Sunday, June 13, 2010

Garo Feature #19

For the Jan., '68 issue, I'm highlighting:

Shouhei Kusunoki's - Red Water, Second Half
Yuu Takita's - The Long Road
Shinji Nagashima's - Small World

赤水, 後篇 (Red Water, Second Half)

The older brother staggers back home and tries to recover from the embarrassment of having been thrown out of the drinking party. A little later, he has a thought and goes into a cave in the hills where the rich boy's would-be betrothed is hiding. She's been there for several days and greedily wolfs down the onigiri he brings with. He leaves again, but when he returns with more food stumbles on another soldier who's also found the cave and is attempting to rape the girl. The brother kills the soldier with a rock. At the same time, the rich boy is paraded out in front of some of the peasants to show off his riding skills. The little brother is impressed, but dismayed at seeing how the rider mistreats the horse with his spurs, drawing blood from the horse's sides. The rich one gives the horse to the little brother, who then races it around the village. He finally reaches the temple at the top of a hill, where he discovers the bodies of his brother and the girl, hanging by their necks by ropes from the ceiling. It's not clear what happened, but it may have been a punishment killing rather than a lover's suicide. The temple priests are shocked, as well as being put in a bind since the rich family is scheduled to come to the temple soon to pray for their son's victory in war. They haul the bodies out down a back path as the new procession arrives. The little brother is so enraged over what happened that he takes the horse out to a river and kills it with a bamboo spear. He then stands in the middle of the river, catching fish with his bare hands, and the growing plume in the river around him causes the boy to comment on the "red water".

長い道 (The Long Road)

A disheveled samurai is told to clean up his act, so he has his wife shave him and gets a new set of clothes. But, his meal ticket at the castle ends and he finds himself out of work and unable to pay the new bills. When he reports this to his wife, she tells him to cheer up because life is still full of possibilities. She orders two bowls of expensive tempura soba and after the couple is done eating she reveals her plan - to pack up all their belongings and run out on the bills.

ちいさいな世界 (Small World)

In this wordless short, #6 in Shinji's gekiga collection, a small boy out playing with his dog dashes across the street, where a careless driver hits and kills the dog before driving off heedlessly. The boy is heartbroken, but makes friends with a girl who has a doll. Again, the children run across the street in front of a truck, with the doll on the boy's trike looking like a girl pedaling in the street. The driver swerves into a lamp post as the children ignore him.

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