Sunday, July 18, 2010

Garo 46

Garo #46, June, '68. Cover by Sampei Shirato. 202 pages.

カムイ伝 (Kamui-den) #41

By Sampei Shirato (白土三平). 97 pages.
Ikkaku is fenced in by an army of angry samurai, his katana and right thumb lying on the ground in front of him. He still makes a valiant stand, grabbing the sword and fighting with his left hand. He charges the old swordmaster, when suddenly a group of ninja backed by a rival lord swoop in and rescue him. Ikkaku wakes up to find himself in the lord's home, but bolts when Atena attempts to come in to see him. Ikkaku meets with the lord and a rabble rousing swordsman, and they offer to help him in assassinating the fief's lord, but Ikkaku says that if he doesn't get vengeance with his own hands, anything else would be meaningless. Atena and Ukon finally catch up with Ikkaku, and Ukon gets casually dropped. However, Ikkaku disappoints Atena as well.

The friendly lord and a rabble rousing swordsman raise an army of dissatisfied samurai, but the rabble rouser is actually an inside spy for the attache. He has the rabble go down into some tunnels to escape the law, then has the tunnels torched, killing everyone inside. He himself goes after Atena, disguised as a monk, and attempts to assault her. But, she is the daughter of a samurai, and she easily puts a dagger through the spy's throat. The one remaining assistant to the spy goes to Guntaro's house for payment, then gets caught by Ikkaku and the friendly lord. But, before they can do anything, the minion dies from poison that had been put on the gold coins.

Kazuma, Guntaro's son, and the killer hunchback are having a meal of shellfish, and the boy decides to steal a squid hung out by a fisherman to dry. This attracts the rest of the fishing village. Before the villagers can exact revenge on the two, some police arrive to break up the crowd, and Kazuma and the hunchback escape. Kazuma then tries to force himself on a girl he finds, but rather than let him assault her, she bites off her tongue and dies. Kazuma can't understand why anyone would go to such lengths to avoid being sullied. Finally, the hunchback goes to summon Guntaro's brother, the one who had tried to have Kazuma assassinated, and they fight it out. After a series of close calls, Kazuma is just about to get in the finishing blow when the hunchback throws a couple of rocks at them to break up the fight. Kazuma wants to know the meaning of this, then discovers that his parents have arrived along with some of the family retinue. He is welcomed back into the family, and his uncle acknowledges his strength. However, the hunchback tries to kill Kazuma from behind at the last second, and the uncle shoots him with a concealed pistol. Turns out that the hunchback had done this kind of thing before, and was just hoping that someone would kill him in battle. He dies, and Ryounoshin, who had been watching everything, takes the body out for a proper send off.

妖怪マスコミ (Ghost Mass Media)

By Shigeru Mizuki (水木しげる). 2 pages.
This is a satirical little look at how TV and magazines eat up and spit out manga artists. However, there are some artists (the implication being that Tezuka is one of them) who actually thrive from this, getting fatter every time they pass through the "mass Komi monster".

「入れるべきところへ突っ込まれた言葉」 ("A very reasonable word") #39
By Koshi Ueno (上野昂志). 2 pages.

勝又進 作品集 (Katsumata's Creation Collection) #24

By Susumu Katsumata (勝又進). 14 pages.
2 parts. The first one, here, is 5 pages, and the second following "Japan Ninja Arts Legend" is 3 pages.

赤とんぼ (Red Dragonfly)

By Seiichi Hayashi (林静一). 12 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
This is another semi-surreal story from Seiichi. In this one, a young boy lives with his mother, catching dragonflies and getting his fingers scraped up, with her largely ignoring him. At one point, it looks like the boy's grandfather has dropped by, and they play soldiers for a while. But, the boy sees the old man in bed along with his mother, and she's crying. In the last panel, the boy encounters the shadowy old man (we never see his face) and there's just the sound effect of a gun shot.

すちゃらかちゃん (Sucharaka-chan)

By Yuu Takita (滝田ゆう). 21 pages.
An untalented rakugo (Japanese comic) storyteller goes through the paces from working small clubs up to the big time on TV and in movies. But, the audiences only laugh when the cue cards are shown. It's all staged by a rival, and at the end it looks like the storyteller has been tricked into playing to an empty house.

日本忍法伝 (Japan Ninja Arts Legend) #29

By Mamoru Sasaki & Satsuko Okamoto (佐々木 守 & 岡本 颯子). 6 pages.
Subtitled (筑紫戦塵 (Chikushi Tumult of War), Part 25).

ほんやら洞のべんさん (Ben-san of Honyara Grotto)

By Yoshiharu Tsuge (つげ義春). 28 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
Tsuge is continuing his travels, and comes to a remote hostel out in the snow-covered mountains of Honyara Grotto. The owner of the hut, Ben, hasn't had lodgers in years and doesn't know what to do with this unannounced customer. Tsuge talks him into sharing what little food there is, then breaking out some futons to sleep on. The next morning, they go out on the ice to fish, but instead of using the net to catch some river fish, Tsuge just stands with his eyes closed and listening to the sounds around him. Ben prepares to go into town to get supplies until Tsuge says that he's not staying any longer - he just wanted to drop by and see the area for the night. Neither of them has much ambition in life at the moment, although Tsuge does state that he's working as an artist. However, when asked to draw something, he can't.

They go out to do some night fishing and a small girl suddenly shows up. Turns out that Ben is her father, and that Ben and his wife have separated. The girl is part of a children's group out to sing songs in the winter night to attract swallows for the coming spring. Ben and Tsuge catch a large carp that's worth a few hundred dollars on the market, and Ben takes it farther up the hill to a different pond to swim in. Unfortunately, they waste too much time and when they get to the pond the fish is frozen like a rock. Back in the cabin, Tsuge asks if a fish like that tastes like it's worth a few hundred dollars. Ben remains silent and curls away from the plate the fish is on.

鬼太郎夜話 (Kitaro Night Stories) #13

By Shigeru Mizuki (水木しげる). 21 pages.
Kitaro and the beatnik arrive in hell, and the bike bursts into flames. Kitaro heads for his friend's house for the party that's being thrown. There's special ghost sake, and the roasted caterpillars are supposed to be especially tasty. The beatnik reaches his limit and pulls out an envelop with some cash he'd been saving up to buy a new car. He gives the money to Kitaro as payment to keep the monsters away from him, then he passes out. When he recovers, he's in the middle of an empty field, thinking it was all a dream. But, he can't find his money so he accepts the previous evening as having really happened. The Fake Kitaro comes by, looking for Nezumi Otoko, while the beatnik, wanting to get his money back, asks the fake if he knows where Kitaro is. The fake points off in the correct direction and the man runs that way.

Meanwhile, Kitaro is looking at the money, wondering what to do with it. Nezumi Otoko happens by and runs off with the envelop. A little later, the fake Kitaro finds him, but the fake looks so different from before that Nezumi Otoko doesn't recognize him. The fake pulls out the thing Neko musume gave him in hell - the piece of Nezumi Otoku's skull that she'd bitten out earlier. The fake tells Nezumi Otoko to start behaving properly from now on, and Nezumi just stares at him, uncomprehendingly.

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