Tuesday, September 28, 2010

AX - Alternative Manga, #47

Time to move on to the second of the two AX issues I picked up at the Nakano Mandarake shop. Notice that there's nothing here I want to give the "Garo treatment" to.

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AX, vol. 47, 2005
Tokyo Zombie
352 pages
933 yen

The magazine starts out with 20 pages on the making of the Tokyo Zombie movie, including a small fold out poster. There's a paragraph on manga artist Kazuo Umezz (who apparently appears in the movie), and a couple of sample pages from the Tokyo Zombie manga ("where is Russia?") In the middle there's another 20 pages of articles, and reviews on etchi manga. In the back there's yet again about 20 pages of ads, and reviews of movies and stuff.

「生活」1 - 福満しげゆき
"Life", #1, by Shigeyuki Fukumitsu


12 pages. (Fukumitsu has a manga running in weekly Morning right now.) A teenager working part time at a convenience store takes a train one day when he happens to be sitting next to a small boy that dislikes listening to people talking on their cell phones in public. The boy grabs several phones and runs away to toss them in the trash bins. The teenager chases him, and they crash into each other. After talking, the two get along fairly well. That night, the teenager encounters a drunk teacher crawling through the streets, and when he tries to talk to him, the teacher hits him in the face with a bottle. The younger boy subdues the teacher, and the two of them tie the guy up in the school. Later, things settle down.

「トロイメライ」2 - 島田虎之介
"Toroi Merai", #2, by Toranosuke Shimada


18 pages. (Shimada wrote "Log King Erickson" in vol. 21.) A young woman tracks down a piano that had been played by various people throughout Europe, India and Malaysia in the 1800's on up. The piano is in lousy condition, but she thinks it can be restored. At the end of the chapter, she arrives at a creepy house where a rumored restorer lives.

「コイソモレ先生」2 - しりあがり寿
"Koinmore Sensei", #2, by Kotobuki Shiriagari


6 pages. (Shiriagari wrote "Old Man Twins".) Just a series of poorly drawn, stupid 4-panel gags.

「正義隊」第11章前編 - 後藤友香
"Righteous Corps", first part of chap. 11, by Yuka Gotou


14 pages. (Yuka wrote "Puzzle of the Manhole".) A school girl sees a strange figure sitting in a classroom alone late at night. She follows it to another room where it is tending an intelligent fish that plans on wiping out all humans. Again, very badly drawn.

「変わってるから困ってる」6 - 藤枝奈己絵
"Worried, so Troubled", #6, by Namie Fujieda


20 pages. (Namie has several manga out under her own name, but there's no real profile on her outside of the brief mention on Spysee.) A fairly well-drawn high school girl's comedy. In this chapter, a school girl has conflicts with her friends, and imagines the etchi behavior of some of the teachers. Nothing happens by the end, though.

「お笑いライヴの午後十時…」7 - 三本美治
"Comical Live Show at 10 PM", #7, by Yoshiharu Mitsumoto.


24 pages. (Mitsumoto wrote "Favorable Wind".) Various patrons at a cafe behave like it's open mike night on stage, doing things like stupid dances or pulling a linked chain through their nose.

「屍錦」 - 桐山裕市
"Corpse Brocade", by Yuichi Kiriyama


14 pages. (There's nothing really on Yuichi that I can find easily.) The story is fairly crudely drawn, about a high school biker chick that hangs out with a tough crowd then eventually smashes her motorcycle into a power pole and decapitates herself. Treated kind of like a documentary with the central character just hanging around in various poses.

サマータイムブルース」 - オカダシゲヒロ
"Summertime Blues", by Shigehiro Okada


8 pages. (Almost nothing on Okada, either.) A boy climbs a tree, but a branch breaks and he lands on his head. He awakens in a hospital, bandages covering his face and unable to see or speak. His family cries with relief. He signals for a pen and paper and writes out a message complaining that they're too noisy.

「クリスチーナZ」15 - 河井克夫
"Christina Z", #15, by Katsuo Kawai


6 pages. (Katsuo co-wrote "Home Party".) Etchi chapter with three women sitting at a table at a cafe. The first two succumb to the tongue of the guy hiding under the table. The third gets up and walks away, causing the guy to come out and challenge her.

「JUKU」流星編6 - 清水おさむ
"JUKU" (meteor compilation #6), by Osamu Shimizu


20 pages. (Osamu's JUKU is available in collected format on Amazon. He's also listed in the production credits for one Naruto movie and 2 Bleach movies. Otherwise there's no real profile for him. The artwork here is pretty well-developed and highly-detailed.) Kind of a rambling tale that starts with someone like a yakuza boss riding in a car talking to an underling. Then wanders through ancient Egypt and the wars crimes of WW II. One recurring image is a big boil on the back of someone's neck.

「恋の魔法-東京ルリ子-」 - 百田千峰
"Tender Passion Witch - Tokyo Ruriko", by Chiho Momota


10 pages. (This story is kind of similar to that by Chiho Murata in vol. 21. There's no real info for her, but she does have at least one book on Amazon, and the above link goes to her blog. The artwork is very light and airy; very shojo-ish.) A girl in a headscarf working at a coffee shop goes out to get some perfume capable of causing a specific boyfriend to be more attracted to one of the female patrons. After much trouble, she gets the perfume, secretly puts it on the customer, and the customer's boyfriend falls in love with her. The story ends with the coffee shop girl pleased at having played cupid.

「青春うるはし!うるし部」ドクターE・D編4 - 堀道広
"Aoharu Uruhashi! Urushi-Group", Doctor E-D #4, by Michihiro Hori


10 pages. A school punk fights in a tournament against a big guy with a phallic neck. After neither of them scores a direct hit, the big guy pulls out a Buddhist shrine and reaches into a hidden cabinet to pull out a secret weapon. To be continued.

「屋上哀歌」- 川崎タカオ
"Rooftop Elegy", by Takao Kawasaki


10 pages. This is one of the stories appearing in the AX Anthology, vol. 1. A dying assassin up on the roof of a building to make a hit encounters a suicidal salary worker contemplating jumping off the ledge. The two get to talking and the hitman asks the worker to shoot him so he can take the elegant way out. After the worker kills the assassin with the guy's pistol, a second shooter on another rooftop puts a bullet through his head. The second shooter radios in that he's made the hit but that the target doesn't quite match the photo. Since there's no one else visible on the other roof, the sniper decides that he's shot the right person.

「四番目の男」9 - 古泉智浩
"Man #4", #9, by Tomohiro Koizumi


8 pages. (Tomohiro wrote "Cherry Boys".) A fairly ugly group of people meeting in a warehouse go out to the woods when a meteor streaks through the sky and slams into the ground. The group discovers a a capsule that looks like a big beer keg, and a creature in catsuit pajamas climbs out.

「新・中学生日記」 - Q.B.B.
"New Junior High School Diary", by Q.B.B.


8 pages. (Not a lot of direct information on Q.B.B. One site gives the initials as being "Qusumi Brothers Band". The subcaption on the title page of this manga says Q.B.B. is "kusotare, bakatare, buutare" (shit, stupid, fart). Otherwise, Q.B.B. does have several books on Amazon, and he (they) won the 1999 Bungeishunju Manga Award for this specific manga title. Basically just a bunch of badly drawn 4-panel gags about high school students.

「MOTHER COSMOS」9 - 杉山実
"Mother Cosmos", #9, by Minoru Sugiyama


16 pages. (Minoru is credited as a stage designer on one game, and had appeared at Creator's World 2010 according to ANN. According to the Japanese wiki there's a chance he's related to soccer player Makoto Sugiyama, although this may be the case of two people with the same name.) One chapter in the ongoing SF saga pitting a mysterious power called "cosmos" against a big guy in a huge wheelbarrow. The resulting battle consists of the wheelbarrow guy's army shooting laser rifles against some gigantic blob monsters.

「空の巻き貝」4 -逆柱いみり
"Sky Snail", #4, by Imiri Sakabashira


8 pages. (Imiri's "The Box Man" has been translated by Drawn and Quarterly.) Surreal gag strip that wanders from discussions of insects to a battle between a man made up of fish versus cat people.

「さかあがり」 - 衿沢世衣子
"Forward Roll-up", by Seiko Erisawa.


4 pages. (The title is the name of a move that comes from gymnastics. There's little on Seiko in English, while the Japanese wiki lists several titles to her name. The link given for her website doesn't do much other than redirect you to her blog.) A boy out playing on the playgrounds does a roll over a metal bar, causing all of his change to fall out of his pockets. A female classmate out talking with him scoops up the money and notices that there's also a small piece of colored glass used to play a game similar to tiddlywinks. The boy explains that it's a memento. When he was much younger, he'd accidentally swallowed it and had to be taken to the doctor. It had passed out naturally, so he kept it. The girl tries to run away with it and the boy chases her.

「菅原家」5 - 英之助
"Sugewara Household", #5, by Einosuke


10 pages. (Ok, it's really hard to find info on someone that's just going by a common first name. I'm not even going to bother trying. If you have a link for this guy, please pass it on to me.) A young boy and his old father are out playing catch in the park and the boy hits the man in the face with the ball. The father sits down next to an old woman who offers a blackened banana for him to eat. Nearby, a constipated dog attempts to take a dump.

「スイッチ」 - うらどめとどめ
"Switch", by Uradometodome


8 pages. (No real info on Ura, either.) A girl notices that her little toe on her right foot is missing, and that a string is sticking out of the hole of her hollow foot. She finds the toe in a corner of the room, but when she puts it back on, it acts like a switch to eject the rest of her toes. Now there are 4 more pieces of string sticking out. She pulls the string and gets buried under the giant roll that forms in her room. (This is a retelling of the ghost story of the girl with a thread sticking out of the earring pierce in her earlobe.)

「お茶っぴきババアのバー。」 - 東陽片岡
"Old Woman's Bar", by Kataoka Touyou


4 pages. (Touyou also wrote "That Guy Listened to the Springtime of My Youth".) An old woman argues with some customers in her bar. Nothing much interesting happens.

「お年頃」 - 齋藤裕之介
"About that Age", by Younosuke Saitou


7 pages. (Nothing on Saitou in English. His blog has a profile on him, and he does have some works published.) Two tiny teenagers, one male and one female, find themselves climbing on the huge body of a naked man in a game of tag. The girl explores around the pubic parts, unable to find her opponent. When the boy announces himself on the other side of the naked guy's hip, the girl runs after him.

「ボーリング」 - 田中六大
"Bowling", by Rokudai Tanaka


16 pages. (Not a lot to work with here, just a link to his blog.) Two children and a humanoid dog are sitting on a bench waiting for a man to arrive. The guy is late, but he does show up, and he suggests that they go bowling. While the lanes are supposed to be near by, it takes several hours of walking out into the countryside before they finally find a pin on the ground. A few minutes later they locate a bowling alley, but it's not open yet. They find a ball on the ground and following the scent they locate another alley. Unfortunately, it's closed for the day. The dog leans against the wall and discovers a secret passage leading deep into the ground where lots of people are mingling around. The group orders some udon, and then asks the restaurant owner if there is a bowling alley they can go to. The owner points them a little farther underground, where they reach a huge building that says "bowling alley". "Closed today."

「群青色の舗道の上で」 - 春礼六
"Above the Ultramarine Pavement", by Roku Harurei (?)


6 pages (I can't get any kind of pronunciation for this name, sorry. He/she appeared in the Nov., 1994, issue of Garo with "Angelica".) Essentially this is an impressionist piece with the goddess of life giving rise to insects, stars and bluegrass jazz.

「ロボとピュー太」7 - 南伸坊
"Robo and Puter", #7, by Shinbou Minami


4 pages. (The Japanese wiki has a long list of Minami's works. There's almost nothing on him in English, though.) A father is lying in the living room reading a book and farting. His son asks why they fart after eating persimmons, and the man answers "various reasons". Then the boy asks why his mother isn't there anymore. The end.

「精G」11 - ひさうちみちお
"Spirit G", #11, by Michio Hisauchi


8 pages. (Michio has a number of movies to his credit, but there's no bio info on him in the film databases. He's listed in the Japanese wiki as a manga artist, illustrator and essayist.) An old couple sit around and complain at each other. To be continued.

The back section is again "Rack Focus", #29, this time by CSP. It's nothing more than 2 pages of badly drawn porn, with a businessman and businesswoman seducing each other. Ignorable.

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Summary: Well, the idea of buying these two AX issues was to read them over and give them a fair try. Having done so, I have to say that I'm going to go back and continue focusing primarily on Garo. I hope that AX has a good run and picks up a few more readers now that the English anthology is out, by I'm not going to spend money on it. In this issue, Toranosuke, Osamu Shimizu, Takao Kawasaki and Rokudai Tanaka show promise, so these are the four that I'd recommend people to follow in the future, just in case.

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