Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Huh, Weird...

Okay, fresh into pre-finals anxiety (OMG! I KNOW NOTHING!! I'M GONNA FAILLL!!) so, yeah, go me! :-)

Nenena's got an interesting link up about an X-Men shoujo manga.

Okay, it sounds pretty silly, but hey, branching out to new audiences could be cool.

I'm just perplexed by one thing...if they're going so far as to re-envision Xavier's as an all-boy school with one female member... Why the heck are they going with Kitty Pryde?

I mean, consider the situation...Kitty Pryde, you have an uber-genius super ninja phasing girl-protege of Wolverine with a pet dragon.

Jean Grey, you have a young woman come fresh as the first female student, who has a love triangle with a handsome, charming rich boy and a geeky (but still hot), mysterious, closed mouthed broody control freak. There's also a smaller cast in general, with members that very easily translate to shoujo archetypes (genius, young innocent kid, playboy, broody guy), they're all half in love with her anyway...

Kitty's a popular character, but if anything, she's a lot more of a shounen heroine. Jean's a shoujo heroine, easy.

I just don't see the point. It's not like Kitty has THAT much more name recognition than Jean outside of superhero fan circles. Kitty's also a character that, I suspect (though I have no proof) appeals more to male readers than most female readers. About the only advantage I can see is that Kitty's of the right age to have other X-Men re-envisioned as teachers.

But it's not like pulling an X-Men Evolution and aging up a few of the non-core mutants is any worse than the re-envisioning they already seem to have made.

It's just very weird to me. I'll probably give it a try, because the writer is the one who wrote those Babysitter Club adaptations, but I'm awfully pessimistic. I'd honestly rather they got her to be the next writer on "First Class" instead, I think she'd be good at it.

8 Comments:

  • At December 10, 2007 12:40 AM, Blogger Zaratustra said…

    They only let you work with Marvel if you have a gigantic boner for Kitty Pryde. Seriously. They measure it during your physical.

     
  • At December 10, 2007 1:29 AM, Blogger Flidget said…

    It is really silly and, man, I don't think Kitty is known at all outside of comic geek circles unless you happened to watch X-Men: Evolution as a kid. She wasn't in the first cartoon and she had hardly any presence in the movies. Jean and Storm are both far more high-profile but my choice, frankly, would have been Rogue.

    Rogue is the incarnated spirit of shoujo manga angst.

    Plus she's been the lead female character in pretty much all the other spin-off media already.

     
  • At December 10, 2007 5:31 AM, Blogger Nenena said…

    Dunno if you've seen this already, but Mangablog has the official press release with quite a bit more information:
    http://www.mangablog.net/?p=1278#more-1278

    I agree that either Rogue or Jean would have been my first choice for a shoujo manga lead. Kitty is kind of... Well, at least the way that she exists in the main Marvel continuity, and the Ultimate continuity, and Evolution... She does kind of strike me as a middle-aged man's ideal of what an appealing teen girl heroine would be like. And I'm saying that as someone who really likes Kitty Pryde!

    Jubilee might have made a good heroine, too. I remember getting hooked on the 90's cartoon because of Jubilee. But her star seems to have faded since her heyday in the 90's. I don't know how popular of a character she really is anymore.

     
  • At December 10, 2007 10:48 AM, Blogger Will "Filby" Staples said…

    I honestly only know about Kitty Pryde from X-Men: Evolution, where she seemed much more like an "Everygirl" character than Jean, who was this uber-desirable cheerleader type. I can only assume that Evolution is more fresh in the minds of young girls who don't already read comics than the comics themselves, so I don't think I can fault them for going with Kitty as the lead protagonist.

    ...geez, now this makes me want to map the rest of the X-Men to the Ouran High Host Club. :P Cyclops is Tamaki, obviously, and I guess Angel and Iceman could be the twins... I'm not sure if Beast would be Kyouya or Mori-senpai... and I have this terrifying vision of Wolverine as Honey-chan...

     
  • At December 10, 2007 7:10 PM, Blogger zhinxy said…

    They only let you work with Marvel if you have a gigantic boner for Kitty Pryde. Seriously. They measure it during your physical.

    That's about the long and the short of it, yeah. That said, I love Kitty.

    I have this terrifying vision of Wolverine as Honey-chan...

    Well, I have the same vision, Filby, but I'm not sure I'd call it terrifying. ;)

     
  • At December 11, 2007 12:11 PM, Blogger belle-belle said…

    Hmmm. Leaving aside the fact that I've really lost interest in shoujo manga, I had a very different reaction.

    I always found Jean Grey to be a rather boring character . . . the kind of female character you get when "girl" is a personality type, lined up alongside "genius," "young innocent kid," "playboy," and "broody guy." The only interest I ever really had in her was the whole Phoenix bit, and I always thought her daughter did that one much better anyway.

    This wasn't improved by the versions of Jean in any of the onscreen reimaginings (the original animated series, Evolution, the films), all of which I found to be extremely flat. It's not that the character has no potential (I love her origin story: sharing the final moments of her childhood best friend, that was very profound), but most of the time she's just the good-girl redhead that all the boys like (and I never much liked female characters that seemed to exist just for the sake of being a love interest, either).

    I'd be all for some sort of rehabilitation of the character, but if I'd had to pick one female character to attend an all-male Xavier's, Kitty would have been it. She's very smart, yes . . . she's a geek, really. She starts out as a bit of a kid sister type, becomes quite a scrapper, and eventually grows into a young woman who is interested in doing things beyond just fighting (there were things I liked about her "Mechanix" arc in X-Treme X-Men, and even X-Men: The End). I'm also very fond of her tendency to form close bonds with other female characters, though I guess that won't be coming into play this time around.

    Which boils down to me being a Kitty fan, sure, but there's a reason for that: she's a geek and she fights her way to any kind of standing in her team, and those are qualities I can identify with. I can connect to her in ways I could never connect to Jean, even though she really was the first and only girl back in the day.

    (Mind you, I refer to the comics-continuity Kitty here: I was actually pretty frustrated with her translation into both Evolution and the movies as well. But at least there's a version of her that I find well-realized, which hasn't really happened with Jean.)

     
  • At December 11, 2007 2:36 PM, Blogger Barbara said…

    It's been said. Kitty is the "everygirl" and Jean is the "popular girl." Most manga don't really feature the "lead popular girl as protagonist" (not the ones I read anyway). The lead female is a bit of an outcast, unsure of herself, new to the world she's stepping into and really wants to be liked but is met with bemusement and sometimes contempt by her peers. She tries hard but doesn't always succeed. I think Kitty is perfect for that.
    Jean is never a character I've much liked. All the boys did in fact have a little bit of a crush on her, sometimes you'd get the girls (like Jubes or Kitty) wishing they could BE Jean. She was the good girl, the favorite, the loe interest, even the villains were fixated on her (+Scott's) babies. She was always a little too flat and a little too perfect when she was young, and when she was older the love triangle aspect of her character was so prominent and so grating that I started to ignore her completely.
    Were Jean to appear in the manga, I would see her as the "older sister" who props up Kitty's ego when all hope seems lost.
    I'd like to see the manga go in a completely different direction and ignore old love interests, old character histories, old established fact too. They're obviously not targeting to the same people who read X-Men, so why not take the opertunity to really bite down and make it unique?

     
  • At December 11, 2007 6:19 PM, Anonymous Sandoz said…

    I think the reason why they chose Kitty lies in one of their acknowledged sources: the manga Fruits Basket. Kitty has some similar qualities to the heroine, Tohru. Idealistic, wants to get along with others, kinda dorky but still really likable, etc. Jean Grey wouldn't really work as the heroine of that kind of story, and neither would Rogue. They'd be supporting characters, maybe (heck, Rogue is pretty much Rin) but not the heroine.

    The fact that they announced Pyro of all characters as one of her possible love interests seems to hammer it home, since Pyro has superficial similarities to Tohru's main love interest. (My guess: Pyro will be a "hothead" with red hair.)

    And I agree with those who have said that X-Men: Evolution might be an influence. Kitty was more of the "girl next door" in that series: no samurai skills, no pet dragon (she did have a stuffed one), no super-techie skills, etc. But she was a pleasant middle ground between Jean (over-achieving prom queen) and Rogue (bitter, anti-social goth). In the XEVO fandom there was a ton of fanfiction about Kitty paired with a variety of guys: Avalanche, Nightcrawler, Colossus, even Quicksilver or (wait for it) Pyro.

     

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