The Webcomicker

Who watches the watchmen?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Blind. as. a. bat. Actually, he's even blinder, I think.

(Piro being a real dummy from Megatokyo)

Let me start this post by reminding everyone that I actually enjoy Megatokyo. I think it's got way more interesting relationship dynamics than most other webcomics, and it actually tries to explore those dynamics in detail, which is I think why it remains wildly popular despite it's erraticism.

I find myself caring what happens to Piro and Largo and "the girls". I root for them. I really, truly, want to see how this thing turns out in the end. I'm willing to put up with Fred Gallagher's little quirks because he turns out a quality product, dammit.

That being said, Piro really is being pretty dumb here. I mean, he's just gotten off the phone with Nanasawa, who called him first when she was in a crisis, then proceeded to confide in him her fears and frustrations about being an overnight sensation. She could have just as easily called Hayasaka who actually has experience with this sort of thing, but no, she chooses to call Piro for advice instead. And now, not more than about five minutes later we have Piro responding to someone asking if she is his girlfriend by saying "No, she's not my girlfriend, and I probably shouldn't get my hopes up either. I don't have a chance with her."

Wow. Just wow. I have an easier time believing that Largo could rent a Godzilla and rampage through the city than I have believing Piro is THIS oblivious. I mean, come on...

The saddest part is that I'm pretty sure I know where Fred is going with this. He's drawing parallels between Piro and Nanasawa's relationship and the broken relationship between Hayasaka and her old boyfriend (Inspector Sonada? Is that right? Was that revealed somewhere and I simply forgot it?). They've both got essentially the same problem: The guy feels he isn't worthy of the girl, the girl doesn't care, she just loves the guy. If I had to guess, I'd say that as things progress Piro will begin to see that Nanasawa is interested in him and then feel that he's got to discourage her from it, pushing her away. At some point Hayasaka will probably intervene, to prevent Piro from making the same mistake that her old beau made, and it'll come down to Piro having to come to a realization that he IS good enough. At that point he'll probably have broken Nanasawa's heart or something and he'll have to go win her back.

And that works as a plotline, I suppose. It's certainly got potential for some twists and turns, and there will obviously be a lot of interesting development on the side to see how all the other relationships are resolved (Largo/Hayasaka, Piro/Ping, and let's not forget about Miho, the "villian"). But it kind of annoys me just how much he seems to be forcing the plot this direction. I mean, any normal guy in this situation would be saying to himself, "wow, this girl is really interested. I mean, she called me, she chased down my drunk friend, she even tried to make me more confident." Not Piro though. Nope, he all gloom and doom.

It's pretty sad, really, because I see a lot of potential for the story if it played out in something approximating real life. Piro asks Nanasawa out. Maybe she says yes. Suddenly, the two of them are an item, a target for the obsessive-compulsive fans. They can't escape from the fans. Everywhere they go, cameras and ninjas and magical girls. This is an opportunity for both a lot of humorous hijinks (Piro asks Largo to keep the fans at bay, or even better, Nanasawa asks Hayasaka to keep the fans at bay) and potential for drama (the stress begins to strain their relationship. Nanasawa wonders if her career choice will keep her from finding peace and happiness. Piro doesn't want her to give up her career). Maybe she says no, she doesn't want to drag him into all this mess. This also has potential for humor (Piro tries to convince her he can handle the mess, that he can take the fans because he's such a fanboy himself) and for drama (both Piro and Nanasawa being torn by wanting to be together but just not able to be).

Instead, we get "sad Piro in snow". I'm not good enough, boo hoo hoo. Everyone come try to convince me I'm good enough. Boo hoo hoo. See couldn't really like me. Boo hoo hoo. And it's gotten to the point of unbelievability that it's become more melodramatic than dramatic to me.

Hopefully Fred can turn this around. It'd be a shame for a strip with so much emotion in it degrade to something more like a soap opera.


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