Friday, December 19, 2008

Silver Anchor Scanned Chapter

Click here to view chapter 20.


(Vol. 3 cover, from amazon.jp)

Chapter 20 shows up in volume 3. This is the one that first caught my eye for this title. Shirakawa has decided to take both Chinatsu and Tanaka under his wing, and guide them through the various processes required for their respective career goals. Chinatsu is the standard plucky forward-looking young girl, who dreams of becoming a host on Fujiyama TV. But, she'd never actually tried applying herself for this goal before, and Shirakawa takes her by surprise when he tells her to go for it. So, her task is to survive Fujiyama TV's "Female Anchor Seminar" series. These seminars are intended to weed the applicants down from the initial 100 entries, to ten in the second wave, and eventually to the sole winner. Chinatsu made it to the top 10, and is just about to learn whether she'll be allowed to stay in Fujiyama's upper-level seminar.

Tanaka, on the other hand, is your stereotypical spineless wimp - naive and easily swayed by whoever he's talking to at the time. He's never had a true goal in his life, and is terrified by the idea of talking to strangers that may be in a position of power over him. Shirakawa thus sets Tanaka with a series of tasks to help him learn what he's good at. Initially this was just to fold a box of origami cranes in the middle of a busy Tokyo street, without being allowed to explain why. Pedestrians take pity on him and quickly lend him a hand, finishing the cranes within an hour. Next, Tanaka is to "follow the money" of Japan's wealthiest men. Tanaka doesn't want a job where the only reward is a high salary, but eventually realizes that Shirakawa's true aim was to show how people with money and power are constantly jockeying for position in the marketplace against each other and that he'll need to do this as well. Then comes the "OB meeting".

"OB meeting" essentially translates to tracking down an alumni from your college, and asking him/her how they got the job that they have. Tanaka tries to duck this task out of fear of having to call a stranger on the phone. But, he does finally arrange to meet someone at the end of chapter 19. Which brings us to the start of chapter 20.

Tanaka is the quintessential patsy. The authors use him to commit every error in the job hunting book, just in order to explain to the audience why something is an error, and how to avoid it themselves. This makes Tanaka a fairly unlikable character. Your task is to ignore Tanaka's flaws, and focus on the author's message, assuming that you're interested in finding work in Japan at some point.

One important point to this manga is that it takes place in present-day Tokyo, so the buildings and landmarks are all real places. The street scene featuring Studio Alta on page 8 is pretty much exactly the way it looks from the north exit of the JR Shinjuku station exit, facing north. I can't say which restaurant the group goes to, though, or the office building where the chapter starts (just too many possibilities to choose from).

If you like this manga, please buy it!

Click here to view chapter 20.

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