The Weekly Charts:
Your Executive Summary and Index
Week ending 22 February 2009
Manga Top 500
1. ↔0 (1) : Naruto 34 – Viz Shonen Jump, Feb 2009 [730.5] ::
2. ↔0 (2) : Naruto 35 – Viz Shonen Jump, Feb 2009 [728.4] ::
3. ↑1 (4) : Naruto 36 – Viz Shonen Jump, Feb 2009  ::
4. ↑1 (5) : Naruto 37 – Viz Shonen Jump, Mar 2009 [695.2] ::
5. ↓-2 (3) : Naruto 33 – Viz Shonen Jump, Dec 2008 [676.6] ::
6. ↔0 (6) : Rosario+Vampire 5 – Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Feb 2009 [607.2] ::
7. ↔0 (7) : Naruto 32 – Viz Shonen Jump, Nov 2008 [601.4] ::
8. ↑2 (10) : Fruits Basket 21 – Tokyopop, Nov 2008  ::
9. ↓-1 (8) : Naruto 31 – Viz Shonen Jump, Sep 2008  ::
10. ↑2 (12) : Bleach 25 – Viz Shonen Jump, Dec 2008 [549.9] ::
Manga Top 50 Series
1. ↔0 (1) : Naruto – Viz Shonen Jump, Jul 2003 [2937.44] ::
2. ↔0 (2) : Bleach – Viz Shonen Jump, Jun 2004 [1558.97] ::
3. ↔0 (3) : Fruits Basket – Tokyopop, Feb 2004 [1458.02] ::
4. ↔0 (4) : Death Note – Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Oct 2005 [1382.65] ::
5. ↔0 (5) : Vampire Knight – Viz Shojo Beat, Jan 2007 [1265.13] ::
6. ↔0 (6) : Rosario+Vampire – Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Jun 2008 [1240.33] ::
7. ↔0 (7) : Chibi Vampire – Tokyopop, Apr 2006 [982.24] ::
8. ↔0 (8) : Warriors – HC/Tokyopop, Apr 2007 [874.18] ::
9. ↔0 (9) : Fullmetal Alchemist – Viz, Apr 2005 [801.02] ::
10. ↑1 (11) : Ouran High School Host Club – Viz Shojo Beat, Jul 2005 [727.55] ::
New Releases and Preorders
1. ↔0 (1) : Naruto 34 – Viz Shonen Jump, Feb 2009 [730.5] ::
2. ↔0 (2) : Naruto 35 – Viz Shonen Jump, Feb 2009 [728.4] ::
3. ↑1 (4) : Naruto 36 – Viz Shonen Jump, Feb 2009  ::
4. ↑1 (5) : Naruto 37 – Viz Shonen Jump, Mar 2009 [695.2] ::
6. ↔0 (6) : Rosario+Vampire 5 – Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Feb 2009 [607.2] ::
27. ↑93 (120) : Naruto 38 – Viz Shonen Jump, Mar 2009 [452.2] ::
31. ↑70 (101) : Bleach 26 – Viz Shonen Jump, Mar 2009 [443.9] ::
36. ↓-2 (34) : Tail of the Moon 15 – Viz Shojo Beat, Feb 2009 [410.9] ::
38. ↑20 (58) : Fruits Basket 22 – Tokyopop, Mar 2009 [408.4] ::
42. ↑14 (56) : Otomen 1 – Viz Shojo Beat, Feb 2009 [398.9] ::
49. ↑1 (50) : One Piece 20 – Viz Shonen Jump, Feb 2009  ::
58. ↑72 (130) : Naruto 40 – Viz Shonen Jump, Mar 2009 [353.9] ::
61. ↑71 (132) : Naruto 39 – Viz Shonen Jump, Mar 2009 [349.9] ::
64. ↑125 (189) : Battle Vixens 14 – Tokyopop, Feb 2009 [343.6] ::
65. ↑87 (152) : Higurashi When They Cry 2 – Yen Press, Feb 2009 [335.8] ::
66. ↓-2 (64) : D. Gray-Man 12 – Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Feb 2009 [331.6] ::
74. ↑22 (96) : Vampire Knight 6 – Viz Shojo Beat, Apr 2009 [323.5] ::
82. ↑143 (225) : 20th Century Boys 1 – Viz Signature, Feb 2009 [315.6] ::
91. ↑11 (102) : Black Lagoon 4 – Viz, Feb 2009 [302.2] ::
93. ↑124 (217) : Trinity Blood 9 – Tokyopop, Feb 2009 [295.9] ::
96. ↑4 (100) : Hikaru no Go 14 – Viz Shonen Jump, Feb 2009 [292.6] ::
97. ↑10 (107) : Afro Samurai 2 – Seven Seas, Mar 2009 [291.6] ::
102. ↑41 (143) : Black Knight 4 – Tokyopop Blu, Feb 2009 [279.2] ::
105. ↑182 (287) : Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka 1 – Viz Signature, Feb 2009 [274.1] ::
106. ↑27 (133) : Your & My Secret 4 – Tokyopop, Feb 2009  ::
Manga Midlist 500
What’s the Midlist?
1. (6) : Rosario+Vampire 5 – Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Feb 2009 [607.2] ::
2. (11) : Chibi Vampire 12 – Tokyopop, Jan 2009 [543.1] ::
3. (18) : Rosario+Vampire 4 – Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Dec 2008 [496.9] ::
4. (19) : Maximum Ride 1 – Yen Press, Jan 2009  ::
5. (24) : Rosario+Vampire 3 – Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Oct 2008 [466.9] ::
6. (25) : Junjo Romantica 8 – Tokyopop Blu, Jan 2009 [453.4] ::
7. (28) : Hellsing 9 – Dark Horse, Oct 2008 [448.4] ::
8. (30) : Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle 20 – Del Rey, Jan 2009 [444.7] ::
9. (33) : Berserk 27 – Dark Horse, Jan 2009 [431.4] ::
10. (34) : Fullmetal Alchemist 17 – Viz, Oct 2008 [430.3] ::
11. (35) : Dark Hunger – Feehan, Zid – Berkley, Oct 2007 [419.4] ::
12. (36) : Tail of the Moon 15 – Viz Shojo Beat, Feb 2009 [410.9] ::
13. (37) : Rosario+Vampire 2 – Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Aug 2008  ::
14. (42) : Otomen 1 – Viz Shojo Beat, Feb 2009 [398.9] ::
15. (45) : Warriors 3 – HC/Tokyopop, Apr 2008 [385.6] ::
16. (49) : One Piece 20 – Viz Shonen Jump, Feb 2009  ::
17. (51) : Warriors 2 – HC/Tokyopop, Dec 2007 [359.6] ::
18. (52) : Negima! 20 – Del Rey, Dec 2008 [359.4] ::
19. (53) : Rosario+Vampire 1 – Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Jun 2008 [359.3] ::
20. (56) : Vampire Kisses 2 – HC/Tokyopop, Sep 2008 [355.8] ::
21. (62) : Fairy Tail 5 – Del Rey, Jan 2009  ::
22. (64) : Battle Vixens 14 – Tokyopop, Feb 2009 [343.6] ::
23. (65) : Higurashi When They Cry 2 – Yen Press, Feb 2009 [335.8] ::
24. (66) : D. Gray-Man 12 – Viz Shonen Jump Advanced, Feb 2009 [331.6] ::
25. (67) : Saiyuki Reload 9 – Tokyopop, Jan 2009 [330.1] ::
There is a word; you need to know. It is a simple word. It is Japanese for Animation.
No, it is not called Anime.
In this part of the series “The Lost and The Generic, the answer will be known.
First, something that I have to get off my chest.
I do not read manga like the rest of you on this site and in the community at large.
I just don’t.
I read two manga on an exclusive basis.
That would be anything drawn and or written by Osamu Tezuka. ANYTHING. It does not matter how long or alternatively, short it is.
The other is Berserk, done by Dr. Kentaro Miura.
That’s it. You can’t force me to read shojo or shohen etc. It just will not work.
There is a reason I say this.
I am an animation fan first.
I am a comic book fan first.
I grew up with both of these works. I understand there concepts and their ideals. I understand there joy and their sorrow.
I got into manga because of Tezuka. His legend is greatly known. Miura is the only man ever even CLOSE to Tezuka. Oda is nowhere close; Kishimoto is not there and may never get there, and Kubo will always be in Miura’s shadow. There is a reason why Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z got popular and why Toriyama is respected even though I may never read another work from him.
The reason is being that many manga is translated into anime and I don’t really have the time nor the cash to go through 20 volumes of work.
In addition, even if I wanted to – they all fall into the same trap and Anime has entered that trap.
It is the same trap that other parts of art world, are going through.
It is censorship, with artistic diversion. These two aspects are killing the genre.
If you have read my other works from the “Lost and Generic” series, you would know that I stated many American parents (and those that do not have kids, but the majority of them do) are again – overworked, underpaid (it seems more like that these days), as well as overstretched. The culture of the American family ideology (I say it this way because it has become one and it is not about raising children right at least not anymore) felt they have lost economic and cultural influence and power over the last 30 -35 years. There is a hidden, psychological racial element (some of it warranted) plus gender issues (shown at the Oscars quite blatantly).
But this is about anime and manga, what that got to do with anything that that is happening in this world?
You already are seeing it in Canada, Australia, Indonesia and the United Kingdom. Now it is spreading to this country. The new word of the day coming down is “Fascistic Genericism” or better called Neo-Prussian Socialism. (If you do not know what Prussia was, go look at Wiki or better yet Britannica (on your college or school database) and read up, and start to weep).
Every time there has been an economic or conflict situation in the western world, Art is the first victim. Now, in this decade unlike any other decade, Art is being used to promote “punishment” of “weird acts”, “subversive works” and to scare other into submission – to jail and maybe to be killed even if the person have never hurt or would even hurt anyone. Don’t be fooled however, I am a conservative and I believe in the rule of law. Nevertheless, let make one thing clear. I mean REALLY Crystal Clear.
If someone HURTS a child in any way in that sexual manner so evil – it does not matter if it is a parent or somebody the child knows or a stranger and that is proven BEYOND a reasonable doubt – that person MUST die. Period, end of STORY. I can understand age of consent; I can understand the five-year rule. I even understand in Principle having those dark images can and should send a person to jail. Nevertheless, as SO LONG and I mean AS SO LONG as the drawings or animations are NOT REAL or do not depict a child doing those dark acts (and by their definition cannot be), that person cannot go to jail and should not be in jail. He or she is a political prisoner to fill the coffers of the Judges so they can be shown to be tough on crime, and the politicians who continue to throw not only just America over board but the rest of the world into their own abyss.
However, the Governments all over are using the genre as a political toy, calling it the “scary work” with the “scary people”. Hollywood, sensing it cannot control and win over the fanbase, is trying the split the fanbase into two with their “Live Action –Anime.” They want the money. They do not care how they get it. The day they saw a man named Al Kahn make money hand over fist with Pokemon was the day they set out to destroy him, his company (using the leaders of Arlong to get along Park with Crunchyrool and the Subbing Pirates) and if they could not succeed using anime to take over the rest of the animation industry (remember, the Huluwood Executives hate them UNION’s!) they now were going to discredit you and you fans FELL for it ass first!
80% of Best Buy’s anime selection will be gone by the Middle of Lent (March 21) with only the top selling anime left, and when it’s just Dragon Ball Z, Naruto and any works from the Sci-Fi Channel’s airings, along with Pokemon/Bakugan, that whole genre will suffer the same fate action animation and then TV animation has suffered over the last five years.
Now everybody wants it fast and cheap. It was not like this. I highlighted a book called Manga Zombie – and the Gekgia movement. That movement made its way to the manga we all read. However, even Japan has gone away from it. Even they GOT scared of what it told.
Novelle Manga, Neo-Shojo and Next Gen Shohen (which a majority of manga has become) are not working. Outside of Claymore – Shohen lost the boyhood dream. Outside of Berserk, Senin; should have been the hardest of the hardcore (without being porn) and the protector of the Gekgia movement has become a perverted Shojo. Neo-Shojo became too screwed up to be readable at the same while the Old lady of Manga who pretty much ended the Gekiga movement, only had one good manga in her whole career while Josei is excessively conservative to the point of boredom.
How can Novelle Manga is the hope of a stagnating Industry over there? It is putting even more French influence (not that I hate the French way of doing art) on work that was already influenced by Bandee Dessanee, and not to mention it still sucks and the only time it worked in a Japanese context was in the Metal Gear Solid retellings of One and Two.
You fans are being RAILROADED into a corner. On one side, you’re so called HOPES for a better manga and anime future are leading into a ghetto which the Governments of the world will label you, stamp you and take some into the jails and hellholes of the Jail system.
All of this, to protect the kids.
Parents already KNOW their job. Moreover, if they do know and run to a political entity in order to HELP their kids(Not nessaraily the government that’s a bit different but even that is loaded), they do not deserve to be parents in my honest opinion.
Cant them, for the first time in the history of their life’s work WITH the kid not as a friend of all these liberal causes, smoking weed at the park or what not, nor as a heavy duty, military style – Fake as all get out Christian Fundamentalist…
But as a boy or as a girl child living in a country that gives them the freedom with responsibility to make choices for themselves!
It is this very simple, wise and holistic approach to life NOBODY will teach or even tell you.
We do not nerssarlly need censorship when people are allowed to be responsible for their actions. It is because of MORE Government meddling we are in this mess. ONLY in a police state (which the U.K. is fast becoming) you would have a 13-year-old boy having a child. NO MANGA told this kid to go and have intercourse with that 15-year-old girl. Not even the U.K. media plotted this. Nevertheless, they will use it as a CRUX to promote more Generisism.
Only in state still recovering from dictatorship – they would use anime as crux for censorship (granted, it’s almost a Muslim state but that’s for another day)
Only in a state where they still do not know if Quebec should be free or not and as of several months back, do not protect the rights of Christians (or Muslims unless politically pushed) that they would use a Unjust and inherently stupid law to send a man too weird even for yuppies to take, as a “political prisoner” (if he did have real dark pictures however, then he deserves to go to jail).
And now, here in this country in a similar case. They will make an example of those that they feel not fit for the America they so wish to protect.
And for the most of you, the profile is fitting like a glove.
The Gekgia movement was the basis of most great anime works. You cannot separate it from that genesis. When they do that – you get bad work, you get moe and harem. You get all these generic anime. You get the lackadaisical feelings and the cheapness of this particular fanbase. You get 4Chan and CrunchyRoll and Arlong to Get Along park. You do not have leaders that wish to work with the rest of the animation community but what you do have are those who will lead to your ruin.
Anime should not be used as the catch all phrase for Japanese animation. We should call it as it should have been called LONG before us in the west (with the rare exception of many in the Black Community) tried to name this particular part of animation as a racial modifier.
It is the word, Doga. Moreover, that word should be used for any animation from Japan that is not dubbed or subbed using Japanese honorifics. You can only call it anime and should call it anime – when it’s dubbed or subbed in English with no Japanese honorifics. This is because of how popular it was in France and Italy and how many French/Canadian/Japanese productions there were in the 1970’s. If those folks want it as Japanese as possible then that “pirate” or Crunchyfail must call it Doga. It cannot be called Anime. It does not even make sense to call it Anime.
As for that Genre and well as Manga – It needs a wakeup call. The world right now is heading for something far, far more impressive than it ever was in the 1960’s. But in that era Gekgia filled that need in Japan in the 1960’s and 70’s. Metal Hurlant and its American Counterpart; Heavy Metal filled that need in the late 70’s and early 80’s. The UK has AD 2000 and it still going strong. (One wonders however, about its future with that UK law barreling down the pipe at break neck speed. The Italians have their own countercultural art world. Now in this era even in Japan, the artists (even the BIG 3) are being drowned out. The original idea for Naruto, as modern day Berserk? SCRAPED. One Piece? Overrated. Bleach? Tries too hard to beat even Claymore.
Do you know what is going on in the world?
The 2008 civil unrest in Greece started on 6 December 2008, when Alexandros Grigoropoulos (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Γρηγορόπουλος), a 15-year-old student, was fatally shot by Epaminondas Korkoneas, a policeman. The shooting occurred after an altercation between a police patrol and a small group of youths in the Exarcheia district of central Athens.
The death of Grigoropoulos resulted in large demonstrations, which escalated to widespread rioting, with hundreds of rioters damaging property and engaging riot police with Molotov cocktails, stones and other objects. Demonstrations and rioting soon spread to several other cities, including Thessaloniki, the country's second-largest city. Outside Greece, solidarity demonstrations, riots and, in some cases, clashes with local police also took place in a number of European cities including Istanbul, London, Paris, Rome, Dublin, Berlin, Frankfurt, Madrid, Barcelona, Amsterdam, The Hague, Copenhagen, Bordeaux, Seville as well as Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, and the western Cypriot city of Paphos.
Riots are breaking out in factories in Dongguan as bankruptcies and layoffs throw thousands out of work with wages owing. South China, "the world's factory," is in chaos, faltering. After the mid-autumn festival, enormous numbers of workers simply stayed home in the provinces, rather than returning to work in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Dongguan.
This AP story talks about a riot in the factory where Nerf toys were manufactured for Hasbro -- and no, they didn't fight with Nerf bats.
Tempers began flaring Tuesday when the plant's Hong Kong owner, Kader Holdings Company Ltd., prepared to lay off 216 migrant workers at the factory that employs 6,500. About 80 senior workers claimed they were getting shortchanged on their severance pay, and they mobilized a mob of 500 — mostly other unemployed workers and friends, Guo said.
The workers battled security guards, turned over a police car, smashed the headlights of police motorcycles and forced their way through the factory's front gate, Guo said. They went on a rampage in the plant's offices, damaging 10 computers, the company said.
Riots broke out once again in the Baltic states on Friday, this time in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, where a group of 7,000 gathered to protest planned economic austerity measures. A smaller group began throwing eggs and stones through the windows of government buildings until the police moved in, using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
The episode was nearly identical to one on Tuesday in Latvia, when a peaceful protest of 10,000 people erupted into violence. And on Wednesday, a gathering of 2,000 in Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, began throwing stones and snowballs at the Parliament building, calling for the nation's leaders to resign.
In all three countries, years of steady economic growth have come to a jarring halt, and citizens are facing layoffs and cuts in wages. In each case, the authorities were left wondering whether they were facing organized activism or just the anger of people whose expectations have been disappointed. "I think this is just the beginning," said Anders Aslund, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. "We should expect this to happen in many places."
You’re telling me at a time of great changes in Humanity, the best huluwood can do is Miss Cyrus?
There not speaking for us, and the longer Viz Media and all these wannabe major players want to act like them – they are going to lose to these socialistic bastards over at Crunchyroll and Arlong to Get along Park. They are going to be backslapped and made nothing but a toothless tiger by Governments trying to protect from a subversion that in the real sense does not even exist but in the actual sense all of this trying to protect their lobbyists in Foggy Bottom in the animation industry. They do not want to compete because they know that they will lose without good writers and story boarders, and they always feel they have to compete where there is NO REASON that that moment.
Japan will figure itself out. It has a history all its own. I will bet (and I am going to be right on this) whenever this economic issue ends, there will be a brand new appreciation for the work of the Gekgia Movement. They will realize that being generic and obfuscating a man or woman’s work will never get anywhere. They stop being anti-human (read as anti-female or anti-female attributes) and finally be free from the sins of their past.
We here, however are going to have to go to maybe even physical blows – not with ourselves but with a generation, to get any sense back of our humanity, our place in the world and our understanding of our individuality, our sovereignty. If we don’t have or see art or pro sport (read as wrestling or mma) that doesn’t have that spark that we saw in the ECW years, those years of great animation from all over the world and in our country and other such things, we must treat it as it is; trash from a Generation that owns the world and may have destroyed our future. You saw it in the Oscars on Sunday. That Generation only cares for what it has done and does not care for the broken down men or women they have BECOME! In addition, if we do not create work or supports work that makes them see this fact even if it is for the first TIME, we will have failed has men (gay or straight) and women (lesbian, bi or straight) and they will through their unconscious fascism, psychological neo liberal racism and class and universal degrading of our minds via the mediocre work they have produced since the end of the 1988 WGA strike, will break this country into a million pieces and the world will lose hope that America will be a shining city on a hill. And they wouldn’t care.
Because THEY GOT THERES.
But their envious nature will make sure we will be poor, destitute and wishing we were slumdog millionaires, in the streets our forefathers fought and died in as the world cheered for FREEDOM! when we won.
That is the rebellion Gekgia and all anime represents. Take that away and you have nothing but porn.
The Writer of Manga Zombie, Udagawa Takeo stated it best:
The best manga are always the worst manga. And vice versa. Manga should never be 'healthy' or 'educational' or 'good for kids'…
Burn manga. Especially Eighties manga on.
Burn these pre-programmed comics that have been churned out ever since manga turned into a business. Burn these bastard things conceived in boardrooms and born as products.
For example, love stories that go on...and oon... and ooon...and oooon.
Burn them. Stories about heroes beating the odds through sheer grit and friendship. Burn them.
'Interactive' stories swinging any way the reader surveys tell them:
Burn. Them. All.
Come out of the grave, manga!
Screaming and streaming blood and sweat, pages spattered with artist's crazed flesh, manga that grab and throw you deep into the warped and fucked-up pit of the artist's mind itself. And leave you there.
To live it. And manga, staggering on their very last legs, drawn so the artists could eat one more day.
Come back. All is forgiven.
The Translator, John Gallagher followed:
I'd have to go with Ugagawa-san on this one. Manga should rot the brain.
I add this. Not to rot the brain. However, to save it from being:
Generic and listless.
The final part of The Lost and the Generic will be on Cartoon Electro by Wednesday, the epilogue of that will be back here as episode seven of Virtuous Queen.
To read more about Manga Zombie please go to http://comipress.com/special/manga-zombie and read more about the Gekgia Movement. I will talk more about it in the future.
Until Next Time.
hello i just want to share with you guys this cool place called Animecastle its an awesome store that has every anime and manga in the rainbow like claymore and other popular animes like chibi vampire and also everyonce a month theres a viewing of anime shows starting from 6pm and ends at 10 i went there on saturday feb 21st and i even saw this anime thats not even seen before called tora dora and its really awesome but i couldn't keep up too what some people said since its in japanese dub well if theres an animecastle where your from i recommend you check it out you won't be dissappointed
We reached the end of the series, for now anyway. I want to do this person because boy he’s famous and you do not know him. Really, anybody that would do the ring gown for Muhammad Ali has to be BIG, BIG and BIG.
Most of the black community has used many Asiatic motifs. ShoNuff is one. Afro-Samurai is recent one. Of course despite the deep (and other wise, nonsensical) race issues between blacks and Asians, both share common (and very unusual, bittersweet, and sometimes very funny) history. You should read up about it because this is not really the place to talk about it.
Bonten Taro, is a name you should know and respect. He is a Tattoo Artist (and if you ever seen Lost, the Filipinos take their Tattoos VERY SERIOUSLY, I mean G-U-L-P. Go for the women treat the people with respect but PLEASE NEVER GET A TATTOO from there.) Nevertheless, his biggest claim to history – and the day every aspect of the Black community when it came to artistry, changed when Ali – himself actually talked to Bonten to create his in ring gown. You should KNOW what it LOOKS LIKE! On that day – he became worldwide, certified. Japan fashion was the rage in Paris and London (and later came to the states – in fact this is nothing new – we always go back to Asiatic culture – the first being in the early 1920s, the second being the late 1970’s (which lead into their car boom) and the next being the late 1990’s. So, it astounds me when Huluwood denies that it wouldn’t even be there without Japanese influences. We have no modern culture without the Black Community (Jazz, to blues, to Rock, which made your HEAVY METAL that I have grown to respect… then from blues to do wop to Rap which many of you hate some for no reason) and Japanese plays/works along with the classics of the western world. And the fact Huluwood still playing games… UGH, UGH…UGH.
Nevertheless, he is also known as the creator of a movie franchise. (What, I thought this was about manga?) Well, the movie franchise is based on a Manga, dealing with race. For you see – Half-Breed Rika is the forerunner of the Japanese sexy heroine (you know, the ho that fights like a dude – but don’t show her ho’in to the dude?) In fact – the movie star who played Rika – one Aoki Rika, was the quintentual Japanese beauty in the 1970’s. Aspects of this trickled down went around the world…and do not say I said this but um… Madonna has many of her…tricks.
But don’t take my word for it:
She sported an eccentric hairstyle much like the lowbrow artist Rock'in Jellybean. Her leather micro-mini was topped off with a psychedelic tattoo-design t-shirt. The blurb proclaimed her to be "The Glamorous Half-breed with the Broad Leather Belt!" Her name was Rika. She was the heroine of a Bonten Tarō's premier 60s gekiga 'Half-breed Rika' (Konketsuji Rika, published in Shukan Myojo.) (Despite the fact that many children had been born to parents of mixed race in the immediate postwar period, the disgraceful term 'half-breed' or konkestuji was in general use in Japan right up to the eighties. Even today, the common name for a child of an interracial couple is a 'half'.)
Through the late 60s and early 70s, Rika and her gang took on their enemies in one fight scene after another - the yakuza were one, the mysterious millionaire another. The series overflowed with a kitschy B-Movie style, influenced by stuff like Russ Meyer's Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and Tōei action flicks. I'm crazy about catfight gekiga - I can't get enough of this series.
He talks about his other works as well:
There's a huge archive of Bonten Tarō materials at his home in Saitama Prefecture, just outside Tokyo. His wife is the curator. There are stacks of rare magazines that couldn't be found even in the Diet Library (the Japanese equivalent of the Library of Congress). I was astonished when saw the sheer range of his collection. But there's nothing at all from before 1964. That's when he met his wife.
For a look at Bonten's work before that, you have to go kashihon magazines like Low Teen. Low Teen was published during the 60s by Akebono Shuppan, and aimed at adolescent males. Each issue featured a roster of artists centered on the then-popular Kawada Mannichi. The content was heavily influenced by Nikkatsu action movies, and the stories featured clean-cut, gutsy teenagers facing life and love with pure hearts and a straight edge. Bonten Tarō was really taken aback when I showed him a copy of Low Teen featuring his 'Provoking Evil' (Aku e no Chōsen). "Did I really put out work like that?" was his comment. "I've never seen the draft of this in my life" chimed in his wife...
Anyway, to get back to Bonten's 'Provoking Evil'. What really sets it apart from other kashihon pulp stories is the way the plot piles one twist on top of another right through to the final page - without leaving a single loose thread. If you've read this far, you'll have realized that resonant, well-crafted plots were very scarce on the ground in kashihon circles (or what I call 'garage gekiga'). Usually, some kind of slapdash ending is tacked on in the last five pages - and in fact I love that approach too, as such. But 'Provoking Evil' is that rare thing in the kashihon market - a piece of work with a fully realized structure. It really deserves kudos for that.
Boy, you cant be telling me this guy was that good… Maybe he and some certain book soon turn into an anime help in the formation of one of my favorite manga’s?
This man was near King. Almost as big as Tezuka (which makes Tezuka’s work in the 1970’s and early 80’s stand out for me, the man was fighting bigger fighters with very talented artists) and Worldwide, Certified!
However, he left…to become a painter?
Tattooists use human skin for their canvas, and they compose skin into a unified work of art. Mistakes can happen at any time, and they can't be taken back. Bonten Tarō's gekiga have a special life and strength that stems from his experience as a tattoo artist. You can see it most clearly in his cover illustrations. The covers for 'Half-breed Rika', for example, outdid anything else in the magazine for finish and technique.
He was a multi-talented star in the seventies, but one day Bonten Tarō just walked away from it all and became a painter. Staring death in the face as a kamikaze affected him in lots of ways no doubt. But I think the main thing it did to him was make him fearless. And free.
Wow. You get a sense of an era. Maybe something needs to be said… maybe something does need to change… maybe were looking too far ahead…and must go back to the source to find the next era of Manga and of “Anime”
Why “Anime” in quotes? Why all the problems with Manga today? What is the next step?
Find out Monday.
I’m going to make this kind of short because the last time I did this I lost the data (yes word is a LOT better, more 1997 than 2003 but has major saving issues when it comes to a blog format and still don’t have the good stuff when it comes to templates) However, let’s get on with it.
Gekigia, had many facets to it. Being one half of the industry in the 1960’s and 70’s (the other was the Shojo style – more closely towards Tezuka’s work). There was fleshbomb that we covered earlier. There is Outsider, which we will cover later. However, there is the Trauma (or Traumatic style) that dealt with the horror Genre. The style was important – it brought the basis of later manga works such as Vampire Hunter D, Tokio, and most recently – Death Note. Before we get to into the influences, we must look at the influencers.
Manga Zombie’s Author wrote about Murotani Tsunzeo:
"I don't talk about this very often, but I actually died once...Astral projection, is it? Well, I was floating in space, and all behind me it was pitch dark. It was just like being in hell." (Interview in QJ magazine #14)
After his (temporary) death, Murotani Tsunezō went on to draw a series of hellish works based on his hands-on research, the two most outstanding being 'Hell Boy' (Jigoku Kun) and 'Doll Hell' (Ningyo Jigoku). The backgrounds in 'Hell Boy' are especially striking, and they could not get much blacker. They really do seem to bear witness to time spent in the underworld.
Apart from the fact that he'd died already, there were a couple of factors that spurred Murotani towards drawing horror manga - his experience of surrealist painting, his voracious reading of fifties sci-fi novels, and the imagery of fifties sci-fi movies all had an influence. A major shift in his work came in 1967 with the publication of SF 'Sci-fi Theater: Alternative Earth' (Gekijō Dai-ni no Chikyū) in the Mainichi Chūgakusei Shimbun, which catered to high school kids. This kicked off a series of works heavily indebted to fifties sci-fi; the most successful of them was 'Spaceman' (Supēsuman), which the Chūgakusei Shimbun ran over three years. The story - the interplanetary quest of a multiracial group of teen space crusaders - was a big success with its high school audience, thanks to its perfectly calculated mix of horror, sci-fi and eroticism. In fact, 'Spaceman' is a plausible forerunner to Galactic Railroad 999 (Ginga Tetsudō 999). The period of 'Spaceman' was a highly productive one for Murotani; he also put out the series 'Microman' (Mikuroman: no connection to the toy by the same name produced by Takara) and 'Time Patrol' (Taimu Patrōru) among others. All were published in the Mainichi Chūgakusei Shimbun, and all bore the same imprint of fifties science fiction.
The Science Fiction he mostly would have got some of his work, was movies like Forbidden Planet, books such as Starship Troopers (i.e. There was an anime about this and there is a CGI series about Starship Troopers that aired on a Syndication Block called BKN Bulldog TV) as well as A Canticle For Lebowitz. Forbidden Planet and an earlier thirties work lead into the creation of Star Trek… which lead into the creation of Star Ocean which both franchises have animated series.
Manga Zombie’s Author continues:
Murotani created his masterpiece in this harsh and pressurized environment. This was the Jigoku - 'Hell' - series.
Jigoku Kun (Hell Boy) forms the first half of the 'Hell' series. It was serialized in a magazine aimed at younger readers, so Muortani lay on the gore with a light touch. The hero's mission is grim: "The villain gets sent to hell every single time". Even so, 'Hell Boy' is a fun piece of work with a character all its own. The hero has a strong appeal, along with surreal characters like the Undead Dad (Mannnen Totsan), the bone marrow munching Dokurobotan, and a constantly varying cast of hellish ghouls. You get the feeling that Murotani himself had a lot of fun himself making this work, from a lot of different elements that appear: the elaborate page compositions, the ultra-realistic depictions of hell, the offbeat hero, the ultrasexy heroine, and the mixed cast of supporting characters, sometimes beautiful and sometimes cruel.
The highlight of the series is the third episode, 'Devil Fire' (Akumabi). Here, Murotani gives free rein to one aspect of Hell Boy's character: he is devilishly cool. The villain of the piece is a student who dabbles in arson in his free time. Hell Boy uses his magic powers to stick the criminal's arm onto his (the criminal's, that is) forehead. This episode also introduces the character Akutsu; he is quite the square, a good husband and father and the manager of a construction company. Yet at the same time, he is a fiend towards the evil (in this story he traps the student/arsonist/villain). In fact, 'Hell Boy' is an extremely righteous piece of work; you can feel Murotani's anger towards the villains, and his strong sense of justice - to the point where Murotani's own anger comes across as a magnetized enactment of divine wrath. In addition, this is one of the things I really like about 'Hell Boy'. At the same time, however much Murotani's vision was based on his near-death experience, there is not a hint of religious feeling or teaching in the series. 'Hell Boy' remains quite cool throughout.
The similarities between this and Death Note is almost uncanny. In a tiny aside – one thing that happened with Castlevaina – was that the majority of the CV community in Japan disliked the metriod like environment – which is strange because Ninty, Research and Development 1 made the Metroid franchise – and the concept of a two dimension free roaming world. Nevertheless, Metriod never became successful in Japan, which still baffles me to this day. (Hot Girl, Big Guns, Lost of Monsters – Big brain… ohhh I kind of see why but it still baffles me.) But this is not the main point – Castlevaina since the SOTN days has a artist named Ayumi Kojima (not related to Hideo) and she is one of the best video game artists in the modern era. She uses Baroque era art and combines it with the Bishojo style to create something unique in execution and style.
However, the Japanese has pooh – pooh it ever since she became the artist for the series. Seems they wanted more Huluwood style like in the Vampire Movies.
So, then came the next game in the franchise, Castlevaina Judgment. It is done by, the Death Note creator and main artist (I don’t have his name on the tips of my brain at this moment). The Japanese gaming metaculture (at least in 2chan) was happy with the artwork design. We in the US were very unsatisfied. So yes Virginia, different strokes for different folks.
Nevertheless, let us get back to Murotani:
The second half of the 'Hell' series was aimed at an older readership, and it shows. Murotani cranked up the horror level and gave stronger voice to his outrage in episodes like 'Doll Hell' (Ningyō Jigoku), 'Insect Hell' (Mushi Jigoku), 'Jirō the Ghost-Devil' (Kaiki Jirō) and 'Pavilion Hell' (Pabirion Jigoku).
'Doll Hell' is a revenge drama starring Misuzu Reika, a traditional doll-maker and atomic bomb survivor. Gifted with magic powers, she decides to take an appropriate form of revenge on the American pilots who dropped the bomb - by turning them into dolls. The pilots (one of them a woman) will remain alive, trapped inside the dolls' bodies. There is an underlying eroticism in the scenes where Reika works her magic, and in the appearance of the blond blue-eyed American character Jane, now transformed into a living doll.
In 'Pavilion Hell', a kid visiting the Osaka International Exposition of 1970 gets lost among the crowds, and somehow finds that he's wandered into hell. There are two kinds of demons, he finds - black demons and white demons - and the black ones are the masters, lording over and discriminating against the whites. Soon a war of liberation starts, with the young hero caught up in it. The plot is thickened with a trans-dimensional romance between him and a female knight of the liberation army. This aspect of 'Pavilion Hell' points forward to Takahashi Rumiko's Urusei Yatsura (Lamu, the Invader Girl).
This kind of socially aware horror manga wasn't particularly rare in this period, and it's hard to deny that Murotani was aiming for large sales when he drew the 'Hell' series. What really makes the 'Hell' series stand out from the rest is the way hell itself is depicted. Unlike other artists working on similar material, Murotani does not rely on local Japanese traditional art or folklore at all. If anything, his underworld and the demons that live there are drawn in a quasi-surrealist style. Here we see Murotani the modernist in action.
As a short note, we did not get to do such work with Horror and Sci-Fi until the late 1970’s with Heavy Metal magazine, which is a French magazine mostly translated to English – And until Day of the Dead horror did not become as mirror into the early forms of Generic Culture. Horror was to scare girls into men’s arms, which the next step is to get laid, after the movie ends. (This is true for many Americans in the 1970’s… its one of the reasons why people are very, very defensive about the movie industry and why they want dumber films – as a rule the dumber the film (i.e. many of the splatter films) the more babies will be born and there is your psychological connection to the movie theater folks.
However, it seems Murotani took a break:
In the mid seventies, Murotani dropped out of the youth-oriented shōnen magazine scene and shifted his focus back to educational manga. The pace of work required in the weeklies is absolutely crushing, and this was partly the reason for the move. But the major factor in the move was that he left Japan for a sabbatical year in Paris towards the end of the seventies.
This however does stop his plans for a complete hell boy:
Since his return from Paris to the present day, Murotani has continued to keep his focus on educational manga. Moreover, he had remained tremendously successful in this line of work.
However, he ran into serious trouble with his 'Mohammed and Islam' (Mahometto to Isuram-kyo), which was withdrawn among protests by Muslims offended at the portrayal of the Prophet in pictures. He also had a run-in with the French government over the inclusion of his anti-nuclear poster Moon Over Mururoa in an exhibition that coincided with a state visit by the President of France to Japan. The sponsors of the exhibition, a department store called Yokohama Sogō, pulled Murotani's work from the show; this time the furious protests came from the artist himself. In both cases, Murotani stuck to an uncompromising freedom-of-speech position, and he declared that he 'absolutely refused to recognize any taboos against freedom of expression'. He still had his old unyielding sense of anger and passion for justice. I think that is why he was able to stick to his guns in the face of considerable pressure.
He still has many ideas in his head, and plans further installments of 'Pavilion Hell' and other projects like 'Murotani's Grotesque Greek Mythology. He is also planning a complete, finalized version of 'Hell Boy' - in the unlikely event that the series could ever be wrestled to a halt'. In any case, Murotani Tsunezō is still an artist worth keeping an eye on.
We now move on to a more famous type of Gekgia, the one by the name of GeGeGe, but first some background:
GeGeGe no Kitarō) is a manga series created in 1959 by manga artist Shigeru Mizuki. It is best known for its popularization of the folklore creatures known as yōkai, a class of spirit-monster to which all of the main characters belong. It has been adapted for the screen several times, as anime, live-action, and video games.
However, this is not the whole story:
In 1960, Togetsu Shobō published Mizuki Shigeru's 'Kitarō, Demon of the Graveyard', from a story by Ito Masami. However, when Volume 3 came out, Mizuki fell out with the publishing house over money, and jumped ship to the publisher Sanyō-sha. He went on to bring out 'Night Tales of Kitarō' (Kitarō Yawai). Meanwhile back at Togetsu, Takeuchi took over the helm of 'Kitarō, Demon of the Graveyard'. The series was a smash hit as a kashihon, and ran to a grand total of nineteen volumes. Takeuchi took over at Volume 4, and cleared the decks with a general slaughter of Mizuki Shigeru's characters. Mizuki's signature character Nezumi Otoko (the Mouseman) met an abrupt end in the opening pages, killed by Kineko (Treecat Girl). Then Kitarō takes out Treecat Girl before squaring up to the she-demon Yasha. Kitarō's victory over her completes the clean sweep.
From Volume 5, Takeuchi populated the series with fresh characters like the ghost of Dracula and his assistant, Baneaze. Kitarō teams up with a mysterious Kumo-Otoko (spider-man) against them.
Until the first half of Volume 7, Takeuchi clearly struggled under the burden of drawing characters in Mizuki's style, and there is not much in the way of originality to be found in the ghostly goings-on up to this point. And there are lots of loose threads in the plot - Dracula and Baneaze, for example, suddenly drop out of the story for no good reason. Mizuki was a past master at western-style ghosts and black magic, and a very hard act to follow. I imagine that Takeuchi had great difficulty filling his shoes.
Takeuchi finally made the series his own by overhauling the basic graphic concept and moving it in the direction of a more traditional Japanese style. Creating afterworlds and ghosts based on indigenous myths really allowed him to show what he could do. 'Kitarō, Demon of the Graveyard' now became a true original, and truly Takeuchi on all fronts.
In the second half of Vol. 7, Hell Hag (accompanied by a demonic nine-tailed fox) hit the bright lights of Tokyo, searching for - and finding - yummy human flesh. They're also on the trail of Kitarō, who's just saved the beautiful and mysterious Kitsuko. All hell breaks loose in Vols 8 and 9. Tokyo becomes the scene of a savage, all-out supernatural war. The action takes place in two parts of Tokyo in particular - the Katsushika and Arakawa districts, lying in the north and northeast of the metropolis. Both places are distinctly untrendy. They're gritty working-class islands of old-school spit-and-sawdust Tokyo - what the locals call the shitamachi (literally 'downtown').
These were the years around the time of the Tokyo Olympics, when the city was transformed from a collection of long-lived and intimate neighborhoods into a sprawling megalopolis. And was at this particular point of change that Takeuchi's very own special scum imagination seized the poorer parts of town and morphed them into a pandemonium steeped in local lore and superstition. I get the feeling that the shitamachi of this dark fantasy is the same place as his childhood home.
This spit and sawdust Tokyo is shown wonderfully in the Video Game Yakuza, the third season of Digimon (Called the Tamers) and other manga such as Gantz and many of the futuristic based anime – Akira, BubbleGum Crisis (both the original and 2040) and Ghost In the Shell. Of course – there is Blade Runner. Yes. That.
In the final volume of the series, Kitarō comes up against the Indian ghost Neshababa, who's trying to infect the world with an ebola-type flesh-eating virus. Her victims turn into zombies, stalking around for human meat. There's one particularly shocking scene where the zombies indulge in a feeding frenzy at a graveyard - but it's drawn with a weirdly comic touch. Maybe Takeuchi was trying to fob off his own conscience. On the other hand, maybe not.
In the final scenes of the series, Kitarō triumphs over all his enemies and ends up in the hospital. Here's there for a very special operation - to get the spirit of his grandfather, a wandering legged eyeball called Medama Oyaji - inserted into his empty eye socket. So he ends up normal. It sucks beyond all belief. Here was a character you believed up till now could fly, and he ends up...normal. Uugh. Anyway. Pressed on by the force of Japanese folk tradition and the violence of his own imagination, Takeuchi Kanko took Mizuki Sigeru's masterpiece and perfected a 'Kitarō world' that only he could have possibly created.
Otaku give Takeuchi's Kitarō a hard time: the graphics are crudely done compared to Mizuki's. The storyline has Crab-nebular sized holes in it. The characters suck. It's too depressing. Too gory. And cetera. Takeuchi - weep, reader - gets zero to minus respect. All well and good. And yet...what is it about Takeuchi's art? There's something primeval at work. If you look closely, you'll start to get the uncanny sense of being pulled back in time, back beyond the birth of gekiga and manga - even back beyond the dawn of the wandering kami shibai and before, to the freak shows, peep shows and clockwork dolls of pre-war Japan, and the roving street artists who pimped them around the streets. More than a feeling of terror, you get a sense of raging disgust from his pages. Mizuki Shigeru's Kitarō had a modern, pop-art sensibility. Takeuchi's version by comparison was grungy, vile, and disgusting. Give me Takeuchi any day.
As for the franchise – the TV series started near the end of the manga’s run. The first series had 65 episodes, as a whole the franchise nears the 250+ range. The new series takes more of a darker route and is the first time the manga from Mizuki and Takeuchi are animated. The series it is set to end in 2009 March. In addition, the franchise has many games to its name the last so far being a PS2 game.
The manga itself belongs to apart of Gekgia called kashihon. A cheap but underrated at times manga is usually sent back to the stores after being read.
As for Takeuchi, he lived a long and productive life. He died in 1994. He was the understudy of our next topic…and he is connected to Muhammad Ali… how? Find out…
Until Next Time:
After a failed search on the Internet for a scale of moe I decided to make one. I soon found out that using only one variable such as age made it difficult to appropriately graph moe. I decided to use a scatter chart. The X-axis is age and Y-axis is independence, being that an independent person is high on the chart and a helpless person is low on the chart.
It a bad graph but it's the best I
could come up with on short notice. That and I made it with 'MS
paint' and GIMP. It may look confusing but
it is really simple. Take a character or franchise and set it where
you think it goes on the chart. Now this is MY chart, if you did this
your chart ,and I encorage you to do so, it will look different. But I think the law of averages will
set in at some point.
There is some things I notice, first of most characters fell near the middle so I would think of this area as some average/standard moe zone. I also notice that Hatchin form Michiko to Hatchin or Kino form Kino's Journey though relatively escape the loli zone because they are vary independent. Also take note of the 'Hot-babe Zone' and 'Older women' area.
I hope to make a better chart so if you have any suggestions or Ideas please tell me.