Sunday, April 4, 2010

Garo #31

Mar., 1967, issue #31. 234 pages, cover by Sanpei Shirato. I take back what I said about the earlier Kamui story being a "whopping" 130+ pages. This issue, Sampei clocks in at 180 pages, almost over 3/4 of the entire magazine. Whoof.

カムイ伝 (Kamui-den) #27

Things start out rough for Kushiro. He is indeed back, having survived Red Eye's attack with a bomb in a squid, but the shrapnel-like spines have scarred his face, and he's missing his left hand. Right now, he's leading a revolt against Shichibe's fish processing plant. Guntaro and the merchant Kuraya see this as an excellent chance to bring down Shichibe as well (for being a poor manager), but Kiku (Shichibe's adopted daughter) steps in and says that she'd ordered the dismantling of the buildings prior to starting new construction. Henyasai grabs Kushiro and spirits him away to an island for training, while Guntaro arrests Kiku.

Hidaribokuden, the master archer, goes to the island to challenge Henyasai, is totally humiliated and turned into the old man's pupil. The master ninja Karami no Teburi arrives on the island to ask the archer where Kamui is, then leaves because the target hasn't been spotted lately.

The main story is that the development of the rice fields is going well now, until a river floods during a rain storm and overflows into the fields. Shousuke tries to come up with different designs for dams, but each one fails. He also wants to see his child, but the ban against farmers and vagrants mingling is being enforced again. Finally, he realizes that there's a way to make a dam that won't collapse while still allowing for water to be siphoned off for irrigating the fields. Vagrants and villagers pull together to make it work, but a family of burrowing crabs works its way into the embankment and weakens it. Another rainstorm causes a leak to form, which is discovered by a small boy. Failing to come up with a better idea, the boy worms his way into the leak, plugging it, but passes away during the night and his buried corpse is discovered the next day.

Working in the fields, Ryounoshin and Ikkaku see their lord out hunting and prepare to ambush him. But, at that moment, a small child is washed into the river and the two come out of hiding to rescue the boy. Kamui, who was watching along, asks why, if they really wanted to carry out the assassination, did they stop to rescue someone else? The two can't answer, and they give up to return to the fields. The ban against mingling is lifted and the villagers and vagrants work side by side, which causes the planting and harvesting of the rice to speed by. Shousuke can now see Nana and their child, and they look on as the fields grow. They also plant cotton for silk production. Then, the damage caused by the burrowing crabs makes the dam collapse again. Everyone pulls together one more time to make an earthen-work structure several meters thick, showing that there's no real difference between the two classes, and it's the samurai class that's their real enemy.

Finally, Teburi finds Kamui, and during the resulting aerial battle, Kamui gets nicked and starts feeling the effects of the drugged blade. He props himself against a tree as Teburi says he's going to take Kamui's life.

By Sanpei Shirato (白土三平).

人間らしい人間について(Becoming a Human-like Human) #24
Koshi Ueno 上野昂志 2 page article.

日本忍法伝 (Japan Ninja Arts Legend) #17

(Subtitled: 飛鳥曼陀羅 (Flying Bird Mandala)) By Mamoru Sasaki & Satsuko Okamoto (佐々木 守 & 岡本 颯子). 7 pages.

通夜 (All-Night Wake)

By Yoshiharu Tsuge (つげ義春), 10 pages. Three delinquents out walking in the countryside demand to be allowed to stay in a house overnight. The owner says "no", adding that her son has just passed away and she's holding a wake for him for the night. His ghost will be really scary. The three push their way inside and end up being put in the son's room. They play with the corpse during the night, and finally the next day head out back on the road again, complaining that the woman lied - it wasn't scary at all. This is the first of three stories featured on Nihon-go Hunter this time.

生きるための闘争 (Strife for Life)

A manga artist is suffering from writer's block. He gets into fights, bashes himself up, and tries all kinds of things in order to come up with a new idea. He decides on going up a mountain and hanging off the edge to gain a near-death experience. The trick works, and flush with excitement, he starts climbing back up but the ledge collapses and he falls to a river below.
Kuniko Tsurita (つりた くにこ), 12 pages.

作品集 (Creation Collection) #9

Katsumata Susumu (勝又進), with 4 more pages of satire.

鎧 (Armor)

Next we have a short 9-page story from Shouhei Kusunoki (楠勝平). A samurai out fighting enemy troops sees an old man sitting and listening in a field. Later, the samurai decides that he needs his armor repaired and goes to find a good armorer. The place he settles on is owned by the old man, who says that he can hear the sounds coming from the armor. In the next battle, the samurai discovers that he, too, can hear the cries of the armor. So much so in fact that it drives him and his horse crazy. This is the second of three stories featured on Nihon-go Hunter this time.

べとべとさん (Betobeto-san)

Only the one 8-page story from Shigeru Mizuki (水木しげる) this time. A low-level yakuza is sent out to investigate a haunted house owned by his boss. Another underling hasn't come back from the house yet. The guy goes up into the hills, finds the house, and sees his friend's shoes at the door. A zombie rushes into the room and he shoots it. As the corpse collapses, it explains that he's really the missing yakuza, and that the monster - betobeto-san - is a centuries-old fungus that survives by switching hosts. The yakuza looks down at the fungus growing on his hands (from when he opened the door) and falls over. This is the third story featured on Nihon-go Hunter.

1 comment:

A.B. said...

Great Tsuge story! Thanks for uploading this. The Garo reviews have been wonderful as usual.