Sunday, March 28, 2010

Garo #30

Feb., 1967, issue #30. 202 pages, cover by Sanpei Shirato. Now we're getting into the issues that I still on hand after the laptop died. I still have to rescan them and re-type the summaries, but at least I don't have to pay for them again...

カムイ伝 (Kamui-den) #26

By Sanpei Shirato (白土三平), 103 pages.
The fire in Edo rages out of control, and many people die, both from the conflagration and the resulting lack of food and shelter afterwards. Ryounoshin wakes up to find his wounds being treated by Kamui. He and Ikkaku are confused, and the ninja answers that he's just looking out for the underdogs. If the village's lord had been slain, it would have been bad for the people. Meanwhile, at the main castle, the Lord's only concern is whether his pet turtle had been injured. He calms down when a retainer presents the pet safe and sound. Saesa tracks Kamui down to the cabin in the woods and is relieved to finally meet him again, since she'd last seen him blown to little pieces. Kamui shows off the trick he'd used, burying himself under someone else's body that he'd dressed up to look like him. She refuses to let him go again, and Kamui replies that he still hates her. She doesn't believe that, and he asks if she could kill him, adding that he'd have no problem killing her. He follows this up by knocking her unconscious and throwing her into the moat around the castle. Red Eye is in a boat nearby and fishes her out of the water, wondering if Kamui was being serious about this.

Back at the village, a heavy rainstorm causes a huge boulder to land in the middle of the plain where Shousuke had wanted to start forming the rice fields. He decides that the only option is to blow it to pieces, but naturally the magistrate won't authorize the release of explosives to the peasants. Shousuke tries getting a foreign merchant to deliver the materials necessary for making dynamite himself, but Guntaro tells Yokome to interfere. The foreign merchant just barely crawls back to the village to say that the head vagrant had ambushed him before expiring.

At about this time, one of the vagrants finds one of the lord's other pet turtles and turns it into soup. The magistrate discovers that one of the pets is missing and orders a search for the culprit. The vagrant is found and beheaded, which strikes the magistrate's on-staff ronin as a bit harsh. The body is returned to the village as a warning to everyone else, raising tensions further.

Ukon Mikunazuki, the pegleg samurai, is sinking lower, stealing food from children and getting into more pointless fights. He happens on a dojo and installs himself as the primary sensei. When a spear-user arrives to challenge the dojo's champion, Ukon asks to be allowed to finish eating his bowl of rice. The other guy refuses and lunges, and Ukon blinds him with his chopsticks. Later, the guy's little brother, a shuriken user, arrives to get revenge, and Ukon takes him out with a makeshift bow and arrow. Ukon decides to go back on the road, and as he's relieving himself along a bridge, is attacked by a brother and sister team. With no other choice, he trips the girl, who falls into the puddle, and throws the boy in the river. The kid yells for help since he can't swim, but when Ukon fishes him out the boy states that he's going to get strong enough to kill Ukon. So the guy throws him back into the water and says, "in that case, save yourself under your own power".

Kamui visits his sister, Nana, who's very much pregnant now. She tells him that Shousuke is trying to make his own explosives, and the ninja can't believe that he'd try something so dangerous. Kamui blows up the boulder himself, and as the rest of the villagers rush to the noise, Nana delivers her baby on her own. Earlier, Ryounoshin had witnessed a peasant family delivering a baby girl, and drowning it right away because they couldn't afford to raise it. Nana's family is afraid that the baby is the result of the earlier gang rape, but she knows it's Shousuke's. Her family is somewhat relieved to see that it's a boy.

幻想のカラクリ (Trick of the Illusion) #23
Koshi Ueno (上野昂志). 2-page article.

作品集 (Creation Collection) #8

6 pages of Katsumata Susumu (勝又進)-styled madness.

日本忍法伝 (Japan Ninja Arts Legend) #16

(Subtitled: 改新への序曲 (Prelude to Reformation)) Mamoru Sasaki & Satsuko Okamoto (佐々木 守 & 岡本 颯子). 6 pages.

逃亡者 (Runaway)

A pair of gangsters track down a traitor that had run off with the boss's girl. They'll let the traitor live if the girl returns with them, but she doesn't want to go. The traitor orders her to kill, and in the resulting ray gun battle, the two gangsters die and the girl takes a blast full on, revealing her to be a robot. She stops working, and the runaway cries, carrying her limp body into the sunset.
24 To (渡二十四) is obviously a pen name, but I'm not pulling up any hits on him/her. 12 pages.

見知らぬ星で (At the Unknown Star)

A pair of aliens discover a long-nosed dream sucker alien. The dream sucker is ill, and the other two plumb its memories to find out why. Turns out that it had gone to Earth, and gorged itself on the dreams of various people, including Akira Ogawa, Shigeru Mizuki and Kuniko Tsurita. They give it an energy drink as medicine, and end up killing it. While, on Earth, the appearance of an alien results in books being written, people going on talk shows, and the Japanese army trying to use American rockets to enter the space race. The rockets drop the Army in the middle of Vietnam while the war is still going on. The two aliens wish they could have discovered the location of such a stupid planet, but they can't so they go traveling off somewhere else. By Maki Sasaki (佐々木まき), author of "A Common Story". 12 pages.

大空と雑草の詩 (Poem of heaven and weeds) #9

I was going to do a joke about wanting to make the pain stop and then noticing that it has stopped, but that's too much work. What's important here is that "Poem" ends with this chapter. I am curious to know if Akira Ogawa (おがわあきら) continues to draw manga after this, but as of issue 37 he hasn't resurfaced. Anyway, the girl goes into a funk after being rejected, then realizes that only she can solve her own problems. She gives up the fast life to return to school. The hero has strange dreams, then notices that the majority of the people he's met are driven by the desire for money. He decides that he will break this chain. End of series. 15 pages.

アンチ (Anti)

Kuniko Tsurita (つりた くにこ) gives us this 12 page short about a young film maker out in the mountains, who stumbles across a climber who's fallen and needs help getting back up on the trail. Later, the film maker shows his movie to some other film students, but only one remains awake through it. At the end, the one asks what trick the film maker used to create such a realistic-looking scene of someone falling to their death. This is the first of the two featured stories on Nihon-go Hunter.

喧嘩 (Brawl)

Shouhei Kusunoki (楠勝平) just keeps bringing it on. In Brawl, a young man sets out to work as a fish hawker. He sits down to talk to a colleague who at some point starts sulking for some reason. Unable to get the guy to explain the problem, the hero loses his temper and they start brawling to the delight of bystanders. During this time, the sidebar caption says "He really doesn't want to fight". When the brawl goes on long enough, the townspeople break it up, and he returns home. His wife asks what happened to him, and instead of simply answering, he snaps at her and starts another quarrel. At the end, the baby is bawling, the wife is upset and the hero is really confused. The sidebar narration continues - "He didn't want to fight, but he did anyway". 12 pages. This is the second of the two featured stories on Nihon-go Hunter.

恐るべきライバル (The Terrible Rival)

A jealous man creates a monster to impress a woman he likes. He feeds the woman's current boyfriend to the monster, and is surprised that this doesn't make her like him more. She approaches another guy and says she'll go out with him if he gets revenge for her on the monster creator. But, the monster eats this guy, too. The jealous man realizes that he'll never be able to get the girl and orders the monster to eat her. But, it eats its creator, and develops a crush on the girl. By Shigeru Mizuki (水木しげる), 8 pages.

死者の招き (Corpse Invitation)

A hiker out in the woods tries to find a room for the night, but the cabin he stops at is full. Then, one of the customers disappears and the hiker gets his room. During the night, the hiker has very depressing dreams and is about to hang himself in his sleep when the caretaker wakes him up and saves him. The hiker notices another door in the room and opens it up to discover the missing customer, hanging by his neck, dead. The hiker leaves immediately, and the cabin thinks that it had gotten so close to getting someone else to accept its invitation to the land of the dead. Shigeru Mizuki (水木しげる). 8 pages.

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