Snow Drop Chap. 2: Alcohol Abuse

Welcome back to Snow Drop, and Ha-Da’s inadequately explored hatred of Hae-Gi. Seriously, there’s no reason for Ha-Da to hate Hae-Gi. Is it because Hae-Gi’s good-looking? As I mentioned in my previous post, Hae-Gi has no friends, so it can’t be that Ha-Da is envy of his so-called “popularity”. Granted, the main characters are in high school, a wretched hive of scum and jealousy, but it just seems so stupid and petty.

Much like a seventeen-year-old, come to think of it.

Ha-Da challenges Hae-Gi to a drinking contest with shots of tequila, which Hae-Gi accepts, for some reason. The only logic I can attribute to this decision is “high school”.

I used to read a lot of fanfiction, and participated in online play-by-post roleplays. Every so often, a writer will decide that their character needs to get drunk, either to show how edgy that character is, or give them a chance to make a fool out of themselves. Nine times out of ten, you can tell that the author’s never had a drink in her life. Characters get drunk after one drink, they puke immediately after getting drunk, they magically sober up when a bucket of cold water is dumped on them…

And, okay, some of those writers might have been me, thinking that I knew what heavy drinking was like from the occasional sip my mom let me have from her wine glass.

10 shots?! That’s enough to put me in a coma.

And I’m not saying that Choi Kyuang-ah has never had a drink, but that’s what this scene reminds me of. Not only because Ha-Da doesn’t get entirely blitzed after several shots of tequila (granted, he owns the club so it’s likely that he has a higher alcohol tolerance than Hae-Gi), but because Hae-Gi wasn’t feeling tipsy before the contest began. Which doesn’t seem like it makes sense, until it’s revealed that Ha-Da spiked all of Hae-Gi’s drinks before the contest actually began.

Wait.

That’s not okay.

Our heroes, ladies and gentlemen.

I’m not sure if I was okay with that when I read these books for the first time, but it definitely makes me uncomfortable now. If Hae-Gi was a girl, or Ha-Da was doing this to take sexual advantage of his rival, there’s no way Ha-Da would have gotten off scot-free. Ten shots of tequila are dangerous enough, especially when you only weigh 90 pounds like our pretty-boys here. Spiking Hae-Gi’s drinks beforehand could do some serious damage. You ever hear of alcohol poisoning?

Good, because I’m pretty sure Hae-Gi’s going to have it.

Fortunately, none of those terrible, terrible things that could easily happen after drinking all that happen to Hae-Gi, because he’s just too pretty to die. He just passes out for a bit, and then gets chatty. So-Na has the opportunity to search the unconscious Hae-Gi for her key, but opts not to. While normally I might complain about So-Na being stupid and missing her chance to get her key back, I’m actually okay with it. The poor guys taken enough abuse tonight, a girl who doesn’t like him going through his pockets would just be adding insult to injury.

Though I will point out that So-Na’s nameless bodyguard, who’s taking Hae-Gi home, thinks that black coffee will help Hae-Gi sober up.

I didn’t want to have to do this again, but take it away, Morbo:

Drunk!Hae-Gi wakes up and starts talking about “touching the sky” for his brother. What he means by this is that he wants to become a pilot. I really like this, and not just because I’m a student pilot. In a lot of romance manga, the characters are singularly focused on one goal, and then their S.O. comes along and sweeps them off their feet. I wasn’t too crazy about the idea of Hae-Gi being a model, because leads being models/actresses/superstars is pretty common in romance manga. Dreaming of being a pilot is something different, so it stands out to me, and gives Hae-Gi more depth as a character.

If only I could start liking the other leads.

Rave Master Chap. 9: Speedy Sobriety

There’s one thing I’ve always loved about Rave Master: the cover art for each of the chapters. It’s the sort of thing I would draw if I had any artistic ability. Every time I see one of them I think that Mashima must have had a grand time working on them. They don’t have anything to do with the story, they’re just fun. The one for chapter nine, though, was my favorite as a kid and is my favorite as an adult.

I just love that! Where’s that manga? I would absolutely read Rave Master as a medieval fantasy. Of course, I’m reading it now anyway, so….

Anyway, Haru, Elie and Plue make their way to Punk Street. Like the rest of the manga so far, I’m having the most fun looking at the settings that Mashima’s put in. There’s a lot to see, and often jokes or small stories going on behind the main one. It’s an enjoyable Easter egg hunt.

The trio decides to split up, Haru and Plue to get food, and Elie to go gambling. I don’t know exactly what money Elie has to go gambling with, as she spent everything she had on the dog race earlier. I’m pretty sure she didn’t get any of her cash back after blowing up the stadium. They both agree to look for Musica and meet back later.

Anyway, I had to stop reading for a minute when I came to this panel:

FINALLY.

It always bewildered me that people would see Plue and think, “it’s a dog”. Or, worse, “it’s a bug”. People are actually freaking out about the weird thing eating lollipops.

I remember watching the anime Gankutsuou when I was in high school, and one of the characters in it had blue skin. One, out of the entire cast. No one every said, “hey, he has blue skin, that’s weird.” It bugged the hell out of me. So, everyone’s bewilderment over what the hell Plue is – even if only for one panel – is awesome, and so much better than the crowd accepting him the minute the see him.

Anyway, Haru runs into a crazy drunk guy at the restaurant who claims to know where to find Musica. Haru tries to get the drunk guy home, who engages in some dancing and some crying, antics that were hilarious to me as a kid, but not so much anymore.

Alcohol dependency! Hilarious!

 

More hilarity does (not) ensue when Plue gets drunk as well. Haru, frustrated by all this, throws a conveniently placed bucket of water at the drunk. As soon as the water hit him, he begins to melt–

–No, wait, that would make more sense than what actually happens next.

As soon as he gets doused, he sobers up.

This is another trope I can’t stand. Please allow Morbo to explain:

Listen up, anime. We need to have a little talk about alcohol:

  • If you are drunk and have a bucket of water thrown on you, you don’t become sober. You become drunk and wet.
  • If you’ve been off your face for days and suddenly hear that the man who murdered your father is in town, your oath of vengeance will not sober you up. You will be drunk and pissed off.
  • If you’ve drank too much sake at the cherry blossom festival and an alien attacks, you will not become sober just long enough to save the day. You’re more likely to trip over your katana that your master handed down to you than anything.
  • If you wait long enough and rehydrate yourself, you will become sober, often followed by a hangover.

I know that suspension of disbelief lets fiction get away with a lot, but this is ridiculous.

Anyway, the magically sober man finally reveals that he is Musica, the legendary blacksmith, surprising absolutely no one. He agrees to fix the Ten Powers sword with the caveat that Haru stays away from the shop during that time.

One weird thing I remember about Rave Master is that the name of Haru’s sword changes between the first and second volumes. The sword itself has ten different forms, and Haru can switch between its forms if he has the right Rave stone. In the first book, it was called the Ten Commandments. Maybe because I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school for most of my life, I thought this was a completely badass name for a sword. In the second book, it’s known as the Ten Powers. I have to wonder if Mashima changed the name of the sword, if there was some kind of translation error, or if keeping the name “Ten Commandments” was too potentially offensive for Western audiences.

Tokyopop – at least when I was reading manga all the freaking time – wasn’t known for being consistent with names, especially with fantasy series when there’s lots of made-up names. I thought that the sword’s name might change from volume to volume, but it remained the “Ten Powers” sword ever since.

Translated manga is weird.

If you ask me, Haru probably shouldn’t have left his sword with a drunk guy that he met not ten minutes ago. Especially because the minute he leaves the smithy, you find out Musica agreed to give Haru’s Rave stone to Demon Card.

So…Demon Card doesn’t know Haru’s in town, didn’t know Haru would be going to Musica, and trusted an alcoholic with that is incredibly important.

Oh, wait, maybe they trusted Musica with it because he can magically sober up.

No, Rave Master, I’m not forgiving you for that one.

C’mon, he’s a total bad boy!

At the same time, Elie is gleefully leaving a casino and runs into another guy…who also happens to be named Musica. Now, as a thirteen-year-old girl reading this, I was always on the lookout for bishis. That is, the pretty anime boys worthy of squealing over. The moment I saw Musica #2, I knew he was the bishi I had been waiting for.

Yep, I immediately declared him the hot guy and ran to show my sister his picture. She saw him and informed me that he was “butt ugly”. And if my older sister didn’t like he was cute, then he probably wasn’t. After all, she knew more about that kind of thing than I did.

And so chapter 9 ends, with me wondering if Musica #2 was cute or not.