Thursday, January 26, 2006
Sadly, no new strips yet. I've completed translations for about 3 more Koji Aihara, and Evan is working on the touch-up/lettering right now. THE ONLY DOWN SIDE: He's remote-access, back visting our snowy Midwest hometown and can't plug in to get the files online. SO, we'll have to wait for more new content 'til he gets back from his vacation!
In the interim, I wanted to mention my latest manga purchase. Recently, I was roaming the shelves of my local shop, intent on finding a new series to pick up. I mean, as much as I love coming to completed series and being able to gobble the whole thing down in one big tradepaperback gulp, I thought I'd try on supporting an ongoing title-- been missing that thrill of NEW COMICS DAY! I glanced off the usual boring shite, and settled in on DRAGON HEAD by Mochizuki Minetaro.
Here's the plot encapsulated by Tokyopop:
Returning home after a class trip, Teru Aoki takes the most frightening ride of his life aboard the shinkansen. Inside a mountain tunnel, the train runs off the tracks, killing nearly everyone aboard.
In his horror at seeing so many of his classmates and teachers dead before his eyes, Teru finds one of his classmates-Ako Seto-tugging on his leg, despite her being barely conscious. A radio on the train informs him that all of Japan is in a state of emergency. Nobuo Takahashi, another classmate, has also survived the disaster but has emerged, somewhat deranged, as a "Master of the Darkness."
When Ako finally regains her strength, Teru and Ako attempt to travel home but instead must dodge Nobuo and his spear. Eventually, Teru and Ako begin their long and lonely journey home - and their quest to figure out exactly what happened that afternoon in the mountain pass.
WOW! A fucking great first volume! I was really digging the art (Junji Ito's DYING YOUNG meets Taiyo Matsumoto's BLUE SPRING) and the grimy moments of train wreckage corpses and the lurching, unraveling tunnel scavenging scenes really hit the spot. Oh! and after getting to the end of the first book (and having my first real taste of the POST-APOCALYPTIC HORROR that follows in the next 9 volumes), I remembered having seen a creepy poster of something sorta similar when I was living in Japan in 2003. 15 seconds on IMBD tells me that it WAS an adaptation of this story, as directed by Joji Iida (wrote Rasen screenplay). Could be awful, but I gotta track this down after I get a little deeper into the manga.
Has anyone else read this? What'd you think? Tell us in the comments!
Labels: horror manga