This is for bookelfe/skygiants. Of course. (Yes, I'm out of order.)

I’m sticking with books here. A lot of manga and anime operates on different narrative rules, so the bizarreness makes wacky internal sense. I do have to mention, though, the complete works of Kaori Yuki if you have any interest in things like random flying Heavenly whales, apocalypse by army of flying zombie angel embryos, and people getting turned into masses of writhing tentacles and kept in the bathtub.

Even so, it was very, very difficult to narrow this down to five. There are bizarre premises (“I will break every bone in my body because then they’ll grow back stronger and I WILL BE INVINCIBLE”), the sheer weight of ridiculousness in a single book (the bone-breaking book also featured the near-death of the hero’s milk-allergic brother when the hero’s cheating girlfriend ate pizza, then kissed the brother), the sudden intrusion of absurdity into a previously non-bizarre book (two-thirds sensitive exploration of sketchy power dynamics, one third EVIL BALL OF MASKED S&M SMALL PRESS POETS), and unwanted intrusions by the author’s peculiar id (of course the most desirable whores have hooves.) Not to mention Terry Goodkind's infamous evil chicken. How to choose?

I have so many contenders that I was forced to name winners in categories.

Most Stupid Protagonist

Runner-Up: Oscar, the hero of Myke Cole’s Control Point. When faced with the difficult decision of who he should get help from— a) his best friend, b) a friendly acquaintance, or c) the sociopathic supervillain who is currently locked up after going on a mass slaughter rampage but who promises to help him out if he’ll only release her from the magical wards laid on her to stop her from slaughtering everyone in sight— guess who he picks?

Winner: Summer in Mary Brown’s Master of Many Treasures, for failing to get rid of a traveling companion whom she easily could get rid of, after he repeatedly and deliberately endangers her and all the rest of her companions, including trying to kill a friend of hers in a random fit of temper. Also for ignoring all advice by people who clearly have her best interest in mind, and taking all advice by people holding up HI I AM EVIL signs, and for failing to learn from very consistent consequences, like falling into quicksand full of rotting corpses because she couldn’t bear to take her best friend’s advice that the left-hand path led to the Swamp of Rotting Corpses. Also for believing that a good excuse for stalking her dragon ex-boyfriend is explaining that she actually fell in love with him when she thought he was a flying pig.

This doesn’t have anything to do with her intelligence, but I just want to mention that during the course of the book, she lays an egg.


Once Is Tragedy, One Million Times Is Hilarity

Crazy-Beautiful, by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Gee, if I'd known spilling my orange juice was this effective, I'd have spilled it in Dad's direction every day when I was younger. Then maybe he'd have made time to do things with me like, I don't know, play catch in the yard. Not that I'm complaining or playing the neglected child card. I'll never do that. I know what I've done. I know who's responsible for everything in my life, past, present, and future. Still, a little catch would have been fun, when I still had hands.



And what of me and my hands? Or, I should say, lack of hands.



I finish loading the dryer, hookload by hookload, use my hook to set the dial at seventy minutes, use my hook to depress the button.

Most Ridiculous Plot Twists

Runners-Up:

All books by Sheri Tepper. Future ones too. Every Sheri Tepper book in which infanticide is presented as the solution to the problems of the world. Also the one where the heroine turns out to be a de-aged squid-person. She might lay an egg too, I forget.

The indie gangster movie, name forgotten, in which the screenwriter’s poorly thought-through desire to add on one more surprise reveal meant that the entire action of the movie consisted of a drug lord hiring people to steal his own drugs.

The Isobelle Carmody books with the love quadrangle between two humans and two transformed dogs.

Dan Simmons’ The Rise of Endymion. The climactic revelation of the entire series is that quantum strings are made out of love.

Frank Herbert’s God-Emperor of Dune. It makes sense in context, but I still find it hilarious that the climax consists of the main character becoming a million worms.

Lord of Legends, by Susan Krinard. I still have no idea why the heroine’s housekeeper turned into a talking fox.

And finally… drum roll… the winner!

Spider Robinson’s Starseed. The heroine is paralyzed via drugs, has multiple bad guys holding guns on her, and isabout to be killed. As her last request, she asks for a moment to meditate. When they grant it, she achieves enlightenment. This enables her to become telepathic, overcome the effects of the paralyzing drug, and slaughter the bad guys with kung fu.
Note to helpful commenters: Please at least attempt to explain what is incomprehensible, even in brief (I realize this is inherently difficult.) For example, "I understood it until Dave turned into a giant space fetus, unless that was supposed to be metaphorical."

If the series/movie/whatever is still running or is very recent (like Tsubasa) please black out or rot13 spoilers! (Go to rot13.com to encrypt and decrypt, it's easy.)

I did not find Angel Sanctuary that hard to follow once I got past the first few volumes. On the other hand I am still not sure what what happened to God, Lucifer, or the flying cannibal angel embryo armada, so I think it qualifies. It was probably just comprehensible in comparison to, say, Fairy Cube.

I still have no idea what happened at the end of Akira, except that I think it involved destroying Tokyo.

My further nominees: The Quiet Earth: A mysterious event leaves Earth depopulated except for three people. I am not sure what happened at the end or why, but it's possible that one of the men was mysteriously whisked to a moon of Jupiter.

Was Altered States the movie in which William Hurt watches a trippy light show for twenty minutes, then turns into a chimpanzee?
Note to helpful commenters: Please at least attempt to explain what is incomprehensible, even in brief (I realize this is inherently difficult.) For example, "I understood it until Dave turned into a giant space fetus, unless that was supposed to be metaphorical."

If the series/movie/whatever is still running or is very recent (like Tsubasa) please black out or rot13 spoilers! (Go to rot13.com to encrypt and decrypt, it's easy.)

I did not find Angel Sanctuary that hard to follow once I got past the first few volumes. On the other hand I am still not sure what what happened to God, Lucifer, or the flying cannibal angel embryo armada, so I think it qualifies. It was probably just comprehensible in comparison to, say, Fairy Cube.

I still have no idea what happened at the end of Akira, except that I think it involved destroying Tokyo.

My further nominees: The Quiet Earth: A mysterious event leaves Earth depopulated except for three people. I am not sure what happened at the end or why, but it's possible that one of the men was mysteriously whisked to a moon of Jupiter.

Was Altered States the movie in which William Hurt watches a trippy light show for twenty minutes, then turns into a chimpanzee?
rachelmanija: (Angel Sanctuary: Kira)
( Dec. 15th, 2008 02:17 pm)
I recount this exchange between me and Oyce the other night because she wanted it preserved for posterity. It is especially apropos in light of the bewilderment (mostly mine and Oyce's) going on the comments to the Fairy Cube post. The thing with Yuki Kaori plots is that they're so insane, complex, and insanely complex that even if you understand them at the time, it's hard to get them to stick in your mind later.

Possibly incorrect spoilers for the endings of Angel Sanctuary and Godchild )
rachelmanija: (Angel Sanctuary: Kira)
( Dec. 15th, 2008 02:17 pm)
I recount this exchange between me and Oyce the other night because she wanted it preserved for posterity. It is especially apropos in light of the bewilderment (mostly mine and Oyce's) going on the comments to the Fairy Cube post. The thing with Yuki Kaori plots is that they're so insane, complex, and insanely complex that even if you understand them at the time, it's hard to get them to stick in your mind later.

Possibly incorrect spoilers for the endings of Angel Sanctuary and Godchild )
rachelmanija: (Angel Sanctuary: Mad Hatter)
( Jun. 4th, 2008 06:01 pm)
This will probably amuse only three people, but it will probably amuse them a lot, so I will post the link. For reasons explained at the top of the linked post, I was challenged to make up the summary of a truly insane fanfic, complete with pairings and warnings, and it occurred to me that you could get a lot of insane out of Angel Sanctuary alone.

But just for fun, I did a crossover with Bleach and the Mahabharata. Warnings include but are not limited to clonecest, death of God, and blasphemy in three different religions.
rachelmanija: (Angel Sanctuary: Mad Hatter)
( Jun. 4th, 2008 06:01 pm)
This will probably amuse only three people, but it will probably amuse them a lot, so I will post the link. For reasons explained at the top of the linked post, I was challenged to make up the summary of a truly insane fanfic, complete with pairings and warnings, and it occurred to me that you could get a lot of insane out of Angel Sanctuary alone.

But just for fun, I did a crossover with Bleach and the Mahabharata. Warnings include but are not limited to clonecest, death of God, and blasphemy in three different religions.
This is the sort of story where one can quite honestly write, "I forgot to mention that Heaven and Hell collided some volumes back."

It also features this exchange, which I believe can be appreciated out of context, and is probably the only time in the entire series when I liked Rosiel:

Sandalphon (creepy): Once I have my own body... I will devour you! I'll devour you all!

Rosiel (deadpan): Well, I'll look forward to that, Sandalphon.

You think that lump of flesh clinging to life in that tub is my true form?! )
This is the sort of story where one can quite honestly write, "I forgot to mention that Heaven and Hell collided some volumes back."

It also features this exchange, which I believe can be appreciated out of context, and is probably the only time in the entire series when I liked Rosiel:

Sandalphon (creepy): Once I have my own body... I will devour you! I'll devour you all!

Rosiel (deadpan): Well, I'll look forward to that, Sandalphon.

You think that lump of flesh clinging to life in that tub is my true form?! )
I finished this series a while ago, but was unable to write it up because every time I attempted a thoughtful, coherent analysis, the content I was trying to analyze was so deliciously demented, so carefully foreshadowed yet totally insane, that my head exploded.

So I will not analyze. Perhaps someone else can analyze in comments. I will merely provide a highlight reel. And, in case this persuades others to persevere beyond the awful and incoherent first volume, this is the kind of series where it's not all that spoilery to mention that a fleet of flying cannibal zombie angel embryos is sent out to destroy the universe. Also, the art is jaw-droppingly beautiful, especially on the covers.

Setsuna escapes on the back of a flying whale. )
I finished this series a while ago, but was unable to write it up because every time I attempted a thoughtful, coherent analysis, the content I was trying to analyze was so deliciously demented, so carefully foreshadowed yet totally insane, that my head exploded.

So I will not analyze. Perhaps someone else can analyze in comments. I will merely provide a highlight reel. And, in case this persuades others to persevere beyond the awful and incoherent first volume, this is the kind of series where it's not all that spoilery to mention that a fleet of flying cannibal zombie angel embryos is sent out to destroy the universe. Also, the art is jaw-droppingly beautiful, especially on the covers.

Setsuna escapes on the back of a flying whale. )
The series sure picked up once they got out of Hell level one, or wherever those interminable battles were going on. Also, the covers are just devastatingly beautiful. I think I need the art book.

The only other non-spoilery thing I can say is that the proofreading is nearly as horrible as Godchild. Here's a list of the tortures of Hell: "The spider, the rack, the pear of anguish." The pear of anguish! I want a flashing icon with the bok choy of D00M, the pineapple of therapy, and the pear of anguish.

ETA: Oh, wait, for once I unfairly maligned the Viz proofreading team. Turns out that's not a misprint for spear, but an actual (and really gruesome) torture device.

My real body is gone, so my master gave me a body made out of plants. )
The series sure picked up once they got out of Hell level one, or wherever those interminable battles were going on. Also, the covers are just devastatingly beautiful. I think I need the art book.

The only other non-spoilery thing I can say is that the proofreading is nearly as horrible as Godchild. Here's a list of the tortures of Hell: "The spider, the rack, the pear of anguish." The pear of anguish! I want a flashing icon with the bok choy of D00M, the pineapple of therapy, and the pear of anguish.

ETA: Oh, wait, for once I unfairly maligned the Viz proofreading team. Turns out that's not a misprint for spear, but an actual (and really gruesome) torture device.

My real body is gone, so my master gave me a body made out of plants. )
My main feeling about these volumes was, too much random fighting and angelic politics, and not enough Kira! But then the pace picked up, and a new character was introduced whom I love to death. (You can all try to guess who it is before clicking on the cut.)

I also adored the mangaka sidebar in which Kaori Yuki describes a drawing she had in which a character is naked, and (I don't have the manga on me now) writes something like, "When I drew that, I got all excited! I was breathing fast! I felt dizzy and almost fainted! Did you feel the same way when you looked at it? I hope you did!"

Kaori Yuki is officially one of my favorite people ever.

I committed a sin... I ate an angel )
My main feeling about these volumes was, too much random fighting and angelic politics, and not enough Kira! But then the pace picked up, and a new character was introduced whom I love to death. (You can all try to guess who it is before clicking on the cut.)

I also adored the mangaka sidebar in which Kaori Yuki describes a drawing she had in which a character is naked, and (I don't have the manga on me now) writes something like, "When I drew that, I got all excited! I was breathing fast! I felt dizzy and almost fainted! Did you feel the same way when you looked at it? I hope you did!"

Kaori Yuki is officially one of my favorite people ever.

I committed a sin... I ate an angel )
This is so insane, I hardly even know where to begin.

The first volume is hard going, with confusing panel layout and scene transitions. In fact, it is so incomprehensible that it put off the series for several years. There's a poorly explained computer game that makes people's heads explode, but luckily it goes away soon. But once you get past that, the manga is full of gorgeous art, fabulous crack, and the best brother-sister incest couple since Annabella and Giovanni in John Ford's Tis Pity She's A Whore.

Setsuna Mudo is a high school student who seems to have no problems other than that he's madly in love with his sister Sara. But that's before he finds out that he's the reincarnation of female Organic Angel Alexiel, kicked out of Heaven for rebelling against God, currently pursued through many lifetimes by her twin brother Inorganic Angel Rosiel, who can't seem to decide whether he wants to kill her, kiss her, re-start the war in Heaven, or just bring about an apocalypse in Tokyo.

Rosiel has a minion, Katan, whom I loved immediately because he looks like Riff from Godchild/Cain Saga. Later his incredibly tragic backstory and Sekrit Identity is revealed, which just makes me love him even more. (This is the sort of story where anyone of note has at least one Sekrit Identity. In some cases, their Sekrit Identities have Sekrit Identities.) Katan is currently a mass of writhing flesh and computer cables (it's a long story) but I'm sure he'll be better soon.

There are not only angels and demons, but also evils. At first I thought this was a bad translation for demon, but apparently not. Two evils come to Earth to protect Setsuna/Alexiel: Kurai, an adorable tomboy, is madly in love with Alexiel and less than impressed with Setsuna; Arachne, a male transvestite, seems mostly along for the ride.

Setsuna has a friend, a tough guy named Kira, who early on remarks about him, "Even before he was born, he was my girl." Kira is awesomely cool beyond cool, and the reveal of his Sekrit Identity is even more excellent than one might expect.

I already love Kira, and also Kurai, Katan, Setsuna, Sara, and Alexiel. Setsuna is definitely the little black dress (goes with everything) of Angel Sanctuary, as I am shipping him madly with both Sara and Kira. (Cutest incest ship ever! Cutest boy-female angel/bad boy-[massive spoiler] ship ever!) Also, Alexiel should marry Kurai, though I'm not sure how that will work out for Setsuna.)

This series is so insane that perhaps the best way to give you a taste of what reading it is like is to just quote some bits.(Not sequential.)

"You're that computer-code, blood-splattered angel from Ruri's place."

"I will go to Hell, and take my tainted heart with me!"

"I'd even thought that if I could kill you and embrace your body as I died, I'd be a happy man."

"Today was just plain weird."

Angels chew my flesh )
This is so insane, I hardly even know where to begin.

The first volume is hard going, with confusing panel layout and scene transitions. In fact, it is so incomprehensible that it put off the series for several years. There's a poorly explained computer game that makes people's heads explode, but luckily it goes away soon. But once you get past that, the manga is full of gorgeous art, fabulous crack, and the best brother-sister incest couple since Annabella and Giovanni in John Ford's Tis Pity She's A Whore.

Setsuna Mudo is a high school student who seems to have no problems other than that he's madly in love with his sister Sara. But that's before he finds out that he's the reincarnation of female Organic Angel Alexiel, kicked out of Heaven for rebelling against God, currently pursued through many lifetimes by her twin brother Inorganic Angel Rosiel, who can't seem to decide whether he wants to kill her, kiss her, re-start the war in Heaven, or just bring about an apocalypse in Tokyo.

Rosiel has a minion, Katan, whom I loved immediately because he looks like Riff from Godchild/Cain Saga. Later his incredibly tragic backstory and Sekrit Identity is revealed, which just makes me love him even more. (This is the sort of story where anyone of note has at least one Sekrit Identity. In some cases, their Sekrit Identities have Sekrit Identities.) Katan is currently a mass of writhing flesh and computer cables (it's a long story) but I'm sure he'll be better soon.

There are not only angels and demons, but also evils. At first I thought this was a bad translation for demon, but apparently not. Two evils come to Earth to protect Setsuna/Alexiel: Kurai, an adorable tomboy, is madly in love with Alexiel and less than impressed with Setsuna; Arachne, a male transvestite, seems mostly along for the ride.

Setsuna has a friend, a tough guy named Kira, who early on remarks about him, "Even before he was born, he was my girl." Kira is awesomely cool beyond cool, and the reveal of his Sekrit Identity is even more excellent than one might expect.

I already love Kira, and also Kurai, Katan, Setsuna, Sara, and Alexiel. Setsuna is definitely the little black dress (goes with everything) of Angel Sanctuary, as I am shipping him madly with both Sara and Kira. (Cutest incest ship ever! Cutest boy-female angel/bad boy-[massive spoiler] ship ever!) Also, Alexiel should marry Kurai, though I'm not sure how that will work out for Setsuna.)

This series is so insane that perhaps the best way to give you a taste of what reading it is like is to just quote some bits.(Not sequential.)

"You're that computer-code, blood-splattered angel from Ruri's place."

"I will go to Hell, and take my tainted heart with me!"

"I'd even thought that if I could kill you and embrace your body as I died, I'd be a happy man."

"Today was just plain weird."

Angels chew my flesh )
.

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