Moments of 2009: It Takes an Otaku (Onani Master Kurosawa Chapter 25)

This would’ve been a usual scene in Onani Master Kurosawa. What’s different here is Nagaoka (dude with the afro and the thick eyebrows) is for some reason having trouble asking Kurosawa to stretch with him. Also, this is different (for me at least) in that I cried like a silly boy by the end of this chapter. This scene happened after several awesome plot turns: First: In the previous chapter, Kurosawa was confronted by his homeroom teacher, who up until then seemed like a worthless, pathetic kind of character. In him our thoughts on how to value Kurosawa’s decision to come clean is given a voice:

However, I value your courage. You chose the road paved with thorns.

I didn’t expect Kurosawa to admit to his crimes, much less do so in such a courageous and public manner. I also didn’t expect this teacher to be this kind of person — in a way, he reassures us readers how people like him, who may be the actual future of people like us — are actually capable of holding admirable values. Second: Kurosawa just told Kitahara that he’s ending his ‘daily activity,’ and that he doesn’t hate her — that she’s not a worthless person. Here he made a powerful stand to not just accept or deal with the consequences of their actions (without implicating her!), but he used the words endure. Very GAR.

Yes I am very GAR for Kurosawa at this point, if I wasn’t already in the previous chapters. And yet, what matters to me most is how it sets up, or gives context to the awesomeness that follows:

Wonderful! As I’ve heard it mentioned, FROFIST.

What I find so special about this moment is how in this manga, the redemption isn’t monopolized by Kurosawa himself. Perhaps Nagaoka never needed redemption because he never really did anything bad — only that it’s easy to dislike him not only because Kurosawa finds him annoying — but readers did too, given the shock they had when Takigawa… Magister, became his girlfriend while we were all expecting; led on even, that she’ll end up with Kurosawa himself. He’s very interesting in that it was as if he was meant to be disliked, while being a mirror to the reader — not everyone can or does relate to Kurosawa.

Now I find it difficult to imagine for readers not to respect Nagaoka. If there were impressions that his being outgoing — particularly his reaching out to Kurosawa was superficial, it’s gone after this. What we see is the capacity of someone to forgive. And there was much to forgive!

Let us look beyond the fact that Takigawa is Nagaoka’s girlfriend. Let us look beyond the nature of the offense. Nagaoka had always been friendly to Kurosawa. He went out of his way to include him in whatever he thought was interesting to do, because he actually thought Kurosawa was okay. He didn’t feel sorry for Kurosawa, mind you. I don’t think Nagaoka felt sorry for himself, or for anyone. And yet, he saw in Kurosawa fellowship. He too, was like them in that other people didn’t think much of them — or that they were uncomfortable with ‘normal’ people. Nagaoka being an anime otaku was just a particular really — it wasn’t an important distinguisher, only a vehicle for the manga to provide fanservice for otaku.

And yet I doubt that Nagaoka became a popular character because of this. In any case, I present that Nagaoka — since he actually invested in cultivating a friendship with Kurosawa, was the only real person who felt betrayed — perhaps as much if not more than Takigawa. He had only given Kurosawa friendship, and Kurosawa treated him with contempt. And yes, he was able to forgive this much.

This moment: Nagaoka reaching out despite everything, and Kurosawa’s vow never to relinquish his relationship ever again is my most favorite moment in the whole thing.  What’s yours?

Further Reading

Here’s my post on OMK as a whole [->]

I love this post that distinguishes OMK as a narrative of one-sided relationships in the cases of Kurosawa x Takigawa, then Kitahara x Nagaoka (transientem 2009/08/08)

Kitahara gets love in this post, and it’s refreshing to read (Pontifus 2009/08/13)

READ THIS POST on the toughest moment in OMK (Pontifus 2009/12/18)

A contextualization of OMK into the human tradition, as a journey from an immature solipsism to grace (2DT 2009/08/14)

A view that considers how Kurosawa swings too far from sexual perversion into a perversion of positive attitude (lolikitsune 2009/08/14)

A confessional of a real-life onani master from the anime blogging community (Baka-Raptor 2009/08/15)

A woman shclicks in her pantsu over OMK (she seems to be a biological female in real life when I met her) (usagijen 2009/09/28)

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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34 Responses to Moments of 2009: It Takes an Otaku (Onani Master Kurosawa Chapter 25)

  1. lelangir says:

    Oh yeah totally forgot about OMK, definately one of the best things I consumed this year.

    • It’s also one of the most popular ‘under the radar’ things that I posted about. It was really cool to see commenters pick it up after reading the post and comment back within hours with a lot of FFFFFFFFFs after finishing it.

      Very fulfilling, as many people actually got into it after my hype. Happy New Year!

  2. omisyth says:

    I think this is actually the GARest thing I’ve ever read/seen/consumed. It’s the low-key GAR rather than the bombastic GAR of shows like Gurren Lagann. And that’s what makes it even more awesome.

    • Yeah man, there’s something about steely grit when the hammers that strike you aren’t the size of galaxies, but still feel that way. We do know that the big terrors in life lie in wait in the every day, behind people’s smiles and sideways glances.

  3. That moment – so many moments. The entire third and fourth volume had me, and I cried for hours after I was done with OMK. What was my favorite moment? I’m not sure, but I think it was the ending. Moreso than Kurosawa’s redemption, I think the most powerful part for me was his legacy as left in his girlfriend.

    • You want it so bad, a girlfriend I mean — as your pick says this much about you. And it’s wonderful how our desires (active or beneath the surface) are brought forward merely by talking about how we feel about OMK.

      In my case I can see now how I feel like I want to be friends with people, in an authentic way, perhaps because I have been inauthentic and have lost friends in the past… that even if I won them back, forgiving myself for losing them in the first place (by being an asshole) is a day-to-day activity.

  4. Baka-Raptor says:

    My favorite moment was when Kurosawa raped the recorder. No joke. I seem to be only blogger who read OMK for the masturbation.

    Insincere friendliness irks me more than all other combinations of sincerity and friendliness: sincere unfriendliness (badasses), insincere unfriendliness (tsunderes), and sincere friendliness (Nagaoka). Nagaoka’s a good man.

    • Shance says:

      Still, you have to consider the receiving end of the friendship, Kurosawa in this case. The fact that he was acting like a closet otaku against a full-fledged one was a sight to behold, until he chose the path of GAR and called iron maiden punishment unto himself, even when he knows he’s not going to endure it alone. What drove him to do it? Guilt? Regret? Friendship? Saving Face? Bravery? Considering these, Kurosawa sure had guts to reverse his ways, and we were there to witness it.

    • Yes. I talk about authenticity, but it’s very much like the insincerity you describe. I want to be your friend, even if you’re a few dozen million years older than me.

  5. Ningyo says:

    I tend to avoid emotional epics about redemption, friendship and forgiveness, and was going to say that I’d rather not read this one as I can never cry when I want to for a moving anime/manga/visual novel. That’s why I avoided Planetarian like the plague after I read it once; because it was so good.

    …I still gave it a shot though (ehe) in the end, and so far, a few chapters in, it’s very entertaining, simply because it’s so different. We’ve seen bullying before, but from the eyes of this man…

    I’ve yet to see the moving parts, but I’ve high expectations now.

  6. sadakups says:

    Yeah, I include OMK as one of my otaku moments of the year. Never have I read something so good despite the twisted premise.

    There are actually a lot of good moments in OMK. As far as this article is concerned, I was also one of them readers who raged when Nagaoka started dating Takigawa despite the build-up prior to that event. Eventually, this chapter really made me realize that it’s hard to find someone like Nagaoka, even in real life. For someone Kurosawa initially hated becoming one of his closest allies when everyone else is against him, I just can’t help but like the guy after this chapter.

    So here’s a drink to Afro-dono.

  7. Ningyo says:

    Just finished it. Hah.
    Holy.
    SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII-

    It might as well be called Emotion, because that’s what it essentially is – a block of raw, undiluted emotion. I’m still gathering my thoughts, but I cannot remember the last time that I felt so moved by a manga. The writing is excellent, but I also have to give credit to the art; each expression, as well as each important moment of the expressions are caught in the art to maximize dramatic meaning.

    MAGISTER being paired with Nagaoka was indeed shell shock number one. It definitely shook me – here was our protagonist, his layers of sin peeling away, when suddenly the most extreme shipping twist degenerates him completely. Kurosawa saw MAGISTER as an angel, his panacea, and thus the reader begins to see her as one as well. Suddenly the medicine for this very psychologically unhealthy protagonist disappears – it was very extreme, and I felt it because the excellent narrative connected me. I hated Nagaoka, because he killed the ‘happy ending’. Live proof here http://twitter.com/lilyglasscradle/status/7220946533 .

    But did he really? If such a pairing hadn’t happened, would Kurosawa really be truly ‘saved’? This lead to Kurosawa’s confession, which also leads to Kurosawa receiving his first glimmer of hope from Nagaoka. He’s the one who really pulled Kurosawa out of the dark. At that point I couldn’t harbor any sort of resentment for the afroman; he’s definitely an incredible, larger than life character, simply because of how much he is able to forgive.

    Yes, I did end up suffering horribly during the end-middle parts. Wanted to cry but couldn’t. Go figure.

    My favorite part was when Kitahara opened the door to the class reunion venue, and the doorknob was mirrored to the washroom sliding lock, reminding us all of the iconic scene of Kurosawa leaving the stall to tell Kitahara about his will to change and endure. Passing through the proverbial door that locked them in, the moment where the bgm is muted. What’s beautiful is that the scene ends there, and the reunion is depicted as light on the other side. The end of the storm, the parting of the clouds, the light at the end of the tunnel.

    But it is now 1 am and time to turn in this incomplete essay. I need to find myself dinner. FROFIST, MMF!

    • sadakups says:

      I did the same thing when I finished reading OMK. I couldn’t stop saying stuff about it. :)

    • *FROFIST*

      Man you bring back the memories when OMK started going viral. People like you would be reading OMK right after my post published, then checking back with me every now and then until you finish it — people’s jizz all over the comments section. I love it.

      In some ways I’m still in the post-coital bliss with OMK, and it’s not a bad feeling.

      Also, great moment and great observation re the symmetry between the door openings and Kitahara!

    • gloval says:

      Seems like I’ve seen this before.

      It’s like I’m watching a game between two prefectures that I have no connection with. Suddenly, I have this feeling that I will be hearing from her…

  8. DK Eternity says:

    Ah yes, this is one of my favorite moments of OMK…

    These days, I don’t really see a lot of people like Kurosawa. He’s got guts for admitting what he did (especially since I don’t really think he could have been caught anyway), and accepting the consequences of his actions. It really takes a lot to accept all that Kurosawa had to endure.

    But more than that, I think it also takes a lot to do what Nagaoka did. At first, I thought he was just plain annoying. Even more so when Takigawa became his girlfriend (which really caught me by surprise). However, when he chose to forgive Kurosawa, I find it hard to dislike him after doing something that I don’t even think I could do.

    • I think the key was the idea that he wouldn’t have been caught. I accept that it’s improbable and that this made his confession so amazing. But let’s speculate: was there really no way for the fapnoting to be traced back to him/Kitahara?

  9. fangzhao says:

    Oh look a loser who masturbates every day and thinks life is good. He sucks so much.

    Lol he got caught! Probably going to turn out to be some shitty romance story with this glasses girl.

    Okay, this is getting boring. Why do other people claim this is great? It seems like a really bad manga.

    Wait what the fuck holy shit?!?!?!!!

  10. 2DT says:

    Goodness. A lot of us have written about OMK.

    I noticed the hesitation on your first mention of Takigawa. And now it’s bothering me for realy-real: What on earth is up with that girl’s name?

    My favorite part was what happened between Kurosawa and Sugawa. It was a surprise, but it wasn’t forced, and it felt very mature for both of them. Not the same powerful impact as Nagaoka’s moment, but I think it was the most affirming for me.

    • I have no idea, except a vague reference to the Negima manga.

      Yes, that was a very lovely too — and it’s interesting that it made some kind of an anticlimax in a very good way. I think sometimes stories need not ‘end’ with a bang, or have its biggest drama at the very end. It was very fulfilling indeed.

    • usagijen says:

      I thought Takigawa was supposed to be a reference on that reporter Christel Takigawa. And I only realized that a lot of their namaes end with -wa. Now what’s up with that?

  11. Shadro says:

    I didn’t know anything about this until I saw this thread and the only reason it caught my eye is that guy with the fro looks just like me and its kind of creepy or cool. I haven’t decided which, though I need to take a look into this now.

  12. lolikitsune says:

    OMK makes me kind of mad at myself ’cause I knew a Nagaoka in high school. I didn’t need his friendship, and he needed all he could get, so that much is different, but he was persistently friendly. He was also a total idiot and I didn’t treat him very well (hence being mad at myself) but eh, the past is the past.

    OMK is powerful.

    • I think I met one in college, only he was into Van Halen and not anime. But man he was such a dork about it. He played much better guitar than I did so I let him into our band… but the fucker was so annoying (not because he was unfriendly) that I ended up ignoring him when I started majoring.

      Not one of my best moments, but I kind of feel bad on how justified I feel (even now) for my decision.

  13. usagijen says:

    I’ve already said it elsewhere, but yes, this is definitely one of main highlights of the series for me as well. The BAWWWW Q_Q moment, specifically. I read it again a few times, and I still shed [wo]manly tears for it.

    Post-coital bliss eh… I think I can say the same for me and OMK. Now if only I’ll stop failing and squirt more of my juices in my stage (aka write MOAR planned OMK posts in the blog)

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