Sunday, May 30, 2010

Garo Feature #17

For the Nov., '67 issue, I'm highlighting:

Shinji Nagashima's - Prohibited Games
Seiichi Hayashi's - Aguma, his son, and the uneaten spirit

禁じられた遊 (Prohibited Games)

#5 in the Shinji Gekiga series. A young boy and girl are out playing in the woods when they find a dog that's been killed by a car. They take the body deeper into the woods and bury it with a marker saying "below here is a dog". When they look up, they can see the sea of graves surrounding them, marking a variety of other creatures. The boy initially stated that now they have the full set, but he corrects himself, saying that they're missing one more - human. The two children are last seen running into a neighboring city.

アグマと息子と食えない魂 (Aguma, his son, and the uneaten spirit)

A wizard dies and goes to hell where the devil Aguma and his son are waiting to eat tainted spirits. The wizard doesn't think he belongs in hell, and Aguma tends to agree. The boy demon is outraged at his father's behavior and demands to know what's going on. After the wizard returns to the cycle of reincarnation, Aguma answers that the human wasn't plump enough yet. Wait for him to come back a few more times and he'll be tastier.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Garo Feature #16

For the Oct., '67 issue, I'm highlighting:

Shouhei Kusunoki's - Kuki, the sequel
Yoshiharu Tsuge's - Red Flower

茎, 2 (Kuki, the sequel)

This is a continuation of the story from the last issue, which I literally translated as "Stalk". Shouhei has put hiragana alongside the kanji, which I'll use here - "Kuki". The silk painter from the first story is getting older, and watches as her friends all quit their jobs to get married and settle down. She starts dating the fighter, but when he jokes about her giving up her own job to be a kept woman, she stalks out of the room in a huff. Later, the fighter is walking alongside another woman when he sees the painter. He tries calling out to her, but she doesn't hear him. Her boss is talking about firing her, because there's always this possibility that she may get married some day. Meanwhile, the painter is walking by a shop when two dogs go running out, surprising her and causing the bolt of cloth she's carrying to unfurl in the middle of the street. The design on the cloth looks very pretty.

紅い花 (Red Flower)

A young man goes out to a remote village to do some fishing. He stops at a shop run by a small girl who talks him out of some money for snacks. She then recommends her friend, a small boy, as a guide to a good fishing hole. The customer agrees to this, and the boy takes him out into the hills. Along the way, they pass a big clump of red flowers, but there's no explanation for why the flowers are there. The guys gets to the fishing hole, and the boy heads back, only to discover the girl squatting in the middle of the river. She seems to be emitting red flowers. She returns to the shop, where she's feeling extremely weak. Finally, the boy carries her out into the hills as the fisherman returns, spotting them off in the distance.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Garo Feature #15

For the Sept, 1967, issue, I'm highlighting two stories: Shigeru Mizuki's "Lazy Musashi" and Kuniko Tsurita's "(Sumomo's Family) After That".    Click on the image to go to the media fire album.

Famed swordsman Musashi is lying around and picking his nose, trying to decide what to do with himself.  He tries his hand at woodcarving, then settles down to writing his treatise, the "Book of 5 Rings".  Nothing really deep here, just a little glimpse at a historical figure, Mizuki-style

Supposedly written by Ateharu Tsugi  (宛春つぎ), this is actually a parody work by Kuniko Tsurita, building on Yoshiharu Tsuge's earlier story, "Sumomo's Family".  The hero returns to the home of Sumomo's family 3 months after having left it, finding that the four of them are exactly as he'd last seen them.  However, they've moved down to the first floor, the second having been taken over by a strange woman with really slender eyes.  The hero takes up residence in the closet under the stairs and is woken up at night by the woman's overly loud stereo playing.  She looks really emaciated, but when he tries offering her some bread she ignores him.  A few days go by and she sells the stereo to two guys and uses the money to buy a huge amount of food.  Again, time passes and along with the new silence there's a new stench.  At some point, she'd died while eating the food.  Sumomo and the hero bury her under a rock and the hero takes over her room on the second floor of the rundown shack, where he still lives today.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Garo Feature #14

For the Aug, 1967, issue, I'm highlighting two stories: Yuu Takita' "Fair Play" and Yoshiharu Tsuge's "Mountain Pass Dog".    Click on the image to go to the media fire album.

Two samurai are in love with the same woman, but the one is willing to let the other marry her.  In the middle of the night, the chivalrous one is visited by the girl and she professes her love for him.  He struggles to keep from hugging her and she leaves.  The next day he learns that she'd died that night and had visited both men at the same time.  They conclude that what they'd both talked to was a ghost of some kind.  The next night, the girl visits the chivalrous one again and this time, while not coming right out and admitting it, he decides that he's willing to take his chances with her.  But she's left by this point.  He finds her hair comb, and when it looks like she's returned for it, he cries out in anguish because now all he's left with is her empty kimono and a leaf (leaves were used by kitsune - foxes - to shapechange).

An old man finds an old stray dog and cares for it for a while, then it disappears.  Some time later, he's out hiking in the hills and on a whim visits a remote inn, where he discovers the dog living out on its own again, but having been given a different name.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Garo Feature #13

For the July, 1967, issue, I'm highlighting two stories: Shouhei Kusunoki's "The Thief and the Stick" and Kuniko Tsurita's "Jinroku".    Click on the image to go to the media fire album.

A young boy living in a large household gets up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet and when he comes back to the room finds the family tied up and being threatened by a robber demanding the house's treasures. The boy finds a club and wonders how hard to hit the robber, not wanting to inconvenience the family with having to answer questions about a corpse. But, when the robber enters the room he's hiding in, he just lightly taps the guy on the head, resulting in his getting beaten up, the treasures stolen, and the family kicking him out of the house in disgust. The head of the family then goes to a local headsman and explains what happened. Later, the boy, looking for a new home, sees a crowd standing around the robber's dead body. He keeps moving, commenting on the scariness of his former employer.

Jinroku is a stylish, happy-go-lucky guy who had gone out to grab a roll of toilet paper from some public toilet for his penniless friends to use. On entering the train, he trips, and the roll of toilet paper stops at the feet of a young woman and he's embarrassed at having to pick it up. At the apartment, he shows off a small turtle he's carrying around in his pocket. Later, the friends go out drinking and they talk about the meaning of life. One of the guys thinks that there is no meaning, and when he returns home later, gets drunk and leaves the gas on. Jinroku drops by to get the turtle he'd forgotten and finds the apartment filled with gas. He rescues his friend, and discovers that the turtle is dead. He takes the bottle of whiskey from his friend, gives the guy a warning, and leaves. Unfortunately, Jinroku finishes off the whiskey, gets despondent, and drunkenly stumbles in front of a speeding car. 16 pages. (Note: "Jinroku" translates to "blockhead".)