Forum › A Monster Wants to Eat Me discussion

1107caa0-b001-4ad0-a6c1-002016683af0
joined Jul 15, 2019

I feel like Hinako will learn to love Shiori and begin to want to live so they can be together. Of course the irony in finding what you want to live for and it turning out to be the one thing that prevents you from doing that is not lost on me. I both hate and love that at the same time, because on the one hand that’s really good writing but it also makes me sad because if the circumstances were different they could both be happy. Pain.

Setsuko2
joined Jan 20, 2014

yea i really don't get the vibe from this that things will just continue on with hinaki ripening and shiori eating her. something is going to happen, and there will be some kind of turning point. one thing too that i haven't seen mentioned is the fact that shiori said she had been LOOKING for hinako. so she had to have known about her from somewhere/somehow

Manga
joined Oct 26, 2015

I feel like Miko is gonna play a bigger role later on in the series because I couldn't help but notice her bead bracelet. Idk maybe this is a reach but I think they hold some sort of significance especially since they were highlighted in their own panel. I don't think that's a coincidence and she's probably protecting MC in some way? Maybe she's some sort of a hunter?

But the speculations that Miko could actually be another monster herself would be interesting too lol

Sumire
joined Feb 9, 2017

Page 23 of Chap 4 caught my eye. We got a brief peek under the long-sleeves Hinako always wears. Bottom right panel reveals what looks to be burn scars. This would line up with the previous flash-backs we've had. Now I'm left wondering just what the heck happened to Hinako's family. And how badly scarred is she considering her penchant for high-neck tops too.

joined Sep 6, 2018

I’d argue that “easy cut-and-dry professionalism” doesn’t describe all therapists and especially not the kind that would be good for our MC here, but your point is well-taken.

I think MC doesn’t want sympathy or empathy. She wants someone who lives in the same world (hence the lovely, powerful images of her being deep underwater—what an excellent visual metaphor, because it do be like that) to show her kindness without empathy.

W/ r/ to methods, stories get to have things happen with unacceptably low success rates & pick the “success” roll. I agree this is not the way to go IRL, certainly not a manual for good mental health. But IDK if fish girl is supposed to be an emanation of MC’s mind; to me it seems more like she’s that to the author, and this somewhat ethereal story comes from them semi-abstractly representing their own pain. I can see in it the dream to have someone that can just help you move, and who knows that you want to die. I think that’s why there’s a certain romantic charge every time fish girl asks MC if/why she wants to die. Like the deep relief of someone just being where you’re at, mixed with gay. IDK.

Internet_lied
joined Jul 15, 2016

The tension comes from the constant choices between rocks and hard places, between simple murderers and enigmatic torturers, and a common theme that I've found running through a lot of Japanese works about depression and angst are that there are no therapists- only well-meaning people that can't understand your pain, and similarly twisted people who get it, but might also make things worse. The only piece of Japanese media that I've ever seen a therapist in is SeaBed (which uses the novelty to reinforce the norm). All in all, the easy, cut-and-dried professionalism of a therapist in a bright room or the saccharine supportiveness of a manic pixie dream girl would never fit with the story, and seem dissonant at best and hypocritical at worst.

I guess that the crux of the issue, then: a lot of Japanese media I've consumed have been very good at depicting realistic symptoms of mental trauma or illness, but realistic treatments thereof have been either nonexistent or heavily misrepresented. I know why that trope exists (therapy doesn't make for the most dramatic stories), but it rubs me the wrong way when popular media romanticize or glamorize dangerous (self-)therapy methods. It's like those shonen manga where the protagonist should really stay down for the good of his own health, but still powers through on Fighting Spirit(tm) alone, with no lasting consequences to his body. But at least in that case, most readers are keenly aware that human bodies do not work that way: there is a lot more confusion about how mental health works, and popular stories like this one don't exactly help.

last edited at Nov 30, 2020 11:39AM

Tragedian%202
joined Oct 1, 2020

I guess that the crux of the issue, then: a lot of Japanese media I've consumed have been very good at depicting realistic symptoms of mental trauma or illness, but realistic treatments thereof have been either nonexistent or heavily misrepresented. I know why that trope exists (therapy doesn't make for the most dramatic stories), but it rubs me the wrong way when popular media romanticize or glamorize dangerous (self-)therapy methods. It's like those shonen manga where the protagonist should really stay down for the good of his own health, but still powers through on Fighting Spirit(tm) alone, with no lasting consequences to his body. But at least in that case, most readers are keenly aware that human bodies do not work that way: there is a lot more confusion about how mental health works, and popular stories like this one don't exactly help.

It's not just therapists- the trope applies to parents, police officers and teachers as well. Any sort of criminal case or stalking? Deal with it alone. Any kind of bullying at school? Teachers couldn't care less. Protagonist needs to go through a turbulent period? Oh, the parents that might've given them some advice and support have just left on a ten-month business trip (assuming they're even alive).

For all the Japanese idealisation of nakama, they sure don't seem to trust institutions or organized measures of help. While it more or less fits the tone of this story, I definitely agree that its incidence in Japanese media as a whole (even in idealistic stories) is frustrating at best and worrisome at worst. There's truth in television here, of course, since Japan does have a culture of sacrificing individual happiness for the harmony of the collective, not saddling others with your personal issues, not making a scene even if you're internally screaming, and always handling everything by yourself. It's extremely toxic, because the people who do rely on more rational measures and formal aid are invariably made to fail and look either weak or stupid so that our protagonists with their endless fortitude can seem better by comparison.

Looking at the issue in this way lends an interesting context to otaku media- the idealisation of perfect friends in a country plagued by introversion and social issues is definitely wish-fulfillment, but the lack of organizational support in most stories seems to suggest that Japanese writers have either internalised the whole 'self-help at all costs' principle and turned it into an ideal, or that they're so cynical about their teachers, parents and police chipping in with support that they can't even bring themselves to write about them in fantastic scenarios. There's also probably a very definite link to be established among the immense popularity of 'healing' SOL manga and anime in the past decade and the desire among Japanese youth for some manner of connection and support.

last edited at Nov 30, 2020 12:33PM

Setsuko2
joined Jan 20, 2014

I feel like Miko is gonna play a bigger role later on in the series because I couldn't help but notice her bead bracelet. Idk maybe this is a reach but I think they hold some sort of significance especially since they were highlighted in their own panel. I don't think that's a coincidence and she's probably protecting MC in some way? Maybe she's some sort of a hunter?

But the speculations that Miko could actually be another monster herself would be interesting too lol

that could have been more the author highlighting the PDA handholding

Integra%2010
joined Dec 4, 2019

Same I don’t understand either. But I like the premise, the characters and the art so I’ll keep an eye on this one. As others have said I hope this will end with the mermaid eating her out but I’m also prepared for a bittersweet or even tragic end. Shiori looks gorgeous here! Love how Hinako is walking around with a lollipop (both in present as in the flashback). I’ve never drunk rainbow tapioca before...is it any good?

Mint
joined Jun 5, 2015

That's the thing. While Japan is very advanced and almost utopia-like in many aspect, it doesn't mean the country doesn't have some serious issues, that while it most likely works on them, it doesn't mean changes are happening at any reasonable pace. First of all Japanese have the toxic culture of pride and honor and shaming your family or group is considered to be the worst thing that could possibly happen. Why do you think even if NEETs exist in other countries, unique problems like hikikomoris manifested in Japan? 40 years old people that could be hiding in their rooms for decades, because their parents prefer to give them food and keep on hiding them rather than risking asking for help and expose the family "secret" and shame to anyone else? That's where the "doing it alone" mainly comes from, because nobody is allowed to see your weakness. That's also why Japanese people care so much about rumors.

It's similar thing with bullying and teachers. It's not that someone being bullied doesn't trust teachers. It's that teachers often know about bullying and don't do anything, because it's better for school as a whole. Kids are stressed by pressure they're put under with high expectations for them to spend all their teen lives studying in order to get to best school possible and after graduating spend rest of their life working 60+ hours a week for 1 company until they die from overworking old age. It's more beneficial to sacrifice 1 person for the good of rest of the class than trying to do something about it. Also even in case teacher would want to do something about it, going to police or something is a big no-no, because if they get involved and/or media hears about it, the school's reputation would be ruined.

And about mental health. As in most countries, most people how no real idea how mental health works and there's a lot of stigma around admitting having mental illness or going to therapy, so most people actively avoid doing so. But especially in Japan the issue is that most of their mental institutions simply suck ass. It's very common there to just describe meds for patient and hope it'll fix everything. You'll be lucky if you have anyone actually wanting to listen and talk to you, especially while taking your story seriously. So while it's true that manga about character with issues going through therapy wouldn't be the most exciting, so authors ignore that options completely, there's actually truth in fiction there that Japan's health care is simply terrible in that regard.

Hermes%20darker
joined Jan 21, 2019

the miko character is kinda annoying
sorry but i had to say it, i can somewhat stand her but she's still annoying

joined Oct 10, 2016

Any idea how long it's going to be? Not complaining, just curious.

Yuu
joined Mar 28, 2015

Reminds me of Angels of Death, but with yuri.

1614377539256_copy_147x249
joined Aug 19, 2020

Well it'll do Hinako some good to talk about it if she does decide to. But man springing up a triggering question like that outta nowhere is crazy, I remember my friend did that to me, asking me when I was younger, and boy it scared me lmao and hurt a bit. Great cliffhanger, can't wait to see how Hinako will actually respond.

2SpiritCherokeePrincess
Carol%20grigg
joined Jun 20, 2020

American teachers ignore bullying too. Some even punish kids for reporting it.

Rsz_wa
joined Sep 5, 2019

interested to see how this series will go, it'd be REALLY odd if hinako is killed and eaten on the final chapter but also weird if the monster decided to just give up eating her

joined Jun 12, 2019

Man...

_20180228_203946
joined Jan 24, 2018

#wantstoeatmorethanherpancreas

Internet_lied
joined Jul 15, 2016

For all the Japanese idealisation of nakama, they sure don't seem to trust institutions or organized measures of help. While it more or less fits the tone of this story, I definitely agree that its incidence in Japanese media as a whole (even in idealistic stories) is frustrating at best and worrisome at worst. There's truth in television here, of course, since Japan does have a culture of sacrificing individual happiness for the harmony of the collective, not saddling others with your personal issues, not making a scene even if you're internally screaming, and always handling everything by yourself. It's extremely toxic, because the people who do rely on more rational measures and formal aid are invariably made to fail and look either weak or stupid so that our protagonists with their endless fortitude can seem better by comparison.

and

That's the thing. While Japan is very advanced and almost utopia-like in many aspect, it doesn't mean the country doesn't have some serious issues, that while it most likely works on them, it doesn't mean changes are happening at any reasonable pace. First of all Japanese have the toxic culture of pride and honor and shaming your family or group is considered to be the worst thing that could possibly happen. Why do you think even if NEETs exist in other countries, unique problems like hikikomoris manifested in Japan? 40 years old people that could be hiding in their rooms for decades, because their parents prefer to give them food and keep on hiding them rather than risking asking for help and expose the family "secret" and shame to anyone else? That's where the "doing it alone" mainly comes from, because nobody is allowed to see your weakness. That's also why Japanese people care so much about rumors.

Regarding Japanese societal ills: From what I've read about the country, I strongly suspect that the root issue behind all of them is that Japan has modernized far too rapidly for its own good over the last 150 years. Its technological level and population density is that of Tönnies' Gesellschaft, but the prevailing mindset belongs to a Gemeinschaft, and those two just don't get along. In many ways (but not all!), modern Japanese society is very similar to that of Victorian Britain 150 years ago: rich yet overworked, self-repressed yet oversexed, and obsessed with youthful beauty. The aforementioned poor state of mental care in Japan is also eerily similar to the infamous Victorian "madhouses".

last edited at Dec 1, 2020 4:44AM

Tragedian%202
joined Oct 1, 2020

Regarding Japanese societal ills: From what I've read about the country, I strongly suspect that the root issue behind all of them is that Japan has modernized far too rapidly for its own good over the last 150 years. Its technological level and population density is that of Tönnies' Gesellschaft, but the prevailing mindset belongs to a Gemeinschaft, and those two just don't get along. In many ways (but not all!), modern Japanese society is very similar to that of Victorian Britain 150 years ago: rich yet overworked, self-repressed yet oversexed, and obsessed with youthful beauty. The aforementioned poor state of mental care in Japan is also eerily similar to the infamous Victorian "madhouses".

Also interesting is the political divide in the country- despite general assumptions that the Japanese population is wildly conservative, polls have established that they're actually quite liberal and support issues like same-sex marriage, worker's rights, income equality and so forth. It's just that the average Japanese citizen isn't politically active- they've got way too much (over)work on their plate to devote time to reading up on political campaigns, let alone participating in them, and probably also don't want to cope with the social stigma of being seen as ' radical'. I watched this video in which a person interviewed Japanese women on their views about ' feminism', and the vast majority didn't know what the word meant (amusingly, one thought it referred to lesbian relationships). On further inquiry, the interviewer found that most women in Japan had feminism-adjacent views, but lacked the drive or political knowledge to mobilize powerful campaigns. The hyper-politicized culture of the West that makes political conversations commonplace and renders it impossible to live without a defined view doesn't exist in Japan- if anything, political nonalignment and apathy is the norm there, and the focus is much more on living one's own life in a suitably dutiful/unobtrusive way. The incredibly low voter turnout in recent elections and the general lack of overt to references to political issues in Japanese pop culture reinforce this- neither the NEETs and nor the salarymen are really driven to care about specific societal issues, and especially not those relating to minorities.

Content creators in Japanese media might promote messages like 'Discrimination is bad' all the time, but they're always set in societies so fantastic that any degree of real-world applicability gets rendered moot, and Japan thus remains thoroughly xenophobic while idolizing shows like FMA and most of Ghibli's output. Anti-capitalism dwells at the heart of much of Japanese cyberpunk and has characterized some of its most iconic franchises, but the country's economy itself is relentlessly capitalist (peddling gacha games with predatory gambling and lootbox mechanics to kids and younger audiences ought to be illegal, but instead, there's more of 'em coming out each year with zero restrictions on wallet-squeezing drop rates, even when measures to cut down on lootboxes have been taken in the EU). This odd, yawning gap between the seeming optimism and brightness of Japanese media and the cruel realities of its society can also be seen in the nation's immense dearth of any kind of social or political satire (at least in manga/anime). You get shows like Konosuba or SSSS Gridman that poke fun at NEET culture or promote messages of not living in fantasy worlds, but they're often just lip-service, wrapped up in packages sold with internet-breaking waifus who mint figurines by the millions for stay-at-home collectors (and I think I've already mentioned how this dates back to Gundam and Evangelion in another one of our conversations).

The vast majority of idol shows would much rather market fluffy, ecstatic high-school girls to audiences instead of exploring how mercilessly exploitative the industry is, the vast majority of isekai shows would much rather show hardcore 'gamers' being rewarded for their achievements in alternate worlds instead of telling them that their behavior might be self-destructive, and we've already explored how most shonen shows get mental health horribly wrong. Heck, I've heard that Japanese studio execs often don't allow shows that are too explicitly subversive or satirical to air in the first place, and the same goes for manga publishers. From the earliest point of their careers, content creators are told to play it safe, to focus on materialism and pretty character designs and moe rather than any deeper messaging. The reason why the handfuls of manga about queer and trans folks still being published in Japan come off as 'preachy' to Western readers is because authors writing for Japanese audiences quite literally need to educate them about these issues from scratch, to tell them that these people exist, because the level of political awareness about anything but the most mainstream groups is nonexistent.

Japan today is a mildly nightmarish society precisely because it takes the two prime ends of the labour cycle, work and recreation, and hones each of them to symbiotic efficiency. Workers in black companies and high-pressure positions toil their brains out, putting in hours of overtime that they legally don't need to in order to prevent being ostracized by co-workers, and then wearily stagger home to consume streams of wish-fulfilling, pandering content utterly devoid of social messaging or subversive themes, designed for the sole purpose of injecting serotonin and dopamine into their brains so they can pick themselves off the couch next morning and repeat the cycle anew. That's also why gacha games are so popular in Japan despite getting criticized in the Western community for repetitive and simple gameplay, plastic characters, patchwork plots and terrible rates- your average Japanese salaryman doesn't have the time to boot up the old PS4 and question humanity with Nier Automata. He pulls his smartphone out on the train for a login bonus, does some grinding in the breaks between shifts, invests the vast majority of his disposable income in rolling, feels a rush of validation when he gets a character, and actually feels like he's indulging in the closest thing to a real relationship when an anime girl flutters her eyelids and tells him she loves him, because he has worked for this harder than he has at any other relationship in his joyless, regimented life.

The majority of Japanese don't want literary masterpieces, and are fine with generic, 'safe' content as long as it's reliable and gives them an emotional drip-feed. They love SOL because their own lives are so utterly, tragically devoid of it. And the fact that they reinvest their hard-won gains into the products of corporations with work cultures every bit as toxic as the ones that oppress them ensures that the cycle will never break, because all the prospective rebels have had their spirit crushed by the labor cycle. It's Marx's worst nightmare, and since the nation's political system is dominated by a bunch of privileged, conservative old men who will never be voted out by an exhausted and apathetic populace drowning in false consciousness, the future looks pretty bleak. And in retrospect, all those catchy, inspirational 'Work hard and you can do anything!~" messages from every corner of Japanese pop culture become a whole lot more sinister when you apply 'em to corporate culture. After the fascination's faded, you look underneath and see the rot. To put it simply, Japan in the 21st century is a borderline-dystopian nightmare (though the West's honestly not too far behind).

Soralaylaff
joined Oct 16, 2013

So curious as to what Miko's role is. I think she is probably an exorcist because of that close up on the prayer beads and also because her name is quite literally "Miko".

I feel like Shiori was probably the one who saved Hinako during the accident. Seems like a boat they were on exploded? Unsure if Shirori is telling the truth about wanting to eat Hinako at her happiest because she'll taste better or if it's because she just wants Hinako to be happy again.

If Shiori is telling the truth about wanting to eat Hinako and she met Hinako as a child, maybe she was going to eat Hinako then. Hinako must have been at her happiest at that festival so she could have attracted a lot of monsters that day. But then the accident happened, ruining Hinako's "flavor" and Shirori has been haunted by her lost opportunity to have a tasty snack all these years lol.

Images
joined Apr 13, 2018

I still can't get over how gorgeous the artstyle is

Manga
joined Oct 26, 2015

I feel like Miko is gonna play a bigger role later on in the series because I couldn't help but notice her bead bracelet. Idk maybe this is a reach but I think they hold some sort of significance especially since they were highlighted in their own panel. I don't think that's a coincidence and she's probably protecting MC in some way? Maybe she's some sort of a hunter?

But the speculations that Miko could actually be another monster herself would be interesting too lol

that could have been more the author highlighting the PDA handholding

yeah, I thought of that too, but the author could have easily showed them holding hands without the bracelet present too if it was mainly for the pda. Like I said, I could be reaching HAHA but we're only on ch 4 of the series and I can't help but feel like there's more too it or some plot twist is gonna happen. It doesn't look like I'm the only one in this forum that thinks there's more to Miko than what she's letting on but idk we'll see

joined Sep 13, 2018

I feel like Shiori was probably the one who saved Hinako during the accident. Seems like a boat they were on exploded? Unsure if Shirori is telling the truth about wanting to eat Hinako at her happiest because she'll taste better or if it's because she just wants Hinako to be happy again.

Honestly I could get the idea of Shiori lying about wanting to eat her, and in like a weird fucked up monster way, she gets Hinako wants to die (Not the why hence asking her at the end of ch4), so she's using that desire to goad her into trying to improve herself. Otherwise I don't really see a whole 'Oh she falls in love and doesn't wanna eat Hinako' type route happening, and a 'Hinako gets better and gets eaten' just kinda depresses me to think about lmao.

yeah, I thought of that too, but the author could have easily showed them holding hands without the bracelet present too if it was mainly for the pda. Like I said, I could be reaching HAHA but we're only on ch 4 of the series and I can't help but feel like there's more too it or some plot twist is gonna happen. It doesn't look like I'm the only one in this forum that thinks there's more to Miko than what she's letting on but idk we'll see

Honestly I'd super buy Miko being an exorcist or something. She's Hinako's only friend, and despite Hinako being absolutely irresistible to monsters, she hasn't been eaten up until the times where Miko has been gone. Like in Ch1 she couldn't walk Hinako to school -> Hinako nearly gets lured into being eaten until Shiori stops her. Also she asked a rather specific 'did any weirdos bother you' question, like she might be aware of the idea that Hinako draws in 'weirdos'. She's got to have something to do with why Hinako's alive up until now.. Like it could be just 'Oh she just cares about her friend' but way to many things seem suspicious. Hell I wouldn't even be surprised if the whole 'oh my uniform was wet!' and fever things were just covers for her doing her duties killing monsters. Plus it'd really play into the love triangle they've clearly got developing if you've got love rivals being a monster and monster hunter.

last edited at Dec 2, 2020 4:19AM

Ykn1
joined Dec 20, 2018

Otherwise I don't really see a whole 'Oh she falls in love and doesn't wanna eat Hinako' type route happening, [...]

Eh, isn't it even better, if a bit clichéd, if she falls for her despite only wanting to eat her at first?

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