Aikida
Original review author: Yaoi Huntress Earth
Webcomic name: Aikida
Author: Josh Meinzer
Start Date May 26 2008
End Date Ongoing
Genre Slice-of-Life Comedy
Defining Flaw Mediocrity
Things that are fucking terrible about this webcomic: Unfunny parodies, a fairly unlikeable heroine with a flat cast, storylines are cut-off before any development can occur
Things that aren't terrible but could use improvement: The early art was decent until it went anime
Summary: While it can use a lot of improvement, there's a lot of "been there, read that" along with the new art that holds it back.

Ratings summary:

Background

This was one was requested on the forums so I decided to check it out.

Story and Plot

Maybe it’s the result of reading so many shitty webcomics that I couldn't help feeling apathetic and jaded while reading Aikida. It doesn't have the vileness of Eegra or Shredded Moose. It doesn’t shamelessly rip-off stuff like No Need for Bushido or is pit of clichés that Zap! is. Even the stuff it’s guilty of like piling on the cheesecake while begging for your wallet were even done “better” and more shamelessly by Exerin. In a way, I can’t find myself totally despising this comic like many others I’ve reviewed, but that I feel more bored and frustrated with it.

I’ll get to the basics, Aikida is the story of a red-headed, six-foot-tall half-Japanese girl (who looked Hispanic when I first saw her) named Aikida and her adventures in college with her wacky roommate, the roommate’s little sister and the three guys that live across the street. While Aikida is rather grouchy, swears a lot at times and is prone to punching guys (and her little sister when they were kids) for no reason (the guy she slept with) or resentment (the sister), even she doesn’t quite reach the levels of the dreaded uber-bitch (see Ina of No Need for Bushido or Mirru of Kitsune Jewel); I just don’t find her very likable. She even has a nerdy-looking boyfriend who she cheats on in a drunken one-night stand (the same guy she punches in the throat in a previous link) and it just made me more bored than angry with her. Even her dead brother, jealousy toward no longer being the baby of the family and her insecurities about her body (because she's sooooo tall and mixed race) still fail to impress.

Downfall

It was a mediocre comic at first, but when the artist wanted to jump the anime bandwagon it lost lost something even more because of it.

Author biography

I can give Meinzer credit for sincerely wanting to expand his horizons and try new things and I hope the suggestions in the art and writing review will hopefully help. It seems he's rather apprehensive when people didn't like the new style and he has a habit of talking too much about stuff in his author's notes. Granted I'm not interested in the same things as he is so that might be it.

Art review

While he does try to improve, the jump to a more anime style was not his best idea. It didn’t change his anatomy problems (and the boobs still stick out) and the faces were poorly done. This is where I want to grab people by their shirts and scream: “Big-eyes-small-mouth does not equal talent!” If it’s not done right you run into same face syndrome and poorly done, overdone yet overly simplistic expressions. And don’t give me that it’s the way the anime\manga style is supposed to be bullshit because I want to present you a scene from the manga, Battle Royale. Not only can all forty students be told apart from each other, have lips and fairly defined noses, but there’s real emotion in their faces with out resorting to single lines and watermelon-sized mouths with fangs. Of course the artist drew a revenge comic and rant about it.

Writing review

The stories themselves are divided into two categories: drama and comedy. Putting the comedy strips in a black boarder is a good idea. While Aikida doesn’t hit the levels of bad parodies and gamer jokes as God Mode, it’s still not very good. The first two storylines focus on minor things like Aikida’s first tattoo and the Halloween party and neither one really develops the plot or characters (and their relationships) all that much. The Halloween one (which involves the previously mentioned drunken one-night stand) ends with Aikida waking up and there’s no aftermath other than having her punch the guy and refuse to explain herself in the next storyline. Did he give her a VD or a pregnancy that she was forced to abort? Did she lose her boyfriend as a result? This would've been nice if it was brought up in previous storyline or at least in a future one otherwise she just looks like a violent harpy. The current one is focusing on Aikida’s past, her family problems and her brother’s death (though the last few comics refused to load.) It’s okay so far, but not very interesting none of the less.

I should take one part of the last paragraph back, since there are THREE categories. The third being cheesecake pin-ups of the girls (including the underage sister). While the art is a lot better than some stuff I've seen, the misshapen anatomy and his constant begging and whining for donations makes them even more unappealing. Not to mention the pics aren't appealing enough to begin with.

As for the rest of the cast, they are either loosely defined or been done before like Pepper, Aikida’s crazy, lusty tomboy roommate. Granted Pepper isn’t as bad as Zii (Menage a 3) or Jane (Nobody Scores), it’s been done before. Tito is horny and vain; Pepper’s sister is just there along with no real personality traits other than she's nice and happy and the other two guy are pretty interchangeable (other than one of them is probably gay). There’s also a horny, bi-sexual single-mother tattoo lady that hits on Aikida, but I don’t know if she was just a one-shot deal.

Conclusion

Maybe I am jaded from all the worse stuff I’ve read, but it still doesn’t give this comic a free pass. There could be a good comic if the writer would stop with the parodies, go back to the old art style and give the story and characters a little more padding.

Links

Place links pertaining to the webcomic here.

  • [url spacebar title for link] plus anything else you want to add dangling behind like this.
  • [url spacebar linky] just press enter for each new one and you've got a brand new bullet to start you off.
  • [url spacebar linkster-poo] seriously add something here I'm running out of inane shit to say
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