Sunday, May 30, 2010

Garo #39

Garo #39, Nov., '67. Cover by Sampei Shirato. 234 pages.
One of the biggest problems with magazines this old (other than the paper becoming brittle and degassing) is that the inks fade. Up to this point, it really hasn't been so bad as to affect the scan quality, but in this issue some of the text has almost completely disappeared, so the resulting scans are close to unreadable. Sorry about that.

カムイ伝 (Kamui-den) #35

By Sampei Shirato (白土三平). 36 pages.
One of the shortest chapters from Sampei in recent months. We start out with Ikkaku on the road, attacking groups of samurai and slaughtering them. Back with Ryounoshin and Guntaro's little brother - the two face off, with Ryounoshin feeling at a distinct disadvantage, and Koroku bumbling about madly. Little brother tries his trademark "throw the victim in the air and skewer him when he comes back down" move, but Ryounoshin evades it. During the next attack, little brother leaps from a tree, lands, then collapses with a dagger sticking out of his ankle. Ryounoshin immediately figures out what happened and demands Kamui to reveal himself. Finally, Koroku takes his disguise off, showing himself to be Kamui. Ryounoshin wants to know the meaning of life, and Kamui leaves him with "lots of people can give an answer to that". Elsewhere, an old man looking a lot like Henyasai arrives at a checkpoint where the villagers are being turned away. The leader of the guards knows his name and lets him through, along with a girl, Atena, that he claims to be his daughter. Inside the walls, they see a young man coming out with a pack of dogs. One dog approaches Atena and gives her an insect husk, signaling that the young man is Kamui. Atena breaks into tears and runs off. Ukon recognizes Atena and tries to talk to her, but she keeps running away. He tries forcing her to listen to him and she easily throws him in the air before running away again. Ukon now sees her as a challenge and sets off after her.

禁じられた遊 (Prohibited Games)

By Shinji Nagashima (永島慎二). 13 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
#5 in the Shinji Gekiga series. A young boy and girl are out playing in the woods when they find a dog that's been killed by a car. They take the body deeper into the woods and bury it with a marker saying "below here is a dog". When they look up, they can see the sea of graves surrounding them, marking a variety of other creatures. The boy initially states that now they have the full set, but he corrects himself, saying that they're missing one more - human. The two children are last seen running into a neighboring city.

イヌナンセンスにはイヌナンセンスを! (Nonsense is as Nonsense Does!) #32
By Koshi Ueno (上野昂志). 2 pages.

禁猟区 (Game Preserve)

By Ryouichi Ikegami (池上遼一). 24 pages.
A poacher out on a game preserve in mid-winter discovers a girl hiding in his cabin. The girl just huddles in a corner, not talking. Then, there's a sound of splashing and they run out to find the girl's father thrashing about in the freezing water. The girl pleads to have her father saved, so the boy dives in the water and pulls the guy out. Back in the cabin, the boy decides to go kill a duck for them to eat. But, while he is outside, the man apologizes for his past behavior, and says that with the girl's mother dead he's really lonely. He claims that the girl belongs to him and they struggle. The poacher hears the girl's screams and rushes back to the cabin where he shoots the older man. The poacher throws the body into the lake, then realizes that the girl's just stabbed him in the back. He falls in as well. The girl cries, apologizing to her father saying that she only wanted to have a little freedom of her own.

終りなき午後 (Endless Afternoon)

By 24 To (渡二十四). 25 pages.
A man wakes up in the middle of a desolate wasteland, and makes his way through the wreckage to a building. Within, he finds a bunch of bodies and a lone woman. The two then work their way in the building to a time machine. They set the machine to Tokyo, right after WW II. The guy then lives through the reconstruction, working as a thug and a punk until an old man finds him and leads him to the same time machine. The guy gets tricked into entering the machine and wakes up in the middle of a desolate wasteland... By the author of "Runaway".

勝又進 作品集 (Katsumata's Creation Collection) #17

By Susumu Katsumata (勝又進). 14 pages.
More satire by Katsumata.

日本忍法伝 (Japan Ninja Arts Legend) #24

By Mamoru Sasaki & Satsuko Okamoto (佐々木 守 & 岡本 颯子). 6 pages.
Subtitled (飛鳥葦笛 (Bird Whistle), Part 20).

不眠症 (Insomnia)

By Masao Toyoshima (豊島雅男). 14 pages.
A young man who suffers insomnia at night gets chewed out by his boss for sleeping at work. He sees a doctor who gives him some sleeping pills, but he really doesn't want chemical help. That night, same problem. He takes the pills and dreams that he's walking in a desert, baking in the heat. The next day, firemen sifting through the wreckage of his apartment building conclude that he'd probably dropped his cigarette and it had started a fire in his sleep.

No immediate hits on Masao as a manga artist in Japanese or English . A few for a sumo wrestler of the same name that died around 1934.

アグマと息子と食えない魂 (Aguma, his son, and the uneaten spirit)

By Seiichi Hayashi (林静一). 7 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
A wizard dies and goes to hell where the devil Aguma and his son are waiting to eat tainted spirits. The wizard doesn't think he belongs in hell, and Aguma tends to agree. The boy demon is outraged at his father's behavior and demands to know what's going on. After the wizard returns to the cycle of reincarnation, Aguma answers that the human wasn't plump enough yet. Wait for him to come back a few more times and he'll be tastier.

Finally, a new artist worth commenting about. Those of you more familiar with gekiga manga will recognize this name right away.

Seiichi (1945-) is most well-known in the U.S. for his "Red-Colored Elegy", published by Drawn and Quarterly. Although, the bio on him at D&Q is woefully inadequate and there's no English wiki entry yet. The Japanese wiki is much more complete. A review at Anthem Magazine gives a bit more background, describing him as "a manga artist, film (and commercial) director, art director, illustrator, and children's book author". His anime credits include "Shadow" (かげ, 1968), "The Oct. 13 Murder" (10月13日の殺人, 1970) and "Demon Love Song" (鬼恋歌, 1971). The Japanese wiki indicates that he'd entered Toei Animation Studios as an animator in 1962.

天国でみる夢 (Dreams of Heaven)

By Maki Sasaki (佐々木まき). 17 pages.
A surreal, nonsense series of images with a few repeating themes (such as the one-eyed ghost with its tongue sticking out). By the author of "A Common Story" and "At the Unknown Star".

狂人日記 (Lunatic's Diary)

By Kuniko Tsurita (つりたくにこ). 16 pages.
Picking up from the "Escape" story in the last issue, the escapee has returned to the asylum, where he takes on an apprentice and teaches the other inmate how to write and draw. The two eventually start competing with each other's tall tales until the former apprentice claims to have set his sights on the Nobel prize. This is the escapee's own private dream, and in anger he kills the other guy with a rock. Overjoyed to have won the battle, he throws the rock in the air, and it lands on his own head, killing him.

昼下りの妄想 (Delusions Beneath the Midday Sun)

By Yuu Takita (滝田ゆう). 18 pages.
Another series of short story gags. In the title story, a samurai with a wooden sword bangs up a few colleagues before being imprisoned in with a shogi board. While shogi is actually a strategy game embodying the concepts of combat, the best the samurai can do is stack the playing pieces up to form a little castle. In "Vexing" (口惜しい), the wife of a samurai is embarrassed with her husband's behavior and wants him to put up or shut up. He takes his swords to a shop and when he returns to supposedly commit seppuku his wife brightens up until it turns out that he'd traded his katana for a wooden practice sword that he then breaks over his head. "Disappearing Stone Plates" (皿石衛門失踪) revolves around a feudal lord that is unforgiving when servants break his estate's expensive plates, and when it happens again (earning a female servant a death sentence), the lower level samurai band together and force one of their own to go out to do something about the situation. As they comment on his strange name (Plate-Stone-Defense-Gate), the guy climbs to the top of the castle and shatters half of the roofing tiles with a hammer.

鬼太郎夜話 (Kitaro Night Stories) #6

By Shigeru Mizuki (水木しげる). 36 pages.
Mizuki and Mijima trade stories about their various fates, and Mizuki clues Mijima in on Kitaro's fearsome monster powers. They eventually go their separate ways, with Mizuki returning to the apartment Kitaro shares with his father above a shop that sells cat's heads (discarded after the guts are used for guitar strings). Kitaro is now preparing to attend school for the first time and needs 80 yen for crayons (which Mizuki supplies). Also living in the house is Neko-chan (寝子 - sleep + child), and they're both attending the same school. The teacher asks Kitaro to read the letters written on the blackboard (A, I and U) and when he can't is sent out to stand in the hall. In the playground outside, Nezumi Otoko is praising himself for being able to bring Dracula back by having implanted the vampire plant in Mijima. Nezumi and Kitaro get into a fight, and when Kitaro goes back into the school for lunch, gets chased outside again by Neko-chan after she goes into a frenzy over his eating dead mice for lunch. Turns out that Neko is a were-cat (neko = cat), and she absolutely loves mice. So Kitaro takes her out to where Nezumi Otoko (rat man) is trying to sleep, and she succeeds in taking a bite out of his head before he can escape. Later, Nezumi Otoko returns to his hovel, where the narrator tells us is a terrifying man that just happens to look like Kitaro.

(First appearance of Neko-musume.)


Noah B said...

Some dead links on this page I'd love to see them. This collection is really great.

TSOTE said...

Thanks for dropping by.
Yeah, Mediafire has lost a number of files, and it'd take too much to fix them all.