Review of Megatokyo

You had to know this was coming. I made it through Fred Gallagher’s Megatokyo archives and I finally understand the love\hate relationship so many have with this strip. Megatokyo is an anime strip about two guys in their twenties, Piro and Largo, who are stranded in Tokyo. Piro is your normal sane artist who has a tendency to mess up all relationships while Largo is a maniac who is so completely addicted to games that he can’t separate reality from game fiction.

When I said this was an anime strip I was being a little reserved. This is pure anime except for the rampant use of exaggerated characters. There is always more then one plot ranging from the normal Piro love plot to the psychotic Largo to the fantastical battle between the good and bad conscious of Piro. To make it even more complicated many times a single episode will have several plots being illustrated at the same time. Beyond the plots there will also be quite a few different other things thrown in. These will include fashion tips for the characters, stick figures representing real-life people, drawing instructions, explanations of different confusing happenings, and many other random events. The sketch work is also purely anime. The whole strip is in black and white with some excellent shade work done in pencil. I doubt there is in Photoshop used other then possibly the speech bubbles. All around I was impressed with the pencil work but Fred does not seem to be moving in the direction of his own style as to this day everything still looks like mass produced anime. All around this is a good strip and I can understand why it is the king of online anime but for most people the plot will be way to convoluted to want to follow.

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3 thoughts on “Review of Megatokyo

  1. psst… Manga, not Anime. Anime is the animated version of Manga, I\’m quite sure Piro hasn\’t started doing that yet 😉

    Incidentally at a real-life comic/manga drawing class the other day, I saw a guy who showed up wanting to learn how to draw manga… and he had printed out several pages of Megatokyo as the referenced style he wanted to learn.

    If that doesn\’t say that Piro has his own distinctive style, nothing does.

  2. You would think with as many times as I\’ve been corrected when I say Anime that I would catch on. Yep, I should be saying Manga instead of Anime when it comes to strips.

    The guy who brought in the pages from Megatokyo might be saying more to the quality of work as opposed to the style. The quality is outstanding and is probably the best I\’ve seen for a black and white. I will give Piro does tend to be more realistic with proportions which gives a slightly Americanized look but then the most of the new manga I can get my hands on has been moving in this direction as well.

  3. I think the main appeal of Megatokyo is that it embodies the desires of the typical otaku both as the in-comic character Piro (living and trapped in Tokyo) and his real life alter ego Mr. Fred (making off quite a living drawing a webcomic).

    The man has hit quite goldmine. Good for him.

    As for the Piro\’s style, like what ping said, he does have his own style. Compare his art with any generic anime out there and you can see the diffrence.

    But I do understand what you mean about the certain generic feel of Piro\’s art style. I think its because despite of his own unique touches, he likes to use a lot of shorthand drawing conventions from anime/manga.

    Interestingly enough, a lot of my Japanese friends seem to interchange \”manga\” with \”anime\” when mentioning Japanese animation but not the other way around.

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