This feature involves a die-hard fan writing a review and their friend, a novice, also reviews it. Has time and multiple plays blinded the fan? Does it work outside the time it was released? Is the noob just plain wrong? You be the judge.
Scott Pilgrim is a realistic perspective of a group of inner-city Toronto friends in their early twenties, or there abouts, who make a successful band together. It highlights the difficulties of managing their friendships and success that…okay, I can’t continue.
Volume 1 of the fantastic Scott Pilgrim series introduces you to Sex Bob-Omb, a self-realising rubbish rock band including our titular anti-hero, lazy, jerky Scott Pilgrim. Really, he’s not great. Except when he is.
Scott is dating the high-schooler Knives Chau because it’s simple and easy. When he sees the girl of his dreams, both literally and metaphorically, he begins chasing her down. So far so simple and that’s the brilliance of Precious Little Life. It contains a very simple story of essentially, one guy’s life with his friends, all of whom are well envisioned and are full characters in their own right, with their own motivations, behaviours and relationships.
Then, subtly, the story starts to drift into something more surreal before you have no idea how rooted in reality the whole thing is. Of course, by that point, you don’t really care and have already embraced it for what it is; crazy awesome.
Despite introducing the universe and all its many crazy features, the people and their conversations, relationships, they’re all authentic. You have no reason to doubt that all these people are friends who would look out for each, hold grudges or make cutting jokes with no possibility of offence. They’re the anchor that keeps each other and the story itself rooted together in some sense of normality.
Between this and the seamless blend to and from (brilliant) absurdity, helped by the fact that a lot of it doesn’t really seem to bother too many of the characters, there’s a well-paced fledgling love story that’s probably as close as you’re going to get to a gender reversal ofTwilight. Except, you know, by being good.
The lack of colour and the quasi-manga style combined with distinct characteristics make good for establishing different characters on the page, although my only two complaints are born off this. Firstly, in certain perspectives, some characters lose some of their distinctiveness, occasionally making it hard to work out who said what. Secondly, some scenes cut a little bit jarringly between pages, causing you to flip back and forth just to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Nothing that breaks enjoyment, but grievances nonetheless.
Otherwise, it doesn’t out-stay its welcome being a relatively quick read. Filled with tons of references to shows, films, games and so much more that add to, but do not make up lots of the humour, you could get through it in a longer session and should leave you yearning for more.
And if it doesn’t then you’re a…a…something…insult.
Like many people, I began reading Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley after seeing the film adaptation. Though, I have read another of his books, Lost At Sea.
Scott Pilgrim may not be about a girl who thinks a cat has her soul but it dips into the surreal on its own terms. At first the characters are introduced as typical people lost in their early twenties; with their terrible band, half-baked romantic relationships and being broke. Who couldn’t relate.
Then the mysterious Ramona rolls into the dreams of our hero Scott Pilgrim. When he finds out his fantasy girl is real from her hipster hair to her skates and a love-triangle is born.
Scott had settled for a younger, adoring and naïve Knives Chau, as a rebound to some unknown past girlfriend. Now Knives isn’t leaving and he wants a shot at the real deal.
Scott’s band Sex Bob-Omb has a gig which gets interrupted by a fight that apparently he’s in. Unwittingly our clueless hero must defeat Ramona’s exes if he wants to officially be her boyfriend.
Enter scantily clad hipster chick back-up dancers turned back-up fighters and musicians who have transgressed the use of instruments with their miiinds. That’s right … you may need to read that sentence again but THAT’S RIGHT!
The brilliant characters really bring Scott Pilgrim to life as he’s usually a bit slow and perplexed, from his witty man-trap gay roommate to his testy ex-girlfriend drummer. The use of the fourth wall and self-referencing is fun too, as you can play along with Sex Bob-Omb.
Though since being challenged to read the first instalment of Scott Pilgrim, I’ve been convinced and I’m now on the fourth. So fellow noobs join us! One of us, one of us!
To watch the trailer for the film adaptation Scott Pilgrim vs. The World look below.
– Serena Doherty