Guilty Pleasures – Scott Pilgrim

We all have that one Backstreet Boys song that you belt out the lyrics to alone in your car or shower. Guilty pleasures. Something that completely falls out of the norm of our proclivities. In this weekly series (until I go through all my categories), I’ll talk about some of mine. 

I may be stretching by calling this one a guilty pleasure, but I have heard of plenty of people who didn’t like it. I’ll get to their points in a minute. Scott Pilgrim is about a 23 year old who doesn’t have a job, in a band, and doesn’t do much with his life. He recently started dating a high school girl name Knives Chau. Things are going great until he sees a new girl in town, Ramona Flowers, that he falls head over heals for. He promptly leaves Knives for Ramona. Everything is great with Ramona, until he finds that in order to date her, he must defeat her 7 evil ex’s.

This book is rife with video game and pop culture references. The band he plays in is called Sex Bob-omb (after the Super Mario baddie). Each volume includes a battle with an ex (one volume he fights twins). Every battle is very much in an anime style, with over the top action. Many different relationship issues crop up as the story progress; Knives still pines for Scott, Ramona is noncommittal, and in different points Scott lets down his friends.

The biggest complaint I’ve heard about this series is the characters are unlikeable. They’re indecisive, and make bad choice that are often selfish and end up hurting others. It’s this quality that I find endearing. Who wasn’t like that at that age? Who didn’t have a bad relationship once? Who didn’t drag their feet about ending one relationship before starting another?

Everyone in their early 20’s goes through personality growing pains. Most people are striking out on their own, and only have themselves to answer to. This is the time people try to find themselves. I know it’s cliche to say, but people need to learn what type of person they are. What works for them, what doesn’t, and what they want to do. Anyone who gets it right on the first try is some evil wizard and shouldn’t be trusted.

I loved Scott Pilgrim because of how relatable it was. I was that guy in my youth. I look back now and shudder thinking about all the asinine things I said and did, and remembering how sure I was at the time. If you could relate to that sentiment at all, this story is for you. It helps if you like anime style fights and video game references too.

All six volumes were written and drawn by Bryan Lee O’Malley. The characters are in a very anime style, inspired by Ranma 1/2. I’ll admit that the ending falters a bit. The last volume was barely released before the movie and I think this release date pressured him to finish quicker than he’d like. The movie was a box office bomb, but was amazing in it’s own right, and superior to the book in many ways.

Who do you think Scott should have ended up with, Knives or Ramona? What’s a comic you like but don’t tell your friends? Comment or tweet!

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2 responses to “Guilty Pleasures – Scott Pilgrim

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