Entry #20: Ever Green (Spoilers)

How? How does it happen?

She wrote Toradora. She wrote Toradora.

Why does she constantly squander things away at the climax? I don’t get it.

Golden Time was awful. But it wasn’t completely awful. It started off mediocre, but not completely batshit insane. And then it ended batshit insane. Is this a fetish of hers? I don’t understand it. What the hell?

Ever Green was awful. But it wasn’t completely awful. It started off mediocre, but not completely batshit insane. And then it ended batshit insane. Stop! Please! I don’t care how much money it’s making you, this isn’t worth your personal pride! hahahahahaha

Ever Green 1

Once upon a time, there was a boy. This boy has a scar on his chest because the author really wanted to ensure that you knew that he had a personal grudge against his father for having a weak heart. Now, whether this is symbolic for what happens later on in the story or not, I’m not 100% sure. At first, I kinda thought he just had a heart disease. By the end of it, I’m pretty sure he had a heart disease and he was a pussy. It’s hinted that the boy knows that his father was a pussy on top of having a heart disease, but I’m not entirely sure why. It’s kinda confusing, because this story doesn’t explain shit.

Enter girl, who is beautiful and perfect and whatever. Boy likes her. Turns out girl likes him, too. Why? Because she read an article once by him that said that he had “lost his father twice,” meaning he had died physically and on an emotional level, as well… I think. Inferring from that, she finally realized, “Wow! There are other people who don’t have a father! Just like me!” Now, isn’t that just the sexiest thing about a boy, ladies? Anakin Skywalker is such a hunk, right? Jesus Christ? Events unfold where they finally get the chance to talk to one another, and they slowly develop a relationship out of nothing.

First problem with this manga: pacing. If that whole “Fatherless boys are sexy!” bit above wasn’t enough to wet your whistles, Ever Green also can’t seem to slow anything down for anyone. Boy and Girl meet. Boy and Girl start awkwardly trying to form a friendship. Girl mistakens Boy’s other girl friend for his girlfriend. Girl ignores Boy for, like, four chapters. Boy and Girl finally make up after Girl starts running away from Boy like a little bitch and almost dies from heat exhaustion (from running for, like, two minutes). Girl says “I love you,” to Boy, without saying as much as a full paragraph’s worth of words to him throughout the whole story. And this is all contained within ten chapters. Brilliant.

Ever Green 2

Then the couple start dating. But it isn’t long before more drama becomes apparent! Oh, yes, and it’s a doozy! Turns out, Boy and Girl are siblings! Oh, my God! What a soap opera this has all turned out to be! How was this scenario figured out?! Did Girl find an old picture of her dad at Boy’s house? Did she come across Boy’s birth certificate, only to find his last name was the same as her’s?

No. They went on a date and Boy lost his umbrella in the rain after they stopped kissing (lol) and he went to retrieve it AND THEN SUDDENLY GIRL REALIZED THAT BOY’S BACK LOOKED EXACTLY LIKE HER FATHER’S BACK AS HE LEFT HER ALONE FOREVERRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That’s fucking stupid. How the hell would they look similar whatsoever? Sure, they’re related, but the way the flashback looked in the manga, the pairing looked absolutely nothing alike. It’d be more logical to say that their backs looked the same because they’re both male. And another thing; by this point, there was only one hint that the two were related, which came in the form of a key to a log cabin in the mountains that Boy and Girl’s grandmother gave them while on her deathbed. This showed one time in one panel through maybe fifteen chapters. Is that really enough foreshadowing before blindsiding the viewer with something so bizarre? You could also make the argument that they both also lost their father, but again, not every child has their father in their life. Having your father die during your childhood/teenhood isn’t the rarest thing in existence. It can happen. It’s a coincidence, like I assumed as I was reading the manga.

There’s also another tidbit I found interesting. At the end of the manga, Boy’s mother made a remark that Girl “looked like him,” referring to their father. Girl is a super-blonde, blue-eyed girl. The guy in the flashback looked… nothing like that. ALTHOUGH, THE FLASHBACK WAS SUSPICIOUSLY AMBIGIOUS, HOHOHOHOHOHO! Fuck this manga.

Ever Green 3

And then a tsunami or something happens and Boy goes to Girl who is at the log cabin in the wilderness instead of her home for some reason and then Boy saves her from danger and then they make up because nothing about this manga makes any fucking sense and every ounce of feeling involved was so god damn shallow and pointless that I want to kill myself for knowing that the person responsible for writing my favorite anime of all time was responsible for creating this monstrosity.

It really does explain nothing. It implies everything. It implies that they’re related. It implies that their father had an affair. It implies that their father could only choose between the two of them because of said affair. It implies that their father was a coward who couldn’t choose between a pair of tits to fuck. It implies that Boy’s heart disease is a curse that was put upon him for leaving Girl in her fatherless position (even though it was never his fault). It implies that the only reason Boy and Girl had that fateful connection between them was because they were related. See? I can think, Ever Green. Your pseudo-intellectual blather wasn’t lost on me. And it’s all fine and dandy, too. There’s just one thing:

I need to care for all of this to have an emotional impact. And I did not care, indeed.

Ever Green 4

The characters started out dumb, then they actually became somewhat likable when the author tried to incorporate humor into the story (Why did you not stick to humor?????). Then they became crawling in my skin, these wounds they will not heal, fear is how I fall, confusing what is real. It was absurdly overdramatic. Much like many elitists complained about with Toradora’s second half. Hmmmm.

I should probably talk about the other characters. But I won’t. Because they don’t matter. At least in this manga’s eyes. Just know that their likability ranges depending on how dramatic the mood is. There is genuine effort put into this story’s characters. But then, the ending just kind of wipes the slate clean. Nothing feels the same anymore. They’re back to just being talking faces. Oh, well.

At least one character actually shaves his head. That was pretty neat.

I don’t know if it was because I just finished a manga from 2000 that was illustrated by Mitsuru Hattori, but Ever Green’s art was fantastic! Truly a pleasure to stare at as I beat my skull in with a hammer. That’s the one good thing about this manga.

I’m out of steam. I completed two stories in one day, both of them dragging their ugly hides across the surface of my stream of patience. Both were written by authors whose other works I adore. It just goes to show that not everything one does is a masterpiece. If only that were true. In Ever Green’s case, it had potential around the mid-way point, even with the awful pacing, but the end just destroyed any foundation it had working for it.

Personal Score: D+

Critical Score: C-

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