Megatokyo

From Example Problems
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Template:Infobox webcomic

Megatokyo is a popular webcomic originally created by Fred Gallagher and Rodney Caston. It is now written and drawn in manga style by Gallagher. The comic was started on August 14, 2000[1]. Megatokyo's contents and comic strip on the website are available completely free. They are a ongoing webcomic updating every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It has also been translated unofficially into other languages that are available elsewhere on the web (see translation section).

Megatokyo took its name from its Internet domain, which had hosted a short-lived news site of Caston's before the start of the comic. The news site in turn took its name from the city in the Bubblegum Crisis anime series. Megatokyo frequently uses "L33t speak", and some argue that the comic helped to introduce that style to a more mainstream audience. Template:Spoiler

Plot

Megatokyo follows the story of two Americans, Piro and Largo, who are stuck in Tokyo with no way to get home. The two protagonists are based on Megatokyo's two creators (or their online personas), but are fictional characters with lives of their own. Piro is a shy and somewhat under-confident person who cherishes Japanese pop culture including manga, anime and dating sim games. Largo, the more extroverted of the pair, is obsessed with building high-end computers and playing games on them; somewhat unable to distinguish between the fictional and the real world, he sees elements from his games in everything around him like a modern day Don Quixote.

The two arrive in Tokyo after an incident at the gaming exposition and find themselves with no money to buy plane tickets home. After living for awhile in the apartment of a Japanese friend of Piro's, they are eventually forced to make an independent living in Japan. Piro finds work at a computer game store called "Megagamers" while Largo takes on somewhat irregular jobs with the police and as an English teacher at a local high school.

Megatokyo's pace and style indirectly correspond to the history of the comic itself. Much of the early humor consists of video game culture jokes, as well as culture-clash issues. During this early phase, the story moved along at a haphazard pace and was often interrupted by pure gag episodes and "dead piro" days. This changed over time with the greatest changes coming after Gallagher completely took over Megatokyo.

The comic features aspects from a number of different anime and manga archetypes, usually making light of the genre's various clichés: Junpei, a ninja who takes on Largo as his "l33t master"; giant saurians roaming the streets that can be hired for specific purposes; the "Tokyo Police Cataclysm Division", which fights the monsters with giant robots and oversees the orderly and periodic destruction and reconstruction of predesignated areas of the city; Ping, a cute robot girl who becomes friends with Piro; A school girl, Yuki, who possibly is in love with Piro and has just started taking art lessons from him. Largo somehow manages to become an English teacher at a high school and teaches them about l337, games and hacking. Dom and Ed (friends of Fred Gallagher and Rodney Caston) play characters associated with the Japanese stereotype that all Americans are armed to the teeth. Erika is a former idol, singer and voice actress. Her roommate, Kimiko, is an aspiring voice actress.

Megatokyo is divided into chapters, each consisting of approximately 100 pages. Chapter 0, which subsumes all of the comic's early experimental phase, covers a comic time span of about six weeks. Each of the subsequent chapters chronicles the events of a single day. The Seventh Chapter, Known Bugs and Security Flaws[2], started August 2005.

Usually, characters in Megatokyo speak Japanese, although some speak English or l33t (subtitled). Not every character speaks every language, so occasionally characters are unable to understand one another; in one scene, a character's speech is written entirely in rōmaji Japanese to emphasize this.

For more information on the cast of Megatokyo, see Characters of Megatokyo

Chapters

  • Ch 0 - "Megatokyo"; 1 - 129
  • Ch 1 - "Do you want to save before you quit?"; 134 - 192
  • Ch 2 - "things change little by little.."; 196 - 301
  • Ch 3 - "Am I Your Number One Fan?"; 307 - 397
  • Ch 4 - "Low Ping Rate"; 402 - 514
  • Ch 5 - "Color Depth"; 526 - 633
  • Ch 6 - "Operational Insecurity"; 639 - 729
  • Ch 7 - "Known Bugs & Security Flaws"; 743 - Current

The gaps in the strip number indicate omake manga or other nonplot related strips.

Books

Megatokyo Volume 1, 1st edition Megatokyo Volume 2 Megatokyo Volume 3
Covers of Megatokyo books 1 (1st edition), 2 and 3.

Megatokyo comics are published by Dark Horse Comics. As of April 3rd 2005, three volumes are available for purchase. At one point Studio Ironcat published a book compilation of strips that are now included in Volume One. Gallagher and Ironcat were unable to come to an agreement on further volumes, and so Dark Horse Comics is now the publisher of choice for Megatokyo. The Megatokyo books have also been translated into German and Polish.

  • Megatokyo Volume 1: Chapter Zero (Megatokyo vol.1 1st ed.); ISBN 1929090307
  • Megatokyo Volume 1, 2nd ed.; March 21, 2004 ISBN 1-59307-163-9 [3]
  • Megatokyo Volume 2; January 22, 2004 ISBN 1-59307-118-3 [4]
  • Megatokyo Volume 3; February 2, 2005 ISBN 1-59307-305-4 [5]

Sales

As of July 2004, Megatokyo is the tenth best-selling manga property in the U.S. [6]. Volume 3's highest ranking in bookscan is 3 ending February 20,2005.[7] This makes it the best showing for an American manga.

Criticism and praise

Megatokyo has been subject to much analysis from webcomic fans. Some critics dislike its slow pace and apparent lack of clear direction or resolution for the many plot threads that run through the Megatokyo story. [8] This perception is exacerbated by the often-erratic update schedule; Gallagher has occasionally resorted to "filler-art days", strips with other authors and artists with no continuity with any storylines, in order to prevent the front-page content from appearing too stagnant, commonly done with many webcomics. The complaints about the speed of updates have even prompted Gallagher to install an update progress bar for readers waiting for the next installment.

As a story-oriented comic, Megatokyo has a large supporting cast, as well as several storylines at any given point in time. However, there are no on-site aids for the uninitiated, confused, or forgetful; the Megatokyo website has had story and cast pages which have been "under construction" for several years. A number of fans have created their own resource sites, including plot guides and character pages, indicating a need for such resources.

Professionally, Gallagher is now working full time on Megatokyo. He was one of the first webcomic artists to have the ability to profit from his hobby, but with this change the customary complaint about the speed of updates was renewed. With Gallagher's full-time status, the criticism is that updates should be more frequent than when Gallagher was only working on the comic part-time.

Artistically, Megatokyo is often praised for its intricate pencil work (done entirely in grayscale, without either digital or physical "inking,") and inspired character design. Gallagher has been criticized for an uniformity of appearance and simple design of his characters, particularly with his female faces, which some say are identical, with hairstyle and attire as the only distinguishing features. Conversely, it is noted that Gallagher takes great care in costuming choices, hair and other design elements.

Originally, the strip was known for a frenetic sense of humor, with a greater emphasis on slapstick, video game humor and gag-a-day format. In the years after Rodney Caston left, Megatokyo has evolved into a much different kind of webcomic, focusing less on the humor that defined it in the beginning. This has lead to a section of former fans feeling that Megatokyo was better when Caston was writing it. Additionally, without Caston's input, it has been said that Caston's alter ego Largo's violent gamer antics appear forced and seem to be just an afterthought on Gallagher's part.

Complicating the issue, some of Gallagher's critics say there are suggestions that Piro is, or could be, in questionable relationships with underage Japanese schoolgirls; however, this is a tenuous interpretation of one of the running sub-stories and something negatively mentioned within the comic by the character Seraphim. This latter criticism is related with the common complaint that under Gallagher's direction, Megatokyo is being somewhat more of a bishoujo series, the kind which Gallagher himself is so interested in, and is simply reflecting the trends in that.

Arguably, buffering some complaints is the sense of humility Gallagher typically gives off, which has been playfully parodied in other webcomics. Indeed, some fans who are not particularly fond of the webcomic feel mockery of the strip is a kind of 'old meme'.

History

The comic was started as a joint project of Gallagher and his friend (and later business partner) Rodney Caston, with Caston writing the scripts and Gallagher supplying the artwork. Caston sold off his ownership of the company in May 2002. Since then, the comic has been managed entirely by Fred Gallagher. In October 2002, Gallagher was laid off from his day job as an architect, and he has since taken the comic as a full-time job.

Rodney Caston's departure from Megatokyo was not fully explained at the time. Initially, Gallagher and Caston only briefly mentioned the split, with the news of it publicly announced when Gallagher posted a news post officially announcing Caston's departure. On January 15, 2005, Fred explained his version of the reasons for the split in response to what he felt was a "mean spirited" comment by Scott Kurtz of PvP, where Kurtz implied that Gallagher had stolen Megatokyo from Caston:

While things were good at first, over time we found that we were not working well together creatively. There is no fault in this, it happens. I've never blamed Rodney for this creative 'falling out' nor do I blame myself. Not all creative relationships click, ours didn't in the long run.[9]

Four days later, Rodney posted his version of the event on his website. [10]

Forums

A message board system called the Megatokyo Forums accompanies the Megatokyo website to facilitate discussions among the site's fan community. Launched on September 29, 2000, in their present incarnation, the Megatokyo Forums have covered a wide range of topics from the beginning, such as art, romance, computer gaming, and technology. Many forum members do not even read the webcomic, but the forums are also home to an active community of fans. They have spawned numerous fan-operated websites, several wikis, and several IRC channels.

The forums are very moderator-orientated, which makes some people uncomfortable, but many feel that a forum with such large membership needs heavy moderation.

The Megatokyo Forums can be accessed at forums.megatokyo.com.

Megagear

An online store called "Megagear" sells art supplies and Megatokyo merchandise. Megagear was created by Fred Gallagher and his wife as an independent online store to be used only by Megatokyo. MegaGear launched officially on August 1, 2004.[11] It replaced a Megatokyo store that had formerly been part of thinkgeek.com. This online store, in addition to banner advertisements and sales of Megatokyo books, provides a source of income for Megatokyo's author. As of September 2, 2005, "Megagear" has offered environmentally friendly hemp clothing.

References

  1. ^  Template:Web reference
  2. ^  Template:Web reference
  3. ^  Template:Web reference
  4. ^  Template:Web reference
  5. ^  Template:Web reference
  6. ^  Template:Web reference
  7. ^  Template:Web reference
  8. ^  Template:Web reference

See also

External links

Fan translations

Fan sites

de:Megatokyo es:Megatokyo fr:Megatokyo ja:メガトーキョー sv:Megatokyo ia:Megatokyo it:MegaTokyo pl:MegaTokyo pt:Megatokyo