Thursday, September 30, 2010

High School of the Dead DVD Release

High School of the Dead is a manga running in Monthly Dragon Ace, and currently appearing on TV late at night. It describes the adventures of some Japanese school students when their teachers and neighbors suddenly turn into flesh-eating zombies. The DVD just came out and this bus has been parked on Chuu-ou Douri in Akihabara the last few days to advertise it. The windows are all fitted with monitors running ads for the DVD.

The driver doesn't like having his photo taken. When several people gathered around with cameras, he suddenly started up the engine and pulled out. Then again, part of the job for these traveling ads is to actually drive around the area to maximize the number of people that see them. I'm just surprised that the bus isn't set up to let fans visit inside and give out free gummy zombies or something. Especially since Halloween is so close.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dengeki event, 2010

Sunday, Sept. 26th, a co-worker looked out the window of our 19th floor office in Akihabara and asked if there was a job recruitment going on. I asked what he meant and he pointed out the line along the back of the UDX building on the other side of the train tracks. There were at least 200 people standing in front of the doors. I replied that it had to be an anime DVD release with special merchandise tie-ins, because a job fair never attracts that kind of a crowd.

So, during my break at 5 PM, I went over to see what was going on. I was wrong - it was a manga event promoting the series from Dengeki publishing. The event was still going strong, and some of the voice actresses from the anime versions of the manga were on stage giving a talk show. Naturally there was no way to get a good shot of them. And the interior of the UDX space was packed so there was no way to get to most of the booths. Still, it was fun seeing what little of it that I did.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

AX - Alternative Manga, #47

Time to move on to the second of the two AX issues I picked up at the Nakano Mandarake shop. Notice that there's nothing here I want to give the "Garo treatment" to.


AX, vol. 47, 2005
Tokyo Zombie
352 pages
933 yen

The magazine starts out with 20 pages on the making of the Tokyo Zombie movie, including a small fold out poster. There's a paragraph on manga artist Kazuo Umezz (who apparently appears in the movie), and a couple of sample pages from the Tokyo Zombie manga ("where is Russia?") In the middle there's another 20 pages of articles, and reviews on etchi manga. In the back there's yet again about 20 pages of ads, and reviews of movies and stuff.

「生活」1 - 福満しげゆき
"Life", #1, by Shigeyuki Fukumitsu

12 pages. (Fukumitsu has a manga running in weekly Morning right now.) A teenager working part time at a convenience store takes a train one day when he happens to be sitting next to a small boy that dislikes listening to people talking on their cell phones in public. The boy grabs several phones and runs away to toss them in the trash bins. The teenager chases him, and they crash into each other. After talking, the two get along fairly well. That night, the teenager encounters a drunk teacher crawling through the streets, and when he tries to talk to him, the teacher hits him in the face with a bottle. The younger boy subdues the teacher, and the two of them tie the guy up in the school. Later, things settle down.

「トロイメライ」2 - 島田虎之介
"Toroi Merai", #2, by Toranosuke Shimada

18 pages. (Shimada wrote "Log King Erickson" in vol. 21.) A young woman tracks down a piano that had been played by various people throughout Europe, India and Malaysia in the 1800's on up. The piano is in lousy condition, but she thinks it can be restored. At the end of the chapter, she arrives at a creepy house where a rumored restorer lives.

「コイソモレ先生」2 - しりあがり寿
"Koinmore Sensei", #2, by Kotobuki Shiriagari

6 pages. (Shiriagari wrote "Old Man Twins".) Just a series of poorly drawn, stupid 4-panel gags.

「正義隊」第11章前編 - 後藤友香
"Righteous Corps", first part of chap. 11, by Yuka Gotou

14 pages. (Yuka wrote "Puzzle of the Manhole".) A school girl sees a strange figure sitting in a classroom alone late at night. She follows it to another room where it is tending an intelligent fish that plans on wiping out all humans. Again, very badly drawn.

「変わってるから困ってる」6 - 藤枝奈己絵
"Worried, so Troubled", #6, by Namie Fujieda

20 pages. (Namie has several manga out under her own name, but there's no real profile on her outside of the brief mention on Spysee.) A fairly well-drawn high school girl's comedy. In this chapter, a school girl has conflicts with her friends, and imagines the etchi behavior of some of the teachers. Nothing happens by the end, though.

「お笑いライヴの午後十時…」7 - 三本美治
"Comical Live Show at 10 PM", #7, by Yoshiharu Mitsumoto.

24 pages. (Mitsumoto wrote "Favorable Wind".) Various patrons at a cafe behave like it's open mike night on stage, doing things like stupid dances or pulling a linked chain through their nose.

「屍錦」 - 桐山裕市
"Corpse Brocade", by Yuichi Kiriyama

14 pages. (There's nothing really on Yuichi that I can find easily.) The story is fairly crudely drawn, about a high school biker chick that hangs out with a tough crowd then eventually smashes her motorcycle into a power pole and decapitates herself. Treated kind of like a documentary with the central character just hanging around in various poses.

サマータイムブルース」 - オカダシゲヒロ
"Summertime Blues", by Shigehiro Okada

8 pages. (Almost nothing on Okada, either.) A boy climbs a tree, but a branch breaks and he lands on his head. He awakens in a hospital, bandages covering his face and unable to see or speak. His family cries with relief. He signals for a pen and paper and writes out a message complaining that they're too noisy.

「クリスチーナZ」15 - 河井克夫
"Christina Z", #15, by Katsuo Kawai

6 pages. (Katsuo co-wrote "Home Party".) Etchi chapter with three women sitting at a table at a cafe. The first two succumb to the tongue of the guy hiding under the table. The third gets up and walks away, causing the guy to come out and challenge her.

「JUKU」流星編6 - 清水おさむ
"JUKU" (meteor compilation #6), by Osamu Shimizu

20 pages. (Osamu's JUKU is available in collected format on Amazon. He's also listed in the production credits for one Naruto movie and 2 Bleach movies. Otherwise there's no real profile for him. The artwork here is pretty well-developed and highly-detailed.) Kind of a rambling tale that starts with someone like a yakuza boss riding in a car talking to an underling. Then wanders through ancient Egypt and the wars crimes of WW II. One recurring image is a big boil on the back of someone's neck.

「恋の魔法-東京ルリ子-」 - 百田千峰
"Tender Passion Witch - Tokyo Ruriko", by Chiho Momota

10 pages. (This story is kind of similar to that by Chiho Murata in vol. 21. There's no real info for her, but she does have at least one book on Amazon, and the above link goes to her blog. The artwork is very light and airy; very shojo-ish.) A girl in a headscarf working at a coffee shop goes out to get some perfume capable of causing a specific boyfriend to be more attracted to one of the female patrons. After much trouble, she gets the perfume, secretly puts it on the customer, and the customer's boyfriend falls in love with her. The story ends with the coffee shop girl pleased at having played cupid.

「青春うるはし!うるし部」ドクターE・D編4 - 堀道広
"Aoharu Uruhashi! Urushi-Group", Doctor E-D #4, by Michihiro Hori

10 pages. A school punk fights in a tournament against a big guy with a phallic neck. After neither of them scores a direct hit, the big guy pulls out a Buddhist shrine and reaches into a hidden cabinet to pull out a secret weapon. To be continued.

「屋上哀歌」- 川崎タカオ
"Rooftop Elegy", by Takao Kawasaki

10 pages. This is one of the stories appearing in the AX Anthology, vol. 1. A dying assassin up on the roof of a building to make a hit encounters a suicidal salary worker contemplating jumping off the ledge. The two get to talking and the hitman asks the worker to shoot him so he can take the elegant way out. After the worker kills the assassin with the guy's pistol, a second shooter on another rooftop puts a bullet through his head. The second shooter radios in that he's made the hit but that the target doesn't quite match the photo. Since there's no one else visible on the other roof, the sniper decides that he's shot the right person.

「四番目の男」9 - 古泉智浩
"Man #4", #9, by Tomohiro Koizumi

8 pages. (Tomohiro wrote "Cherry Boys".) A fairly ugly group of people meeting in a warehouse go out to the woods when a meteor streaks through the sky and slams into the ground. The group discovers a a capsule that looks like a big beer keg, and a creature in catsuit pajamas climbs out.

「新・中学生日記」 - Q.B.B.
"New Junior High School Diary", by Q.B.B.

8 pages. (Not a lot of direct information on Q.B.B. One site gives the initials as being "Qusumi Brothers Band". The subcaption on the title page of this manga says Q.B.B. is "kusotare, bakatare, buutare" (shit, stupid, fart). Otherwise, Q.B.B. does have several books on Amazon, and he (they) won the 1999 Bungeishunju Manga Award for this specific manga title. Basically just a bunch of badly drawn 4-panel gags about high school students.

"Mother Cosmos", #9, by Minoru Sugiyama

16 pages. (Minoru is credited as a stage designer on one game, and had appeared at Creator's World 2010 according to ANN. According to the Japanese wiki there's a chance he's related to soccer player Makoto Sugiyama, although this may be the case of two people with the same name.) One chapter in the ongoing SF saga pitting a mysterious power called "cosmos" against a big guy in a huge wheelbarrow. The resulting battle consists of the wheelbarrow guy's army shooting laser rifles against some gigantic blob monsters.

「空の巻き貝」4 -逆柱いみり
"Sky Snail", #4, by Imiri Sakabashira

8 pages. (Imiri's "The Box Man" has been translated by Drawn and Quarterly.) Surreal gag strip that wanders from discussions of insects to a battle between a man made up of fish versus cat people.

「さかあがり」 - 衿沢世衣子
"Forward Roll-up", by Seiko Erisawa.

4 pages. (The title is the name of a move that comes from gymnastics. There's little on Seiko in English, while the Japanese wiki lists several titles to her name. The link given for her website doesn't do much other than redirect you to her blog.) A boy out playing on the playgrounds does a roll over a metal bar, causing all of his change to fall out of his pockets. A female classmate out talking with him scoops up the money and notices that there's also a small piece of colored glass used to play a game similar to tiddlywinks. The boy explains that it's a memento. When he was much younger, he'd accidentally swallowed it and had to be taken to the doctor. It had passed out naturally, so he kept it. The girl tries to run away with it and the boy chases her.

「菅原家」5 - 英之助
"Sugewara Household", #5, by Einosuke

10 pages. (Ok, it's really hard to find info on someone that's just going by a common first name. I'm not even going to bother trying. If you have a link for this guy, please pass it on to me.) A young boy and his old father are out playing catch in the park and the boy hits the man in the face with the ball. The father sits down next to an old woman who offers a blackened banana for him to eat. Nearby, a constipated dog attempts to take a dump.

「スイッチ」 - うらどめとどめ
"Switch", by Uradometodome

8 pages. (No real info on Ura, either.) A girl notices that her little toe on her right foot is missing, and that a string is sticking out of the hole of her hollow foot. She finds the toe in a corner of the room, but when she puts it back on, it acts like a switch to eject the rest of her toes. Now there are 4 more pieces of string sticking out. She pulls the string and gets buried under the giant roll that forms in her room. (This is a retelling of the ghost story of the girl with a thread sticking out of the earring pierce in her earlobe.)

「お茶っぴきババアのバー。」 - 東陽片岡
"Old Woman's Bar", by Kataoka Touyou

4 pages. (Touyou also wrote "That Guy Listened to the Springtime of My Youth".) An old woman argues with some customers in her bar. Nothing much interesting happens.

「お年頃」 - 齋藤裕之介
"About that Age", by Younosuke Saitou

7 pages. (Nothing on Saitou in English. His blog has a profile on him, and he does have some works published.) Two tiny teenagers, one male and one female, find themselves climbing on the huge body of a naked man in a game of tag. The girl explores around the pubic parts, unable to find her opponent. When the boy announces himself on the other side of the naked guy's hip, the girl runs after him.

「ボーリング」 - 田中六大
"Bowling", by Rokudai Tanaka

16 pages. (Not a lot to work with here, just a link to his blog.) Two children and a humanoid dog are sitting on a bench waiting for a man to arrive. The guy is late, but he does show up, and he suggests that they go bowling. While the lanes are supposed to be near by, it takes several hours of walking out into the countryside before they finally find a pin on the ground. A few minutes later they locate a bowling alley, but it's not open yet. They find a ball on the ground and following the scent they locate another alley. Unfortunately, it's closed for the day. The dog leans against the wall and discovers a secret passage leading deep into the ground where lots of people are mingling around. The group orders some udon, and then asks the restaurant owner if there is a bowling alley they can go to. The owner points them a little farther underground, where they reach a huge building that says "bowling alley". "Closed today."

「群青色の舗道の上で」 - 春礼六
"Above the Ultramarine Pavement", by Roku Harurei (?)

6 pages (I can't get any kind of pronunciation for this name, sorry. He/she appeared in the Nov., 1994, issue of Garo with "Angelica".) Essentially this is an impressionist piece with the goddess of life giving rise to insects, stars and bluegrass jazz.

「ロボとピュー太」7 - 南伸坊
"Robo and Puter", #7, by Shinbou Minami

4 pages. (The Japanese wiki has a long list of Minami's works. There's almost nothing on him in English, though.) A father is lying in the living room reading a book and farting. His son asks why they fart after eating persimmons, and the man answers "various reasons". Then the boy asks why his mother isn't there anymore. The end.

「精G」11 - ひさうちみちお
"Spirit G", #11, by Michio Hisauchi

8 pages. (Michio has a number of movies to his credit, but there's no bio info on him in the film databases. He's listed in the Japanese wiki as a manga artist, illustrator and essayist.) An old couple sit around and complain at each other. To be continued.

The back section is again "Rack Focus", #29, this time by CSP. It's nothing more than 2 pages of badly drawn porn, with a businessman and businesswoman seducing each other. Ignorable.


Summary: Well, the idea of buying these two AX issues was to read them over and give them a fair try. Having done so, I have to say that I'm going to go back and continue focusing primarily on Garo. I hope that AX has a good run and picks up a few more readers now that the English anthology is out, by I'm not going to spend money on it. In this issue, Toranosuke, Osamu Shimizu, Takao Kawasaki and Rokudai Tanaka show promise, so these are the four that I'd recommend people to follow in the future, just in case.

Monday, September 27, 2010

AX - Alternative Manga, vol. 21

Ok, I admit that I did kind of a hatchet job on AX magazine back when Metropolis ran its feature article review of Sean Wilson's AX Anthology, vol. 1. It was sort of a kneejerk reaction to anything that shows up in the English press in Japan as part of a U.S. release. I mean, if you want to review something, review the original work in the original language and then let people know how to get English copies of it if they want. That way it's not filtered through someone else's translation (i.e. - "adaptation"/"localization") process. On the other hand, the sample artwork run in the Met article didn't appeal to me on any level, so I was happy to let rip.

But, I'm nothing if not sensitive to my readers here, and I'm willing to admit that I made a bad call. So, when the nearby Akihabara Mandarake shop suddenly started erupting with gaps in their Garo backissues, I figured that I'd go to the Nakano store to see what I could find there, and at the same time I'd ask about AX. One problem with AX is that even their homepage is difficult to locate. The first hits to come up on the romaji spelling are for a body spray and a guitar magazine. You need to know the katakana spelling - アックス雑誌 - which still requires some searching on the net.

Once I had the katakana spelling written down on paper, I set out. First, I went to the shop in Nakano Broadway that had the Garo back issues. All of the ones I was missing that Akihabara didn't have weren't in Nakano either. But I lucked out and discovered a copy of #85, the Kuniko Tsurita special collection. And I got the Feb., 1970, issue just to have something to read next (I really want Jan., 1970, for the next review in the Garo series, but no one has that right now.) I asked the person at the counter if they had any copies of AX and he told me to go down a floor. I was given a building map, and the shop I wanted was J (I was in E - art books and vintage magazines) - art books and hentai. I got down to the third floor, and neither of the two clerks there had heard of AX. One of them checked the computer, and quickly located the correct shelf where they only had 10 out of the full 75 issues back issues.

Many of the AX issues had come from Book Off, where the 100 yen price stickers were still on them. I wanted to be fair, so I grabbed two issues - the latest one they had, #47, and the tribute issue to Taro Okamoto, both for 315 yen each. If they actually did go for the 100 yen Book Off price, I would have gotten every copy there. What stopped me from getting at least three issues was an art book on the next shelf down - "Playback Tokiwa-sou", a retelling of the story of Osamu Tezuka and 13 of the related people from the Tokiwa Manor period. It was 1000 yen for just short of 500 pages of manga, stories and a few photos of the artists. Playback looks much more promising than AX, so I'm glad things worked out like this.

Ok, so, what is AX? For anyone that hasn't actually heard of it, AX is a bimonthly "magazine" that first started running in 1999. The latest issue is #75, which came out in August. The website has the slogan "That's Alternative Comic!", and it's kind of considered to be a successor to Garo and Tezuka's own COM. I put "magazine" in quotes because it's more of a cross between a book and a fanzine. I'll include links to the artists in English if possible (starting with the English wiki, then moving to magazine reviews, or fan pages) or Japanese if nothing else is available. Note that some of these names have more than one reading, and if I can't find the author's page, I have to guess as to which reading is the right one, and I may get it wrong.


AX, vol. 21
The Taro Okamoto Special, 2001
272 pages
933 yen

Okamoto (1911-1996) was a famed surrealist artist in the 50's and 60's. One of his sculptures was a central piece of the 1970 Osaka Expo, which also showed up in Twentieth Century Boys. Vol. 21 starts out with a small insert poster of Taro, a gag panel based on his "Tower of the Sun", a 2-page write-up on him, and an 8-page interview with Taro's partner, Toshiko Okamoto. There's 5 more pages of stuff dedicated to Taro, then the regular manga.

「双子のオヤジ」21 - しりあがり寿
"Old Man Twins", #21, by Kotobuki Shiriagari

6 pages. One of the old twins is reading the paper and noticing how the world is becoming stupid. To become dumber faster than anyone else, he hits his head on the wall. The other brother comes up and they have a race. After bashing their heads they can't remember each other's names any more.

「チェリーボーイズ」7 -古泉智浩
"Cherry Boys", #7, by Tomohiro Koizumi

24 pages. This is a continuation of an earlier story involving 4 guys - 1 in a neck brace who's spending his time in a bowling alley, and three friends out trying to fill up experiences for their "mission growing up" notebook. The three take turns spraying each other with mace, hitting themselves with a pipe and getting tasered. After trying road tricks with an inflatable traffic cop doll they encounter the guy in the neck brace out on the roads. They panic, drive too fast and almost slide off the road. With their car stalled, the one in the brace comes up and asks if they're ok. Since they hadn't talked to anyone else about their previous fight he's going to leave them alone.

「ツノ病」 - クリハラタカシ
"New Disease", by Takashi Kurihara

16 pages. A nonsense gag story about a young boy who is hit in the head by a spike. He goes to the doctor, who diagnoses him as having "horn disease". The horn now on his head will fade away on its own. Outside, he taps the horn with his hand and it rapidly elongates until hitting something. He's pulled along with it to a mirror Earth. Everything looks the same, and he even sees himself walking his dog. He gets tired and prepares to return home. But, when he touches the horn again, it accidentally runs into a bird. The horn disappears, trapping the surprised boy on the mirror Earth, and the bird flies away with a new horn on its head.

「マンホールの謎」 - 後藤友香
"Puzzle of the Manhole", by Yuka Gotou

34 pages. This is a fairly innocuous, poorly drawn adventure of Anita, a school girl who one day spies another girl burying fish along a river. Anita tries following the stranger, who disappears down a manhole ladder. Anita then encounters the stranger's older sister who has been living in the sewers, trying to track down and capture the fish mangler. Together with another friend at school, Anita and the sewer woman succeed in catching the fish mangler, who turns out to have escaped from a nearby hospital. End of story.

「メカ野良人」 - 花くまゆうさく
"Mecha Farmer", by Yuusaku Hamakuma

4 page gag strip by the creator of Tokyo Zombies. Afro man encounters a Kappa who tries to follow him. Afro has no need for old-era creatures and tries to shake the Kappa off. Suddenly, the Kappa is thrown through the air by mecha farmer (most notable for the strap-on that proceeds him everywhere). Afro wonders who made mecha-farmer - American soldiers or aliens. To be continued.

「ヨダレくんの尊い命」 - 本秀康
"Yodare-kun's Precious Life", by Yasu Motohide

4 page gag strip. Nonsense bit with a fat idiot kid named Yodare, who jumps from a roof thinking that his mecha mattress will fold out and save him. It doesn't. His girl friend tells him that his life is sacred so it's good he didn't die.

「ホーム・パーティ」 - 河井克夫+ムロフシカエ
"Home Party", by Katsuo Kawai and Kae Murofushi

8 pages. Youko is a young woman at a friend's party. She drinks too much and goes to the toilet to throw up. She then notices that there's salmon eggs floating in the toilet and it reminds her of her friend, Jun. The more she thinks of Jun, the sicker she gets and the more salmon eggs she vomits out. Eventually she realizes that the salmon eggs are tied to memories of Jun, and finally she remembers having killed him and sliced him up in the bathtub at home. She throws up one more time and forgets about Jun again.

「癒しの園」 - 村田千峰
"Healing Place", by Chiho Murata (?)

8 pages. This is kind of a shojo story with two women deciding to go to a public bath to help soothe the downhearted feelings one of them is suffering after being dumped by a boyfriend. After they're done, the one is feeling much better, and she runs into a nice man afterwards. The narration comments on how things work out when people live in apartments that don't have private baths.

「その医者…」 - 鷹羽正臣
"That Doctor", by Masaomi Takaha (?)

10 pages. Silly gag series about a doctor that has strange patients, where one of them has swallowed a gold fish. Nothing much resolved at the end.

「渋谷くるくる寿司」 - 松井雪子
"Shibuya Revolving Sushi", by Yukiko Matsui

20 pages. Ok, the artwork on this one is pretty high-grade, but the story is really hard to follow. Essentially, two young women living in a grotto that has syrup and dirty dishes showing up at strange times eventually make their way out to the surface world where they play in the flowers and encounter more plates, with a flashback to a counter at a revolving sushi restaurant in Shibuya, Tokyo. Fair amount of topless nudity that is just slightly erotic, but not overly gratuitous.

「Bird book」 - 津川聡子
"Bird Book", by Satoko Tsugawa

5 pages. A girl reaches for a book on a shelf and starts to fall off her chair. The book turns into a bird, letting the girl catch it and then carrying her out for a flight around the house. Outside, a young man finds himself being pelted with letters falling from the book, and looks up to see the girl. The two fly off on the bird book together. I decided to scan all 4 pages of this one. The line art is really fine and it kind of doesn't scan well.

「ブルー・ギター」21 - 安斎肇
"Blue Guitar", #21, by Hajime Anzai

Just 4 pages of random pictures.

「釣り師の悩み」 - 西岡兄妹
"Angler's Anguish", by Kyoudai Nishioka

("Kyoudai" means "siblings". This is a brother-sister pair who have done both manga and picture books.)
22 pages. A young man goes out to the coast to fish, but it's too crowded. He comes back home, where the people disgust him. He eventually winds up at a water runoff ditch in town trying to catch whatever is in it.

「丸太の王エリクソン」 - 島田虎之介
"Log King Erickson", by Toranosuke Shimada

(Toranosuke won the 12th Tezuka Award for best newcomer for his "Traumerei". Otherwise, there's little information on him in English.)
20 pages. Two guys are out driving in the countryside and the driver drifts off in a daze. He semi-dreams about an alternate history of the U.S. where a viking helps create the country, with cameos by George Washington, Richard Nixon, Abraham Lincoln and JFK. The viking turns into a lumber jack, whose great skills lead to the U.S. as we know it now. Eventually the driver wakes up and they keep driving.

「探偵ハニー・サテン-2001-」 - 谷弘兒
"Detective Honey Satin, 2001", by Hiroji Tani

4 pages. This is a really well-drawn mini-story. A man comes into the office of Honey Satin, detective. He tells her that something important has been taken from him and he wants her to get it back. He'd been walking by an abandoned building and seen a beautiful naked woman lying on the ground inside. He went in to get a closer look and passed out. When he recovered, the woman said that she was punishing him for staring at her body so lewdly. He then lifts a patch over his left eye showing an empty socket. He asks Honey to get his eye back. Suddenly he notices her perfume and wonders where he'd encountered it before. He leaves and Honey pulls an eyeball out of her desk and kisses it.

「順風」6 三本美治
"Favorable Wind", #6, by Yoshiharu Mitsumoto

12 pages. Not much of a story. A guy decides to get away from his life and goes hitchhiking.

「オレの青春を聞けこの野郎!」 東陽片岡
"That Guy Listened to the Springtime of My Youth", by Kataoka Touyou

4 pages. Two guys at a bar are talking about their favorite rock, including Pink Floyd and Grand Funk Railroad, and a third guy gets upset, being a fan of Japanese female singers. The two ignore him and keep talking.

「黒寿司十八番」番外篇9 根本敬
"Dark Sushi 18 - Extra Story 9", by Takashi Nemoto

(Nemoto first appeared in Garo in 1981 and was a regular after that. Considered to be an avant-garde artist.)
Basically 4 pages of strange images appearing above the head of someone lying in bed. Muddy and hard to make out individual details in any of the panels. The above panel is the best of the set.


There's a good thirty pages of text and reviews as well. Some of the reviews are of etchi comics, a mention of the movie "Ghost World", and some discussions of music CDs and upcoming concerts. The last 2 pages are "Rack Focus", a montage of XXX film footage mashed up ala a National Lampoon magazine gag.


Summary - There's really nothing here that stands out and says "read more of me!" "Honey Satin" isn't bad but it seems to be a one-shot. "Log King Erickson" shows some promise, and "Bird Book" is whimsical enough to do well in a children's picture book. Nothing that I'd want to spend money for to get the next issue of AX, though.

As with Garo, some of the artists here have made a name for themselves, and others never show up again. Some of the manga here would do all right in weekly Morning magazine or maybe monthly Afternoon.


I guess I shouldn't be surprised at serendipity any more, either. There's a two page ad in this issue for a special manga exhibit at the Kawasaki City museum featuring Garo artists Kuniko Tsurita and Shouhei Kusonoki. The KCM has a good collection of past exhibit books, and that's where the "Shonen Sunday/Shonen Magazine DNA" exhibit had been held. It's about a 45-minute bike ride from my apartment, so I may try going there soon to see if they still have copies of this specific book.