I’m adding a “panties” tag! It’s all because of this little dreck! You wouldn’t expect a manga with the name “Gloom Party” to be funny, would you? And you’d be right! It’s not!
Plot: 1. Situation occurs. 2. Woman displays her panties. 3. Man gets a nosebleed. If not that, then it goes like this: 1. Situation occurs. 2. Woman’s skirt is lifted. 3. Man slaps woman because she’s wearing shorts. If not that, then it goes like this: 1. Sachiko does something cute to a stranger. 2. Stranger permits her to do it on the basis that she’s adorable.
Get the picture? It’s quite formulaic. There’s more, but it mostly involves more panties. So how do you make a manga like this sell?
Why, make it educational, of course! See, the title in America is “How To Read Manga: Gloom Party”! No doubt DMP knew this wouldn’t make it in the American market, so turn it into a teachable experience!
What does this involve? How about not actually changing the dialogue to English? YEP! That’s what I want! Instead, they leave it in Japanese and put the translation to the side of each strip! See, I’m an immediate reaction kinda guy. I don’t like flipping to the back of a volume like Yen Press makes me do and go, “Oh, THAT’S why it’s supposed to be funny!” Read: SUPPOSED TO.
Granted, something like Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei isn’t exactly American reader friendly, but at least it can make you laugh. Know why? IT’S FUNNY. I think a manga needs to work more on a global level. You know the phrase, “Act Locally, Think Globally”? That needs to be applied.
This, however, does the same few jokes OVER AND OVER, until you want to close the book. I had trouble reading through this, especially considering how the humor is raunchy. Ever want to see multiple strips of men’s testicles hanging out? You didn’t? Why, that’s astounding! Even the translator didn’t want to!
Oh yeah, this translator. She also plays the role of Commentary. See, after each strip comes her commentary of why the joke isn’t actually funny. Okay, she SAYS that they’re supposed to be funny, but she uses phrases like “The Japanese will find this funny because” or “If you don’t get the joke, just say ‘yuck’ and move on”.
I don’t care for how this woman chose to commentate. A casual style may be beneficial in another work, but here it comes off as if she didn’t even like this. How could she, seeing what a mess it is? She even goes, “URGH, THE FURICHIN!!”, which is Japanese for testicles. Even she can’t stand these jokes.
A few of the jokes work. Probably the best strips involve Sachiko, the child bride. See, she’s like, a toddler, but somehow over time she ends up raising her older sister-in-law and stepdaughter. These are more pleasant gags, and they’re fortunately more in focus as the volume progresses.
I say “volume” because there was never a second one in the states. Why would there be? The jokes here are really obscure to the American reader. Granted, some things one might get like Power Rangers, but they still don’t work.
Overall Opinion: Yeah, panty jokes. FUNNEE! Hey, here’s an idea: Mix it up a little! Why not breast jokes? OH WAIT, THEN IT WOULDN’T BE ABOUT PANTIES, WOULD IT? Feh. Don’t bother with this one.
Rating: One pair of boxers. SEE, IT’S A TYPE OF UNDERWEAR!