In Monday's rant, MegaTokyo creator Piro had some further thoughts on the whole Ping/Chii controversy.
[T]he reason for the irritation wasn't the fact that i was getting emails, its that these similarities were getting in the way of what i am trying to do in the comic. If people look at Ping and see Chii, it changes what i'm trying to do, and it's irritating because it is something I have little control over. At first, i thought it was just superficial similarities between the shows that was the problem. What's curious to me is that people get worked up about the similarities between Ping's ear pods and Chii's, but the truth is they are far closer to Nuku Nuku's ear pods and Multi's ear pods than Chiis. I think i'll actually draw a detail drawing some time of the pods and what they do and the reasons for them sometime, just because i really did think it out.
I wrote my comments in my last rant just to let people know what was on my mind when i was writing all this, and commented that I developed Ping long before Chobits came out. The problem here is that I made two errors, and understanding these errors helped me understands WHY i was getting the feedback i was getting.
First off, Chobits did come out around the same time Ping first appeared in the comic. Even though the truth of the matter is that I personally didn't know this, there will always be people who say I got the idea from Chobits. I should have checked before saying that. I apologize for that, my bad.
Secondly, I now understand why i was getting the feedback i was getting in the volume I was getting it. There is a scene in Chobits where Chii wants to download information on how to bathe. I haven't watched enough Chobits to see this episode, so i was completely unaware of the similarities between the two scenes. In my defense i'd like to think that the outcome of my scenario (which no one out there actually knows yet unless i actually continue it) is far different than the Chobits one, but it does raise the issues that I would never have done such a direct spoof without it being more obviously a spoof. In short, i'm embarrassed to have made such a goof. I didn't think the idea was 100% original of course, but in light of knowing what happened in chobits, it really does seem 'lifted' from the show. I would never do that, but it doesn't change the fact that it certainly appears that i did - regardless of the facts.
Piro's comments illustrate the difficulty of basing a storyline around such a rich genre -- it's hard to break truly original ground; someone may have been there before even if you're unaware of his or her work.
Monday's strip is about the terrible experience MT editor Dom had while traveling to the Anime Central convention; his rant describes the experience in further excrutiating detail, capped by the ultimate airline kiss-off for the passengers' marathon delay:
To top the day off, they didn't give me a meal voucher, a discount on a future flight, or anything except an apology and profuse thanks for my patience. In other words, United Airlines gets a nasty e-mail/call to customer service and none of my future business.
I realize United is in financial trouble, but execrable customer service is one of the hallmarks of the airline industry and undoubtedly a chief culprit for the notion that many people don't mind so much if an airline goes under -- they can get the same cruddy service anywhere. Seriously, how hard would it have been for the gate agent to whip out a little booklet of restaurant gift certificates kept on hand for such an emergency? So often, the tiniest gesture of acknowledgement that yes, the customer has been inconvenienced and yes, they're sorry about it can make a world of difference.