies any set expectations. smile.gif (Or she should at least have some sort of, "Warning: this isn't your typical shonen; it's much more than that" caveat.)
Turdaewen
Actually, I've always thought the idea of labeling mangas as "shounen" or "seinen" or "shoujo" something impressively limiting and definitely not very intuitive.
At least not in terms of determining whether a manga should be put on this or that magazine or if it's suitable for this or that audience, or as in labeling an author as a "shounen writter".

If you think about it, it comes a lot more down to the 'mission' of a particular manga magazine than anything else: GanGan is completely different in terms of definition than Shounen Sunday, that, on it's turn, is also completely different than Shounen Jump... They have different views, different goals, different interests... And they're all put under the definition of "Shounen Magazines".

And we could say Arawaka has never been a "shounen writer" in the true sense of the world, since she has raged from Imperial China to Early 20th Century Europe inspired mangas and, though all of them happened to fall under the category of "fantasy" and "shounen" are all very different among themselves and different from your "regular" shounen series (which is traditionally connected, mostly, to the series portrayed in Shounen Jump and magazines that follow a similar approach).

Shounen Sunday is a more 'quotidian' oriented sort of magazine and that's their aim... always has been. And I believe that is a true challenge for Arakawa to pick up a genre where she's not really comfortable with (or better putted "acquainted" with) and it actually shows, in my opinion, that she's reaching a more mature level of writing, by taking bigger risks and "stepping out of her comfort zone", which is more than we can say from most mangakás around.

So, it's not something only about "Arakawa's Work" but a lack of genres in Manga/Anime in general, since the industry has built itself in a VERY different way than our normal "Western arts industry". The definition of a "genre" in mangas, for example, are a lot more defined by who it's producing that manga (meaning the printing company, the editor, the sponsors...) than an actual 'genre' in and for itself.


So, in sum, yes, Gin no Saji is a very different series from what we've seen so far by Arakawa. But I also think it's rather pointless to actually try to 'label' it as anything aside that it's a "Shounen Sunday series" with a "realistic/quotidian" sort of approach. Whether is seinen, shounen, shoujo or anything else, it makes little difference, since these categories mean very little. (they have very little in terms of real meaning to add to an understanding of "what a series is" or what to expect of it)
For me, these terms are as generic as if saying "Asian Movie industry" (where you can put something like Bollywood, chinese kung fu movies and Akira Kurosawa as "the same" O.o)
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