Not too long ago, I saw Scott Pilgrim at my local library, and I decided to check it out. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the comics . . . but I couldn’t finish it. I read the first four volumes before losing interest.
It’s not that I didn’t get the various nerd culture references. I got a lot of them. The world of the story didn’t ruin my suspension of disbelief. I’ve read things that are far weirder and easily accepted them.
It wasn’t the art style. Once I got used to the huge eyes that some of the characters had, I enjoyed the art style. And it seemed to fit the story really well.
It’s not because the comic is aimed exclusively at guys. Most of the media I enjoy is aimed at men. Comics, science fiction, action movies … Even most of the manga and anime I enjoy is aimed at boys and men. Heck, I’ve enjoyed some Michael Bay movies, and those are definitely not geared towards women.
I don’t think the story is a bad story. The plot seemed like a fun – if goofy – premise.
So why didn’t I like Scott Pilgrim?
I think it’s the characters. When I read or watch something, the characters are one of the main things that will make or break my enjoyment of the story.
I’ve never particularly liked slacker protagonists. They tend to be fairly passive characters, and I hate passive characters as main characters. (It’s one of the reasons I was continually angry at the characters during my Modelland sporking.) Passive characters tend to let the story happen to them rather than take an active part in driving the plot.
Along with tending to be fairly passive, slacker protagonists tend to go through little or no character growth. (And heaven forbid they actually mature and grow out of being a slacker.) It’s one of the reasons I’m not a fan of the Bill & Ted movies. I want to see protagonists that grow and change, or at the very least, work hard for their victories. From what I read of Scott Pilgrim, it didn’t really feel like Scott was working for his victories.
I never felt I had any reason to root for Scott. I didn’t like him, but I never hated him either. I was just indifferent to him. And in the end, that indifference was enough to make me stop reading the series.