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Himoto Sora is a transfer student with a sense of justice and dreams of becoming a knight. Upon arriving at Utopia Gakuen, she learns of a virtual reality-like game played by the male students in which they use girls as weapons in battles for status and treat them as commodities. Seeing one of these girls being abused she steps in and through some sort of error unwittingly becomes the first female participant of the game.
失乐园 失楽園 สวรรค์สาบสูญ Lost Paradise (French) Paradise Lost (NAOMURA Tooru)
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Certainly not Utena, and certainly a lot of fun to discover and read.
I'm going to skim over this issue and just say that it's not Utena and anyone who tries to blast it for plagiarism is an moron. It's like those idiots trying to say that Gen. Larry Platt stole "Pants on the Ground" because they have a song called "Back Pockets on the Floor" - having something be similar does not automatically make it plagiarism or stolen material.
Shitsurakuen is a really good series. The chapters so far have been whole stories in themselves, and I could easily see it as an anime series already with an episode per chapter (or per two chapters in the case of six and seven). You can take the series at face value and think about it as a romantic shoujo-ai, or you could look at it as a real statement about the abuse some men impose on women. Of course, that's not to say all men are like this, but it certainly exists in the world and I like the way this story handles it.
One thing did strike my interest though - seeing as the girls become subservient and protected by their "knight" or "owner", and seeing that those girls Sora has so far rescued have become very close and loyal to her in a servantish manner (though she's said she doesn't want them to do that), I wonder...did the author intend to show how these girls have already been permanently damaged? Think on it: despite being rescued, they are still acting in a subservient manner, just willingly and with a smile, to Sora. They've been property for so long that they almost, it seems, don't know what else to be.
I'm sure Sora has seen this too, as she's mentioned several times to the girls not to serve her or such, but to believe in her instead. As she rescues more girls, while she can protect them, will it really in the long run fix the problem? These girls have been trained into almost a second-class state, and even when "emancipated", they still follow that.
I think the author did intend to show this. It's a really deep function of the story that I'm sure will come more to light soon - Sora's due to lose a match sometime soon, she's won everything so far. There has to be a defeat sometime.
Again, it's an excellent series, and I'm readily looking forward to more.
It ain't Utena. In fact, I'm starting to think it could even be better. *waits for the Utena fanboys/girls to kill me*
Sigh, I really have no idea why people are comparing this series to Utena and saying that it's plagiarism because it really is not. Yes, there are some slight similarities, but you will get that with just about every series out there. What people are forgeting is that this manga is about male oppression and standing up to it! Really, last time I checked, that was not the focus of Utena.
As for Shitsurakuen, I have to say that I love it; it's very refreshing~ I often see women often be depicted as weak, or clumsy, or stupid in manga, which is very insulting. Sure, sometimes there are strong ones who take charge, and I like those. However, none of them really address the inequality of women in society, save for this series. God, I give this mangaka props~!
Oh, and the art is adorable as well~ (and the shoujo-ai hints are just to cute~!)
This is personally the coolest shoujo-ai/action manga I've ever read! I mean, it's obviously meant to be aimed towards boys, but I can't help but love the story itself.
As an Utena fan, I can't help but feel that it has a few similar qualities. In spite of it, however, it is definitely somewhat original, if not strange and refreshing while I'm at it.
Action usually doesn't do it for me. I prefer watching it as an animation, but this manga is one of those exceptions. There aren't TOO many fighting scenes in it I think, and if there are, then they wrap up rather quickly, within a chapter, or half of it at least.
The heroine certainly comes off as the typical defender of justice, but she's endearing enough that I'll let it slide. Other characters, mostly the entire male population of the school come off as real a-holes. But in reality, we know that not every one is like that.
I'm very fond of the art, which was what led me into reading the manga in the first place. The lines are smooth and very clean, in my opinion of course. Characters are quite easy to tell apart as well.
I get the whole not 'being into female oppression' thing, so if you're REAL picky about your manga, then this probably isn't for you. But honestly, it's JUST a manga. So if you're a hardcore feminist, then don't take it too seriously, otherwise, it's probably best to just stay away.
But, if you like shoujo-ai, then by all means, please read!
Good so far
A lot of shounen end up very similar, but I wouldn't call them plagiarism. Neither is this. Couple chapters in and it has differentiated itself from Utena. So, I agree with others this plagiarism thing is a bit overboard.
Anyway, it's a bit uncomfortable to read this, and I'm sure guys will find it more so. A lot of guys are really nice people and most guys would never do what these bastards do (in fact most guys have a problem with being overprotective : P), but it IS true some people really are (and especially were) as horrible as those in this manga.
Indeed, it's really kind of unbelievable that all these bastards end up going to the same school and that the girls are willing to go to this school at all, whether or not it's the best school or something. I think perhaps the mangaka was making the school a symbol for the centuries of abuses from these particular type of males. As well as the exaggerated suffering the girls go through, also a symbol from the times when girls couldn't just "drop out". I might just over thinking it, I don't know, but either way seeing Sora beat up these bastards makes me happy. : P
I think the manga should have a good guy in it too, and the glasses boy from the 3rd chapter could be the person the mangaka has planned. I'll be reading more to find out.
... Last updated on November 30th, 2009, 6:56pm
I personally found this to be very interesting with unique characters. The mangaka throw in some special characters who do not appear to be what they really are. Cute arts btw. Don't mind somebody said this not interesting. I did not even found Hayate no Gotoku interesting enough, only funny, until Tennos Athena appears. So give this manga a chance. Don't count your chicken before it hatch. This story only just begins. Rather I think that one chapter a month is not enough for me. Wish it was one chapter a week even if it's only 20 pages. Favorite girl so far: Izaki Koharu, her cute reactions to Sora are just so like many girls in yuri related anime. Hopefuly, an anime adaptation will be made for this series in the long run.
... Last updated on January 7th, 2010, 4:41am
ok calm down
I love shitsuraken. Yes people you can tell that some minor details like swords coming out of their chest came from Utena ,but the plot is original within itself. I'm in love with the main characters a lot more than I was with Utena. In Utena the girl was always acting stubborn and the other girl had no personality of her own she just agreed happily with whoever was engaged to her. The main character shitsuraken is upbeat yes she is naive like a typical shonnen character but personally for me I like watching the characters develops throughout the story not just starting out magically wise and strong against every oppenent they face. I'm personally just thankful this manga isn't another mundane girls boarding school yuri. I love this manga and I personally look forward to every chapter that comes out. I could see someone not liking this manga if all they were interested in was no conflict lovey dovey stuff; but for someone who enjoys both yuri and shonnen I personally recommend this as a fan myself.
Well worth reading! (I hope it's not a rip-off)
When I first read the manga, I thought it to be lauded for being a fresh, original concept (as fresh and new as you can get with a school manga...) but after reading these comments, I may rethink that. (I hate plagiarism)
In answer to Accipiter, I believe that it's mentioned in the manga (Tsuki explains to Sora) that "Iwahijiri has big influence in the world, so no one dares to oppose them."
Perhaps the children have no choice? Maybe they're threatened or coerced into doing so for fear of angering the Iwahijiri Group? Hopefully the author will explain the girl's various reasons in future backstory. That's usually the way in manga (and right in the middle of a battle too. A volume-long flashback - LOL)
That's just my best guess. I'm not condoning it or calling the premise genius, but there's plenty of manga and hentai out there where the children of parents in debt or who are in danger of losing their job are forced into all sorts of things.
As it stands, I'll take mangum44's suggestion and check out Utena. If this isn't a blatant rip-off, I'll more than likely keep reading it.
I have to say that the school system is so heinous that I'm thoroughly behind rooting for the good guys.
I found it (so far) to be a worthwhile read. Thanks, Mako-Scans (Adone and Expel) I'm looking forward to the next release.
... Last updated on July 10th, 2009, 1:06pm
I don't care if its a carbon copy of Utena or not. Alot of manga recycle the same ideas and tropes, so it shouldn't really matter. Is it good or is it at least entertaining and fun that's the question for me.
Well I have to say I like the concept of an oppressive school, girls as weapons, and virtual reality. However, its handled way too simplistically. It could have been a real complex story and even analyzed the reasons for oppression. Instead its just a school owned by a company run by misogynists. Convenient and boring. How does the virtual reality thing work? People seemed to get injured in duels so how are they hooked up to it? Not explained. Even the main character is confused by it, but just accepts it. There's alot of holes in the story.
The art is decent. The girls are nice looking, but the fights aren't drawn too well.
I can't really stand the main character Sora. She wants to be a knight and protect the girls she says, ugh. The character is in high school, but has the mental and emotional development of a seven year old. She could learn important things from her friend who has been there longer, but just as her friend is going to say something significant Sora gets up and runs off. This happens a couple of times and stupidity is not charming its annoying.
There are many things that bug me about this series. I think it had potential, but after reading 15 chapters I'm tired of waiting for Sora and this story to develop half a brain.
Actually it's not an Utena Rip-off
Nor Plagiarism. Although my love for Utena can't be measure by human standards.
Utena it's self it's not that original. Having bases in not one but multiple series and books and artist. Utena altough many times NEGATED by it's creator, its based on The Rose Of Versailles, Onii-sama E..., Ribon no Kishi , Kanashimi no Belladona , With several Art influences of Shuji Terayama & Charles Rennie Mackintosh (The chair's & elevator symbolisms come from them ) and the book Demian.
Altough it It's beautiful and it's my favorite series. It isn't a self done creation. Which has been influenced many other master pieces.
Utena does HAVE influenced this manga but I wouldn't call it plagiarism AT ALL or Utena would suffer the same crime. Utena has inspired many mangas animes novels which is awesome for a series to do. But so have it's predecessors
Shitsurakuen it's a very good shonen manga obviously influenced by it's shojo predecessors but not because of that it's plagiarism. Since MOST of the series do have a base even harder than this on other series books. ( Ribbon no Kishi it's highly influenced by disney...and disney by fairytales and fairy talers by myths so..yeah it's a never ending circle! )
Despite its "I will protect you" themes, the story is pretty unique itself. It hints at you to stand up to things that may seem impossible: to make a difference.
Each chapter is like 50+ pages, which is pretty good. Art is well done, even some action scenes. Can't help but like this manga. (This could do pretty well as an anime too lol)