Sunday, June 6, 2010

Garo #40

Dec., 1967, issue #40. 234 pages, cover by Sampei Shirato.

カムイ伝 (Kamui-den) #36

By Sampei Shirato (白土三平). 100 pages.
This is where things really start to go south for everyone. First, the ongoing love affairs between the vagrants and the villagers are finally resulting in the vagrant members being arrested and hauled off by Kigisu under Yokome's guidance. Shousuke's feeling a bit at a loss because not only can't he see Nana and their son, but the children's brigade has learned to become independent of him as they capture the burrowing crabs that keep undermining the irrigation earthworks. Further, since Guntaro has isolated the magistrate politically, Shousuke's pleas for assistance in preparing the rice fields for further development falls on deaf ears.

Guntaro's little brother returns home with no sign that he'd been knifed in the ankle. He also shakes off questions as to what's happened to Kazuma. Guntaro and Kuraya complete their plan to gouge the townspeople and merchants by hording up all the gold and harvested rice, while watching inflation kick in - people are discovering that the paper scrip is worth nothing. The price of rice skyrockets and the townspeople begin rioting. Even the lower class samurai begin to suffer, having to pawn family heirlooms for the paper notes. Then when they discover that the notes have no purchasing power, in attempts to cut down the pawnbrokers, discover that their family heirloom katanas are made of cheap metal and shatter under force. The suicide rate goes up.

Kazuma is becoming a hardened fighter, but the hunchbacked beggar still pounds him into the ground and steals whatever food he's managed to trap. The boy longs for a good bowl of cooked rice, and the beggar, Kasagure, mocks him asking if he wants to become a farmer. This triggers Kazuma into going into the village and kidnapping the girl that Gon has adopted, forcing Gon to haul out two bushels of rice he'd stashed under the house. Gon pities Kazuma for buying a world of hurt, but the boy just wants to disappear with his prize, staggering under the weight. Having a pegleg works against him and Kazuma tumbles over. When he looks up, he's surrounded by 100 starving, maddened peasants.

西部田村事件 (Nishibu Tamura Incident)

By Yoshiharu Tsuge (つげ義春). 18 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
A fisherman (probably the same one as in Red Flower) is out in the countryside looking for a new fishing spot when an excited villager runs up and says that an inmate - arguably violently insane - at a nearby hospital has escaped. A number of other villagers show up to find the escapee, with one of them claiming to have seen someone in a gown climbing up in the trees. After discovering that the trees are too hard to climb, the townspeople give up and leave. The fisherman discovers the inmate, who leads him to a glade where fish swim around in seep holes. The guy accidentally steps in one of the holes, and the fish trapped under his foot swims around, tickling him. The fisherman goes into town for help and the inmate is eventually extracted and returned to the hospital. The fisherman looks at the trapped fish then releases it into the river.

赤水, 前篇 (Red Water, First Half)

By Shouhei Kusunoki (楠勝平). 27 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
This is a tale of four people - 2 brothers, a girl and an upper class boy being groomed as a soldier in the Great War. The younger of the two brothers is supposed to be helping tend the rice in the paddies, but instead is spending his time with the upper class boy as a way to get closer to the other boy's horse. During this time, the upper class boy is mistreating the farmboy mercilessly with a form of military training. The rich one's family has decided to marry him to the prettiest girl in the village, which is why she disappears. The older brother tries to explain to the younger one that the horses are being used for war, but it doesn't take. One night, the rich family throws a party to celebrate the chosen one's selection to the officer's ranks, and during the drinking session afterwards, the older brother gets sick and the other soldiers throw him out into the rain.

壮士節 (Soushi Bushi) #33
By Koshi Ueno (上野昂志). 2 pages.
"Soushi Bushi" is the name of a melody, but not one that's particularly famous now.

日本のカミサマたち (Japan's Gods)

By Shigeru Mizuki (水木しげる). 3 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
Another short commentary by Shigeru. This time, he's describing Japan's new gods, such as that for freeways and yacht fishing.

三面鏡の戯れ (3-Sided Mirror Flirtation)

By Ryouichi Ikegami (池上遼一). 18 pages.
A young man at a club on a date suddenly finds himself in the presence of two identical-looking women, but with polar-opposite personalities. After they mess with him for a while, he passes out and they leave. At the end, it turns out that the two females are the product of a 3 panel makeup mirror owned by the woman it's duplicating.

勝又進 作品集 (Katsumata's Creation Collection) #18

By Susumu Katsumata (勝又進). 8 pages.
More gags lampooning the shallowness and imbecility of the human race.

漂流 (Drifting)

By Noboru Kashiyama (かしやま のぼる). 10 pages.
Two men set adrift after a ship wreck fight it out over a piece of driftwood, and one cuts the other. The winner eventually passes out and comes to on a lifeboat that has two other survivors. Time passes, and one of them suggests they draw lots to see who the other two will eat to prolong their survival. The one making the suggestion cheats and the one with the knife loses. After a short fight, the one with the knife is standing over two corpses. Later, an ocean liner spots the lifeboat, but the very first person to have been cast adrift is standing on the deck and he recognizes his assailant. The captain sees the two skeletons in the lifeboat and orders the knife fighter to be left on the ocean to die.

There's nothing on Kishiyama in either English or Japanese that I can find.

青空太郎の絵日記 (Aozora Tarou's Picture Diary) #10

By Mitsuo Fujisawa (藤沢光男). 4 pages.
A boy sees a pet bird and is told that birds can be trained if you whistle while they eat when they're young. The boy tries this on a baby and a dog, but gets roughed up instead. He becomes homeless, and not even his own mother wants any part of him.

死に急ぎの記録 (Record of Speed to Death)

By Yuu Takita (滝田ゆう). 12 pages.
I guess this could be better translated as "Fast Death Sentence" or "Traffic Accident Record". A deathrow inmate is released on a technicality and then killed in a hit and run accident (the only one of a group that is fatally injured). When the neighborhood beat cop updates the "days since the last accident" board, he notices that the victim had actually been handed a death sentence earlier and the cop then erases the statistic from the board.

鬼太郎夜話 (Kitaro Night Stories) #7

By Shigeru Mizuki (水木しげる). 27 pages.
The scary fake Kitaro explains that he needs Nezumi Otoko's help to take the real Kitaro's place. They pore over copies of Shigeru Mizuki's manga to discover that the real Kitaro has a vest with black and white stripes, while the fake's is a checkerboard pattern. They set out to steal the correct vest. Meanwhile, Neko-chan can't go back to school anymore since her true form has been revealed, and Kitaro apologizes for having eaten rats for lunch. Neko needs money, and her one talent is singing, so Kitaro takes her to see Mijima. Mijima is impressed with Neko's talents, but he's not feeling so good right now. Nezumi Otoko spies Kitaro at the music hall and in the crowd of screaming fans succeeds in getting Kitaro's striped vest. Then, when Mijima goes on stage, the famed singer turns into a deformed grinning pudding monster.

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