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Wagamama Chie-chan


Alt Names: alt わがままちえちゃんalt Bencil Chie-chanalt La Egoísta Chie-chanalt Selfish Chie-chan
Author: Shimura Takako
Artist: Shimura Takako
Genres: Drama DramaPsychological PsychologicalSchool Life School LifeSeinen SeinenShoujo Ai Shoujo AiSlice of Life Slice of LifeSupernatural Supernatural
Type: Manga (Japanese)
Status: Complete
Description: Just before Saho Hanawa was about to matriculate into Seiran Middle School (her mother's alma mater), she meets a ghost girl, Chie, who's wearing the Seiran school uniform and standing in the rain. Saho assents when Chie asks to go to Saho's house, and they spend time talking and arguing with each other. Saho parents hear her talking to Chie and assume she must be talking on a cell phone - until they catch her talking to empty space in her room. Saho is forced to confess that she can see a ghost girl named Chie, which shocks her parents. They then reveal that Chie is the name of the stillborn baby that they had before Saho - Saho's dead older sister.
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Topic Wagamama Chie-chan released chapter discussion. Let's discuss our confusion! New Window truepurple
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Chapters

Title Group Contributor Date
Vol.1 Ch.1: 1. bölüm
YOROZUYA-OTAKUTÜRK YOROZUYA-OTAKUTÜRK A week ago
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34 Comments

A short story about melancholy, ennui and acceptance.

 

I liked it a lot, as confusing as it was at points.

Well, rereading it from the beginning helps clear up some things I don't understand. Still the story is quite deep and complex.

 

Spoiler

All right, in a little bit, the 11th and final chapter will be up! Thanks to everyone who stuck with this patiently. It's a strange, disjointed story-- but it's one that I really like all the same, so I'm glad I could share it with you all.

I'd like to point out here that building up a canon in one form then not including all that in the main body of work is quite common in the industry. J. K. Rowling, for instance, dumps a lot of canon content into the Potterfan site which cannot be found in the main body of published Harry Potter books. In the manga world, we also have Nagano Mamoru, whose canon for the Five Star Stories manga are published in volumes of descriptive text dwarfing the manga itself. Also, how many here know that Motoko Kusanagi and Deunan Knute live in a world where Jesus had had his Second Coming as a boy in China? More recently, there's the Fleet Communications mini-drama for Arpeggio where a lot of historical content are discussed and huge parts of the unknown canon are disclosed. Thankfully, most of those do get scanlated.

 

Shimuraverse is also not as hermetic as I may have unintentionally described. Pieces of the serial novels Shimura Takako writes occasionally pop up in her website and as supplemental material in magazines, so it's not like she's been deliberately keeping all her commercial audience in the dark. We're just particularly disadvantaged because we're an English audience and no one's translated those excerpts. I know, for example, that Aoi Hana has a breakup chapter, but I've never read it because it's not translated. Thankfully, parts of this chapter became incorporated into the manga as flashback vignettes.

 

I guess the problem is that, as someone mentioned here, Shimura-sensei simply can't make her manga stand on their own and be self-contained the way adaptations normally should.

It's much less confusing now.

Spoiler


How 'bout we give it some time.

I felt the beginning was a bit jumbled, but a reread a few chapters in might offer a new perspective. Otherwise you're just asking to be spoonfed.

Yeah... see, your problem is that Shimura Takako is actually a serial novelist who occasionally turns her novel chapters into manga. There is a coherent Aoi Hana serial novel she wrote together with her circle of fans and friends where a lot of the unresolved issues are resolved. 

 

That's fascinating. I've never heard that before, but it certainly explains a lot, as others have said. I'd be really interested in reading these novels, but I guess they're not available to the public? I'd really like to read more about this though, if you have a link you could share. I couldn't find anything myself.

 

As for your interpretation of Chie, I think that's certainly a valid perspective (it is called "Selfish Chie," after all), and I apologize for being so dismissive earlier. But to me, Chie comes across very differently. She's lost her sister and they had a fight just before--it's an especially painful thing to lose someone so close to you while you're on bad terms with them, and I'm sure, as you say, it really messed her up. But I don't think she's always been messed up, as she would necessarily have to be if she were simply a narcissist. All of her issues seem to revolve around Saho, which to me suggests that she's dealing with trauma and grief. All of her bizarre (and contradictory) statements, dreams, and ideas stem from her trying to find a way to resolve her unfinished fight, and her pain in losing Saho in the middle of it. She is very mentally unstable, and her wild ideas are simply not true (or at least not the entire truth); they are a response to trauma, and they are not at all consistent because they are constantly morphing as Chie tries to understand her grief and come to terms with what has happened (and her supposed part in it).

 

(There is a mystery here, which is, what actually happened to Saho, and what was Chie's real relationship with her? It's an easy mistake for readers to accept everything Chie says as the truth, especially in the beginning, and to try to make sense of everything she says. I think at this point in the series, it's clear that this is not a good idea.)

 

The complexity of Chie's relationship with Saho (and their relationship with their parents, and the outside world) complicates things. I have a very similar family setup, so I feel a connection to Chie as she tries to make sense of those relationships. The polarized and intense feelings about them that are constantly shifting seem very characteristic to me of a girl her age who is trying to make sense of her place in her family (and of herself, which can be much harder when you have a twin sister who seems to be a reflection of you, but is in fact not). But this normal stage of development is distorted and impeded by the trauma, so what we as readers see is something that seems completely over the top (e.g. wanting to kill her parents). 

 

But Shimura, as far as I know, is not a psychologist. There are literal ghosts involved as well as metaphorical ones, and you can see already that the story is going to reflect that in its resolution. So don't hold out hope for Chie going to see a therapist any time soon. 

 

Nonetheless, this is a very psychological, messy work. In my opinion, it becomes clear what the actual events are by the end, but it's true that this is certainly not conventional a mystery. It's a story about grief, and all of the confusing, messy parts of it. To all of you who are wondering if this story is for you-- it might not be, if that's not your thing.

Yeah... see, your problem is that Shimura Takako is actually a serial novelist who occasionally turns her novel chapters into manga. There is a coherent Aoi Hana serial novel she wrote together with her circle of fans and friends where a lot of the unresolved issues are resolved. The great breakup? There's a chapter for that, but she just never turned it into manga. Same problem with Hourou Musuko. Ever wonder why Anna feels like a rounded character despite her short screen time? In the serial novel she's a main character. Basically, we have a situation where an artists's artistic output is in pure written format shared in a closed circle while her commercial output is a manga made out of pieces of that main body of unpublicized work. That's why it can feel really frustrating to read her manga sometimes, because she kinda expects us to know these things that she's not sharing with her actual commercial audience.

That's very interesting and I'm glad to have learned it.  It also strikes me as really annoying, a totally obnoxious move on Shimura Takako's part.  I now no longer want to ever read anything else she writes.

It's no excuse for incoherent storytelling in another media. "Oh, if you just read my novels!" :P

 

I didn't know we had homework to read the funny papers. That's lame, and an unfair expectation of your readers.

 

If you're doing a manga adaptation or a movie or whatever, you need to do it properly so you don't abuse your audience. The adaptation HAS to be a self-contained work.

 

So if my only contact with her work is through her manga, then she comes across as a bad storyteller. You see all of these comments by confused readers? We're all reading this, trying to understand it, but she's making it harder than she needs to, because she's not doing her job properly as a storyteller.

 

Even in chapter 8, even now that I know what's going on sort of, it still comes across as a poorly-explained collection of scenes, like someone removed all of the pages out of the manga that have any transitions at all. It's jarring and irritating as a reader.

 

And yeah, I hated James Joyce's Ulysses, too. So I'm equal opportunity.

 

And if chapters 1 and 2 are supposed to be a dream, then there a REALLY USEFUL convention just about every other manga uses to let us know, "Hey, this is a dream!" It's those black borders. We see 1 or 2 of those in those chapters, but that's it. Instead, they should have been on every page, to tell us, "Hey, something's weird!" Yes, it's what everyone does. And that's the same thing that could be said about language. It's a shared system of sounds and symbols that convey thought/ideas. Same thing with the black borders, in a way. It's a method to convey a concept without NEEDLESSLY confusing the reader.

 

And I'm still holding out for tanukis. I think they'd improve the storytelling quite a bit. 

Oh wow, no wonder when I read Aoi Hana I didn't understand what was going on half the time and felt like it was written by someone from another dimension.

HUh that explains much about her mangas.

I've been kind of waiting to see whether this is one I want to go through.  Shimura Takako is IMO an almost great mangaka.  Lovely art, great atmosphere, lovely little bits of characterization . . . no ability whatsoever to hold a narrative together through a story arc.  I loved Aoi Hana, for instance, but it also frustrated the hell out of me with the way it drifted, failed to resolve things, and stuff.  So I thought "I'll watch the comments and see if this one's got a bit more discipline in the storytelling".

Not looking so good on that front, huh.  Maybe I'll give it a miss.

 

Yeah... see, your problem is that Shimura Takako is actually a serial novelist who occasionally turns her novel chapters into manga. There is a coherent Aoi Hana serial novel she wrote together with her circle of fans and friends where a lot of the unresolved issues are resolved. The great breakup? There's a chapter for that, but she just never turned it into manga. Same problem with Hourou Musuko. Ever wonder why Anna feels like a rounded character despite her short screen time? In the serial novel she's a main character. Basically, we have a situation where an artists's artistic output is in pure written format shared in a closed circle while her commercial output is a manga made out of pieces of that main body of unpublicized work. That's why it can feel really frustrating to read her manga sometimes, because she kinda expects us to know these things that she's not sharing with her actual commercial audience.

 

Wagamama Chie-chan looks to be another one of those cases.

 

Shikii no Juunin has better narrative structure than any of her later works simply because it only exists as a manga. 

 

As for my earlier comment, I was quite serious. Stop overthinking this. Wagamama Chie-chan has a linear narrative: Here's Chie. Chie is a messed-up girl. Here are the ways in which she's messed up. Then we have occasional vignettes which are basically: And here's why Chie is messed up. There's no great mystery or plot twist to be found, nor are there any stakes in the manga. All the missing pieces of the story are revealed completely in lazy sequence, and Chie is already too messed up for any of that to matter. In that, Saho is kinda missing the point. There's no merit in telling Chie to forgive herself. She's a narcissist through and through.

So is this correct: First two chapters are Chie's dream about being a ghost only Saho can see. In the rest Saho is the ghost and Chie can't see her but the fortune teller guy can. Chie feels guilty about her sisters death and there is something about abuse in saho's past.

Still confusing.

 

On the other hand, finally a page to earn the label "comedy", only one page but it was damn funny.

http://bato.to/reader#a2147510bbd07524_10Now that is how you drop a emotional bomb. WWEEEEEeewww *Kaplow!* and those facial expressions like they could both simultaneously shit their drawers right there while she's nonchalant from beginning to end. And that lady passing by too :P

I've been kind of waiting to see whether this is one I want to go through.  Shimura Takako is IMO an almost great mangaka.  Lovely art, great atmosphere, lovely little bits of characterization . . . no ability whatsoever to hold a narrative together through a story arc.  I loved Aoi Hana, for instance, but it also frustrated the hell out of me with the way it drifted, failed to resolve things, and stuff.  So I thought "I'll watch the comments and see if this one's got a bit more discipline in the storytelling".

Not looking so good on that front, huh.  Maybe I'll give it a miss.

Guys, you're overthinking this manga. Just read it as it is and accept explicitly what Chie is telling us. The narrative has been extremely straightforward and honest and Chie has narrated every step of the way exactly what's happening. 

I can't tell if you're being serious, but I would not recommend doing either of these things.

Things are really confusing at first, but they will be clear by the end. It's definitely a worthwhile read! I'll work to get the rest of the chapters up soon.

 

Thanks!

Guys, you're overthinking this manga. Just read it as it is and accept explicitly what Chie is telling us. The narrative has been extremely straightforward and honest and Chie has narrated every step of the way exactly what's happening. It's because you're expecting twists that the manga reads weird to you. It's just a linear narrative, no twists or turns, and everything is explained right away by the main character from her perspective.

Lor it's comedy in how random and seemingly nonsensical the story is, and not in a haha funny way.  I love the personality of the new girl character introduced in chapter 6 though, her reactions are just so ... yeah... great :)

What a tweeeeeeeeeeeeest!

So now it's yuri? Which genre will it be next week???? This is like Nozaki-kun pulling genres out of a box or something.

 

So yeah, next week definitely TANUKI. Defintely-pon.

See, Saho wasn't dead, she was reverse-dead, thus alive, but not completely all the way alive alive. However, Chie was totally alive while she was with Saho....or so they want you to think. In fact, she was dead, as in deathedy-dead and Saho was ghost dead, which is like ghost dad, but not quite. Or so they want you to think.

 

...or do they?

 

They do.

Where the fuck is this story headed to?

It's getting more messed up with every page.

So why is there a comedy tag?

The storytelling in this is a total mess. If you have to use fancy narrative tricks or tell the story in a messed up, confusing manner, then your story probably isn't that good to begin with. I hope it gets better, but honestly, I'm not seeing it.

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