The one-handed warrior—truly a beast to be feared. It is the alter ego man assumes in the face of frustration. It is the both the salvation and blight of human existence. It is an ethereal, hedonistic being whose weapon is his right hand, whose body is like a well oiled machine, and whose energy comes from a rod-like instrument in his pants.
This rod-like instrument comes in many shapes and size, but its most common appearance is one that is sharp and long. What is it? Well, I can tell you what it's not: The spear they used to kill Jesus. This instrument of mystery also
has many names. The skin-flute. The one-eyed serpent. The hammer. The Big Mac. Johnny's got a gun. Thanks to a certain French philosopher though, it is most often called the D. No, not vitamin D. This is a different, more important D. I am, of course, referring to the male reproductive organ.
The phallus is perhaps the most intriguing part of the male human body. Can you imagine how different the world would be if the organ never existed? Kleenex would go bankrupt. Both PornHub and the ecchi genre would cease to exist. Paedophiles, rapists, and onanists would lose their means of obtaining joy in this world. Viewers would no longer feel such an unprecedented level of anger during School Days. And what of our beloved fetishes? Chances are that you can probably kiss your BDSM chamber goodbye.
What about gender determination? I know it's by chromosomes, but it's not like chromosomes are a noticeable external feature on our body. If we didn't have the technology, there goes our way of proving one's gender. You could say you're a man, but no one's going to take you seriously since you don't have the organ to back it up. If you take away a man's reproductive organ, he ceases to be man. Does that mean gaining another reproductive organ makes you more of a man than another? Keep this question in mind as you continue reading.
Sproingy Stick is a strange story; this becomes evident within the first 10 seconds of reading it. It begins as what seems to be any ordinary day for young Murakami. You know... Like when your parents come home after a long day of work and relax by the fire place with a nice bowl of curry rice (or whatever the hell they have). Then they hear a noise, trace it to your room, and have no idea who this kid in their home is. Then they suddenly remember. "Oh sh*t, we have a kid." See what I mean? Just another average day in the life.
As I said before, this a strange story. All ordinariness is defenestrated as soon as the protagonist notices an anomaly on his body. For some inexplicable reason, the male reproductive organ has started growing on his forehead. Like most people would, the first thing he does is get it checked at the nearest hospital. A nurse manages to remediate the anomaly (which a doctor diagnoses as a "pimple"). But then Murphy's Law happened. When he awoke the next day, he found out that more have grown. This is how the story seemed to progress. With each passing day, more and more penises appeared on his body. Strangely, they weren't just on his head; they were popping up everywhere. The protagonist began to fear that one day he would accumulate so many that he'd no longer be able to tell which one was the real one.
It's no surprise Murakami hated his unique ability. Every morning he would have to alleviate himself in order to rid himself of these excessive organs (which was pointless since more would sprout by the next morning). One day, he couldn't be asked to deal with them so he went to work without even attempting to cure them. "I'm sure no one will mind seeing this penis on my right hand."
On the train ride to work, he was able to penetrate someone using the organ on his right hand. It seems his "disease" healed the fastest after vaginal intercourse. And thus he picked up public molestation as a recreational activity. It all goes well until the day he got caught. Luckily, he wasn't sent to the police. Who knows though. If the police did catch him, maybe he would've... *Takes off sunglasses* Gotten off. It is Japan after all.
This manga is a reminder of one of the many reasons we love Japan. I don't know what it is about the Japanese, but they seem to have a knack for producing some of the strangest things in the world. It's not surprising some mangaka was able to create this manga. Believe it or not, the Japanese have a holiday commemorating the male reproductive organ. If you think I'm making this up, I dare you to stop reading this review and google "Kanamara Matsuri." Apparently the Greeks were the first to do it. This happened thousands of years ago; the Greeks knew the potency of the phallus better than anyone.
As you can probably tell, this manga is a comedy. It's also a piece of pornography though. And you know how it is with pornography; its number one goal pertains to hands on action. With the trench coat having been put away, Murakami has an epiphany towards the end. Despite indulging in so much hedonism, he never actually used his real reproductive organ (i.e. the one he was born with). It was as if he had forgotten it completely. It is in that final penetration scene that the manga becomes unadulterated pornography rather than a sex comedy.
It's very understandable though. Consider The Matrix. Bullet Time? The lobby scene where they were trying to rescue Morpheus? These scenes glorify violence, but they're unbelievably awesome. The Wachowski brothers needed a way for the film to appeal to your typical audience and the easiest way to do that was to depict badass characters doing violent yet badass things. The easiest way for pornography to appeal to a typical audience is sexual content for the sake of arousal.
To some, The Matrix is more than a piece of entertainment. This is the more intelligent crowd of people. They recognized the connections to the allegory of the cave, the connections to Buddhism, the biblical allusions, and the immense similarities to the life of Socrates. I think Sproingy Stick is more than a piece of entertainment (if you can call it that) as well. As I read through this single chapter, I noticed all these connections to a certain Greek myth. Then it became clear to me: It's an allegory.
One of the greatest heroes in Greek myth is Hercules. After slaying his family, he sought atonement. To do this, he fulfilled twelve labors. One of those labors was to slay a certain multiple headed creature. Christians have Leviathan. The Japanese have Orochi. The Greeks? They have something even cooler: The Hydra. Murakami's ability is very reminiscent of this creature's: For every head that is cut off, two more will sprout to replace it. Sproingy Stick, as far as I can tell, seems to be a retelling of the myth of this creature (or labor).
Now, there isn't any genital mutilation present in this manga. This is for several reasons. One, it would be too literal. Secondly, it ain't practical. Although it'd be cool to see someone holding a severed penis in his hand while there's a pool of blood on the floor, he would die quite quickly from the loss of blood. Lastly, this is a normal piece of pornography; it's not meant to be a work of erotic grotesqueness. Instead of depicting gratuitous violence, this manga chooses a much better approach.
This is the first pornographic manga I've found that utilizes symbols. From the sexual acts to the characters, everything happens the way it does for a reason. There seems to be a single thread woven throughout all of them, creating a story that may very well be one of the finest this genre has to offer for some time to come.
The protagonist, Murakami, is the Hydra. Within the first couple of pages, we witness a Nurse get rid of the phallus on his head by treating it with her hands. This Nurse does not symbolize Hercules though. However, the sexual act that occurred represented the removal of one of the Hydra's heads. This becomes very obvious when he awakes to find a penis on each of his shoulders the next morning.
For some time, Murakami relied on self-gratification to cure himself of his disease. His actions were in vain as they only led to him gaining more reproductive organs. You could argue this is inconsistent with the myth, but I see it differently. Many say that the Hydra had nine heads. How did it get that many though? It may've been born that way, but the mangaka added his own spin on the myth. Either some dumb hero came along and tried to slay it or it injured itself in some manner. The mangaka manages to depict both possibilities.
What about all the women that were molested? They represent another figure from the myth. Hercules didn't face the fearsome Hydra alone; he had help from a relative of his. This relative brought lit torches that stopped the creature from using its regenerative property. This part of the myth is loosely symbolized through copulation. Not only did copulation allow him to deal with his problem the fastest, but they decreased the appearance rate of his reproductive organs. In other words, the battle was nearing its end.
The Hercules figure appears around half way through the manga. It's a not-so-bright, clumsy girl. Upon seeing Murakami's dilemma, she immediately tries to help deal with it. I would say this is a very accurate characterization. Hercules wasn't the most intelligent person around, but he was incredibly likable. This is the guy who fought Death to get back his friend's wife. This is the guy who forgot all about the Argonauts and their quest the moment his friend disappeared. Being the avid fan of mythology that I am, I certainly enjoyed the portrayal of this female character.
The final copulation scene may be a representation of the ending of the battle. All the reproductive organs had been removed, leaving only the one that was there from the beginning. When all the heads on the Hydra could no longer grow back, only the immortal head remained. The protagonist's true phallus is that immortal head, just as that immortal head is the Hydra's true head. Hercules removed the remaining head; a painful action performed by the Hercules figure mirrors this. Thus ends my interpretation.
As great of an allegory as it may be, it does come with its share of flaws. There's no way people are going to see a penis on someone's hand and not react to it. This guy is going around with visible external reproductive organs, and no one's pointing them out. They either ignore it or think it's a pimple for some reason. Besides, do you really think the government would let a man with a penis on his forehead walk around freely? Hell no. They'd snatch off with him and conduct experiments in an attempt to uncover the cause of the anomaly. Or if a porno director found him, he'd be mistaken for some sort of pleasure machine and be used as a prop in creating the porno of the year: Missionary Impossible.
I'm sure most people would enjoy this manga, but to get the most out of it you need to have more than one penis. Remember Double D from Reddit? The whole world was amazed by this guy. "WHOA, A GUY THAT HAS TWO PENISES!" If you looked through that AMA and then read this manga, you would probably notice a lot of similarities. Actually, if the man himself read it, I can guarantee that he'd be able to relate to it. Sadly, multiple penises is not common among our race.
I'm not in possession of 2 D's, but I still got a lot out of this manga. However, this is because I love penis. If any of my friends tried to explain me to you, you wouldn't understand. "During high school, I had a friend who would write stories about penis." Your response to that would probably be something like this: "Cool, you had a weird friend who liked d*cks." But what you'd fail to comprehend is my dedication to the subject—all that time I spent thinking about penises, all that time I spent talking about penises, and all that time I spent filling up my backpack with notes about penises. Unfortunately, not everyone is an aficionado when it comes to the phallus.
In the end, I'm not really sure how to sum up Sproingy Stick. It may be an esoteric allegory, or it may be nothing more than a sex comedy. No one really knows the answer. It could even be something completely different. We never find out why the organs started appearing, but here's what I think happened. Murakami's body was once entirely a penis. It gradually evolved into a man though. Now, with decades having past, his body wants to revert to its true form. This could set the stage for the story to begin.
It's easy to run to the nearest hospital and say, "Turn me into a penis," but do we have the technology to do such a task? No, but this will definitely be possible in the future. We must learn to put aside our differences and prepare for said future. Perhaps when the time comes, man and phallus will be able to live together.