Sunday, January 2, 2011

Garo 81

Garo #81, Sept., '70. Cover by Sampei Shirato. 234 pages.

カムイ伝 (Kamui-den) #65

By Sampei Shirato (白土三平). 71 pages.
Shift in scene. Ronin-turned farmers are trying to clear out a field, and some of them are finding it hard to stop tying their swords around their waists first. Another samurai comes by, looking to make a name for himself, and the ronin-farmer that he picks a fight with cuts his feet off. The samurai ties tourniquets around his stumps and prepares to crawl off to get some friends, when he is killed by a roving band of vagrants led by Kokemaru. The samurai's partner is spied hiding up on a hill nearby, and is also caught and killed. Kokemaru orders the two bodies to be buried deeply, and says "you saw nothing, you heard nothing" before leaving on his way.

The merchant that tried to build a warehouse in the previous chapter is back with a new building, which is burned to the ground. Ryounoshin goes to the spot where Atena is buried, and he angrily stares off the vagrants that stop by to give offerings of food to her memory. He remembers her when she was alive, and her devotion to Ikakku. He leaves as the wind picks up. Elsewhere, Ukon is lying in the woods, attracting insects and other flesh-eaters. A crow plucks out one of his eyes, but he catches and kills it. The wind turns into a storm, which causes flooding and mudslides. It also washes Ukon's limp body into a river. Back in Hanamaki, the villagers haul massive tree trunks over to the dams around the rice paddies and shore up the earthenworks. After the storm, everyone continues the work of tending the fields and harvesting the rice.

Ryounoshin continues his wanderings, and finds a skull sitting along a trail. He's lost in thought. Eventually, some government officials happen on him, and there's another fight, with the officials being slain and all of their gold spilling along the road. Ryounoshin returns home, where Yokome has bribed some officials to set up a trap. Ryounoshin tries to fight his way free, but his remaining retainers are killed and he's forced to sit down as the official takes a swing at his neck. Ryounoshin's body slumps over, but it looks like he may only have been bashed unconscious to be used as a hostage. Elsewhere, Kazuma and his uncle, Gemba, are waiting in the woods along one road, in ambush. When Ryounoshin fails to show up as expected, they leave and look forward to their next opportunity.

One comment - the main characters in this story are getting pretty badly carved up. Red Eye and Yokome both have an arm missing, Ukon had lost his leg near the beginning of the series, Ryounosuke is missing a couple fingers, Kazuma is scarred facially, Gemba was badly burned, Kigizu is missing an eye, and there's the shark fisherman that's been missing for months now who is even worse off. All this ignoring the ones actually killed off.

暮六つ (Bomutsu)

By Shouhei Kusunoki (楠勝平). 31 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
A toy maker in old Edo is suddenly visited by an old man. The two of them go out to a field where the toy maker hopes they'll be unseen by his family and friends. Unfortunately for him they all show up, and take turns either begging the old man to leave the toy maker alone, or to fight them instead. The old man doesn't respond, and finally the toymaker dresses himself up for a sword fight. They swing, and the toymaker falls dead, to everyone's shock. The old man moves on the the next village.

その時冷たい手錠の響き (The Sound of Cold Handcuffs at that Time)
By Sankichi Nomoto (野本三吉). 2 pages.

新-日本書紀 (The New Old Chronicles) #15

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

はるかな夢 (Distant Dream) #3

By Kiyoshi Akiyama (秋山清). 5 pages.
Illustrated story.

赤色エレジー (Red-Colored Elegy)

By Seiichi Hayashi (林静一). 21 pages.
The couple goes to the beach. The girl wants them to go swimming, but the guy says it's too cold. Eventually, he runs off to swim at a specific spot on the beach and the girl complains about his leaving her behind.

軽気劇砂漠の目玉 (Light Drama of the Eye)

By Maki Sasaki (佐々木マキ). 10 pages.

勝又進作品集 (Katsumata's Creation Collection) #52

By Susumu Katsumata (勝又進). 6 pages.
Mostly 3 and 4 panel gags.

今日もどこかで. (Somewhere Today, Too)

By Toshio Amano (天野としお). 4 pages.
No information on this name. 3 and 4 panel gags.

みなぐろ (Minaguro)

By Takao Takahashi (橋高雄). 36 pages.
A young teenager is visiting an older relative up in the mountains of Japan during the winter. The two of them are joining in with several other hunters to go bear hunting for food . The old man talks about a specific legendary bear that he and a friend had let live as a cub after they'd shot its mother decades ago. The old man leads the hunting party, and after several days, the group is losing faith in him. But luck is with them - there's a snow fall, and the next day they see fresh tracks. They force the bear out into the open - it's the legendary one the old man has been seeking. They shoot it, then apologize for causing its death. Back at the old man's cabin, the boy is teased for being attracted to the man's granddaughter, and he's given some winter persimmons before heading on his way back to Tokyo.

いざ歌謡曲 (A Current Popular Song)

By Tadao Tsuge (つげ忠男). 30 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
A group of three guys working on a book are trying to decide on the cover art. The writer wants to use a destroyed battleship picture, while the cover artist wants a new-looking destroyer. The youngest-looking of the three wants to move into manga. The cover artist leaves, and the writer tries to convince the younger one that "having something that sells" is better than "producing art that one can be proud of". At one point, a would-be artist drops by the studio to try to sell them a manga entitled "Zenmai-shiki" that features a wind-up doll, and a cameo by Yoshiharu's "Neji-shiki" character. The magazine publisher the group is contracted to stops by, showing the upcoming issue that they'll be appearing in - the cover has the new-looking destroyer on it. The younger artist and the writer go out drinking, reminiscing about the past, and singing. The younger artist finally agrees that creating stuff that sells is probably the best philosophy.

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