A post made out of fappery and whim.
So here I am, obsessing about the concept of GAR, thinking on how exploratory and analytical posts on the subject matter (that I’ve done, at least) can be viewed as intellectual masturbation. Well, if it is, is it necessarily a terrible thing? Self-pleasure is treated as if it is some shameful thing that one should feel guilty about, and I wonder if it is really just the case.
First, it must be established (at least in the case of analytical and exploratory posts I make) that they have no value except to the maker, that there is no contribution to the community of anime and manga fans, or to the readers of related blogs and websites. It is not for me to argue that I do create value, only that I wankput these posts out with the intention of engaging the interest of, if not providing entertainment for, the reader.
If indeed such posts I make are masturbatory it would be remiss in that it is public, and nobody wants to see someone pleasure himself in front of others. Should this be true, then I can actually relate to the deviant lead of a surprisingly heartwarming manga: Onani Master Kurosawa.
Kurosawa Kakeru is a deviant indeed. While it is normal and healthy for adolescents and adults to masturbate, Kurosawa obsessively practices his habit by routinely finding a stall in girls toilet at the third floor of his school after classes, then wank off to a girl schoolmate, every day.
In blogging terms, it could be like writing almost about meta posts (other blogs) exclusively and then not allowing comments. I need to stress this very strongly: I don’t make it my business to make value judgments about Kurosawa and the analogs I make. Masturbation is such a loaded concept, and I don’t intend to speak into its moral considerations in a prescriptive or judgmental way.
For the most part, especially early on the manga can be enjoyed as a lighthearted yet dark comedy. It directly parodies works such as Death Note, and Code Geass; who both have daring, larger-than-life characters using wits and planning to accomplish morally ambiguous or outright reprehensible goals.
The Yagami Light parody is enjoyable enough, but I took more pleasure in the Lelouch Lamperouge parody later on; especially that it occured during one of the emotional high points in Kurosawa’s life: the school field trip to Nara.
Beyond these parodic and comedic turns what I find very interesting (and it FEELS GOOD) is how I managed to feel GAR for such an unlikely character. This manga was introduced to me by The Animanachronism while we were conversing recently, and we contrasted two known masturbators in manga and anime: Kurosawa Kakeru, and Ikari Shinji (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Kurosawa considers his masturbation a powerful, assertive act. Shinji immediately condemns himself for what he’s done. Also, Kurosawa thinks about it at a (Yagami) Light level, Shinji does it almost sub-consciously.
Well, he did the contrasting really. So we have an extremely anguished and perhaps reluctant masturbator in Ikari, and a powerful aggressive one in Kurosawa. In the manga we are often invited to his thoughts, lewdly but powerfully communicated:
I JUST GOT MY WHOLE LOAD OF MAN JUICE… SQUIRTED ALL OVER IT!
I have written before how GAR can be inspired by rhetoric. Speeches, and even internal monologues are triggers for GAR feelings. The Animanachronism coined the portmanteau GARSTURBATION, which FEELS SO RIGHT if you ask me. In the discourse about GAR, I feel that it is positioned as a feeling beyond awe, as ‘awesome’ is quite devalued as a word the same way ‘epic’ is devalued (I myself wholeheartedly use EPIC as a four-letter-word, which admittedly devalues it of its ability to underscore the truly great and magnificent). That said, awe is still a powerful emotion and I (re)position GAR as a feeling within the context of awe.
This is how I can feel awe (and then GAR) for seemingly inappropriate, or even absurd things, like Kurosawa’s masturbation. His ‘heroic’ devotion to carrying it out the way he does, how words in his mind are expressed in relation to his habit. I find it liberating in its shamelessness. I, like perhaps many people grew up with masturbation as taboo along with sex itself as a repressed idea under prevalent morals. This is why Kurosawa’s FAPPING FOR VIGILANTE JUSTICE arc (in particular) is heroic. While another character in the story may not see it this way, given the nature of her relationship with Kurosawa, I don’t have a problem thinking that she’s GAR for him.
And this is not only limited to the fapping. This is because Onani Master Kurosawa shifts in direction in an awesome way. Stakes got really high for the characters involved, and there is much, terrible shame, and loss. I find it personally heartwrenching and cringeworthy (See Omisyth’s reactions  and ). But as I’ve mentioned, this is a fell good story and the resolution is stunning. I’m a sucker for redemption stories, especially those wherein the redemption is accomplished wholly out of one’s own power. This manga had one of the more satisfying and fulfilling endings I’ve read in a while, and I could feel the respect and care felt and lavished on the characters. Many of them gave me surprising turns that just blasted me with good feeling.
I want you to read Onani Master Kurosawa, and enjoy it as much as I did. If you do this much, I’d feel like I didn’t spend the last hour just wanking to myself in making this post.
Shin’s jizz is all over this, predictably (Shin 2008/07/19)
David considers it the best comic about a serial masturbator he’s ever read (David Cabrera 2009/07/28)
SDS pulls through with the manga’s plot twist: “It ends up being good somehow.” (SDSamshiel 2009/07/30)
That’s not art, that’s just wanking! (Hidoshi 2008/04/08)
I explore the idea of GAR and rhetoric [->]
Kaiserpingvin takes the idea of GARhetoric in phonetic analysis (Kaiserpingvin 2009/07/22)
The Animanachronism, via ani-tations (屮゜Д゜)屮, extensive discussion and analysis of GAR (lelangir2008/12/22).