Wednesday, June 24, 2009

JUST DOING THIS TO MESS WITH OUR HEADS

Wouldn't it be great if Kodansha's "Osamu Tezuka Manga Complete Works" editions were in English? Well, they kinda are.

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Yes! A charmingly typewritten synopsis of his classic shojo manga PRINCESS KNIGHT! True, the rest of the comic is in Japanese, but it's a start. Is there more?

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AMBASSADOR MAGMA aka SPACE GIANTS! All right! So, how different is this from the Space Giants show we enjoyed as children?

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Yeah, that's pretty different. For one thing, token Caucasian reporter "Liz" isn't even mentioned! Hey, what about KIMBA THE WHITE LION, you know, JUNGLE EMPEROR?

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No, that's not Santa Claus there, it's Hige Oyaji and a grown-up Kimba - now named Leo - bravely facing the elements atop Mount Moon! A grown up Kimba?? What the heck?

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Yes, the original manga goes places NBC would not dare to enter. At least not in cartoon form. But enough of these popular Tezuka works - did Kodansha release Complete Works editions of his more, shall we say, obscure manga?

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Yes! Yes they did. JET KING, the story of an alien boy who can change his shape at will to better defeat evil, has a spoiler right in the English synopsis, so don't read it! Also in this volume, HIKARI is the story of a boy with crazy hair and two handguns who fights gangsters. Based on a true story.

But what about ASTRO BOY? I can hear you now, where's TETSUWAN ATOMU? Okay, here's your MIGHTY ATOM already.

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This volume contains the story "The Three Magicians", which was one of the first Astro Boy stories I was ever exposed to, as it is also the subject of this LP:

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Those three magicians get around.

Somebody should take the hint and get to work giving this classic Tezuka manga some actual North American releases; PRINCESS KNIGHT would sell like cotton candy at the fair and who would pass up a chance to own the original stories behind SPACE GIANTS and KIMBA THE WHITE LION? Not me! In the meantime, I suppose we'll have to be content with 30 year old typewritten summaries.

8 comments:

Chris Sobieniak said...

In the meantime, I suppose we'll have to be content with 30 year old typewritten summaries.

And we should be thankful someone over there cared to do so!

Really, I'm as dumbfounded as most these stories needed far more exposure here, especially Jungle Emperor and Princess Knight, which would seem like likely targets (Viz showed some interest in PN, but only published a chapter in the soon-to-depart Shojo Beat and nothing else). Saddens me at times thinking how long this is going on for and we're still not close!

ferricide said...

do you think they'd really sell? i was always under the impression that Today's Kids Don't Buy Old Shit.

also, the borders here in SF... i don't know what their manga section used to look like, but it was not what i think of as a borders manga section. not so huge! and ghettoized integration (at least IMO, ymmv) with the whitey comics.

Chris Sobieniak said...

ferricide said...
do you think they'd really sell? i was always under the impression that Today's Kids Don't Buy Old Shit.


Go sit in the corner young man!

also, the borders here in SF... i don't know what their manga section used to look like, but it was not what i think of as a borders manga section. not so huge! and ghettoized integration (at least IMO, ymmv) with the whitey comics.

A rather 'colorful' way to put it. I'll have to see if my Borders location still has it as big as I last saw it some months back.

d. merrill said...

do you think they'd really sell? i was always under the impression that Today's Kids Don't Buy Old Shit.

I don't know about "kids", but somebody's buying MW and Pluto and Black Jack.

I think Princess Knight would sell because it's early seminal shojo, and I think Jungle Emperor would sell because of the millions of people who saw "Kimba", and they're both shorter series that you can get in one big chunk or two or three volumes, you're not wedded to buying dozens and dozens of manga volumes for years and years.

I think the Ambassador Magma manga would be a tougher sell, and I think the audience for Jet King is me and people I know.

Anonymous said...

I think that Vertical has expressed some interest in publishing Kimba, but they're a little reluctant to do so because of the stereotypical depiction of Africans. I don't see why they could't just stick a "This is a product of its time and Tezuka wasn't really a racist, etc." disclaimer like Dark Horse has done with some of their Tezuka stuff.

Chris Sobieniak said...

d. merrill said...
I don't know about "kids", but somebody's buying MW and Pluto and Black Jack.

And they should!

I think Princess Knight would sell because it's early seminal shojo, and I think Jungle Emperor would sell because of the millions of people who saw "Kimba", and they're both shorter series that you can get in one big chunk or two or three volumes, you're not wedded to buying dozens and dozens of manga volumes for years and years.

Sad nobody even considered scanilating them either.

I think the Ambassador Magma manga would be a tougher sell, and I think the audience for Jet King is me and people I know.

It would be. It isn't for the norms!

Anonymous said...
I think that Vertical has expressed some interest in publishing Kimba, but they're a little reluctant to do so because of the stereotypical depiction of Africans. I don't see why they could't just stick a "This is a product of its time and Tezuka wasn't really a racist, etc." disclaimer like Dark Horse has done with some of their Tezuka stuff.


You would think that is all they have to do. A shame good work gets soiled because of dated acceptances.

Alec Orrock said...

Well, like ferricide said I don't know how well they would sell. Older titles (either manga or anime) don't seem to have a lot of sales power these days. Did they really every though?

I think a lot of the problem is that we are trying to cram 60+ years of material (at least for manga anyway) into 10~ years of time as far as a US/North American release is concerned. There is just not enough resources to handle it.

There are all kinds of titles I would like to see that I know unfortunately will never be released here. My only real option is to learn Japanese. One of these days....maybe.

Enjoy!!

Chris Sobieniak said...

Alec Orrock said...
Well, like ferricide said I don't know how well they would sell. Older titles (either manga or anime) don't seem to have a lot of sales power these days. Did they really every though?


Thought they did a few years ago.

I think a lot of the problem is that we are trying to cram 60+ years of material (at least for manga anyway) into 10~ years of time as far as a US/North American release is concerned. There is just not enough resources to handle it.

More or less saying, we should've started at least 30-20 years before now, and you couldn't be more right about that (more a case of saying we've been trying to play catch-up to the Japanese for so long, this is the TRUE ANIME WAY for most of us).

There are all kinds of titles I would like to see that I know unfortunately will never be released here. My only real option is to learn Japanese. One of these days....maybe.

Enjoy!!


Rather say GOOD LUCK if you ever.

In some way, being interesting in something that isn't available here has been a passion I had since I was 5! Now look at me, I'm practically wasted my whole life on nothing!