Monday, August 30, 2010

Garo 55


Garo #55, Jan., '69. Cover by Sampei Shirato. 234 pages.


カムイ伝 (Kamui-den) #46


By Sampei Shirato (白土三平). 37 pages.
Things have turned really ugly really fast in the village. Packs of wolves team up to attack wild boars, and are in turn swarmed by flocks of crows. An old man leaves the village to hang himself, allowing more food for his aged wife and daughter, and has to knock the daughter unconscious in order to get enough time to do the deed. But, when the daughter returns home, she spots a thief escaping with a bale of their rice. She chases the thief, which attracts other villagers who beat the guy to death and then steal the remaining rice, leaving the daughter and her mother without food anyway. Shousuke encounters another man trying to throw a baby into a flowing river. When he tries to stop the man, the guy pelts him with rocks until the infant is gone, then breaks down and cries over the loss.

The other villagers are forced to comb the woods for food to be turned over to the castle. A fight breaks out between two brothers and ends up with a bystander being accidentally killed. The villagers blame their ills on the samurai in the castle and form into a lynch mob leading up the hill. Shousuke sees this from a distance, as well as the armored troops descending on horseback farther up the road. He tries to stop the mob before it's too late, but they kick and beat him into the ground. A little later, they're all slaughtered. As Shousuke lies limply on the ground, Ryounoshin rides up to ask why he's stopped moving.



おはぐろどぶ (Tooth Blackening Water Ditch)


By Yuu Takita (滝田ゆう). 35 pages.
This is the second in the "寺島町奇譚" tales set in the Don Stand bar from the last volume. Kiyoshi and two friends start out by trying to float a paper boat down one of the street gutters, but two drunk workers sink it when they relieve themselves along the wall. A policeman arrives and asks why the kids aren't in school, and two escape while the third gets collared. Kiyoshi arrives home at the bar, where his father has just gotten in, drunk. His mother refuses to talk to the guy, and then takes her fury out on the cat, Tama. Through a series of clashes, the cat panics and escapes the house, only to fall through the street tiles into the gutters below. Later that evening, the bar is crowded, and the father is working the kitchen. He tries talking to his wife and she ignores him. He fantasizes about a beautiful woman who'd asked him to do some carpentry work for her. Later, the same woman (supposedly the one with blackened teeth) sees Kiyoshi and pats him on the head. Kiyoshi finds what he thinks is Tama and takes the cat home to clean it up, only to discover it's a different cat. Immediately after, Tama shows up and the boy kicks him out of frustration.

The next night, his father is no where to be seen and his mother has buried herself up in her bed. Kiyoshi is directed to clean up the bar and prepare it for opening. An early customer comes in, orders the most expensive thing on the shelf and then throws some change on the bar, which the boy keeps. When the mother does come down to the bar, the boy talks about the woman that had patted him on the head, making his mother angry and she clocks him one, sending him outside to do more chores. Outside, he remembers the money and uses it to watch a samurai movie. Back at the house, the father comes home drunk again and his wife berates him for it. He's in a foul mode and bangs her up before chasing her out of the house. She forlornly goes to the local onsen to take a bath, encountering Kiyoshi along the way. She quietly grabs his hand and takes him to the onsen with her, to the women's side of the baths.



つる (Tsuru)


By Shinji Nagashima (永島慎二). 24 pages.
This is a retelling of the "White Crane" story. A farmer happens across a wounded Japanese crane, and pulls the arrow out of its wing. The crane (called a "tsuru"), flies off. A little later, a beautiful woman, named Tsuu, appears at the farmer's door and asks to stay the night. In the morning, the hut has been completely cleaned. The woman offers to marry the farmer, and promises to provide him with some luxurious cloth that can be sold at a massive profit, if only the farmer promises to not open the door to her room during her down time. At one point, the farmer starts asking himself why such a wonderful woman would be interested in him, and looks through the door only to discover the crane that he had helped. He recoils in surprise. The crane turns back into Tsuu long enough for her to explain that she'd only wanted to thank him for his kindness, but now that he's seen her original form she has to leave. She flies off as the farmer calls for her to come back. Later, Summer rolls around and the farmer resigns himself to working in the fields alone.



大衆-ことば-マンガ (General Public Word Manga)
By Yoshiharu Tsuge (つげ義春). 6 pages.
This is actually a 6-page article co-written with author/poet Shiroyasu Suzuki, (鈴木 志郎康) where Tsuge and Suzuki alternate writing paragraphs.



[騒乱]について (About "Rioting") #46
By Koshi Ueno (上野昂志). 2 pages.
Article.



遭難 (Accident)


By Manabu Ohyama (大山学). 27 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
A blond westerner, presumably an American in Japan from the fighting in Vietnam, wakes up in some guy's car. He'd been out drinking the night before and had passed out. The driver had jacked the car and they're now having a joyride. The blond panics, wondering what will happen if they get caught. Soon after, they encounter a traffic stop, and the Japanese cop calls over his superior to help with the language barrier. The driver laughs and floors the pedal, tearing away from the stop. Suddenly, a bike rider pulls in front of the car, and the driver hits him before plowing into a tree. The blond exits the car, sees the accident victim struggling to get to his feet, takes the driver's gun and has a flashback. He was a greenhorn on a patrol in 'nam when they got ambushed. He was trapped out in the open and his buddies tried to reach him from their foxhole. A sniper above them in a tree picked off the rest of the patrol until some other soldiers arrived and took the sniper out. Back in the present, the blond shoots the cyclist 4 times in the chest. The driver recovers and the two of them run away from the scene.

Manabu Ohyama (1947-) apparently was a fairly prolific artist, but he's not all that well-known. I'm not finding entries on him in either the English or Japanese wikis, but there is a Japanese fan page on him that lists many of his titles and includes some sample artwork.


勝又進 作品集 (Katsumata's Creation Collection) #32


By Susumu Katsumata (勝又進). 6 pages.
Just the one part this time. 3- and 4-panel gag strips.



新日本書紀 (The New Old Chronicles) #5


By Mamoru Sasaki & Satsuko Okamoto (佐々木 守 & 岡本 颯子). 6 pages.
Article.



花の紋章 (Rose Crest, Final) #4


By Seiichi Hayashi (林静一). 22 pages.
The gangster and the boy's father face off against each other, with the older man holding a gun and telling the knife-wielding yakuza to leave him alone. The gangster lunges and the gun goes off. The boy races home and curls himself up in a ball in the corner of his room. His mother comes in, learns what has happened and runs to the hill. Turns out that the bullet had only shattered the left lens of the gangster's sunglasses. They tangle again, this time killing each other. The gangster's girlfriend pines for him, while the boy's mother screams over what will happen to her now. Things get a little surreal at this point, with a stage show crew telling them to come to Tokyo. The boy's mother runs away from the house and the boy just stands in the living room looking out the open door.



懐かしのメロディ (Longing Melody)


By Tadao Tsuge (つげ忠男). 23 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
This looks like another autobiographical tale with Yoshiharu's younger brother, Tadao, sitting at a bar while an old man reminisces about a friend of his, Sabu, back during the days of the university unrest. Sabu had lived in a rundown shack along with a prostitute. His only rule for her was that she not sleep with foreigners. At the time, some local punks were terrorizing the neighborhood, and Sabu took it on himself to chase them out. At one point, three of them ganged up on him and beat him up pretty badly. Realizing that he couldn't take them on all at one time, Sabu disappeared. Rumor was that he was slowly eliminating the punks one by one. Eventually, he does surface again, missing his right eye and looking much meaner. Unfortunately, he runs into the prostitute, who is in the company of an American serviceman. Sabu snaps and tries to kill the guy, while the girl yells that he has the wrong idea. A crowd gathers to watch the American get pummeled, then they start wondering if Sabu is really going to kill him. Finally, some police arrive and they catch the girl. She yells at Sabu to run and never come back. He bolts. Back in the bar, Tadao and the old man have gotten very drunk, and Tadao staggers off home. He turns back to ask if Sabu was ever seen after that and the old man says he doesn't know, but isn't it better this way? Tadao laughs and agrees with him, leaving the bar as the old man sits there looking pensive.



ヴェトナム討論 (Vietnam Debate)


By Maki Sasaki (佐々木まき). 20 pages.
We have another series of iconic images, but at least this time there are words in the balloons. Nonsense words, and apparently largely in Chinese, but at least the balloons aren't empty now.



鬼太郎夜話 (Kitaro Night Stories) #19


By Shigeru Mizuki (水木しげる). 16 pages.
Nezumi Otoko tells the yokai duke that Gama has disappeared, maybe with the help of Kitaro. The two of them team up to get rid of Kitaro. As they're plotting their next move, Nezumi Otoko suddenly finds himself with a big boil on his cheek, but it subsides. The duke leaves and Kitaro comes back to the room to ask where his father is. Nezumi stalls for time, convincing Kitaro to eat manju. Kitaro does, but they're laced with poison and he collapses. The duke returns and they pack the body up in a suitcase and take it out on a boat in the bay. Since yokai can't die, Kitaro isn't actually dead, but if they wrap the case up in enough chains and rocks it will take him down to hell, where it will be hard for him to get back. The boil returns and moves all over Nezumi's face before disappearing. The case is thrown in the bay, and a couple of days later returns to Nezumi's apartment, via hell mail delivery, with Kitaro as the sender. The case is empty, and a formless blob floats around, laughing spookily. Another package arrives, with Kitaro's geta and there's more laughter. Nezumi and the duke go outside to track down the mailing address that Kitaro listed as the sender of the package.

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