Sunday, March 28, 2010

Garo Feature #8

For the Feb., 1967, issue, I'm highlighting two short stories: Kuniko Tsurita's "Anti" and Shouhei Kusunoki's "Brawl".    Click on the image to go to the media fire album.

A young film maker out in the mountains stumbles across a climber who's fallen and needs help getting back up on the trail.  Later, the film maker shows his movie to some other film students, but only one remains awake through it.  At the end, the one asks what trick the film maker used to create such a realistic-looking death scene.

A young man sets out to work as a fish hawker.  He sits down to talk to a colleague who at some point starts sulking for some reason.  Unable to get the guy to explain the problem, the hero loses his temper and they start brawling to the delight of bystanders.  During this time, the sidebar caption says "He really doesn't want to fight".  When the brawl goes on long enough, the townspeople break it up, and he returns home.  His wife asks what happened to him, and instead of simply answering, he snaps at her and starts another quarrel.  At the end, the baby is bawling, the wife is upset and the hero is really confused.  The sidebar narration continues - "He didn't want to fight, but he did anyway".  12 pages.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Garo Feature #7

For the Jan., 1967, issue, I'm highlighting several shorter stories.  I've got Aozora's Diary, Tono-sama and the Rough Taste, and two by Shigeru Mizuki - Sand-Throwing Woman and Silverfish.  Click on the image to go to the media fire album.

Mitsuo Fujizawa (藤沢光男) has another 4-page gag.  This time, a kid meets up with his friends to show off a new watch that his relative gave him as a souvenir of his travels.  It's a magic watch that makes food show up at meal times.  The kids gorge themselves, then it looks like the watch has stopped working.  Actually, it's just preparing to catch up on all the school work that the kids have to complete, crushing them under a mountain of textbooks.

A local lord is suffering from a wound to the stomach and is ordered to not drink liquids for a couple days.  His retainers have to protect him for his own good.  When he finally can drink, the water tastes amazing.  Later, he tries to recapture that taste, but can't.  He tries different sources of water, drinking while lying down, and so on.  Finally, he goes so far to reconstruct the previous situation and to cut his stomach open.  He pushes his luck one too many times and ends up killing himself.  By Shouhei Kusunoki (楠勝平).

An unattractive man tracks down Sunakake Baba (Sand-throwing Old Hag) to ask her to make him handsome.  She gives him a foul potion that does the trick and says that the price is for him to return to her in 1 year.  A year later, the man is a famous film actor, and when the old woman shows up at his dressing room he has his bouncer throw her out.  However, while filming a love scene soon after, the actor's head disappears.  In desperation, he returns to her hovel, only to be given an uglier face than before.

A salaryman finds himself out in the boonies with a weird old co-worker.  The co-worker collects insects, one of which is a silverfish that can make people more suave.  The guy swallows it and with his new-found power works his way to the top of the corporate ladder.  But, the insect eventually works its way out of the guy's body and he returns to normal.  He takes over the office that the other guy had, and tries talking a new arrival into eating the insect himself.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Garo Feature #6

I'm back.  Sorry about the wait.

For the Dec., 1966, issue, I've decided to highlight Sanpei Shirato's 36-page three-part short "War".  This one originally appeared in Shonen Gaho in March, 1963.  Click on the image to go to the media fire album.

In the first part, the German army overtakes a Polish village and shoots everyone related to the resistance.  A young girl tries to escape and falls into a hole in the snow, next to a pistol dropped by one of the victims.  A German soldier spies her, and she instinctively shoots him in the chest.  He lands on her, collapsing the hole so that no one else sees her.  Later, the Russian army liberates the town, and a Russian soldier tries to befriend her, only to be shot in the chest before she runs away again.

In part 2, the German air force drops bombs on a village, and one of the bombs fails to go off.  A demolitions team is brought into defuse it, but they bobble the ordinance and it falls over.  They discover that it's filled with sand.  When the German army invades the town later, the villagers are convinced that the soldiers are running low on ammo, and don't put up a fight when lined up in front of the firing squad.  The narrator informs us that the Germans used this trick to make it easier to take over villages.

In the last part, a Japanese husband at home is talking to his wife and children over dinner.  We learn that he can't eat raw meat for some reason.  The next day, he and his two sons go out to visit a zoo, and they stop at a sushi restaurant for a quick meal.  The father isn't paying attention and pops a piece of sushi in his mouth.  Realizing what he'd done, he runs out to the street to throw up and is hit by a car.  He flashes back to when he was a soldier during WW II on an island when the Americans bombed it.  Only he and one fellow soldier survived the air raid, but there's nothing to eat on the island and they start to starve to death.  The friend gets desperate and attacks the father, but is killed himself in the fighting.  The father tries to eat the friend raw and can't bring himself to do it.  He stumbles away, only to discover an emaciated woman hiding in a house.  The scene skips to where the father now has a full belly, but he walks into an American patrol sweeping the island and he gets shot before being taken prisoner.  He then wakes up in the hospital with his wife and kids.  He pretends to be happy but is now riddled with guilt over his recovered memories.