I know, it’s too soon for a rant. Especially after mentioning my possible return. However… I GOTTA RANT THIS TIME!!!
Seriously, I have a justified reason to do so. A manga which I was reading had finally ended… for the main series. There’s gonna be a spin-off… but that’s part of the reason for this rant. No… the mangaka committed a sin in my opinion. That sin… is one that’s been going on in anime, manga, and even both web and light novels since the dawn of time. The sin: Open ending.
The manga I’m talking about isn’t even a gem. No, it’s a piece of trash that I only picked up to see how it will end. I’m talking about “Mujaki no Rakuen”, or “Paradise of Innocence” as it’s widely known. And yeah, there will be spoilers!
The story is about a man named Shouta. He’s a 25 year old NEET who is a failure of a video game programmer. At his school reunion, he meets up with a lot of his friends and classmates. Mostly girls as you realize later on that it’s a freaking harem manga! And all of them successful in life, unlike him. One of the girls he meets was his crush since childhood, Konami. She’s now this huge idol who is too far out of his reach. After she gets called away on business, he goes up to the roof of the school to smoke a cigarette. As he wishes he would just disappear after realizing how he’s nothing compared to the girls, he slips and falls. No, he doesn’t die. If he did, then we would have avoided all the awkwardness and the stupid end line for each chapter “innocence is scary”.
He ends up falling in the pool and due to some mumbo jumbo supernatural effect ends up going back to the past as his fifth grade self. And then for years, readers had to SUFFER through a bunch of ecchi events with girls that weren’t even legal by Japan standards that the MC keeps unintentionally getting into. And he’s always trying to say to himself “I’m mentally 25, so it’s wrong” yet ends up going with the flow on his own with the “I’m technically a 5th grader” excuse. And usually, he gets injured for it.
After going through more than enough ecchi slapstick, he slips in his bathtub to end up as his middle school self. Don’t worry, it gets short lived. He realizes the impacts that changing the past can do. Conveniently, there was one girl from another class that ended up in his “harem” back in elementary school who was a major chuuni back then and they only got closer because he wondered the possibilities of others like him going back to the past as well. This girl is an occult nut-job, just so ya know. Even though she seemed to have grown out of it in middle school (which is ironically when chuunibyou starts), only to be dragged into it again by our MC and after falling in a fountain, he accidentally dragged her back with him and they are both fifth graders again. Don’t worry about her or even plot for a while, it gets forgotten like always. Not to mention… I hated the other commentators during the middle school arc because they were demanding lolis when I was actually happy that the manga remembered there was a plot to begin with.
And after some hi-jinx that causes Konami to decide to not become an idol because she’s finally fallen in love with the MC, the plot finally gets back on track (thank gawd) and he goes to occult chuuni girl who had become a shut-in because she didn’t wanna mess with the past too much. She figured out that only during a certain phase of the moon does the water-based time travel works. When he leaves because he realizes that the moon needed is coming up soon, a plot device I forgot to mention comes to talk to the occult chuuni girl. This is Sayo, a daughter of a huge conglomerate who was actually Shun’s (our MC’s) girlfriend and was the one who fell in love with him only to reject him later when he finally got it through his head that he loved Konami because she’s Konami’s friend and wanted to only support him for now. She tries to stop him, but he refuses and then Konami shows up. He convinces Konami to follow her path as an idol and they agreed to meet again 15 years later on the same date.
Now we finally get to the 78th and “final” chapter. It worked, but he forgot about time traveling because he was in the hospital for three days due to the injuries of originally falling in the the pool in the first chapter. He was rescued by one of the other harem girls (I am just too frustrated to talk about the rest of the harem right now) saved his life. They only found out he was in the pool because “someone” (whom I AM sure was loli Sayo) yelled that someone was in the pool and they only saw her back from a distance. MC gets out of the hospital only to see that his room had transformed into a professional home office and a pin board with pictures and a note from his past self that causes him to start to regain his memories. And all the journals that he had written as a kid (despite not being shown before in the previous 77 chapters) helped as well.
Now for the actual ending. He goes back to the school because of the promise with Konami and sees a girl near the pool with an umbrella and her back turned. He thinks it has to be Konami and rushes over to her. And then… this is where I flipped a table only to un-flip it just to bang my head on it. He falls in the pool only to teleport back to the past again. She didn’t even notice him before it happened either, she only turns around after it happened and we see one of his journals next to the pool.
This is why I was outraged. To be honest, I had no real attachment to the manga anyway. I only picked it up on a whim because of the whole “time travel” thing. There was another manga with a similar theme going on and ended much earlier, but it was dark. Like REALLY dark and I was glad that it ended. This on the other hand… only ecchi and pseudo lolicon trash, but it didn’t have a definitive ending!!! At least the dark piece of trash that should had never existed had a definitive ending and was never continued in any way, but Mujaki no Rakuen is getting a spin-off in November!!! I hated the slow pacing and the fact that it normally avoided the plot as much as possible. I wanted it to end, but I hate open endings with a passion. It was through the comments that I found out that the mangaka is also a hentai artist, which I only looked up for research. What? You guys cannot tell me that you never looked at a hentai site in your life. Anywho, it explained why the plot was avoided. And as for the upcoming spin-off… they are going to use scenarios that the fans bring in. Personally, I just want this piece of trash to be gone. But even more than that, I wanted a definitive ending due to all the suffering from the lack of plot. Not our MC getting cockblocked because the mangaka’s a sadist bastard!
A lot of manga that I read have had open endings, but at least more than 50% of the time I didn’t mind because the manga was good. Hell, Akami ga Kill had a great ending… as in the manga. The anime’s ending was a turd created by another turd that guess what? Was created by another turd in turn. But the manga when it finally ended… it was great. Now when it comes to a certain series that should have just ended and stayed that way… let’s look at Ariferuta. The main web novel had ended, but then we were given spin-off hell. I liked the MC Hajime at first. He wasn’t looking for vengeance, that alone trolled the readers because most of them were revenge story lovers. However… he became so cliche and bland near the end that he made the anime version of Kirito from SAO look like the Kirito from SAO Abridged. The only reason I stayed around for the after stories was because I was hoping for an ending. Hell, I actually enjoyed Kosuke and Kouki’s own side stories more than last 10 chapters of the main story. In those side stories, Hajime was reduced to a plot device that only came in to save the day at the last minute in both of them.
My main reason for this rant was because I suffered through a manga that I only picked up on a whim only to not get a definitive ending. I could say that the moral of the story is to avoid manga from hentai artists… but you would be surprised how many hentai artists have non-hentai manga out there. The whole point is that open endings suck. Another reason for the rant was from watching too much Nostalgia Critic on YouTube.