Friday, August 11, 2006

Webcomic movies

So, I recently found out they're making the movie "Dasepo Sonyo" ("Multi-celled girl" if you must know what that means in English). Official movie site here.

I really don't know what to say to this. Ok, so Korea's been riding the whole teen sex comedy wave and whatnot, but for anyone who's read the webcomic (I would say this is a NSFW link, though the main page has been changed to include tie-in to the movie) that this movie is based on knows how far this comic goes. It's not outright pornographic, but a lot of the humor is...just plain wrong. And that doesn't make it bad either. The thing that surprised (and yes, frightened) me about this was how just damn pretty and cute the art style was compared to what was actually going on in the comic. It made me wonder about the mind of the person behind it. For example, I wouldn't say it's any dirtier than say, the humor beind "Ike! Ina-chuu Takyuubu", but at least Minoru Furuya's artwork fit the deviant storyline.

Not the case for Dasepo. In fact, even the coloring is done in a hazy Barbara Walters interview water color type of style that throws it off even more compared to the cast of really pretty people. The only characters I can think of who aren't good-looking is the Cyclopean "Oueneunbakgi" (literally "one-eyed", and I mean literally as in the character not only is named that but has one eye), who's mostly a misunderstood character that is ignored or shunned by the others. Interestingly enough (with the exception of the character "the girl burdened by poverty," who's one of the pretty people as well as One-eyed guy's cross dressing brother), One-eyed guy is one of the few genuinely nice characters without a serious character flaw when you consider the other cast of high school characters include the rich guys who are assholes and just talk about how rich they are all the time, the class president who's not bad except has some serious people skills issue or the class vice president who's the typical rich bitch (and might be a closet freak).

But this isn't the first Korean webcomic to be made into a movie. Kang Full's horror comic on Daum's was made into the movie "Apartment" (In Korean, it's actually "Apart," pronounced "AH-pah-teu," because that's how you say apartment). I have not seen this yet, but I wonder how different the movie is as too seeing how anybody who has read the webcomic would know the story and ending.

I wonder when something like this will happen in America. I kind of doubt it, mostly because the Internet culture is not necessarily considered part of mainstream culture. It's definitely now more than ever a mainstream medium, but for the most part I think middle America still looks at the Internet like Chris Hansen looks at it, full of people and things you wouldn't want to get to know personally.

I've always maintained that Korea has geek culture as mainstream culture. Things considered geeky here wouldn't really be considered geeky in Korea where there are as many Internet cafes as there are Starbucks, and while you do have the subset of people living of of ramen and cigarettes playing games for days at a time, for the most part Internet cafes also attract a wide group of people of different ages and genders. Internet fads are taken a bit more seriously rather than a "Ha look at what these Net weirdos are doing."


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