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
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!


Anonymous said...

This is why I read Same Hat! I LOVED this manga when it was being scanslated and had no idea it was available domestically now. I went out and bought it today.

You guys are awesome.

adrienne said...

ya'all are sick! :) i turned some students onto your site though, and i like you. i should also note that the ero-guro sensei we all know and love was mighty impressed too.

on Monday nights from 11pm to 1am, one of my students (who goes by the name of Nazty Nate) has a radio show on KRUI. He's all but 20 years old, and he's only playing music from before 1990. they don't archive, so you'll have to listen live by clicking on "hear" here. 9-11pm Pacific Time, boyz! call him up if you listen!

Ryan said...

Thanks Adrienne! your comments really mean a lot to us! glad to hear that some of your iowa kids checked out the blog. I was also totally geeked to see that Jim left a comment! we're gonna keep pumping out stuff on the site... hope you dig some of it!

i'll check out the show this monday and see what he's got going on! can't wait for next month!

Ryan said...

thanks so much for the comment :) It makes up super happy that we connected you with this one... so, how far ahead did you get to read via scanlation? I've only read the first volume, so don't spoil nothing!

Anonymous said...

Are you reading that manga in Spanish and French, or what?

Ryan said...

Haha-- no no, reading it in English from Tokyopop, but the best images I could find online were from the Spanish translation that came out earlier.

You can get it in English at any good comic shop.

Ryan said...

ps-- oh, yeah-- french translation too! i guess we're the slowest to get the official translation released :)

Adam! said...

managed to purchase a pirated DVD of the movie, wrote up a review here -->

Anonymous said...

I read this when it was being scanlated. I live in Sweden, and there's nothing to choose from. Manga doesn't get published unless it's so mainstream, it almost hurts. So sure, you can get One Piece, Dragon Ball and others, but no good manga.

Anyways, I always liked Dragonhead. At least as far as I read the scanlation. It has something of Naoki Urasawa in it. The twists and turns and not knowing what exactly goes on.

I hope that's enough for a comment. I lost my bloody blog login so I'm posting this as a guest. Ugh.