Sunday, October 31, 2010

Garo 65

Garo #65, Sept., '69. Cover by Sampei Shirato. 234 pages.

カムイ伝 (Kamui-den) #54

By Sampei Shirato (白土三平). 38 pages.
Three of the workers at the mountain camp attempt to escape. They are eventually hunted down and dragged back. At about this time, Red Eye arrives at the camp on behalf of Shichibe, and he witnesses in disgust the way the mining merchant joins in with the mountain town attache in abusing the workers. One of the escapees is beheaded, and then the other two are given clubs and told that only the one living will be forgiven for trying to leave. This of course turns out to be a lie and the survivor is torn apart by the dogs. As the guards and merchants leave afterward, Red Eye notices some glinting metal on the ground near the sluice gates, and he pockets some samples.

The other workers notice Shousuke and Gon plotting their next steps, and start pelting the two with rocks, accusing them of being spies. The big bully, Kuzure, stops the abuse, saying that he knows who the spy is. Later, Kuzure approaches Shousuke and Gon, asking if they have an escape plan yet. They answer that they want to get more information, and that they're going to be patient and await an opening. Life in the mines is bitter and painful, as the guards whip the workers to death to keep them motivated. The work is simple - haul buckets of water up ladders to the top of the sluice gates, and then go get more water. One man slips from the ladder, falls and breaks his neck on the ground below. The guards toss the body to the side to get it out of the way of everyone else. At the end of the day, as the workers head back to the enclosure, Shousuke notices someone that looks like Kamui, but when the guy turns around it's obviously a case of mistaken identity. On the surface. Actually, it is Kamui in disguise. The next day, the ceiling caves in and Kamui has to use all of his skills to avoid getting crushed.

The cave-in is the last straw. The workers stage a sit-down strike. The attache, merchant and guards rush in to threaten them, but with death being the only two choices - death from the attache or death from the mines - they're not budging. Even after the attache kills two of the workers to show that he's serious. In desperation, the attache grabs Shousuke to be the next victim, causing Gon, Kuzure and Kamui to poise for an offensive. On the last page, the narrator comments that Kamui knows that if he tries to save Shousuke, it'll be like marking himself for death.

えんがみみとんがった (Enga Mimi Tongatta)

By Yuu Takita (滝田ゆう). 34 pages.
Kiyoshi and two of his friends are playing in the street when a vendor walks by with a horse pulling a wagon cart. The boys jump on the cart for a free ride, but try running away when the vendor yells at them. That is, they all fall on the slippery dirt road when they land, with Kiyoshi getting his hands in a horse dropping. He washes his hands off at a nearby faucet, but the others taunt him for having cooties, which prompts the start of a game of tag. A neighborhood girl happens by and gets tagged, and she taps Kiyoshi before running away in embarrassment. The girl turns out to be a dish washer for a restaurant that caters to the neighborhood, and she goes around picking up used dishes to take back for washing. Along the way, she gets a rock stuck between the risers of her geta (wooden sandals) and when she tries to knock it free, trips and falls into the mud in front of two of the boys, who laugh at her. Meanwhile, Kiyoshi and some of his friends go to the public bath, where they horse around and get yelled at by the other customers. The next day, Kiyoshi is running home when suddenly he gets a rock jammed between the risers of his geta. He bangs the geta against the ground, and the rock bounces away to stop at the feet of the girl. She smiles at him, and Kiyoshi's face turns red as he continues running.

"寺島町奇譚"をめぐって (Revisiting "Terajima Neighborhood Mystery Story")
By Yuu Takita (滝田ゆう). 8 pages.
This is a 6 page analysis of Yuu's "Terajima" series, which includes Yuu, Mieko Kanai (金井美恵子) and the host Asajirou Kikuchi (菊地浅次郎). Mieko (1947-) is a fiction writer, poet and literary critic. There's little coming up on Asajirou.

"乱世"における解放区 ("Troubled Times" in the Liberated Zone) #53
By Sankichi Nomoto (野本三吉). 2 pages.
Again, the essay this time is written by someone other than Ueno. Sankichi Nomoto (1941-) is a sociologist and writer. There's nothing coming up for the illustrator, Tetsu Kitamura (北村跌), whose illustration is largely ignorable anyway.

新日本書紀 (The New Old Chronicles) #11

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

サマーコース (Summer Course)

By Maki Sasaki (佐々木まき). 12 pages.
More nonsense and surrealistic imagery.

トッテチッテター (Totte Chitte Tar)

By Mitsuo Fujisawa (ふじ沢光男). 13 pages.
It's been quite a while since we last saw anything from Fujisawa. This one is a surreal mix of characters eating peanuts and attacking each other. It's mostly toilet humor, which ends with one character kicking their geta into the air. The geta lands on the moon, where an alien wearing the stars and stripes says in English "Oh, no Japan".

Mitsuo originally wrote under a slightly different spelling of his name (藤沢光男), but with the same pronunciation. His earlier work was the "Aozora Tarou's Picture Diary" series.

勝又進 作品集 (Katsumata's Creation Collection) #41

By Susumu Katsumata (勝又進). 5 pages.
More 3-4 panel gags.

ぶんぶんぶん (Bun bun bun)

By Teppu Hoshikawa (星川てっぷ). 8 pages.
Bun is the sound made by a fly, and "bun^3" is very similar to something that Fujisawa would do, although the artwork is a little less developed that Fujisawa's. A man is too tired to wake up one morning, and his wife kicks him out of the house to go to work. He falls asleep on the way, then returns home to get something to eat. His wife slaps him with a fly swatter, and he now thinks that he's a fly. He does succeed at flying up into his office, and bangs into his boss, before going to the toilet and getting something to snack on. But, he gets careless and is caught in a spiderweb. The spider has his wife's face and she says "welcome home, darling".

Nothing much coming up on Teppu. There's some hits for etchi DVDs but no Japanese wiki page, and nothing in English. He did appear in Garo once before, back in 1965, as a new artist.

花火は上がらず (Fireworks Do Not Shoot Up)

By Tsuguo Kougo (向後つぐお). 21 pages.
A young man is driving a stolen car out into the countryside, with a woman sitting in the passenger seat. He's terrified and wants to know how he got into this situation. He'd slept with the woman as a joke and then afterward she started commanding him as a slave. He steals the car, and when they get to an abandoned house, they break in. Turns out it's not unoccupied. There's a blind girl being cared for by her overprotective older brother. The woman chain smokes, and when the brother asks her to stop for the sake of his sister, the woman barks at him and asks who he thinks she is. The girl gets confused and calls for her brother, accidentally approaching the car thief. The brother goes into a rage and throws his fishing trident at the thief, ordering both of them out of the house.

There's a commotion outside. Apparently, a child got hit by a car and an ambulance is summoned. The thief tries to take this chance to run away, then realizes that he'd left the car keys on the table in the house. He goes back into the house. The brother and the woman watch on as some kid, who really hadn't been hit by a car, is taken to the hospital. There's a scream from the house, and the two run back in thinking the thief had tried to make a move on the girl, except that he's lying on the ground, bleeding from a gut wound and the girl is holding a knife saying it was an accident. The thief warns the older brother to beware of the woman and then he dies. Later, the older brother and the girl are out on the beach, where the brother wants to light up a roman candle. Unfortunately, the fireworks turns out to be a dud. The girl asks where the woman went, and the brother doesn't answer, but it's hinted at that she may be buried in the sand under the roman candle.

少年 (Boy)

By Sanpo Yodogawa (淀川さんぽ). 28 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
A pair of young boys are out walking along a river near some bridges. One, kind of a beaver-face and wearing a helmet, tells the other, a young version of the Three Stooges' Moe, that he's found a place where there are a lot of fish. "Moe", the leader of a secret club of boys, is referred to as "oyabun" (boss), and he orders helmet head to go back to the club house to round up the others. Helmet head goes to the club house, and gets "doc" and the rest. Doc gets out a fireworks rocket, and Helmet Head puts a frog in it - they launch the rocket to let oyabun know they're ready - the explosion at the end is fairly rough on the frog. They go out and catch a bunch of fish. Along the way, Helmet Head encounters Yomi-chan, a girl that is friends with the group. Helmet Head tries to use a dragon fly that he notices in order to put the moves on Yomi, but she's not interested. HH invites Yomi to explore the flood gate control room located near the river, and everything is fine until the control system automatically opens up the sluice gates and Yomi is swept into the water. Oyabun hears the cries for help and dives into the river to rescue the girl. Finally, everyone is back in the club house and HH recovers consciousness. Yomi is in the arms of her rescuer, and oyabun is basking in the moment. HH is so jealous, he goes over to an insect cage, and sets two spiders against each other. The one HH labels "oyabun" loses in the battle, and HH wishes death on his leader.

We now have the appearance of Yodogawa Sampo. The artwork is very crude and people's arms and legs grow disproportionately depending on Sampo's mood. The character designs are often very similar to that of Kazuo Umezu (AKA: Umezz, ref. "The Drifting Classroom").

"Yodogawa Sampo" is a parody of "Edogawa Rampo", which in turn was adopted by a mystery writer using the Japanized version of "Edgar Allan Poe". Little is written on Sampo, but he goes on to be a regular contributor for Garo for at least the next 2 years. Actually, there are a couple Japanese fan pages dedicated to him, but it's hard to get useful information from them. "Shonen" (Boy) was his debut work.

赤い鳥小鳥 (Red Bird, Little Bird)

By Seiichi Hayashi (林静一). 8 pages.
Another nonsense story. In this one, it's implied that some man has killed some woman. A different man walks around with an empty bird cage, and the one bird that is seen at some point also gets killed. The final text is "red bird, little bird, why, why, is it red..."

河童の居る川 (River with Kappas)

By Tadao Tsuge (つげ忠男). 39 pages.
An old man likes to fish. A younger coworker also likes fishing in the same area, but refuses to give away his secret fishing hole. At work, the older guy gets abused by his other coworkers, but the group as a whole is kind of dysfunctional. One night, after a drinking party where the older one confuses everyone with a strange pre-War reminiscence, the two fishermen travel out to the older one's station (Edogawa-dai, in Chiba, northeast of Tokyo), which is far from the city, but close to the fishing river. The older one continues on home, where his wife is uncharacteristically awake and up waiting for him. The couple has been married so long that there's no mysteries between them anymore. When she goes to bed, he has a revelation. After this, the older guy stops going to work. The younger one decides to go out fishing again as a pretext to find out what happened to his coworker. At the final train station, the younger worker encounters the older one's wife, who says that her husband has taken up photographing kappa (mythological river spirits). The guy continues to the river, puzzled by what the woman had said. He sets up his rod and reel and eventually the older guy arrives. When the younger one tries to ask what's going on, the older one yells out "kappa!, there's a kappa!" and runs into the tall grass along the riverbank.

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