Sunday, June 27, 2010

Garo #43

Garo #43, Mar., '68. Cover by Sampei Shirato. 234 pages.

カムイ伝 (Kamui-den) #39

By Sampei Shirato (白土三平). 98 pages.
The scene starts out at the seaside where two groups of villagers happen upon a mass of seashells washed up on the shore, and it quickly devolves into a battle to see who gets to keep the mollusks. No one notices the shattered cross of wood floating in the waves nearby. A ways off, Saesa comes to in Kushiro's hut, and get into a battle of words over whether Saesa has ever been in love, or if love is worth anything. Kushiro has a henchman now, who runs into the hut to say that they've got work. Kushiro takes the girl into his long boat, where they encounter a small whale. The other two are terrified of drowning and Kushiro ends up wrecking the boat rather than capturing his prey. He vows to try again later.

Teburi and some gang members try to steal one of the magistrate's turtles, only to be thwarted by Kamui in his royalty disguise. Kamui lures Teburi out to a cave in the mountains, where he says that the turtles on the magistrate's grounds are fakes. The one everyone really wants has already been located. They carve up the turtle to reveal some writing on the inside of the shell. It's only half of a message, with the other half in the feudal lord's care in Edo. Teburi prepares for his trip to the big city, but Kamui announces that he'd already taken the second turtle when he had been there. Together, the two halves of the message point to some location out in the wastelands surrounded by 6 peaks. Kamui and Teburi work together to run ropes from the peaks, then dig where they all cross, uncovering a stone plynth. The two then get into a drawn-out ninja battle to see who'll survive in order to find out what's under the plynth. Finally, Kamui gets the upper hand and removes a box from under the rock, which contains a scroll detailing a secret alliance between the lords of Kamui's and Teburi's lands. Teburi is crushed to find out his leader had betrayed him, and kills his own gang to prevent the secret from getting out.

"「平常」と「異常」の隔り" (Alternating Normalcy and Strangeness) #36
By Koshi Ueno (上野昂志). 2 pages.

青春の墓 (Adolescent Gravesite)

By Akira Ogawa (おがわあきら). 20 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
Akira is finally back with a short-one shot. A high school boy is involved in a love triangle between two other friends. The one male friend reads a script the boy has written and thinks that it's going to be a hit, and the girl both of them like could be the star of the show. The rival then announces that he and the girl may get married soon. Some time later, the girl arrives at the boy's house to announce that the rival fell ill quickly and has died. The boy runs over to the rival's house, and sees the script in the rival's room, and ends up modifying it to put himself in the role opposite the girl in the play. Time goes by and everything seems to be going according to the boy's plans, until the girl commits suicide and leaves a note saying that she just couldn't live without her true love to support her. The boy's spirit is crushed and he says goodbye to his innocence.

おこつ狂想曲 (Okotsu Rhapsody)

By Yuu Takita (滝田ゆう). 18 pages.
The owner of a newly automated crematorium is showing some customers the new facilities (including a self-service area which consists of a brick-lined room, several cans of gasoline and some matches). A penniless would-be customer arrives hoping to be killed in such a way as to let his family get his insurance money. He's rejected by several firms, until at one point he accidentally falls down the stairs and breaks his neck. After he's cremated and his remains are sent to his wife, she complains that his gold fillings are missing from the ashes in the urn.

美徳の栄え (Glory of Virtue)

By Kuniko Tsurita (つりたくにこ). 24 pages.
Madam Haruko's prayers have been answered and she gets her mother's money. This attracts the relatives from chapter 1, plus their hangers-on, who now set up camp in her house. This causes the water and gas bills to climb, and she tries praying to the gods again for assistance. This time, they're of no help and she attempts to hang herself. But, she messes up and gets her hands stuck in the noose instead, which causes her to swing into a window and break it. When she frees herself, two angels in a passing rocket are attracted by the broken glass and announce themselves. Seems that their planet is in need of a beautiful woman like her. The relatives say that it's probably a trap, but Madam Haruko sees this as a chance to become queen. She tells the angels to take her with them in the rocket, and the relatives and hangers-on all say that they want to go along with her. As the rocket leaves Earth, Madam Haruko sits in a throne and gloats.

汽笛 (Steam Whistle)

By Tetsuhiro Morimoto (森本哲弘). 18 pages.
A boy and his dog play along the train tracks, waiting for passing trains to come by and then race to oneside to hide and watch them go. The boy's mother had told him to stay away from trains, but she's not around anymore to stop him. No real story, and nothing resolved at the end.

Nothing in English or Japanese on Tetsuhiro, unless you assume he's the one working at Fuji Electric. His style is pretty well-developed, but there is a tendency for the boy's body to look several year's older than his face and head in certain panels. I'm assuming that he worked as someone's assistant for a while.

勝又進 作品集 (Katsumata's Creation Collection) #21

By Susumu Katsumata (勝又進). 13 pages.
Unit numbering is back to normal.

日本忍法伝 (Japan Ninja Arts Legend) #26

By Mamoru Sasaki & Satsuko Okamoto (佐々木 守 & 岡本 颯子). 6 pages.
Subtitled (狂心の渠 (Crazy for a Ditch), Part 22). The Japanese subtitle is very "nonstandard", and so the English translation is more of a wild guess. The first two characters come out as "crazy mind" and the last is "ditch or canal". It makes sense if you read the text, which is a bit beyond me at the moment.

鬼太郎夜話 (Kitaro Night Stories) #10

By Shigeru Mizuki (水木しげる). 28 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
The fake Kitaro (FK) finds himself in a boggy hell. The real Kitaro jumped into the river after them, but he can't swim and passersby have to help pull him to shore. He did manage to get Neko Musume away from FK, but she died anyway. Kitaro's father offers to go to hell to try to get the demon vest back from FK, and is flattened by a car while standing in the middle of a street. FK initially thinks that hell is pretty neat, lacking other people, a need to go to school or having to work. But, he does eventually get hungry, then discovers that the fish in the bog are all just skeletons. Kitaro's father (AKA: Otosan) shows up and declares that the lack of food is one side of hell - if FK doesn't leave, he'll waste away and turn into a mummy after 100 hours. They start looking for the tunnel entrance into hell proper, which then takes them to a house where Neko Musume's spirit has taken up residence. FK panics and runs away, getting lost in hell's vast reaches, the absence of other people suddenly making him very lonely.

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