Dresden Files Grave Peril Ch39 + Conclusion

This book is finally ending and you know what that means.

I regard it as one last sadistic gibe of whatever power had decided to make my life a living hell that the burn ward was full, and I was given a room to share with Charity Carpenter. She had recovered in spirit, if not in body, and she started in on me the moment I awoke. The woman’s tongue was sharper than any sword. Even Amoracchius. I smiled through most of it.

It’s time to cram as much remaining misogyny in as we can!

I really think a lot of this would read more coherently if you replaced women with, say, spaniels. Aw, the doggy’s yapping because they’re jealous you take their owner away sometimes, isn’t that just the sweetest thing? Who’s a good girl? Who’s a good girl?

“Okay maybe Harry personally feels that way but it’s not like everyone-”

Haha, you fool.

“We’ve decided,” Michael said, stretching a strong arm around Charity, “to name him Harry.”
Charity glowered at me, but remained silent.

Why would anyone lie about if the other human being had a say in naming? But it’s just a cutesy dog-owner thing to include your pet dog in a statement. I mean, it’s not like anyone actually thinks dogs name their puppies, so it’s not a lie to say “we”, now is it?

Also, the kid is better which Harry thinks is because the ghost ate a kid chunk and then he ate the kid chunk out of the ghost, “getting it back”, except he pretty clearly did nothing to give anything back. And Harry staggering half dead out of his hospital bed to actually return the energy to a dying baby would’ve been a welcome moment of actual heroics.

Instead, Harry whines about the possibility there could be consequences for his actions and is reassured that those are for other people.

I was worried about the repercussions of my workings, the harmful magic I had dished out. I worried that it was going to come back to haunt me.
“I’m not a philosopher, Harry,” he said. “But here’s something for you to think about, at least. What goes around comes around. And sometimes you get what’s coming around.” He paused for a moment, frowning faintly, pursing his lips. “And sometimes you are what’s coming around.

See, instead of a moral code discouraging harming others, it was actually supposed to be a statement about how whenever bad things happen, that person deserved it. Like Lydia! Remember how she was willing to pretend she wanted to have sex with Harry to not die, and then she got horribly violated over and over? Or remember how Susan didn’t obey Harry in staying away from vampires, and now she’s a vampire? What goes around comes around!

Thomas and Michael are of course fine. Murphy, less so.

“I couldn’t stop him,” she said, then. “I tried.”
“But we beat him. That’s why we’re here and he’s there.”
“You beat him,” Murphy said. “A lot of good I did you.”
“He sucker punched you. Even if you’d been a wizard, he’d have gotten to you – like he damn near did me.” I shivered, remembered agony making the muscles of my belly tight. “Karrin, you can’t blame yourself for that.”
“I know,” she said, but she didn’t sound like she meant it.

Murphy understands it’s not all about you. It’s not about having an excuse for why it isn’t your fault. It’s about the fact something horrible happened to other people and you couldn’t help. And Harry, even confronted with this, can’t understand it, and can only keep reassuring her that she has a get-out-of-responsibility-free card.

Lydia is…well, she’s alive, and the church dealt with it so Harry didn’t get anywhere near her again.

Apparently, the Church has some kind of equivalent of the Witness Protection Program, for getting people out of the reach of supernatural baddies.

I think this is really about the best that could’ve happened to her. She was already in a horrible position without anyone being interested in helping, so now at least they’ll be providing food and shelter and maybe even not asking questions they won’t believe the answers to if she says something supernatural is coming for her.

Forthill told me how the girl had fled the church because she’d been terrified that she would fall asleep, and gone out to find some uppers.

Also, this is so sad. She didn’t fall asleep and get possessed, she tried to leave before she did that and hurt everyone, and she couldn’t say what was going on to get help because no one believes her.

Though she blessedly does not interact with Harry again, and may that continue to be true, she leaves him a thank-you note for all that jack and shit he did for her.

Thomas sends one as well. He sent it on a little note card attached to a bow, which was all Justine was wearing. I’ll let you guess where the bow was. I took the note, but not the girl. There was too much of an ick factor in sharing girls with a sex vampire.

See what I mean about really packing in all that misogyny. I guess it was the strain of not having a ready-made excuse to just shout BITCH BITCH BITCH BITCH like last book.

And Susan, she’s also keeping her distance. She calls every day but doesn’t visit, so obviously Harry goes to her apartment but she’s left then tries to contact her at work and never managed to catch her ie she’s told people not to say she’s there, so he uses magic to supernaturally stalk her. Note at at no point are we told he just asks her why she’s avoiding him.

She takes his dogged disrespect for boundaries well and explains that during the day in the sun she’s semi-normal but it’s really bad at night. I’m going to assume that she’s not drinking blood because we’re still conflating that with murder and so assume that this is going to end badly for everyone involved. Harry…

I reached out and took her hand. “Oh, Hell’s bells, Susan. I’m no good at this.” I just fumbled the ring onto it, clumsy as you please. “I don’t want you far away. Marry me.”

Harry proposed by cramming a ring onto her finger, yes. That sure is a thing that happened.

She tells him no because she’s going crazy and will probably murder him by accident, which sadly she does not want to do. She then reiterates that he shouldn’t contact her but that she’ll stay in touch.

Harry spends a while having nightmares while working on a cure. Finally, Bob informs him/us that he’s out of money and the WC is showing up.

I shrugged. “I sent them my report. I only did what was right,” I said. “Or as close to it as I could manage. I couldn’t let them have her, Bob. I couldn’t.”
The skull sighed. “I don’t know if that will hold up with them, Harry.”

That one thing is really not the point, though. This didn’t happen because a vampire happened to target someone Harry cared about and he wouldn’t let them.

Also, he straight up ate the heart of a dark wizard to gain the guy’s evil blood-murder power. You’d think they’d have a few problems with that.

And we end with Harry having Michael and Murphy show up with groceries and then So, the vampires are out to get me, and every other wizard on the block. The little wizardlings of the city, the have-nots of magic, are making it a point not to go outside after dark.

And then Harry smugs a bit about how he doesn’t care if the WC is furious, and how he still doesn’t have Susan but she sent him a card saying she loves him, and we end, with Harry not giving half a damn about how many other people are going to suffer for this. I mean, they’re the have-nots! Why should he care any more than he cared when he heard about missing people halfway in, or when a sick homeless kid was begging him for help? As long as the vampires are politely not leaving the bodies on Harry’s doorstep, it’s not hurting him.

(…and god, they totally should. They should rub his face in every death.)

But who cares. Like I said, our actual ending is,

I got a card from her, on my birthday, Halloween. She only wrote three words.
I’ll let you guess what three.

And that’s all that matters!

So, in conclusion…

God, this is a mess. Back in April on the mid-book rewrite post, CrazyEd suggested what we’re looking at is a series of random ideas stuck into a line as Butcher got bored of them and moved on to the next and yeah, probably.

The “series” aspect of this was planned, but I think that’s manifested as him having full plots for two stories and then this is where the remaining bits that hadn’t gelled yet got used anyway. Even when we’re given a direct link between the ghosts and the vampires, it’s tossed in casually like it’s just there to justify why these two plots are coexisting. It’s much like the problem of the werewolf pileup but worse, because there’s only two factions and it shouldn’t have been hard to connect them properly.

So – what would fix this?

I do think we have enough here to just have a ghost plot. That section of the plot progresses relatively cleanly, Harry’s actually willing to pay attention to it, and the stakes are relatively clear. We’re given a lot of conflicting information about ghosts and it could probably be solved by spending more time on them and talking about there being different types of ghosts – the piles and piles of ghosts in cemetaries are clearly a different sort of thing than the obsessive ones attacking nurseries, and Kravos’ lucidity doesn’t fit either. Also, maybe Mort could get fridged for stakes instead. Kravos could be the one riling up the other ghosts in this case, or, we could have Lea and Kravos working together where it’s Lea, a Nevernever native, powerful magic user, and fae creature of boundary-messing, is the one messing up the Nevernever boundary with magic to make Kravos so dangerous. This would also smooth out the issue of her popping in to sometimes aid – they’re allies of convenience dancing around each other because they each want a very different resolution to the Harry issue. Lea wants to push him precisely far enough that he’ll run back to her to be her doggie, Kravos wants Harry confident and then Kravos can suddenly amp things up too fast for him to realize he should run, and neither wants him to actually get the upper hand. I think Harry as chew toy being fought over by two more powerful creatures is actually a relatively functional dynamic for these books as well – Harry only really seems to engage with his surroundings when other people are forcing his involvement, he’s completely self-interested so the storyline needs to revolve around him, and he likes to whine about how hard his life is.

(While people made some good arguments about Lea being a very binary threat where you know she won’t succeed, I think that still works in a setup like this where there’s other stuff going on. We know Harry won’t get turned into a dog, but if he avoids that by going the long way and then people die, she’s still impacting the plot. The reason she doesn’t work is Harry makes no effort to avoid her and just wins anyway.)

Really, the only problem with this is it doesn’t fit the whole building a plot around throwing related things together idea but as this is only the third book, it’s not like that’s actually been committed to. Plus this could be “the Nevernever book” given ghosts and fae are both part of that, and I realize that’s significantly more coherent and thoughtful than werewolf pileup but forcing the book to engage with these elements in the functional thematic way all normal writing does would be a plus.

If we insist on this being the vampire/undead book, though…

Bianca going on a murder spree because she’s so torn up about that murder she did does not particularly make sense. Bianca letting another faction’s vampire type in for a bout of self-destructive revenge? Maybe. Harry made it clear in the first book he doesn’t know anything about vampires. Vampires and ghosts start getting more active and he sees no connection because as far as he knows, Bianca has nothing to do with ghosts. But Bianca isn’t the active vampire. The Black Court is moving in, something they normally can’t do because they’re such bad news but Bianca is backing them and covering for them. It would also properly explain all those missing people when it makes no sense for Bianca to be making baby vampires that far outstrip the local food source. Remember Harry’s talk about a coven of thirteen and blah witches misogyny blah? Maybe a similar thing with the Black Court’s power being exponetial if the right criteria are met, like killing every night, or maybe they’re the very traditional everyone-I-bite-rises epidemic vampire. That gives us a timer as well, always nice.

The ghosts and the vampires are somewhat coincidental – the vampires are just killing people and generally fucking up the borders, so if you want to suicide your way into a vengeful ghost, now is the time. This means instead of the ghosts being intended to wear him down, the ghosts are the advance warning he didn’t pay enough attention to. And after two books of Harry being godawful at not alienating everyone in sight with his ALPHA MALE bullshit, it’s completely appropriate for two different enemies to be going after him for unrelated reasons – you get enough enemies, sooner or later you’ll get their revenge plans overlapping.

Going off vampires are dicks, I’m thinking maybe Mavra is the one getting RaPaula’s ghost active. If they’re the necromancy faction, then using a ghost to convince someone to ally with them would make sense, and if that’s a general tactic of theirs we have a nice temptation setup, where this illustrates what bad news they are and suggests they could return in the future. There’s been a real lack of temptation and devil’s bargains in this despite fae and demons both featuring, and maybe the corpse vampires can take up the slack there. I’m thinking the Black Court is extremely hard to kill but requires enormous energy to be active, so they’re mostly hibernating and waking up only for short periods. Perhaps they do this during their short periods, or perhaps they can mess with people in dreams – that’d fit nicely with the connection to dreams and the stirred-up jello boundaries, and give a potential mechanism for why these vampires disturb it so much when they’re around.

Kravos could be a connection to the council (or Lea, though I really don’t see the point in her entire subplot here and would just remove it myself – it should be either Kravos and Lea without Bianca or Kravos and Bianca without Lea). I think it makes a lot of sense that someone told him how to become a ghost given Harry insists a ghost isn’t you – someone who knows enough about ghosts to pull this trick off should be similarly educated about how it’s not actually that great an idea, but someone who has no clue but got handled detailed notes? It would also give some payoff to how every time he thinks about Kravos he rants about how much better he is than that uneducated idiot. And the fact the council hasn’t been active all book BUT we also have Harry supposedly on perfectly good terms with them at the moment is a real issue that needs to be addressed. Having proof they’re either straight up evil or they’ve been compromised by evil members who are willing to aid a proven dark wizard to take out Harry would be a much better use of them than just to end with FUCK RIGHT THOSE GUYS EXIST UHHHH THEY’LL DO SOMETHING NEXT BOOK??? Also what are they even going to do the way it just went down, Harry soloed a vampire nest while drugged and missing half his gut-power and now he’s eaten the guy who ate him so who cares even.

Also, there was never any reason for Lydia to be a kid (really, there wasn’t a reason for her to be in the book) and there’s no reason to have sex vampires – Harry even ends up raped by the regular vampires, and they run a brothel, and just – they completely had it covered already. And the fact we introduce sex vampires and sexy underage waif at the same time is why there should never ever have been sex vampires in this series. There’s already more than enough rape and fucked up thinking without them.

These books didn’t start terrible and get better. They’re just awful the whole way through. I’m going to grudgingly do Summer Knight but that’s it. I don’t care about no actually it takes ten books to get good. This is not redeemable.

36 Comments

  1. illhousen says:

    He sent it on a little note card attached to a bow, which was all Justine was wearing. I’ll let you guess where the bow was. I took the note, but not the girl. There was too much of an ick factor in sharing girls with a sex vampire.

    …Jesus fucking Christ.

    I especially like the last sentence. Sure, Harry, that’s what’s wrong here.

    On rewrite ideas, there is still the issue of Kravos not really working as a blast from the past because there is no past with him. I’d replace him with Harry’s evil mentor, honestly. As much as we love Victor here, the circumstances of his death are firmly established, while with the mentor there is enough of a wiggle room to enable any kind of ghost setup.

    He can be a link to the White Council if we want to use them as we can say that he had allies among them and still influenced them from beyond the grave but couldn’t properly manifest until now because reasons.

    It also makes a perverse sense for him to ally with Lea as Harry fucked over them both, and she may have some sort of metaphysical sway over him as the one who enabled his murder. And it also makes sense that their alliance would be dysfunctional for much the same reasons.

    I’m going to grudgingly do Summer Knight but that’s it. I don’t care about no actually it takes ten books to get good.

    I take it we’re going back to Exalted after Summer Knight?

    1. Hyatt says:
      Does anyone in-universe think about how Justine feels about being sent as a messenger like that? I’m betting not because the author never considers it.
      1. Nmga says:
        Justine is a sex positive,poly-amorous kind of girl. She’s perfectly fine  having sex with whoever as long as it is consensual. Thomas too,worries about consent.
        1. Act says:

          Justine is an adult woman.

          1. Nicolas Milioni Gravina Abdu says:
            language barriers,sorry.
    2. CrazyEd says:

      I take it we’re going back to Exalted after Summer Knight?

      Imagine how bad things must be if you have to go back to fucking Exalted to get the taste of misogyny and sexploitation out of your mouth.

      1. illhousen says:

        The trilogy reviwed here before was actually surprisingly fine in this regard. Like, it wasn’t a gold standard or anything, there was still clear sexism present here and there, but it was fairly light on sexploitation and at least attempted to have badass women around even if it was clearly a men story.

        Its flaws instead were having almost nothing to do with Exalted (it’s kinda stuck in D&D forever lvl 1 mode) and having sociopathic protagonists without intending them to be so.

        1. CrazyEd says:

          … Oh, you’re talking about… those novels. Oh god, those things.  Those were a joke even back when I started out playing Exalted. God, I don’t even really remember anything about them other than thinking the… Twilight, I think? was pretty cute.

          1. illhousen says:

            For clarity’s sake, I’m talking about Chosen of the Sun and sequels. You can find the reviews via tags here.

            I don’t think there were any Twilights? Dawn, Zenith and some Abyssal without a stated caste are what I remember, all guys.

            And yeah, they’re jokes and aren’t even on, like, Dragonlance novels level. They’re just massively better than DF when it comes to sexism and related issues, which is admittedly not a high bar to clear.

            1. CrazyEd says:

              Oh, you know? I think I’m thinking of the comic book, or at least the circle featured in it.

              Reply
            2. illhousen says:

              Could be. I didn’t read the comic and am not familiar with other Exalted novels since I’ve heard there is only, like, one half-decent story among them and even then it’s your standard fantasy trash, just in Exalted setting.

              Reply
  2. Anonymous says:
    Yeah, the thing with Justine is one of the worst parts of the book. It can’t be attributed to early installment weirdness or to Harry being a flawed person, since almost anyone with a trace of humanity should be horrified at her situation, not cracking jokes about it.

    The have-nots suffering because of the hero’s actions is a theme I’ve seen in various works. These tend to promote ideals like liberty and free will over the needs of the many and the greater good. But the hero(es) are always among the haves in these stories – even if they are the underdogs of society, they tend to have something that makes them special (mutants in X-men being another example). You rarely see such ideals being championed by a character who actually is an underdog, someone who can’t beat up/outthink their problems. This series might have been more interesting if Mort or a normal human was the hero instead.

    1. illhousen says:

      Mort as a reluctant hero makes so much sense. Aside from more immediate personal conflict than what Harry has and more limited powers, his business model actually makes more sense in a world with masquerade and would still attract people with genuine supernatural problems. Someone like Monica is fairly like to go to a medium with her worries after discovering that magic exists rather than to a “wizard” who probably does birthday shows or something.

  3. Roarke says:

    God, why is the resolution chapter always so bad? I think it’s partly that Butcher feels the need to address everyone in it, so instead of having isolated events of Harry being a jerk or a creep, it’s like he’s making the full rounds to the whole cast in a victory lap of grossness.

    Wait, did he mention what happened to Mort? Did Mort get out clean? I think he shows up in a later book.

    I’m going to grudgingly do Summer Knight but that’s it.

    Yay!

    Forthill told me how the girl had fled the church because she’d been terrified that she would fall asleep, and gone out to find some uppers.

    This is indeed really sad. I was a tiny bit bothered that even this really good act on Lydia’s part is framed around being a junkie, but I think that’s reading into it too much.

    1. illhousen says:

      Mort does show up again, apparently resolving his internal conflict off-screen and thanking Harry for it because of course.

      1. Roarke says:

        God forbid Harry ever do good thanklessly. ‘Good’. What is this, noir?

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  4. nmga says:
    I never quite understood why a few peole are so fucking horrified with Thomas sending Justine to harry,i mean c’mon,poly relationships are a thing,specially in fantasy. It’s not ike thomas send her out like she was a sex worker,he asked her and she said yes,consent given. simple as that
    1. Nicolas Milioni Gravina Abdu says:
      sorry i swore,i’m just passionate
    2. illhousen says:

      Well, firstly, between her mental issues and Thomas’ influence, her consent is suspect.

      Secondly, her treatment is emblematic of the larger portrayal of female characters in the series. In essense, there is a strong theme of objectification going on, and in that context “Thomas sends Justine as a present” is fairly horrifying.

      Note, for example, how it wasn’t presented as her own idea. In fact, we don’t learn here what she thought about it because the book is supremely uninterested in what she thinks. It’s between Harry and Thomas, Justine is here just as a prop.

      Finally, we have to think about the narrative purpose of this scene, how it serves the story. By the way Harry talks about, the ribbon quote, it’s easy to see that the purpose is a wish-fulfillment fantasy without much greater meaning. It is deeply unnecessary and, in the context of other problems with the series, rather problematic.

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  5. Nicolas Milioni Gravina Abdu says:
    Huh? how come harry complaining about charity is mysoginistic? She’s insulting him?if a woman punches me in the face and i say “ouch,that hurt” am i being mysognistic too?
    1. Farla says:

      He’s smiling at it, because the joke is women’s complaining is empty noise. If you laugh when a women threatens to punch you in the face because women can’t hurt men lol, that’s the misogyny.

      1. N says:
        Oh. Now that’s make sense

        He probably doenst realize that

        1. Roarke says:

          Harry absolutely does realize that he can smile to annoy people and show disrespect. He’s done it to Marcone’s goons before, and pointed out what he was doing. Here, from Storm Front Chapter 3:

          “Hey, Hendricks. You should really wear your seat belt. Statistics say you’re fifty or sixty percent safer.”
          Cujo growled at me in the rearview mirror again, and I beamed at him. Smiling always seems to annoy people more than actually insulting them. Or maybe I just have an annoying smile.

          3
  6. CrazyEd says:

    God, this is a mess. Back in April on the mid-book rewrite post, CrazyEd suggested what we’re looking at is a series of random ideas stuck into a line as Butcher got bored of them and moved on to the next and yeah, probably.

    Yep, I sure did do that, I guess. Probably. Sounds like something I’d say. I definitely would say that now. This series has gotten even less coherent than a longfic writer who just wrote wherever his fancy took him (even including the parts that are randomly porn because he was horny at the time).

     I’m going to grudgingly do Summer Knight but that’s it. I don’t care about no actually it takes ten books to get good. This is not redeemable.

    I am infinitely sad you’re not going to do Death Masks, which introduces Harry’s fourteen year old heavily pierced goth tittymonster apprentice-fangirl, or Blood Rites, where he goes undercover at a porn studio to stop someone from murdering professional bitches.

    I’d do it myself, if I had copies of the books.

    And your ability at reviewing books

    … And your ability to somehow follow and make sense of the plot of these books.

    1
    1. illhousen says:

      I am infinitely sad you’re not going to do Death Masks, which introduces Harry’s fourteen year old heavily pierced goth tittymonster apprentice-fangirl

      Molly’s portrayal throughout the series is impressively bad. Like, she was cringy as fuck in her first appearance, but somehow Butcher managed to make it worse with each book. We went from “a teenager wants to bone Harry, who nobly resists the temptation, but not before she kneels before him naked” to “Harry controls her orgasms” to “she has a lethal security system in her vagina.”

      What it says about Butcher and his relationship with female sexuality is, well…

      1
      1. CrazyEd says:

        I’ve read harem mangas (plural, there, note) about teachers who have to dedicate more of their time and energy to avoiding the advances of their students than teaching that depicted less problematic relationships than Molly’s character arc.

        Honestly, even if I tried reviewing these books like Farla, I think it’d just end up with me quoting a piece of text and going “wow that’s bad” because really the quote would speak for itself.

        1
        1. illhousen says:

          I feel that the difference between harem manga and DF is that DF is both deeply fascinated and deeply disturbed by sex whereas the harem manga is just deeply fascinated by it. Like, such manga is not exactly good in this regard, but at least it gives me less controlling vibes and doesn’t shame the female characters for sexual advances quite as much.

          DF view of sex is weirdly similar to Left Behind in that aspect, which you normally wouldn’t expect outside of fundie lit, but here we are.

          1
          1. Roarke says:

            There’s also the element in harem manga where it’s not trying to be anything else and there are no illusions; you’re there for the waifus and nothing else.

            DF has like a puritan stance that’s just deeply hostile to women’s sexuality but also unable to see them any other way. When it frames its views as chivalrous or charitable, and especially when Harry ‘nobly’ doesn’t rape the women, you can see that it’s trying to be more than what it is.

            1. Act says:

              Not sure if you were punning, but ‘puritanical’ is the right word, I think — DF is a very Western, Christian book, and while Japanese media has issues with virginity fetishization and female bodily censorship, it doesn’t tie it to moral goodness in the same way, because Buddism and Taoism are generally more concerned with, like, aesthetic enlightenment, generally.

              Fun fact, the Japanese isolationism policy was a direct response to Christian missionaries descending on them after the West ”discovered” Japan.

              Reply
            2. illhousen says:

              Yeah, that sounds about right. Harem manga is essentially cooked dove: you get what you expect. There are some particularly bad works (Irregular at a Magical School was fucking dire from what I’ve seen) and surprisingly decent ones (I mean, I’m sure they exist. I guess we can count Konosuba? It was OK, though it’s a parody, so not sure if it counts), but overall if you’re reading it in the first place, you kinda only have yourself to blame.

              Reply
            3. Roarke says:

              Oh, so it is puritanical, and I imagine the people themselves are called Puritans. Okay. Good for them, I suppose.

              Fun fact, the Japanese isolationism policy was a direct response to Christian missionaries 

              One of the better rationales for isolationism, imo.

              DF is indeed a very Western and very Christian book, which is funny  because the main character is supposed to be some flavor of pagan. I wonder if Butcher thought he was cribbing Dante’s view of like, honorable pagans who still serve Christianity’s purposes.

              Reply
            4. Roarke says:

              Harem manga and/or romcoms tend to split into two types, really, and it comes down to whether the harem is the icing or the cake. For a harem work to be ‘surprisingly decent’ on general merits, I think it’s gotta be telling its own story, with the harem aspect as the mostly incidental ‘icing’ to that. A lot of parodies/satire fall under that umbrella, and I think Konosuba counts. Oregairu/SNAFU is a satire of the high school romcom and I’d put it on basically the same level.

              For a harem manga that I liked solely on its own merits as a harem manga, I’d peek through the mists of memory and offer up Love Hina, I guess. Ken Akamatsu might not be able to go ten pages without drawing a naked woman, but he writes them as people first. Negima, the series he drew after Love Hina, remains one of my favorites, but the meat of it was very much the shounen aspect. 

              Reply
            5. CrazyEd says:

              Fun fact, the Japanese isolationism policy was a direct response to Christian missionaries descending on them after the West ”discovered” Japan.

              Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh, sorta? The Catholics were kind of just allowed to do their thing for decades between the first coming of Westerners (who don’t seem to have ever claimed to have discovered Japan like they did for the West, since they considered East Asia relatively civilized compared to the New World) and the edict banning Christianity.

              At first, the Japanese welcomed Europeans (and their guns), but after the unification of the country, Japan began fearing all external threats, and its fear of Catholicism was rooted primarily in them using the doctrine of God and the Pope being superior to all (including the military dictator of Japan) to rouse the populace to challenge his rule.

              Actual religion played a very small role in it, honestly.

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              Reply
            6. Act says:

              My Japanese textbook taught me wrong, then! Mea culpa.

              Reply
            7. CrazyEd says:

              I mean, the missionaries themselves were seen as a threat, but my point is that by and large it wasn’t due to, like… religious conflict. Of course, the religious elements of Japanese culture (such as the Buddhist monasteries who had their essentially-independent microkingdoms burned down by Oda Nobunaga a generation before) had a problem with their blasphemous teachings, but the Shogunte would’ve had a problem if they were Jewish, Islamic, or some hippy sex cult that said rules were for, like, squares man.

              While they weren’t the ones who banned Christians- Hideyoshi did- the Tokugawa shoguns who followed him by and large didn’t care what you did so long as you were loyal and they were getting their cut of any money out of it. So proclaiming faith in some almighty power and sending money to someone half a world away… yeah, no. That money would be better spent in Shimabara or Gion.

              Reply
          2. Act says:

             which you normally wouldn’t expect outside of fundie lit, but here we are.

            I feel like the very lesson we’ve learned over the past two years is that the fundies are far more numerous mainstream is the US and Western Europe than anyone reasonable thought. If someone told me hundreds of thousands of people in flyover states were the only ones buying these books it would make perfect sense.

            2

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