Pink Chalk Milkshake

cross5.JPG (27150 bytes)by Katchan

"Write an article," she says.

"But on what??" I wails, despairing.

"That Weiss thing you have," she suggests.

(I paraphrase, of course. What she actually said was something along the lines of the fact that a good dose of bismuth would get rid of the fluttery feelings I get sometimes but that I could always just write an article on Weiss and that would do just as well.)

I'm not sure at all what attracts me to Weiss Kreuz; it's considerably more superficial than most of the series I tend to like, some of which are pretty superficial to begin with. The anime art is...ehh...not my cuppa (though I must confess I'm terribly in love with the manga art). Even the story is terribly implausible at times.

cross2.JPG (26258 bytes)So, why?

I suspect that it has more to do with the offshoots of the original series, than with the series itself. I love Ja! Weiss which has no sex in it but which makes me laugh consistently. I love doujinshi that give a few more reasons for the boys' (contrived) angst than the series does. I love doujinshi where I just get to see the boys screwing.

I catch myself reaching for a Weiss tumbler at Kiki Wai (wonderful store in Toronto, can't recommend them enough), and I don't even wince at the ridiculous price on it. It's a bit of mechanically-produced glass with a few SD characters on it in black -- not even in colour -- yet I have to have it.

I give a friend $40 to get me a poster at Anime North (while I am working and can't go to the dealer's room myself) -- just in case $20 isn't enough. Hello?

I have little Ken and Omi zipper-mascots hanging on my purse, and one day I panic when I think I might have lost my little Kenken....

cross3.JPG (22713 bytes)Now, normally I'm pretty level-headed and sober, but there are some series that do this to me, and Weiss is one of them. I've spent a great deal of time contemplating the phenomenon and comparing it to my other anime/manga obsessions, in order to determine why Weiss has captured me so. And I think I've reached a couple of conclusions.

First conclusion -- absolute curiosity. I was introduced to Weiss by a friend teaching in Japan (welcome home, Arline!), who sent me a shitajiki (pencil board) with the four boys on the front, a white cross on the back, and no information whatsoever. She ran off an email when I thanked her, mentioned something about people slashing Ken/Aya and Youji/Omi, told me it was a silly series but that I might like it. For a long time afterward I would look at that darned shitajiki and puzzle over the different characters -- making me more than determined to find out more about them. By the time I did, I had become quite enamoured of them all in a bizarre sort of romantic way (hey, Youji's got a sort of come-hither look on his face in that shot...). So finding out about them only gratified the need I had to know more, and the satisfied feeling I got from having that curiosity sated helped me forget that the series is so terribly... lacking in substance. But then of course we don't read manga to be enlightened, ne?

cross4.JPG (26289 bytes)Second conclusion -- "What have you got against the birds? They're very pretty." Indeed, the Weiss boys are very pretty, and the first I really saw of them aside from the shitajiki was the two manga volumes (again, sent to me by Arline, darling woman), and the art in the manga is extremely appealing to me -- makes the four of them just look young and lithe rather than breakably skinny.

Third conclusion (all right, I lied) -- there are just so many holes in the series that the writer in me dearly wants to fill! And filling in those holes is the privilege of fanfiction and doujinshi, and what a delight it is to ensure that one's favourite boy gets the attention he deserves!

I confess -- none of these reasons alone is sufficient to convince someone that the series is worth going out of my way to find series-related paraphernalia, and to obsess mildly about Kenken (it hardly convinces me)... but together, and in the brain of an easily-influenced fan, it's more than enough justification.

And with any luck, this weekend I'll have a few minutes to scribble down the salient points of a story that's been going on inside my head for several weeks.

Oh, the agony. Pass that bottle of pink stuff, would you?

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