Sunday, November 7, 2010

Garo 66

Garo #66, Oct., '69. Cover by Sampei Shirato. 234 pages.

カムイ伝 (Kamui-den) #55

By Sampei Shirato (白土三平). 54 pages.
Shousuke stands in front of one of the guards, patiently waiting for the man to cut him down. The guard suddenly finds himself at a loss, not knowing how to deal with someone unafraid of death. The attache yells at him to hurry up and kill the prisoner. Suddenly, Kuzure and Gon stand up and join Shousuke. The rest of the prisoners do the same, except for Kamui and a couple of other hold outs. Faced with a uniform opposition, the attache backs down and retreats back to the compound. One of the hold outs bursts forward, identifying himself as the spy, demanding that the attache live up to his promise to protect him. The attache just laughs and the other prisoners tear the spy apart. The attache orders the bodies to be disposed of. A little later, one of the other hold-out prisoners goes out to the body dump and prepares to skewer the bamboo wrapping that turns out to be covering Shousuke. Kamui rides up on a horse and kills the second spy instead. The spy does manage to fire off a flare alerting a nearby hunting party to the fact that Kamui has been found. Caught between a rock and a hard place, Kamui decides to throw Shousuke into a river next to a waiting boat, and runs away such that the hunting party follows him only.

In the camp, the attache and the merchant complain about the continuing sitdown strike, and the heavy rain now coming down. The attache has cut off the food to the compound and is expecting the prisoners to surrender when they get hungry enough. In the compound, some of the prisoners are getting desperate, and want to rush the guards. Gon tries to talk sense, asking Kuzure to believe in Shousuke. So, the prisoners turn on Gon and Kuzure, but the big man decides to make his move. He'd been carrying around a crucifix for a while, which is a lot more dangerous than just being attacked by weak, hungry miners. He puts the crucifix on a string and throws it outside the barricade fence. When some of the guard dogs come over to investigate, he lures them into the compound and kills them. He also orders the men to loosen up several of the barricade poles at the other end of the compound. At the same time, some of the men tunnel into the mines, and the work continues in the search for gold.

Two of the guards notice that all of the dogs have gone missing. As they're about to look for the handler, a dog's leg bone, with a note tied to it, is tossed over the fence. The attache reads the note, which tells him to go to one end of the compound to learn about a secret tunnel. The attache follows the instructions, and finds Kuzure standing inside the barricade. Kuzure taunts the attache into coming closer. When the official asks about the tunnel, Kuzure says "It's at your feet". The attache looks down as several of the prisoners burst out of the ground and grab him. They pull the bamboo poles out of the barricade and drag the attache inside, taking his sword and killing his horse. Kuzure then cuts off the attache's arm and throws it at the merchant and guards, who stand at a distance, trying to decide whether to shoot or run away. Gon watches grimly, disturbed by the way this is playing out.

Red Eye returns to Shichibe's boat, where the dream merchant has ordered his cooks to prepare a feast for him. Red Eye confronts Shichibe over the way his fellow merchant has been treating the miners, and Shichibe says that all is fair in the pursuit of money. Red Eye's discovery of gold flakes at the sluice gates just proves that Shichibe's instincts were right. Red Eye is disgusted with Shichibe's greed, and leaves.

雨期 (Rainy Season, Part 2)

By Tadao Tsuge (つげ忠男). 21 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
This story is largely unrelated to part 1. The art is cruder, and it looks much more amateurish than before. The basic story is that a woman running a drinking room and her friend are joined by a customer. They talk for a while and it becomes obvious that the mama-san (female bar owner) is preoccupied. The friend and the customer talk her into explaining what the problem is. Turns out that her adult daughter had been seduced by a street thug (presumably the one from part 1), and had disappeared for a few days before suddenly coming back home. When the daughter had first tried to move in with her "boyfriend", the guy's thugs had threatened her into turning tricks for them. At this point in the story, the friend and the customer get embarrassed and tell the mama-san that they've heard enough. The story ends with the approaching storm building up and getting stronger.

カンカン簾 (Hot Bamboo Screen)

By Yuu Takita (滝田ゆう). 33 pages.
It's a hot summer day, and Kiyoshi and his friends are in a darkened room watching "Hanpeita Tsukigata dies and becomes a country-protecting demon" (月形半平太 死んで 護国の鬼となる) on an old hand-cranked projector (this may have been a paper reflection style animation. The earliest Hanpeita film was made in 1925, and there were others.) Kiyoshi's mother is wandering the streets, calling out his name, and the friend's father rats on him. Kiyoshi follows his mother home and notices the heavy sweat streaming down her back. None of the family are very active with this heat. One reason for trying to find Kiyoshi is to ask him if he'd been the one to pick up some money that had been supposedly lost by a customer. It's paper money, and Kiyoshi imagines that it may have been by a window and blown outside. He checks outside and finds a coin in the rubbish. He imagines spending the coin on a snack or toy, and his mother yells out his name, sending him into a panic. But she just wants the ice man to be brought to the bar. When the ice man does arrive, she has some ice put under a big bucket that she sits inside. Unfortunately, this leads to her coming down with a nasty summer cold.

At one point, a neighborhood sake vendor tries branching out, selling sweet sake to the children to help them keep cool. Kiyoshi's father hears about this from Kiyoshi, and considers whether he should try selling sweet sake in his bar to adults. In the end, Kiyoshi still hasn't spent his coin, and his mother is curled up in her bed, miserable, clutching a cold water bottle.

言葉の明快さについて (About the Clarity of Words) #54
By Koshi Ueno (上野昂志). 2 pages.
Article. Ignorable illustration from Tetsu Kitamura (北村跌).

新日本書紀 (The New Old Chronicles) #12

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

エア-ポケット (Air Pocket)

By Maki Sasaki (佐々木まき). 10 pages.
A strange little story with a woman trying to find something to buy, alien store clerks trying to sell her things she doesn't want, and a male clerk hanging to the ceiling saying that he can play anything as long as he has a guitar. The clerk falls onto some mirrors and bleeds to death. The woman doesn't get what she wants and the alien clerks all disappear into hell. The last panel shows photos of the Beatles in frames with broken glass.

勝又進 作品集 (Katsumata's Creation Collection) #42

By Susumu Katsumata (勝又進). 6 pages.
More 3-4 panel gags. The first strip on the right is titled "Cicada Buzz Shower". In Japan, the sound of cicadas can get really loud and constant. When this happens, it's called a "rain of sound" and is likened to the sound of a heavy thunderstorm. In the second strip, the boy comments that the flowers rest at night, and his father answers that that's what gives them their name. In the last panel, the boy says that the flowers have turned a strange color, and his grandmother replies that maybe they haven't been sleeping well lately.

石匠 (Stone Worker)

By Shouhei Kusunoki (楠勝平). 36 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
This is a simple slice-of-life story with art by Shouhei, based on a story by 冬木良 (which could be read as Yoshi Fuyuki). There's nothing coming up on him in either English or Japanese, except for references to this particular story.

A tall man visits his friend, a young woman that had quit her job in order to take care of her father. The guy doesn't understand why she is so dedicated to the old man, and constantly urges her to get on with her life. While he seems to be attracted to the girl, she just treats him as a friend. But, it is true, that while they visit a cemetery, that she shows a morbid side. Later, the father talks to his daughter, and he comments that she likes a particular stone cutter named Kuroushi, and he follows this up with the comment that he can hear Kuroushi walking up in the snow. He dies, and the tall friend accompanies the woman to the funereal. The tall guy sees some round boulders in the father's studio and is inspired to carve similar boulders himself. Then, he drives to the hills, where he tracks down the woman. She's with the other stone carver, Kuroushi, who is polishing a slab of granite. He watches as the couple frolics in the grass near a flowing river.

タッタカターンスッタッタ (Clip Clop)

By Teppu Hoshikawa (星川てっぷ). 8 pages.
Crude little story about a salaryman who happily wakes up, greets his wife and 3 children, and rushes to work. However, the building is in a shambles, and the people he meets indicate that there's been a time slip and in the future wanting to work brings the death penalty. The guy discovers a co-worker, who challenges him to "opposite" rock-paper-scissors (winning means that you get hit in the head). The salaryman loses the next round of rock-paper-scissors and hits his co-worker so hard that he kills him. Realizing that this is a dream, the salaryman wakes up. He greets his wife and 3 children, goes to work, and the office is in even worse shape than it was in his dream.

港町十三番地 (House #13, Minato Harbor)

By Yoshiko Naka (仲佳子). 16 pages.
Nonsense stories are becoming much more common in Garo now. Even Yoshiko is getting in on the act. This one is just a collection of images of people greeting each other, arguing, and then going to sleep.

かげろう (Mayfly)

By Ryouichi Ikegami (池上遼一). 28 pages.
A young boy watches as an old man traps a stray dog. The kid is somewhat traumatized by the commotion, and the old man says that with wild dogs, which can turn vicious, sometimes you just have no choice. The old man turns out to be a former kamikaze pilot who hadn't been given his final orders before the end of War. He's now an animal control officer, and a habitual alcoholic. As time goes by, the boy starts spending more time with the control officer. One day, the guy finds himself out on a wharf at the ocean, and not really sure why. The boy runs up saying that he's found a dragonfly. The man picks the kid up to help him catch the dragonfly, and the kid panics, remembering when the dog had been caught. The guy sets the kid down, realizing that the insect is just a mayfly. As he's staring at the sunset, wondering what mayflies are doing at the seaside now, and realizing that the insect looks really pretty in the fading sunlight, the mayfly lands on his back. The kid reaches out to smash the bug, pushing the man out into the pounding waves some meters below. The kid stares at the dead insect in his hand, his eyes glowing insanely in the last of the sunlight.

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