A year ago, I made a post about a comic called Onani Master Kurosawa, or "Masturbation Master Kurosawa". It was like Death Note, except the hero dished out justice by masturbating on the belongings of his enemies. The story was shaping up to be effective parody, but the group that was translating it released chapters really, really slowly and so it eventually fell out of my mind.
But Kurosawa was going on. It was changing dramatically. It was actually getting good. Believe it or not, this story about the loser kid who heroically jerks off on things was becoming one of the most honest and heartwarming things I'd read in a while. Kurosawa himself very slowly transforms from a creepy loner doing his impression of Light/Lelouch (the typical male anime convention attendee) into a slightly more mature, slightly more functional human being. Over the course of the story, he learns to live with people and grow out of the adolescent, melodramatic "it's me against them!!" mentality of a kid this age.
And we were stuck during Kurosawa's big crisis of faith-- his "to jerk or not to jerk" moment. As it was a back-burner project for the translators, only 18 chapters were out as of a week or two ago. The cliffhangers were getting worse and worse, and the translators were taking longer and longer to get chapters done. But then, a hero arrived.
The one-man Emergency Exit team started putting out chapters: two or three in a day. The story was finished up yesterday. In the space of a week, with a better translation than the frequently-awkward script the last group was giving us. Kurosawa finished his journey, and everybody was happy. Except for the previous translation team, who called the guy a retard and posted WE DUN CARE in big red letters on their stunningly illiterate forums. Unbeknownst to them, that was just additional entertainment for me.
I mentioned already that what I like about Kurosawa is its honesty. It's a surprisingly feel-good story without ever ringing false or dipping into cliche. Kurosawa is neither sold as an irredeemable monster nor a justified hero. The comic doesn't forget that these are just stupid middle school kids who do stupid things, and it's able to forgive them. The protagonist goes through some big changes, and he doesn't just wake up a new and better man one morning. He just gets progressively closer to seeing the world and the people around them for what they are: from Death Note to... normal, everyday people trying to live happy lives.
It's really unusual to see this kind of thoughtful, even-handed story at all-- nevermind out of such a bizarre premise. I'm not sure whether the comic matures on purpose or by accident, but it's probably more mature than many of its contemporaries. This comes highly recommended, but, uh, you probably still shouldn't read it at work.