Scott Pilgrim the Fan-ga

Posted by ron On August - 8 - 2010


With its 6th book, the fanatical series Scott Pilgrim has concluded a whimsical love story blended together by creator Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Manga influences and nostalgia for 8 bit video games. The story began in Canada where Scott Pilgrim, a fun loving mid 20s Garageband musician is infatuated with the new girl from New York, Ramona Flowers.

Love is as much a mental game as it is an emotional one. In order to win Ramona’s heart, Scott must metaphorically engage Ramona’s previous 7 relationship mental road blocks in the form of single player 8 bit arcade style bosses. With victories over each successive ex-lover, Scott traveled deeper into Ramona’s emotional subconscious and uncovered her personal fears about commitment. At the same time, Scott inadvertently examined his own mistakes in prior relationships. The women in Scott’s life appeared like the ghosts from Christmas past wearing chain wallets and hoodies to forewarn him about repeating his mistakes. Did Scott learn from them in order to gain greater understanding of the present as he battled to save his relationship with Ramona before her insecurities destroyed their chance at true love? You’ll just have to find out for yourself.

Alas fear not, the great Canadian tragedy hasn’t been written yet because there was no mention of the Toronto Maple Leafs in this series.

This story was not so much a coming of age lesson as it was a romantic tell tale regarding the maturation of the male ego. As it turned out, Scott was guilty of a few dick moves. It was as much a story about the quest for love as it was about young men having dealt with the damaged goods created by other men who never stop stroking their ego.

The clever use of old school 8 bit video games definitely added kich humor to the subject matter. However the liberal use of seizure inducing over dramatic Manga style interrupted the flow of the story at times. Still a minor quibble to an otherwise fun creative formula to a complex story.

At a rate of one book per year, Bryan Lee O’Malley must be one of the deepest contemplative thinkers in the comic book industry or has a killer return from his publisher. Whichever the case, Scott Pilgrim is worth checking out as a fun alternative read to over serious mainstream comic books.

A few brief words regarding all 6 books:
Book 1: Sets the tone of the kich whimsical world of Scott Pilgrim.
Book 2: The humor and fun is amped up with winks to the reader.
Book 3: The ADD style can get a little tedious or seizure inducing if you aren’t a fan of this style.
Book 4: The transition point where not all is well in Scott and Ramona’s world as much like people fall in love, they can easily fall out of love just as quick.
Book 5: Arguably the best book in the series as Ramona’s life leading into her arrival into Scott’s life is explored.
Book 6: Little distracting with the Inception-esque components but the bittersweet ex-girlfriend from Scott is really the defining moment prior to the final act.

2 Responses to “Scott Pilgrim the Fan-ga”

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