Last time I talked a bit about my views of weirdness, so we’re going to continuing off of that. Today’s manga of focus is Nickelodeon by Dowman Sayman.

What is Nickelodeon about?

Nickelodeon is made up of 39 shorts that are sometimes in the same universe. Some of them feature repeat characters from previous stories. If you want a taste of what’s to come, the first chapter’s about a girl who’s talked out of suicide by a tiger. I really love this manga.

There’s a lot to love about Nickelodeon, but for today I want to talk about how it deals with the absurd. As I just mentioned, the manga starts with a talking tiger. There’s no big “oh my god it’s a talking tiger though.” It just is. Things get quit strange, but often times nobody comments on it. The weirdness is just there. Of course sometimes it’s mentioned, but it’s not in a crazy “What did you say!” way.  It’s more of a “Really?” type of response. The world of Nickelodeon is far from normal, but it’s normal to the abnormal people the stories follow.

Nickelodeon pic 1

Weirdness and Nickelodeon

A lot of weird stuff can express itself as weird. Something might be about how weird it is and say “Look at how weird I am!” This isn’t the case with Nickelodeon though. Nickelodeon acts as if it’s somewhat normal. The reader knows it’s not, the author knows it’s not, but to the characters, it might just be everyday life. I’d also like to point out that the weirdness in Nickelodeon comes in different ways. Some are supernatural, like with the ghost NEET or the girl who’s cutoff hand starts attacking people Alien style. Some of them are more real stories, like a couple of girls talking about barrels.

Nickelodeon pic 2

The characters in Nickelodeon all take what happens pretty calmly, they tend to be very at ease with the absurdity of their situation. A love triangle of sorts forms through the shorts, and it’s one of the oddest I’ve ever seen, I found myself starting to get used to absurdity when reading Nickelodeon though, whenever shocking things happened in any of these stories I found myself going “oh, ok.” As I read through the manga I got used to the way these stories were presented. I got used to the strangeness of it all. I wouldn’t go as far to say I’d become like the characters in the manga, but I feel I understand their state of mind a bit more.

Nickelodeon pic 3

More than just absurd

Nickelodeon can be fairly sweet sometimes as well, when it’s not presenting murderous stuffed animals that worship boob monsters.  There are chapters with gay ghosts saying goodbye to their crushes among other stories. Even the one about girls and barrels is quite happy, as it’s a continuation of a rather dark chapter. I wouldn’t say you should read this manga for parts like this, but I think this is a strength of one shots. Being able to tell many different stories like this is something that interests me. I hope to talk about it on here one day, maybe with Tokyo Hatsu Isekai Yuki?

The world of Nickelodeon is varied, not just crazy, but never quite sane. You get everything, sci-fi, supernatural, realistic. True to it’s name you can get a lot of stories from this manga. The world it presents in interesting and even more interesting to look at. Dowman Sayman’s art is fantastic, and makes the stories pop even more. I’m eager to read more of his work just for the artwork.

In conclusion…

Nickelodeon takes stories that normally would be high strung crazy adventures and reformats them as “just life.” It’s not any everyday life I’d want to have. Nickelodeon is a very fascinating read and has instantly shot up my favorite’s list. It’s a tad esoteric and I’m sure many won’t get as much as I did out of it, but I still recommend it to just about everyone. With that said It does contain some… icky implications in some parts, so you might want to look out for that.

Nickelodeon 4

Posted by Alex Jackson

Avid reader of otokonoko manga and fan of slice of life. Interests include otaku cultural studies and writing fiction. Alex Jackson is a pen name.

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