Tuesday, August 3, 2010
I have added for following three entries to my recommended manga web page.
Drifting Life by Tatsumi Yoshihiro
Seven Seas Entertainment
A fictionalized account of the authors life from August 1945 to June 1960. The work chronicles his rise as a manga artist from his early efforts, contact with Tezuka Osamu (link), struggles with publishers, more to Tokyo, and role in creating the gekiga [link] genre of manga. This is a massive work, at 840 pages the longest single volume manga published in English.
Cultural Details : Postwar life in the Ōsaka area, 1950s Tokyo life, manga industry
Cautions: Mild nudity.
Order Drifting Life from The Right Stuf
Barefoot Gen by Nakazawa Keiji
The classic manga, 4 volumes were first translated into English in the late 1970s by New Society Publishing. The current edition is a new translation of all ten volumes for the first time. This covers from the days before the bombing to the main characters move to Tokyo in the mid 1950s. The author himself survived the bombing of Hiroshima and based this tale on his experiences and those of others. Gen starts out as a happy kid coping with living during WWII with his oparents sister and brother as best a kid can. With the bombing things rapidly change as only he and his pregnant mother survive the bombing. They struggle to do their best in the weeks after the bombing, and over time begin to form friendships with other survivors and from this a group of friends who help each other come into being. The authors anti-militaristic views are presented with force and humor as we see Japan's recovery from the devistation of the war through the experiences of one young man.
Cultural details: Military occupation, Hiroshima, daily life 1945-1955.
Barefoot Gen volume 1 from The Right Stuf
Kaze Hikaru by Watanabe Taeko
Kamiya Seizaburo in 1863 joins the Shinsengumi in the hope of taking vengence on the killers of his father and older brother. Small and quick Kamiya passes the test of skill in the use of the sword and is accepted. Okita Soji, a legendary swordsman and one of the founding members of the Shinsengumi, takes Seizaburo under his wing. However Kamiya is not a he but a she who had taken to disguising herself to carry out her mission and some of the men are very enamored with this "pretty boy" who has joined their troop.
Cultural Details: 19th Century Kyoto, bakumatsu, Shinsengumi, 19th Century urban life.
Cautions: Violence, swordplay, nothing sexual shown, references to male male sexuality, references to prostitution.
Order Kaze Hikaru volume 1 from The Right Stuf