Sunday, March 13, 2011

Garo 282

Earthquake update:
STILL getting aftershocks/mild quakes. Last one was 15 minutes ago. Mild, but lasted about 30 seconds. Again, no physical damage in the area from the big one on Friday. However, the damage to the nuclear power plant up the coast is resulting in planned power outages in the Tokyo area. One announced plan was for Tokyo to be divided up into 5 areas, and power to be cut for each one 3 hours at a stretch. But, it looks like the plan has been revised and I don't know what the new plan is. Also unsure if this means the trains will stop running during that time (since they're electric-powered, and none of the street crossing signals would work otherwise). My office was planning to have online lessons again today, but canceled them because of the uncertainty of the train schedules for the instructors.


Garo #282, Feb., '88. Cover by Shinbo's Studio Inc.. 218 pages.
I know I said that I wasn't going to keep looking at Garo. But, one of my favorite artists is in this issue - Tori Miki. He's not that well-known in the U.S, but he has been translated into English commercially. Fantagraphics printed one volume of "Anywhere But Here", and he also did the script writing for the third Patlabor movie. Plus, I've run the translations of his "Frozen Food Agent" and "Kurukuru Kurin" on Nihon-go Hunter.

Notice that Garo now has the motto "Eccentric Comics", and that there's a decided shojo feel to this issue as well. Finally, none of the artists from the '60s or early '70s are here any more.

人体倶楽部 (Human Body Club)

By Nobuo Itagaki (イタガキノブオ). 14 pages.
A gag strip about a robot and a cat-caterpillar teaching human anatomy, as a parody of an educational TV show.

Nobuo doesn't have a lot of info available on him on the net. His cat-catepillar character does show up on some Japanese pages. And there's a story on Sankaku Complex (caution, Sankaku has adult content some people may find objectionable) regarding Nobou's arrest for groping a high school girl in Feb., 2009.

悲願蕈 (Higan Hana)

By Gen Azuma (東元). 15 pages.
The story is told from the point of view of a young boy. His mother runs a bar, and she's shacked up with a bartender boyfriend. As a result, she's hired a young woman named Chiko to babysit the boy. For a while things seem to be going ok, except that at some point Chiko apparently encounters the same bartender, and it's implied that the reason she stops working as a babysitter is that she's killed the bartender.

There's nothing on Gen in English. You can visit his Japanese website, though.

落日は雲の奥 (The Setting Sun is Behind the Clouds) #2

By Yuuko Tsuno (津野裕子). 21 pages.
A girl visiting her grandfather loses the diamond from her ring. She encounters a young man living in the same house, and they talk for a while. A day or two later they go their separate ways. Some time after that, the girl receives a present from the young man - a replacement diamond for her ring. A separate part of the chapter set 6 months later describes a woman that is being abused by her boyfriend, but she says it's her own fault. It may be the same woman from the first part of the chapter, but the hair designs are different on both people.

Yuuko Tsuno has had some success following her initial debut with "Refrigerator" in Garo, in 1986, according to Lambiek. Apparently "Swing Shell" has been commercially translated into English.

李三老 (Risan Rou)

By Ken Takeda (武田謙). 3 pages.
Very high-quality illustrations of old Asian men.

No information on Ken in English or Japanese.

みんないろいろあるわよね (There's Lots of Kinds, Right?)

By Haruko Ohshiba (大黄莱 春子). 15 pages.
A woman dropping by a boyfriend's place is annoyed to see that he left his adult magazines out where she can see them. Then she discovers that one of the nude models pictured is a close friend of hers. The two women get together at a coffee shop and eventually the conversation turns to the photos. The friend says that she didn't really like posing for them, but her boyfriend insisted. She's happy that the photos turned out well, though.

No information on this name. "Haruko" is a woman's first name, though.

コンタとポンタの物語 (Konta and Ponta's Story)

By Kiyoshi Gotou (後藤清). 12 pages.
This is the last chapter of a story regarding a fox, a raccoon, and an old tree. The raccoon, Ponta, approaches the tree one day and asks it what's happened to his friend, the fox, Konta. The tree swears Ponta to secrecy, then says that Konta loved music so much that one day he went to a house and stole a guitar. He took the guitar to the tree and begged it to turn him into a human. This wasn't something the tree could do, but Konta was then struck by lightning, and became a human male as a result. He then learned how to play the guitar and started performing the coffee house circuit, which is where he still is today.

No information on Kiyoshi in English or Japanese.

柔の道 (Weak Road) #5

By Jirou Ishikawa (石川次郎). 13 pages.
Just some random gags about a martial arts dojo.

The only information coming up on Jirou is for someone working under this name as a magazine editorial director.

コーシンの4P (Koushin's 4 Panels)

By Tarou Koushin (高信太郎). 4 pages.
4-panel gags featuring fat ninja and samurai. Similar to Yuu Takita's earlier Garo strips.

I'm not finding anything on Tarou in English. However, he's very well-documented in the Japanese wiki as a manga artist, an entertainment critic and a TV talent. Real name Nobuo Takahashi (1944-), he debuted in 1972 with 怪人二重面相 (Mysterious 2 Face), published by Seirindou. His primary focus is on gag manga.

犬も歩けば (If a Dog Also Walks) #6

By Inuhiko Yomota (四方田犬彦). 2 pages.
Illustrated article "from N.Y."Inuhiko (whose first name includes the character for "dog"), is very well-documented on the English wiki. He's an author, translator and film historian. Born Gouki Yomota, 1953. He's currently on the faculty of Meiji University.

天上の精神にお約束、して (A Promise to Heaven)

By Michio Matsumoto (松本充代). 15 pages.
A young man proposes to a fickle young girl. He never removes his sunglasses, so she can't trust him. Eventually he gives up on her, and she realizes that she's made a mistake and regrets her error.

Michio (1962-) has just a short entry in the Japanese wiki. He debuted in Garo in 1982, and has a few titles to his credit.

社員旅行は二泊三日 (The Employee's Trip is 3 Days and 2 Nights)

By Shungiku Uchida (内田春菊). 16 pages.
A bunch of company employees stand around and speculate on when someone else is coming back from their vacation trip.

Shungiku (1959-) looks like one of the more versatile women in the business during this period. She's an artist, novelist, actress and singer. You can see pictures of her on the Yahoo talent page.

冬の旅人 (Winter Traveler)

By Yoshikazu Ebisu (蛭子能収). 8 pages.
Gag series that starts out with a guy suffering from a leg cramp late one night. The shock of seeing his landlady hanging herself cures the cramp. Additionally, he no longer has to pay rent. Later, he goes out to the seaside and slips off the cliff edge.

Yoshikazu (1947-) has shown up on TV off and on in the past, but I haven't seen him for a while. I consider him to be something of a goofball. But, he did have a showing in Paris, and he's listed on Yahoo's talent page.

死んだ男 (Dead Man) #2

By Jeitarou Sugisaku (杉作J太郎). 7 pages.
Gag horror. Guy in a hospital dies. Scene changes to 2 oni (demons) out collecting souls by shooting them with arrows and putting them into carts. After a hard day of harvesting, the oni relax with a cigarette.

There's not much on J-taro (1961-) in English, outside of mentions as a Japanese horror director and actor. The Japanese wiki lists him as a manga artist, writer, actor and musician.

狂った肛門 (Messed Up Butt)

By Masayuki Izumi (泉昌之). 10 pages.
Manga artist goes through a rough day, then sits down to draw a comic strip. Suddenly, his anus starts rolling itself up like a sock, and pulls him into himself.

According to Japan Pulse Izumi Masayuki is a manga duo, consisting of Haruki Izumi and Masayuki Kasumi. They were commissioned by Yamasa Shouyu to create an advertising campaign called "Soy Sauce Magician", which started in August, 2010.

仮面ライダーあそこがBLACK (Kamen Rider over there is BLACK)

By Jun Miura (みうらじゅん). 8 pages.
Starts out with some information on Michael Tomimoka (1961-), who used to host on MTV Japan, and had given an MTV award to Weird Al Yankovick in the 1980's; has done some acting as well. Then the article turns into a joke manga story about a frog with a worm in its navel.

No real information on Jun (1958-) in English. The Japanese wiki lists him as a manga artist and illustrator.

路上観察物件の逆襲 (Construction Sign Counterattack)

By Miki Tori (とりみき). 10 pages. This is a featured manga on Nihon-go Hunter this week.
Miki is out walking with his camera, looking for construction signs. There are a lot of different variants on the "construction worker bowing and apologizing for the inconvenience", which has attracted his attention. What he wants to know is where they come from, and what they do when they go back to wherever they came from at the end. Suddenly, one of the signs comes alive and starts to give him answers, except that a worker soon comes up to them, grabs the sign, throws it into a truck and drives off.

Ok, this is the one manga I wanted to get to. Not one of Tori Miki's best works, but it is representative of his earlier style.

天然 (Spontaneity) #27

By Takashi Nemoto (根本敬). 20 pages.
Old people mess around, interact with dogs and have old people sex.

Takashi (1958-) debuted in Garo in 1981, according to his official site. He specializes in "alternative manga".

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