Monday, August 24, 2009


This weekend, I stopped by the Cafe Mika manga sale. Cafe Mika was San Francisco's first (and only) manga cafe, which seemed to be on shaky financial footing for a while and finally had to close their doors this month. As a final going-out-of-business sale, they were selling all their original manga series (that is, in Japanese) at DEEP discounts.

We're talking the entire original Ranma 1/2 series for $12, all ten volumes of Dragon Head for $3 (snagged those, worth it for the covers alone) and other, more obscure and forgettable series. I found something absolutely incredible in the stacks... all 4 volumes of CYBER BLUE (CYBERブルー), a late-80s cyberpunk/fantasy battle manga for a dollar a book!

I had heard of CYBER BLUE but never seen it... until now. The series was written by "BOB" and Ryuichi Mitsui, and (most importantly) features art by Tetsuo Hara! This short series (4 volumes in total) was the manga Hara worked on right after Fist of the Northstar in 1988.

Let me tell you, this is one of the most hilarious and badass books I've read in a long, long time. It's like if Boris Vallejo had sex with the film Commando and then strapped that baby to the demon offspring of gay Mad Max and Lando Calrissian's mustache. Basically, it's unadultered Hara goodness.

Please enjoy this photo-heavy showcase:

This is the first spread of the book, introducing our protagonist, Blue. He has a gun and puts it in people's faces. And also shoots them in the head.

Oh yeah, all of the above panels are just from Volume 1. Here's from the other three book:

Did I mention that the villain in Volume 3 looks exactly like Prince?

I mean, except if Prince was humongously muscle-bound and banged mermaids!

In addition to guns, Blue is sorta good with his hands. I wouldn't recommend messing with him.

In volume 4, we find out the full extent of what can happen when you tussle with Blue:

I hope you enjoyed this collection of beautiful insanity. Please pass this post on to friends who dig extreme violence and/or pulsating pecs!

[For large versions of all the photos in this post, please see the Flickr set.]


That Girl said...

Wow. That first spread is so madly detailed! Nice bargain for something so interesting.

--. said...

woo! thanks for posting this!

AO said...

This is worth picking up just for Prince's visage alone.

Daryl Surat said...

The other important thing to remember about Blue is that he's the goddamned Terminator.

I got the first volume of Cyber Blue, but never ever got the rest. There are no scans on the Internet, translated or otherwise. Clearly a grave injustice.

Malath said...

haha.. this looks insane!

mp said...

RAWK! An embarrassment of riches, if I've ever seen one.

Jaclyn said...

very off topic but I wanted to ask..
would you know if this shirt would be able to be purchased and delivered to America?
(gwashi one where he's wearing the hat)
I tried to buy it here:
using my limited knowledge of Japanese.. but it seems to me the options only allow delivery to japan. I really want this =[

sorry I didn't really know who else to ask, I figure you or someone here may have bought these awesome shirts and might know what to do.


Azraelito said...


JAJAJAJAJ it is incredible, Huge fan of tetsuo hara here. Hokuto no Ken was one of the firsts mangas that I read.

when do we have this licensed by last gasp?? .D

It is very cool how prince was drawn.

check this site, there are a lot of works of tetsuo hara very cool. Check Takeki Ryusei, the covers are incredible.

Saludos from argentina!!

keep the good work!!

Please more hilarious things like this.

Ryan S said...

@That Girl: I know right? Rob Liefeld can eat his heart out!

@mimi: Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

@Ajani: I'm gonna take more photos tonight of Prince's appearances in the ish. It's insane!

@Daryl: He is a crazy killer robot, that is true. I'm not sure I'm gonna be the one to scan this up, but I will do my part to document it further tomorrow... 2nd post!

@Malath: not just LOOKS, but rather.. IS INSANE

@mp: And now I'm RICH

Ryan S said...

@Jaclyn: Good question. Yeah, TACOche (like most Japanese retailers and brick & mortar shops) won't ship to any overseas customers.

It's a shame, but I'm not really aware of a good way to do it. I do remember seeing this shirt in person at tachCHE myself though :) I think the absolute best bet would be to ask someone in Japan to snag you one and bring it back... Does anyone here have plans to visit Tokyo anytime soon?

I'm gonna be visiting my buddy Nate in the next few months, if all else fails??


bittermelon said...

Really too bad about the cafe. Bummer. Why can't a business model like this work in SF?!

Also, the art is super reminiscent of Chinese comics, of the fantasy / kung fu / martial arts variety that i used to see all the time. Rich, detailed, etc.

Will have to take a peek next time I have the honor of being at casa sands

Ryan S said...

@azraelito: Whoa, great site! Thanks for that link. Tetsuo Hara makes Rob Liefeld cry for being everything he wishes he was. Nice to see you back commenting again!

@bittermelon: I think their main problem was carrying too much (almost entirely) Japanese-language manga and not enough english stuff. I dunno, it was just sorta a weird bastardization of the JP model, which is a place to sit, eat, drink, play online games and read manga... often overnight. Too bad for SF :(

Anonymous said...

that looks amazing. that's the sort of thing i would show people when they need an explanation as to why i'm not that into manga any more (except the type of stuff you post here, of course). i'd just be like "because this never got translated!"

Sophia Foster-Dimino said...

Can I just say this is really relevant to my interests.

The shot of Prince wielding a mermaid is AMAZING.

I wish this genre would have a proper comeback. I guess Steel Ball Run is still rocking it :B

Great find!

Anonymous said...

This Manga remind me "Metal Slug" videogames---

Anonymous said...

Here's a place with scans of all 31 chapters in English! a great find!!