Sunday, February 13, 2011

Garo 83

Garo #83, Nov., '70. Cover by Sampei Shirato. 234 pages.

カムイ伝 (Kamui-den) #64

By Sampei Shirato (白土三平). 80 pages.
In the aftermath of the flooding, the villagers recover, and Ukon's body has gotten trapped under some rocks and debris. Various animals are attracted to it, but the monstrous mountain man wakes up from his slumber under a hill (literally, he made up part of the hill) and he picks up Ukon's body and blows it far away. It crashes through some trees before landing in the water. Ukon pulls himself onto a piece of driftwood and floats downstream. Yokome continues training the vagrants on mancatcher weapons, and tries to punish anyone that messes up. But Kigisu is starting to get fed up with his practices and tries to stand up against him. Fortunately for Kigisu, Yokome gets called out by someone that wants to get information from him. The vagrant leader takes the other guy up into the hills where there's a cave with a man's body hanging by the neck from a noose. They can't be sure who it is, but the corpse is missing a few fingers on one hand, indicating that it may be Ryounoshin. Going out on another spy mission, Yokome and some henchmen notice that the farmer women of various villages are starting to look around furtively before quietly slipping out of town. Yokome follows the women, and the group slowly grows larger as scores of women walk out along a back road into the countryside. Confused, Yokome sends his men out to determine the women's destination, while he himself discovers a volcano-fed hot spring. Yokome strips down and joins the monkeys and wolves bathing in the onsen, but soon gets trapped as dozens of women show up and start bathing. They're desperate for a man, and they fight to all grab Yokome first. He escapes, and while standing in the forest naked, is found by his spies who tell him that the women were all just going out for a bath.

Later, some fishermen out on boats on a lake join up with some other boats. Eventually, it turns out that they're all farmers, including Gon and a few others from Hanamaki. They're trying to plot their next moves, but it looks like someone has spotted them; someone is hiding in the water next to the boats. Elsewhere, the over-reaching merchant, Itami-ya, is getting his marching orders from a mysterious benefactor. While Shibutare, the snitch, is spreading gold around, bribing people to turn against Shousuke, and to lure merchants out onto the ocean for secret negotiations. Unfortunately for the merchants, Shibutare uses their fear of sharks and the ensuing seasickness caused by the heavy waves, to force them into going from 100 gold pieces to 150 gold to buy signed contracts from the farmers.

A little later, the farmers, including Gon, find themselves back out on the fishing boats on the lake, being joined by Shichibe's right-hand man (presumably the person that had been hiding in the water before). The farmers are trying to find out who's pulling the merchants' and samurai's strings, and the assistant tells them that it's his boss - Shichibe. They want to know why he's selling his boss out, and the guy says that Shichibe has turned to the dark side, being completely obsessed with making money. The assistant then takes his disguise off, showing himself to be Red Eye, and then he pulls a ninja trick to fly into the air to disappear in front of their eyes.

Back in town, Itami-ya stages a fake dog fight to make it look like a certain samurai has won a large pile of gold bars and his choice of fine swords from a rack on the wall. The samurai returns to the new feudal lord's palace (the guy that bashed Ryounoshin in the head) where the feudal lord sees the sword and takes it from the retainer to keep. The lord then takes his entire entourage out to survey his new lands. At a stopping point in one village, some of the bodyguards try to pick up a few of the village girls. One specific girl pleads to go to the outhouse to take a leak first, and then deliberately falls through the hole in the floor before crawling out and back to the guards. The guards lose their lust real quick and run away while the women laugh at them. In another village, the horses and dogs get spooked by Kokemaru, and the nobles all get knocked from their mounts. A few guards close in on Kokemaru, but a carpet of swallows flying through the village distracts them. No one knows what's going on. Meanwhile, Shousuke directs the villagers to fly a really big kite (either as a signal, or because someone is riding on it as part of a ninja "windwalker" trick).

星をつかみそこねる男 (Man Who Seized the Star) #2

By Shigeru Mizuki (水木しげる). 30 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
Shigeru is starting up a new series. In chapter 2, our "hero" is a 16-year-old boy who lives at his father's kendo dojo. A "dojo hunter" drops by to challenge the master to a fight. A medicine delivery boy steps in to defeat the dojo hunter, but is in turn defeated by the other students. The hero asks his father why someone so weak can be so strong and the father's answer is in the form of a riddle. The delivery boy wants to join the dojo, and the hero's father agrees, but only if the boy can hit the hero three times with a wooden sword. The hero just stands in place and allows himself to be hit, later telling the boy that he lost because the other boy is so strong. The hero sees some friends standing around looking at a piece of paper with a drawing of some foreign steam ships. They all want to go look at the ships in Yokohama, where the real thing is even more awe-inspiring than the fanciful drawings were. However, they encounter a very clean-cut samurai who comments on the dangers the foreigners could bring to their isolated world. Note: The splash page is a ukiyo-e-style drawing of Commodore Perry.

"祖国日本"の冷酷さ愚劣さ (The Cruelty and Stupidity of "Fatherland Japan".)
By Jirou Iwata (岩田二郎). 2 pages.

新-日本書紀 (The New Old Chronicles) #20

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

はるかな夢 (Distant Dream) #4

By Kiyoshi Akiyama (秋山清). 5 pages.

赤色エレジー (Red-Colored Elegy)

By Seiichi Hayashi (林静一). 11 pages.
The girl is hoping to spend time with her boyfriend, while he just wants to get his animation drawings finished. At one point, while she is trying to get his attention during the hot summer night, she turns on the fan, which scatters his drawings all over the floor, completely out of sequence.

チーチー-ハット (Chiichii Heart)

By Maki Sasaki (佐々木マキ). 10 pages.
More surrealism.

立退き (Eviction)

By Tada Hoshikawa (星川忠). 14 pages.
This is kind of a heavy-handed moralization about the white man's suppression of blacks and Indians. An escaped black slave carrying his dead friend reaches a tepee occupied by 3 Indians - a boy, his father, and the grandfather. The Indians have been under pressure to leave the hill they live on, but as a matter of principle they refuse. The runaway wants to keep heading north, and he tries to take the boy with him just to give him a chance to escape the fighting. But, the cavalry arrives and opens fire. All four men fight back, until the tepee is burned to the ground and none of them survive.

木の葉経 (Foliage Warp)

By Susumu Katsumata (勝又進). 31 pages.
Note: The title combines "tree leaves, or foliage" with "warp", from weaving. A tanuki arrives at a temple, just as one of the boys training to become a priest decides to give up and leave. The tanuki puts on the boy's clothes and proceeds to cause mischief. But it isn't until someone stumbles into his room while he's asleep that they realize that this is actually a tanuki. The animal is chased out, but it comes back and is presumably eventually killed. So, naturally the priests pray for its spirit.

夜よゆるやかに (Easy-going Night)

By Tadao Tsuge (つげ忠男). 35 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
A father living with his wife and idiot son starts suffering flashbacks to when he was serving in the Japanese Army during WW II. His wife and son live a fairly carefree life, but they insult the father a bit too much. He, meanwhile, visits a doctor, who diagnoses him with a heart condition. He continues on to his job at a factory, where his boss is trying to force him to take a shorter vacation this year to allow everyone else to take off instead. Later, the guy is heading back home when he bumps into a woman that works as a dancer in a nightclub. She talks him into buying her coffee, but she then complains about how dark and brooding he is. He says that he's just been fired, and he doesn't want to face the wife and son right now. After it gets dark, the girl decides to walk out to an abandoned field where she tries to get the guy to loosen up and dance with her. He keeps asking her if she really wants to be out in a secluded place like this with a strange man she's just met, and she ignores the question. Finally, he assaults her and forces himself on her, while asking why she's not shouting for help. Eventually, a middle-aged woman that had followed them to the field and watched them having sex, waits until they're finished and starts shouting about a rape and calling for someone to come help. The girl gets upset at having been seen, and takes this moment to call for help as well while trying to run away. The guy chases after her, demanding to know why she hadn't tried to stop him earlier. When he finally catches her, she laughs and he holds on to her for dear life, thinking that his heart condition is going to flair up.

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