Sunday, June 20, 2010

Garo Feature #20

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

Yoshiharu Tsuge's - Futamata Keikoku
Ryouichi Ikegami's - Vagrant

二岐溪谷 (Futamata Keikoku)

(Futamata is a place name in Hokkaido.) The main character, who probably really is Tsuge himself, has arrived at Futamata, a remote hot spa resort located in some hills next to a river. The character buys some bananas and checks out a stream where he discovers that the elusive fish there enjoy eating banana peals. He races back to the resort to get some fishing line, but the owners have everything packed up for closing the resort for the season. The traveler returns to the stream, but the bananas are also gone. He takes a soak in the onsen and encounters the monkey that's been causing mischief at the spa for a while now. That night, there's a huge storm and the monkey gets trapped on some branches in the middle of the raging stream. The monkey's cries keep the traveler awake at night. The next morning, the storm is over and the monkey's nowhere to be seen.

風太郎 (Vagrant) #1

Fuutarou, a young, one-eyed boy, arrives in a seedy district in Osaka in search of his father. A pair of drifters takes him to a construction site where a man matching the father's description is up wandering along the scaffolding of the building. Fuutarou climbs up as well, but slips. The other man makes a grab to save the boy, but falls and lands on the ground several stories below. The man is taken to the hospital, where the doctor says he'll be ok, but they've got concerns over who'll pay for the costs. Fuutarou realized that the man wasn't his father, based on the shape of the guy's hand, and he disappears to keep looking. However, he leaves some money behind, which the two drifters use to pay the other guy's bills.

From the artist of Crying Freeman. This is the start of a short serialized story.


  1. It's great to finally see some Tsuge illustrations that are new to me. This would definitely fall into the 'travel diary' section of his body of work.

    Ikegami's style is so different back in '68 from what his later fans are familiar with! There is some foreshadowing of his still developing artistic identity, in the details of the car and some of the exterior depictions of buildings, but he's almost like a completely different artist altogether. He would have been 24 at the time, so he must have just finished working as an assistant to Shigeru Mizuki.

    Great write-ups. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for the comments. I've decided to do a "retrospective" of Ikegami's Garo manga as a filler entry between the regular Garo features next week.