Sunday, December 26, 2010

Garo Special #63

Garo #63, July, '69. Cover by Shinji Nagashima. 266 pages.
This is another one of the dedicated special issues, this time for Shinji Nagashima. Shinji worked for Tezuka as an assistant before setting out to do his own manga, debuting in Garo issue #33, in May, 1967, with "La Masque". He then had 17 titles appearing in Garo up to May, 1970. He has a fairly cartoony style, and tends to gravitate towards retellings of folktales, but he also tries to capture the joy and pathos of everyday life.

(Back cover)

(Inside front cover)

生命 (Inochi (Life))
By Shinji Nagashima (永島慎二). 40 pages.
Inochi first appeared in Garo #34, June, 1967.

ク。ク。ル。ク。ク。パロマ (CU CU RRU CU CU PALOMA)

By Shinji Nagashima (永島慎二). 27 pages.
George, a street balladeer, encounters Cosmos, a quiet young woman that takes pity on him one rainy day. She follows him to his apartment, where she writes on a piece of paper that she can't speak - she's a mute. He decides to let her stay the night and pretty soon they fall in love and get married in a civil ceremony that no one else attends. George has been suffering a solitary life, but as he starts writing music intended only for Cosmos to hear, he discovers success. In fact, he's so successful that a talent agent signs him on and he's lured by the fast life, with its fast cars and fast women. He forgets about Cosmos and she cries quietly at home as she watches him perform on stage in front of the TV cameras. One day, the two doves that had been keeping her company at home escape, and as Cosmos runs after them to bring them back, she crosses a street and is hit by a car and killed. At that moment, George is playing on stage and one of his guitar strings breaks. Suddenly, he remembers Cosmos and races back to find her dead body. A little later, he's also hit by a car and killed. The two doves land on Cosmos' gravestone, and rumors circulate that they're the reincarnations of the two lovers, finally brought back together again.

仮面 (La Masque)
By Shinji Nagashima (永島慎二). 17 pages.
La Masque first appeared in Garo #33, May, 1967.

アシスタント (Assistant)
By Shinji Nagashima (永島慎二). 25 pages.
Assistant first appeared in Garo #35, July, 1967.

私見的永島慎二論 (Personal Opinion Regarding Shinji Nagashima)
By Toyoyuki Yamauchi (山内豊之). 2 pages.
Short 2-page piece on Shinji. The only hits coming up on Yamauchi is for someone that lived in the 1600's. However, Amazon does list 4 titles with Yamauchi as the author, 2 for business and 2 for art; although, they all came out in the 70's and 80's, and are long out of print with no cover art available.

純粋さを貫く精神 (Piercing Pure Spirit)
By Shouichi Sakurai (桜井昌一). 1 page.
Short article. Shouichi (1933-2003) has almost nothing on him in English, but according to the Japanese wiki he was a manga artist, with about 6 titles to his credit, including "Yamabiko Sensei" and "Soba-ya Sanshirou".

ちいさいな世界 (Small World)
By Shinji Nagashima (永島慎二). 14 pages.
Small World first appeared in Garo #41, Jan., 1968.

禁じられた遊 (Prohibited Games)
By Shinji Nagashima (永島慎二). 13 pages.
Prohibited Games first appeared in Garo #39, Nov., 1967.

少年の夏 (Boy's Summer)

By Shinji Nagashima (永島慎二). 12 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
The story is set at a beach, where a young boy walks in the sand before sitting down. Crowds come in to enjoy playing in the ocean, and then leave, with trash scattered all across the sand behind them. Suddenly the scene jumps to a hospital office where an old man with a cigar is telling a younger, thinner guy something about cancer, the amount of money involved, the idea that the money might stay in the family, etc. Then the scene shifts back with the boy standing up, brushing the sand off his seat and walking back home.

永島慎二 (Shinji Nagashima)
By Shouhei Kusunoki (楠勝平). 1 page.
Short piece by one artist about the other.

時と漫画と人間 (Time and Manga and Person)
By ? Kadokura (門倉訣). 2 pages.
Short article. Almost no information on this writer. He does show up as having written some stuff, but there's no Japanese wiki page for him. The kanji for his first name "訣" is most certainly wrong, but NJ Star doesn't have the correct kanji in its look-up table and I can't find the correct form on the net. (The correct form has a small matching vertical line on the left half of the kanji, making a closed box over the shape of the person).

ふるやのもり (Furuyanomori)
By Shinji Nagashima (永島慎二). 24 pages.
Furuyanomori first appeared in Garo #54, Dec. 1968.

おそめこのへんか (Ode to Osome)

By Shinji Nagashima (永島慎二). 24 pages.
Ode to Osome first appeared in Garo #52, Oct., 1968. However, I haven't been able to find that issue, so I'll do the summary here. Once upon a time, there was a monkey, named Gengoro. Gengoro was the leader of a pack of mountain monkeys, and was highly respected and feared by all of them. However, he'd fallen in love with a beautiful young human girl named Osome. The rest of the pack tried to tell him that his passion was wasted, but he wouldn't hear of it. One day, an old man walking in the hills was menaced by a wild boar, and Gengoro stepped in to protect him. After the boar left, the old man promised to do whatever was in his power to reward the monkey. Gengoro recognized him as Osome's grandfather and just asked to have the girl's hand in marriage. The old man agreed, but when he returned home he had a plan. He told Osome what had happened, then instructed her on what to do. The next day, she went to the monkeys' village and agreed to marry Gengoro, but only if he would give her this one specific, delicious-looking persimmon she'd seen hanging from a branch on a tree standing beside a raging river. Gengoro climbed the tree, while the rest of the monkeys yelled at him to stop. Just as he managed to reach the persimmon, the branch broke and he fell into the river and was swept away by the current. The rest of the monkeys jumped in after him and were also never seen again. Osome returned home, where her grandfather cackled over the success of his brilliant plan - he'd never let a monkey marry his granddaughter. Eventually, he noticed that the girl was holding something in her hands and asked what it was. She replied that it's the persimmon that Gengoro died for. Later, she did marry a young village boy, but her real love remained Gengoro.

新雨月物語 (New Ugetsu Story)

By Shinji Nagashima (永島慎二). 16 pages.
This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
This is a combination of three short stories. It's related to the ghost story "Ugetsu Monogatari", which among other things was turned into a movie in 1953. In Shinji's version, we first have a hobo and his son and a dog, walking the countryside before they find a massive tree. The hobo settles down and starts carving the tree into a Buddha statue. The man dies and his son grows up and takes over the carving. But, he turns the statue into a modern art sculpture. He too dies of old age, and a passing traveler chops the remaining parts of the tree up to make crosses for the bodies of the boy and the dog, then uses the rest of the tree for firewood. In part 2, a young boy standing outside of a girl's house, holding a bunch of flowers, waits so long that his corpse ends up wrapped in with the ivy vines that grew up the outer wall. In part 3, a man dressed up as a clown and holding a sign advertising a coffee shop, watches as people pass him by on the sidewalk. At night, he goes home, takes off the makeup, and sits in front of an easel where he does oil painting. Over time he watches as one girl grows up, meets a boyfriend, gets married and has a child. Just about when the painting of her is finished, the clown dies. The painting is put on display at an art gallery. The woman visits the gallery, sees herself in the painting and cries, remembering the clown that used to stand outside on the sidewalk.

かかしが きいた かえろはなし (The Scarecrow Hears the Frog's Story)
By Shinji Nagashima (永島慎二). 29 pages.
Scarecrow first appeared in Garo #36, Aug., 1967.

新宿のジプシーたち (Shinjuku Gypsies)
By Ichie Watanabe (渡辺一衛). 2 pages.
Article. No information on Ichie.

カングリラの発想 (Kanguerrilla Expression)
By Akane Touge (峠あかね). 6 pages.
Akane Touge was the penname for Mori Masaki (真崎守, 1941-), artist, writer and animator. As a writer, he appeared extensively in Tezuka's COM magazine. IMDB lists Mori Masaki as the director on the 1983 film "Barefoot Gen", and as the writer and director for "Toki no Tabibito" (Time Stranger, 1986).

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