Sunday, August 1, 2010

Garo 49

Garo #49, August, '68. Cover by Sampei Shirato. 202 pages.
No "Kitaro Night Stories" this issue. The series picks up again next month.

カムイ伝 (Kamui-den) #43

By Sampei Shirato (白土三平). 62 pages.
A village girl in the woods gathering flowers gets attacked by something unseen. When she finally stumbles back home she's become completely insane, and just wanders around aimlessly, alternating between drooling uncontrollably and screaming in abject fear. At the logging camp, the archer Hidaribokuden and Saesa are watching the activities and are then surrounded by enemy ninja. The archer resigns himself to fighting an unwinnable battle. He does put arrows into a few underlings, but is critically injured at the same time. The insane Koroku wanders by, and the enemy ninja leave. The archer dies.

At the castle, Ryounoshin (who apparently wasn't actually shot to death) in his Robin Hood disguise is being tortured to reveal the location of his camp. He refuses to talk, so Kazuma steps in and starts looking for the bandit's weak point. Kazuma has gotten very, very cruel over the last few months. He demonstrates a liquid, kind of like gasoline, on a monkey, setting it on fire. The bandit cracks, and Kazuma sets him on fire anyway. But, Kazuma relents and drops Ryounoshin in a vat of water. Kazuma had already figured out the location of the bandit camp based on movement patterns and put together his own map. Ryounoshin's crushed, burned body is thrown back into the cell, and Kazuma and his uncle take a troop of men out to the campsite. However, the bandits are lying in wait and, led by Ryounoshin, slaughter everyone they find. Kazuma, his uncle and Yokome survive by hiding themselves inside the corpse of a horse. They rush back to the castle and run to Ryounoshin's cell - it's empty.

Word starts coming out from Edo that the fief's lord has died suddenly. The real details are covered up with the fiction that he got sick and collapsed. Ryounoshin, without the disguise and looking unharmed, meets with the magistrate. Even though the hated lord is gone, there's still wrongs to right, so Ryounoshin vows to keep fighting.

Kazuma comes up with another plan and tells Yokome to implement it. This starts with the woods bandits' next raid on a merchant family. When the merchant's money is given to the peasants, someone sees one of the bandits running from one of the huts. Inside the hut, the entire peasant family has been slaughtered. Turns out that Yokome has infiltrated the band, and is in the process of turning the peasants against them through acts of cruelty. He tries kidnapping a baby, but something or someone takes the baby back and when Yokome follows them, happens into a cave with something really scary in it (we don't know what it is, but the bones on the ground indicates that it's a maneater). A little later, Shousuke and Nana are finally reunited and they have a romp in the grass while their child plays nearby. Suddenly the baby disappears and the entire village goes into panic mode to find him. Eventually, the baby drops in front of Shousuke from a tree, and some riflemen that have decided to get involved shoot up at the shadow flitting through the branches, killing the mad village girl from the beginning of the chapter.

「いつか来た道」 ("When the road came") #41
By Koshi Ueno (上野昂志). 2 pages.

日本忍法伝 (Japan Ninja Arts Legend) #31

By Mamoru Sasaki & Satsuko Okamoto (佐々木 守 & 岡本 颯子). 6 pages.
Subtitled (錦江残夏 (Kinkou Dregs of Summer), Part 27).

つげ義春への遠方からの手紙 (Yoshiharu Tsuge's Distant Letter)
By Honda Sayuuda (左右田本多). 2 pages.

神父の休日 (Priest's Day Off)

By Yuu Takita (滝田ゆう). 22 pages.
A priest preparing to go out for his day of rest suddenly finds himself being asked to marry a Japanese woman and an American soldier. Both the guy and the woman are on the uncouth side, and spend a lot of time cracking crude jokes. Some MPs arrive and arrest the groom, saying that he's supposed to be in Vietnam and has gone AWOL. One MP insults the bride and she chases after him to beat him up. The priest tries to leave again, but encounters an American Buddhist monk asking for spare change. The priest gives up and goes into a daydream of being a German soldier, made more realistic by the sounds of jackhammers and cranes working on building skyscrapers on either side of the church.

実験 (Experiment)

By Yoshiko Naono (直野祥子). 14 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
A group of young adults are led to a reinforced room and one of them locks the group inside, saying that he'll be back to let them out in 200 hours. Initially, the group thinks that they'll be able to do this easily. But the sink in the room only supplies sludge, and the group quickly runs out of food and water. They all crack and get on each other's nerves after a while. No one has a watch and they lose track of time. Then, they hear some sounds coming in from one wall and yell to be let out. On the other side of the wall, the one with the door key is happily listening to loud music in a bar.

It looks like Yoshiko went on to draw some picture books, but there's no real profile on her in either English or Japanese. One of her books is listed on the Tsutaya store auction site, and apparently she made an appearance as late as April or May, 2006 on Musashino FM.

月子観音 (Goddess Tsukiko)

By Ichiro Akasaka (赤坂一郎). 20 pages.
Out in a small town, a young female teacher leads three small children across a rickety wooden bridge on their way to school. It's cold out and the kids want to show their respect for the teacher so they buy her a pair of mittens. She's approached by a boyfriend to go on a date, but she's more concerned about taking care of the children and breaks the date off. After spending too much time outside in the rain, she comes down with a cold and another teacher is supposed to take her place for leading the children across the dangerous bridge. The replacement teacher is late, and when one of the kids tries to go across on his own, he slips and falls into the gorge, breaking his arm. One of the other adults tells the mayor to get the bridge fixed, but there's no money for a project that only affects 3 people. Then, a rumor springs up saying that the young teacher pushed the child herself. Sitting in the next room, the teacher hears all the talk and decides that if nothing is going to be done until someone gets killed falling from the bridge, then she'll be that someone. She goes to the bridge and jumps off. Almost immediately after, work starts on the new bridge and it's finished in 2 months. Some of the other adults raise money to have a Buddhist statue made in the teacher's likeness in her memory. Oddly enough, the statue that is placed near the bridge turns out to be wearing mittens.

There are some tantalizing hints that Ichiro continued on in the publishing industry in one form or another, but these are all in Japanese, and the main lead is a book written under his name for Japanese coin collecting. But that's about it.

セベンてテイーン (Seventeen)

By Maki Sasaki (佐々木まき). 15 pages.
Here's something that makes absolutely no sense. It's a series of images with a few repeating themes, such as a train, a prison cell, and a middle aged man holding an umbrella. Typical Sasaki.

うわさの系譜 (Pedigree of a Rumor)

By Yuu Takita (滝田ゆう). 5 pages.
A samurai spends his days building up his sword skills to be able to cut through a tree in one stroke. However, his job is to just hit prisoners with a stick. Note that the title is one that Yuu uses as a blanket name for some of his shorter manga.

勝又進 作品集 (Katsumata's Creation Collection) #26

By Susumu Katsumata (勝又進). 10 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
Just the one part this time. 3- and 4-panel gag strips. It's time to show off a little more of Katsumata's works.

ロータリー (Rotary)
By Shigeru Mizuki (水木しげる). 1 page.
Another one-page letter from Shigeru.

風太郎 (Fuutarou) #3

By Ryouichi Ikegami (池上遼一). 20 pages.
Fuu-tarou is staying at an inn occupied by two men. One is a short, fat pig-faced guy who pretends to be sleeping. The other is tall, thin, and unshaven, with a patch over one eye. The thin one is insane, constantly proclaiming his innocence. Eventually he reveals that he'd been in a factory handling dangerous chemicals and had accidentally spilled some on his boss, badly burning the left side of his face. The shock from seeing this caused the thin man to be able to see demons coming out of other people. He runs away, encountering the boss's daughter. He sees the demon attached to her and hits her with a rock in self-defense. Eventually, he covers up his eye to block out the images. At this, the fat guy gets up, telling Fuu-tarou to get away from the thin one. The fat guy is a detective chasing a pearl thief. The detective says that the thief has a pearl hidden under the eye patch. The thin one bolts from the inn, but is captured outside by the detective's partner. The two police lift up the eye patch only to reveal a very pale eye. The thin one trembles on the ground and the two cops leave in disgust, calling him crazy.

もっきり屋の少女 (Mokkiri Shop Girl)

By Yoshiharu Tsuge (つげ義春). 16 pages.
Tsuge reaches another village, bringing a fish with him that he just caught. He meets a woman, Choji, at the outskirts of the village and asks for the name of a good bar. She answers that there's only one bar here - Mokkori, and that she's the one running it. Her parents also live in the village but they're a little unstable and live on their own. The girl cooks up the fish and serves it to Tsuge, along with some sake. Choji offers her body to Tsuge, and he turns her down before saying that there's something wrong with the sake. He throws up and she leads him to a futon to rest. Tsuge wakes up later to the sound of loud shouting - "Ganbarre Choji!" ("Try hard, Choji!") Choji has a drinking game going with two of the other villagers; she holds her breath while one of them fondles her breast. This goes on for a while and Tsuge decides that it'd be better if he just leaves. As he exits the village, he finds himself chanting "Ganbarre Choji!"

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