Sunday, February 13, 2011

Garo Feature #61

For the Nov., '70 issue, I'm highlighting:

Shigeru Mizuki's - Man Who Seized the Star
Tadao Tsuge's - Easy-going Night

星をつかみそこねる男 (Man Who Seized the Star) #2

Shigeru is starting up a new series. In chapter 2, our "hero" is a 16-year-old boy who lives at his father's kendo dojo. A "dojo hunter" drops by to challenge the master to a fight. A medicine delivery boy steps in to defeat the dojo hunter, but is in turn defeated by the other students. The hero asks his father why someone so weak can be so strong and the father's answer is in the form of a riddle. The delivery boy wants to join the dojo, and the hero's father agrees, but only if the boy can hit the hero three times with a wooden sword. The hero just stands in place and allows himself to be hit, later telling the boy that he lost because the other boy is so strong. The hero sees some friends standing around looking at a piece of paper with a drawing of some foreign steam ships. They all want to go look at the ships in Yokohama, where the real thing is even more awe-inspiring than the fanciful drawings were. However, they encounter a very clean-cut samurai who comments on the dangers the foreigners could bring to their isolated world. Note: The splash page is a ukiyo-e-style drawing of Commodore Perry.

夜よゆるやかに (Easy-going Night)

A father living with his wife and idiot son starts suffering flashbacks to when he was serving in the Japanese Army during WW II. His wife and son live a fairly carefree life, but they insult the father a bit too much. He, meanwhile, visits a doctor, who diagnoses him with a heart condition. He continues on to his job at a factory, where his boss is trying to force him to take a shorter vacation this year to allow everyone else to take off instead. Later, the guy is heading back home when he bumps into a woman that works as a dancer in a nightclub. She talks him into buying her coffee, but she then complains about how dark and brooding he is. He says that he's just been fired, and he doesn't want to face the wife and son right now. After it gets dark, the girl decides to walk out to an abandoned field where she tries to get the guy to loosen up and dance with her. He keeps asking her if she really wants to be out in a secluded place like this with a strange man she's just met, and she ignores the question. Finally, he assaults her and forces himself on her, while asking why she's not shouting for help. Eventually, a middle-aged woman that had followed them to the field and watched them having sex, waits until they're finished and starts shouting about a rape and calling for someone to come help. The girl gets upset at having been seen, and takes this moment to call for help as well while trying to run away. The guy chases after her, demanding to know why she hadn't tried to stop him earlier. When he finally catches her, she laughs and he holds on to her for dear life, thinking that his heart condition is going to flair up.

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