Friday, January 18, 2008

Get that Manga blog in order!

Okay, it has been a slow start to the year due to bugs and sneezes and stuff. And besides, I have worked 'manfully' (we all know that Man-flu is worse than any other kind) on the Bee-Man (now only 8 pages to fix and then I'm adding bees and lettering and it's done) despite being at Death's Door.

So my Imanga blog is a little behind, but I did say it would be self-indulgent. Anyway, I'm going to stick to the theme of my favourite Manga, and like the MPD Psycho post, I'll tie in the links with any other incarnations in other media. Death Note is a case in point, and it'll be the subject of my next Manga post, this weekend. Death Note began as a one-shot with Light as a very young boy. In the Death Note Manga series, and the anime, Light is a High-school pupil, and in the movies, Death Note I and Death Note II (The Last Name), Light is even older. In every case the stories achieves a new level of sophistication and it all seems to work as a sort of Death Note universe. It is a joy to be part of that universe.

Comparing the Death Note pilot (scans below) with the highly detailed moral exercise the story later became, and the highly lucrative Death Note merchandising industry it gave birth to (my daughters Kim and Dom are currently walking around with their new matching L bags - courtesy of Forbidden Planet ) will, I think, reveal a little of the way in which Japanese publishers encourage the growth of a Manga brand; although we do have to bear in mind that Death Note is a superior product, you can't fake that.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the first incarnation of Death Note, the pilot for the manga series, here's a little taster of what will be on the blog. The work was translated by AK and Mike, scanned by Mike, and edited by Darci-San and Draygon Zero:

I've been watching the Honey and Clover live-action TV show and I think I'll follow the Death Note post with that because whilst I'm a fan of the Honey and Clover movie, and the manga, I'm less enamoured with the anime or the TV show; so I think it makes for an interesting contrast, and discussion.

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,

One clover, and a bee, And revery.

The revery alone will do, If bees are few.

(Emily Dickinson, 1755)

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