Archive for manga

Empty Spaces and the Post-Something Worlds of Moebius

Posted in anime, cinema, music with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2011 by reccaphoenix

Famed French comics artist Moebius (Jean Giraud), who elevated comics to a high art, wrote Arzach in 1975.  It tells the story of a lone silent man flying around a post-something world of ancient technology atop a pterodactyl.  I have not read Arzach, but I saw many images from it at a Moebius exhibit in the Kyoto Manga Museum.  Ever since then, I have discovered multiple connections (intentional or not) to Moebius’ empty post-something landscape.

source: wikipedia

First of all, a real connection exists between Arzach and Hayao Miyazaki‘s manga (and later movie) Nausicäa of the Valley of Wind.  The manga version of Nausicäa highly resembles French comics far more than conventional Japanese manga.  It has similar motifs of post-disaster decay, a future world, emptiness, and flying, along with the “ancient technology” feel.  Miyazaki has even cited Moebius as an influence on this work.

squiggly tentacle grass in Arzach

Nausicäa walks on squiggly "grass" made of Ohm tentacles

And lastly, the arbitrary connection – Yes’s album Fragile. The cover and interior artwork by Roger Dean evokes a similar feeling, and even features an “ancient technology” flying machine.

Fragile by Yes (source: wikipedia)

Arzach flying

interior artwork of Fragile

Nausicäa in the desert

2nd interior artwork of Fragile

Nausicäa in the toxic forest (note background)

Nausicäa's greenhouse

The music itself as well contributes to the feeling of an empty landscape.  “Roundabout,” while its lyrics are hard to decipher, seems to tell of love in hardship, and “South Side of the Sky” features wind sound effects and mentions snowstorms and other natural hazards. The harmonies and vocals in many of the songs also hint at something ancient.  Furthermore, the electronic elements and beats resemble Nausicäa‘s soundtrack.

Nausicäa: Ohmu to Boso

Fragile: Heart of the Sunrise

Fragile: Cans and Brahms

Nausicäa: Kaze no Tani no Nausicaa

Fragile: Roundabout

I highly recommend listening to Fragile in its entirety; it’s a superb album by one of the founding bands of British progressive rock and features some killer bass work and Rick Wakeman’s fantastic synthesizer riffs.

The airships on the back cover of Fragile even bring to mind the airships in Nausicäa.

back cover of Fragile

Nausicäa flies to an airship

Unfortunately, this connection fails to indicate the direct influence of Moebius, as the album was completed 4 years before Arzach.  I suppose, though, that one can cite 1970s fantasy and sci-fi artwork (think Heavy Metal magazine, etc.) as the common influence on both works, though.  And as for the Nausicäa connection… who knows what Joe Hisaishi was listening to when he composed the film’s soundtrack?

-Recca 2/17/11

John Lennon Manga Ch. 2 UP!

Posted in site news/maintenance with tags , , on June 13, 2010 by reccaphoenix

John has a pretty awesome mum...

Hey, everybody!

After a long pause in translation activities, Chapter 2 of the Astro Boy John Lennon manga is up and running, fully translated for your viewing pleasure.

This chapter covers John’s life from elementary to middle school, and includes the epic moment where he discovers the magic of ROCK N’ ROLL for himself, courtesy of Elvis and pirate radio.

Enjoy!  Here’s the link.

Some silly comments:

-This artist really makes some people look much better than they did in real life (especially John and Yoko during their hippie period….)

-John has a pretty cool mum.

>>>Recca 6/13/10

‘Clockwork Orange’ manga: “Outer Alec” (アウターレック)

Posted in clockwork orange, japan, manga with tags , , , , , , , on April 17, 2009 by reccaphoenix

Not going to give a lot of background here, but the other day I got a chance to flip through a 1973 issue of the Japanese weekly shounen (boy’s) manga magazine Shounen Jump.  While perusing this, I came across what appeared to be a manga-style Alex deLarge lookalike:
(click image for fullsize)

"Outer Alec" title page, the only image of this manga I can find anywhere on the internet.

"Outer Leck" title page, the only image of this manga I can find anywhere on the internet. The subtitle for this chapter is "man-eating beasts."

This manga is called “アウターレック” which transliterates to “Outer Leck” or “Outer Alec” (I’ve seen it written as both アウターレック and あうたあれっく, but people in the manga seem to call the main character “Leck” [レック] most of the time.)  “Outer Leck” seems to be a sci-fi story packed with (ultra-)violence – Leck is some kind of wanted criminal with a price on his head.

Leck’s appearance (bowler hat, haircut, and dark false bottom-eyelashes) heavily resembles that worn by A Clockwork Orange‘s hero Alex deLarge in Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film version of the novel, and his name (with adjustments for odd Japanese transliteration) is similar to Alex, which is アレックス in Japanese.  The manga came out in 1973, so similarities to the film are likely far more than coincedental – Leck even has a cane-sword almost exactly like Alex’s.

This manga is virtually unknown and was never issued in tankoubon (book compilations which re-publish the story outside of the magazine).  The only info I can find is in Japanese, and has not told me much.  This manga only ran for 19 issues in 1973 (Shonen Jump 1973 #8-27) and was written by the author of the popular series “Worst,” Koutarou Komuro.

This comic constitutes another example of A Clockwork Orange‘s widespread international influence.  It’s an interesting find, indeed, and I only wish there were some way that I could read this manga.

AKIRA + Clockwork Orange a.k.a. OHHHHHHHH!

Posted in animation, anime, cinema, clockwork orange, manga, reviews/opinions with tags , , , , , , on November 4, 2007 by reccaphoenix

reccaspriteOHHHHHHHH!

The other day I saw a website point out this similarity and then it occurred to me – AKIRA (the manga/comic is waaaay better than the film btw) is basically A Clockwork Orange in cyberpunk Japan, at which point I said something like “OHHHHHHHHH!”  Rival gangs in which the members dress alike, who take drugs w/drinks, a kid who gets taken in and re-programmed by the government.  That’s where the similarities end, as Continue reading