Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Big Comic Original Comments

(All rights belong to their owners. Images used here for review purposes only.)

It's been a while since I've written about any of the manga magazines. In part, it's because I haven't been getting any of them, outside of the occasional issue of Morning magazine (which sometimes has chapters of Billy Bat, Vagabond and Toripan), and that it was getting too expensive to keep up with them all. Recently, though, I picked up the Mar. 3 issue of Big Comic Original. There are three things worth mentioning this time.

(Ad for Dinner with a Witch.)

Original launched in 1972, so they're apparently celebrating their 40th anniversary now. According to the wiki entry, Rumiko Takahashi (Urusei Yatsura, Ranma 1/2, Inuyasha, Rinne) started drawing doujinshi (amateur) manga in 1975, so this is close to her 40th anniversary as a manga artist, too. Anyway, Original is announcing a special manga, which I think is going to be in the next issue scheduled out for Mar. 5 (my confusion of dates here may be obvious, since the Mar. 5 issue came out on Feb. 24th...) It's called "Majou to Dina-" ("Witch and Dinner", or perhaps "Dinner with a Witch").


I wrote up a review of George Akiyama's Zenigeba back in December. I mentioned at the time that he had a reputation for controversial topics and shocking art, but had settled down to focus on one long-running series, Haguregumo. Well, this is it. Notice that he's up to chapter 955.

(Fuichin Taichen.)

The other series I consider worth mentioning is Fuichin Tsaichen. Toshiko Ueda was the original creator of Fuichin-san (1957-'62), which was a Yon-koma (4-panel) gag strip based on her time living in China. Well, Motoka Murakami (Jin, Musashi no Ken) has decided to do a fictionalized biography of Toshiko, called Fuichin Tsaichen (Tsaichen is probably the Chinese reading of the kanji "Saiken", meaning "Revisited"). I first encountered the anime for Fuichin-san when I met the director of Studio Ekura Animal, and he gave me a copy of the DVD. So, I have an interest in Fuichin Revisited. It's up to chapter 22 now, and vol. 2 of the collected manga just hit the shelves.

In this chapter, one of the young women that Ueda works with has fallen ill but isn't able to afford the necessary hospital stay. Ueda pays her bills, then learns that the woman had been dumped by her former-boyfriend. When the woman keeps repeating the guy's name in her sleep, Ueda decides to seek him out to get him to help support her. In general, the artwork is good, but Murakami does have problems keeping the characters' faces consistent, and the designs are pretty much unrelated to Ueda's own works.

(Ad for Fuichin Tsaichen, book 2.)

I wouldn't say that Big Comic Original is worth buying, but Haguregumo and Fuichin Tsaichen are worth paying attention to.

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