Just recently I caught word of this webcomic that’s been around for quite some time now. Being a former fan of the Bonus Stage webtoon series, a lover of all things Japanese, and an avid manga fanatic, I decided to check it out myself. This webcomic is called ‘MegaTokyo’, it is done by a slightly-obese 20-something white (presumably Wapanese) guy called Fred Galla- Ah, whatever. The last name’s hard to spell. For a white guy, his knowledge of Japan and its people is quite impressive. He draws really well too. The story was a bit boring in the first hundred or so strips, mainly revolving around two American guys and their random adventures in a fictitious Tokyo, especially with the character called Largo (who is a representation of Fred’s co-producer for this comic, Tony Caston. The guy with red hair up there) running around blowing people up, guzzling b33r all day, and modding computers n3kk1d.
My hopes weren’t completely let down, though. The protagonist, Piro (with the glasses), is a really interesting character, especially since he was modeled after this Fred guy himself. He enjoys Visual Novels, speaks incredibly fluent Japanese for a White guy, is easily smitten by 15 year-old Japanese schoolgirls, and plays as a female character in a certain fictitious MMORPG. Later on, he even gets to find love in this other equally likable character. I can really relate to him. If I happen to be able to meet him in person, I think we’d be good friends. He’s good to be friends with.
Sometime down the road as I’m progressing with each page I realize that Tony Caston had left the crew. I only realized that when I noticed Largo’s silliness and annoying attitude died down, and he got funnier. I did read a Wikipedia article about Megatokyo, and it did mention Tony abandoning the project, but I wasn’t really sure when that happened. Think it was sometime a year ago, judging from my estimations (I don’t read the blog entries underneath each strip. It takes too much time, and Fred/Piro likes to rant a lot). Boo to you, Caston. Piro’s version of Largo is way better.
I don’t want to spill too much information, so I suggest you go read it yourself*. Mind you, this webcomic started in 2000, and seven years later it’s still going strong with just over 1000 strips (of course, the Shirt Guy Dom* and Dead Piro Day* strips did contribute). There are plenty of extras in it too, like side stories, mini drama-series featuring the cast of Megatokyo, even comic artist rants (though not a lot). It touches on the not-so-comfortable lives of Japanese idols, a fantasy-like Tokyo city where potential bad guys sign permits commissioned by the local Police Force so they can destroy the city, |/VCR3D|B13 13375P34K, cute cosplay, the 3vils of Otaku, and anime rip-offs (which pulled off really well).
(Speaking of rants, I found that Piro (the character and the actual person) seems to be quite t3h Emo. He has very little self-confidence in himself, thinks too lowly of himself, and this tends to hinder his admirable ability to support a trice-a-week webcomic series. It took the biggest toll in the beginning, where there’d be several days when he couldn’t work out a proper script for the next strip and would just leave us with a message saying, ‘can’t do anything, sorry, am taking a break, will continue next week…’ It’s really good for him that his fans are (as quoted by him) “the most patient fans in the world”. And I think he really deserves it. Keep up the good work, man. It’s worth the wait.)
Back on topic, the thing I liked most about MegaTokyo was that Fred did it with a strong sense of bearing and a clear awareness of what he had to do. He effectively touched on certain sensitive issues, like how one’s low-self confidence could ruin the life of the person closest to him, and how the ‘Otaku effect’ affects the idols they worship to the point of insanity and ruthlessness. Besides that, the storyline itself is compelling. Compelling and complex. So complex I don’t know how to summarize it for you.
That’s all for this ‘revival’. Just a little extra info, I took 3 days to cover all 1000+ strips from day one-2000 to the one done some time this afternoon. In total I spanned not more than 8 or so hours. Even I never knew I had such m4d5ki11z.