Cult Classic: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
March 14, 2013

Cult Classic: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

You may have heard the name “Scott Pilgrim” here and there amongst your friends or across the internet. A few years ago, Scott Pilgrim took the world by storm. But, just who is Scott Pilgrim?

Scott Pilgrim is a book series by Canadian writer Brian Lee O’Malley. It’s a black-and-white comic series containing six volumes, starting with Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life in 2004 and ending with Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour in 2010. The popularity of the book series has also spawned a movie and video game, both named Scott Pilgrim vs. The World after the second book in the series. But still, who exactly is Scott Pilgrim?

Scott Pilgrim is an unemployed, 23-year-old nothing who lives in downtown Toronto, Canada with his ‘cool gay roommate’ Wallace and plays bass in his garage band Sex Bob-omb with college friend Stephen Stills and ex-girlfriend Kim Pine. He’s a slacker, plays a lot of old video games, and sees everything in his life like one big comic book.

Much to his friends’ confusion, he is currently dating 17-year-old Knives Chau, claiming that it’s ‘simple’ that way. Scott’s life takes an odd twist when he meets 24-year-old Ramona Flowers, a delivery girl for Amazon Canada who just moved from New York because of ‘personal problems.’

Scott quickly begins to pursue Ramona by ordering a CD he doesn’t even want in order to ask her on a date. The two hit it off instantly, and Scott is love-struck. After the first date, Ramona reveals to Scott that he must first defeat her ‘7 evil exes’ in order to be her boyfriend. Luckily, Scott happens to be the best fighter in all of Toronto.

Now Scott is stuck in a whirlwind of chaos as he struggles to keep his relationship with Ramona, battle the evil exes, and win Toronto’s Battle of the Bands. In addition to all that, he has to deal with his past relationships with Knives, Kim, and Envy Adams, Scott’s ex who is now the lead singer of a wildly popular rock band. Throughout his journey Scott learns many key lessons about how to deal with people and their pasts.

Now that you know who Scott is, why exactly is he so famous?

It’s because the book series is an easy, awesome read for anyone, geeks and gamers especially. They’re stuffed with pop-culture and video game references that will appeal to all sorts of ages. The humor is dry and witty, perfect for the book’s real-life setting. The art style is very simple and clean, unlike much of today’s black-and-white manga.

The story is driving and interesting, and holds a lot of moral value. Each main character has tons of character development, and many characters have their own ongoing side-arcs as Scott’s story unfolds. It’s really like putting together pieces of a puzzle. O’Malley introduces all these quirky characters with their own mysterious intentions and motivations, and slowly begins to expose them to the readers, making up for a conclusion that’s satisfying, but still makes you want more.

Scott Pilgrim is one of the best book series I have ever read, and the movie was an instant classic for me. I have also played through and beat the video game, twice. If you go out and read these, you’ll fall in love with everything about it.  The movie captures all of the best parts of the books, only leaving out some side-story arcs. The video game features the story of the game very little, but offers a fun 16-bit beat-em-up complete with music by chiptune band Anamanaguchi. No matter what your interests, there’s something in Scott Pilgrim for everyone, and I recommend you go read them right now.

Image Credit: Turtleback

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