Captain Planet comes to save the day following the power combination of earth, fire, wind, water and heart. The Avengers assemble to defeat Loki and his army. Everyone combine their power in Goku’s Spirit Bomb to defeat Majin Buu (N0, before you start, I must say that I don’t reckon Dragon Ball GT as canon). Teamwork is seen to be important, so important that it can make anything happen.
Recently, Sanzen’in Nagi has suffered a sound defeat at June 12 Comisun. It was yet another failure in her quest to become the world’s No. 1 mangaka. Her situation is critical, so can we look forward to some teamwork to help her?
Surprisingly, if we assign duties to some of the characters around her, we could have a “teamwork formula” that might work. Let’s see which roles these characters could take, and the reasons why they work…
Hayate – Character Design
“Nagi should give up on Britney,” suggested calamariluqe in the Ch. 363 Review. While completely abandoning Britney could be a step too far, there is one thing in this suggestion that hits home: Britney is an epic failure of character design.
To state the most obvious, you can’t even tell if Britney is a male or a female. It has a girl’s hairstyle, yet it has a boy’s face. It dresses like a girl, but it acts and talks like a boy. Britney is not an appealing figure to male or female readers, and the manga itself would definitely fail no matter how good the story is. Please forgive the world for being so simple and shallow.
If Nagi doesn’t want to give up on Britney (which is understandable), at least she needs to re-design it. I wouldn’t mind if Britney is a boy, but he should be handsome and cool, without any girly hairstyle or clothing. If Britney is to be a girl, then by the same token she should be cute and – well, put it this way: the less she resembles a boy, the better.
While it is unsure who could come up with a better design of a boy, Hayate has proven himself to be capable in female character design. The simple fact is that his version of Britney is very cute – so cute that I would tolerate Nagi’s story.
You know, the most important thing is that, Hayate has come to know so many girls that he would certainly know what kind of girls is most appealing to boys.
Maria – Finance
While it isn’t her official title, Maria has always been the treasurer of the Sanzen’in household. While Nagi splashes cash like trash paper, and Hayate drops money like toilet paper, Maria somehow strikes a balance as the reasonable money-spender. “The voice of reasoning”, anyone?
The importance of having Maria to keep an eye on the bank book is to make sure that Nagi would not go bankrupt by participating in the Summer Comiket. Nagi is reckless (or crazy) enough to spend 200,000 yen on Comisun. God knows how much she would throw into Comiket – and how much she would lose – if Maria is not keeping an eye on her?
In fact, the main reason for Nagi to come out of Comisun financially unharmed is that Maria was there to make up for her. Maria managed to sell all 1,000 copies of her photo book alone, thus reducing the loss – or even making a profit.
For a mangaka, one of the most important things is not to worry about money. As long as Maria is keeping the books for Nagi, money would never be a problem.
Hinagiku – Editor
What Hinagiku has done in the Comisun saga (It is long enough to be a saga already!) is clear for everyone to see. She has successfully turned Ruka from a no-seller to a quick-seller, and suddenly everyone including those from her company thinks that she could become a successful mangaka.
Hinagiku’s methodology is simple, ordinary, but orthodox. This might not be the approach to make exceptional manga, but it is a nice first step – the essential step Nagi has yet to make. Following Hinagiku’s success with Ruka, one could be forgiven to imagine just how good Nagi could become if she were under the guidance of Hinagiku. As such, why don’t we simply assign Hinagiku as Nagi’s editor?
The best thing about Hinagiku the editor is that she does her researches. Hinagiku knows how to make manga that sells by doing her research, so who knows she could learn how to make exceptional manga by doing another research?
Hinagiku and Nagi battled (without knowing) in Comisun, but they are not enemies. Hinagiku cares Nagi enough to be willing to help her, and Nagi respects Hinagiku enough to listen to her. Should they work together, I am sure it would be a successful and happy partnership.
Chiharu – Marketing
By “marketing” I do not mean promoting Nagi’s manga. I mean participating in the business of doujin sales properly, like everybody else does.
Why is Chiharu an important figure in the current storyline? The main reason is that she is the only friend of Nagi who goes to doujin functions on a regular basis. She is the “know-how” for Nagi, teaching her what to do in doujin sales, helping her to set up her own circle, and providing her with sales figures. Without Chiharu, Nagi might not even know how to apply for a sales corner at Comisun.
Comiket will definitely be a bigger event than Comisun. It is yet another big sales event which Nagi is not so familiar with. She will need every help from Chiharu, to find a printing house, to decide how many copies she should print this time, to apply as an exhibitor, and to make everything run smoothly during the sales.
Gosh, this is just so complicated. I have absolutely no clue on how to do what I have listed above. Only Chiharu knows.
Ruka – Assistant and Mascot
Ruka is supposed to attend Comiket as an exhibitor, so it seems odd to put her here as one of Nagi’s supporters. However, I have a gut feeling that it might not be that wrong to consider such a role for Ruka, so…
One way for Ruka to be a supporter is to make her Nagi’s assistant. Ruka has already been helping with Nagi’s art in Comisun, so it is natural to let her take up that role again. With her recent success, she might even point out Nagi’s problems and suggest improvements.
Come to think of it, what was Ruka thinking when she saw Nagi’s manuscript? It does seem a bit odd that Ruka remained silent after she saw Nagi’s drawings. Perhaps this is also why Nagi got so mad at Ruka for beating her in Comisun: “You saw first-hand that I was terrible, and you were saying nothing and simply beat me?”
Alternatively, or additionally, Ruka can help Nagi with the sales. As she has a habit (as well as a reason) to wear funny costumes every time she enters a sale, she can act as a mascot for Nagi’s circle. An impressive costume would definitely attract the attention of the customers, and the more customers attracted to Nagi’s circle, the more copies Nagi could sell.
Ayumu – Public Relations
I have suggested in a previous essay that Ayumu is perhaps the least hated major character in the series. It means that people would find her friendlier, and in turn they would be friendlier to her. It follows that it is easier for Ayumu to make friends.
Her ability to make friends could be valuable, as in theory it is possible for her to befriend very powerful and famous people. It is also possible that she could make use of such friendship to aid Nagi.
In fact, we have already seen early evidence in the Comisun saga. It was Ayumu who first suggested Nagi to show Ashibashi, a (more or less) regular customer of Cafe Donguri, her manuscript. When Nagi fled from Ashibashi’s studio, it was Ayumu who apologized to Ashibashi on her behalf, and invited him to read her manuscript again. If a Public Relations Officer is to be judged by her handling of relationship with important people, then Ayumu is an outstanding one.
We have no idea how important Ashibashi would be in making Nagi a greater mangaka than he is, but if he is to be any good, we are sure that Ayumu would be there to help.
Kayura – Quality Assessment
Hinagiku would of course make an excellent editor, but it is too dangerous to rely solely on her methodology. What if Hinagiku’s ways don’t work this time, however unlikely?
Nobody, including Hinagiku herself, is arrogant enough to say that she is infallible. They need another mastermind, another methodology, to cross-examine with Hinagiku’s. If the other methodology could make Hinagiku’s more complete, it would be even better.
As a girl who has read over 100,000 manga, Kayura can be considered a professional manga reader. Her knowledge in manga is second to none, and she is more than capable of providing the insight to challenge Hinagiku’s methodology. At least, she would not allow the precious things she sees in Nagi’s manga to be lost.
And so she did. While Hayate suggested Nagi to follow the advices Hinagiku had given to Ruka, Kayura pointed out sharply that exceptional manga would not come out from such advices. She is yet to suggest a better, or at least an alternative, methodology, but we can already see what she is able to offer.
A Short Conclusion…
You might see that Athena/Alice is not mentioned in the above. It is because she has not shown enough of her capabilities, so I don’t really know what she could do best for the “team”. However, if she gets involved in helping Nagi as well, I wouldn’t be surprised at all.
If the above people can work together as a team to help Nagi, we can’t see why Nagi cannot do well in her next sale (unless she is truly hopeless). The problem is: Is it really necessary to have seven (or eight) people helping Nagi with a single doujin event?