Projects

Monday, June 7, 2021

Plans

Let's recap the events of this here tale. Once upon a time there was a village idiot, he set out on a quest and along the way he met a talking pig, a (panty) thief, a wizard, and recently, a dark lord and a language master. Now I need to clarify, this was no ordinary idiot, he was a colossal idiot, the kind of idiot that made other idiots look... uh... not... idiots. Anywho, one day, he decided to take a break from his fight against the dragon and enjoy a ceasefire...

Saltiness ch. 35



Psshh... that movie scene sounds soooo unrealistic. This guy ain't got it in 'im, he'll never write and direct movies.

Unlucky Young Men ch. 8


Sunday, May 30, 2021

Unplanned Skip Week

Last week wasn't planned. Real life can be a bitch sometimes. Everyone's busy but who knows, we might end up increasing our output over the summer. Anyway, Saltiness will be back, hopefully next week. Sorry, but real life takes priority over scanlation.


We bundled the 8th and 9th chapters together because the 8th is... very smol.

Kiriko Nananan - Water ch. 8 and 9




Communism, huh? Well, I'm glad we don't have to deal with that shit anymore. Sorry China, Cuba and Vietnam. You must suffer so that we can be freeeeeeee. 

Two chapters to make up for the skip week.

Unlucky Young Men ch. 6

Unlucky Young Men ch. 7


Sunday, May 16, 2021

Japanese Summer

Just Unlucky Young Men this week. Everyone else was busy. Sure would be nice to have an extra typesetter right about now... Oh well. Saltiness is a redrawing nightmare so you'll have to wait an extra week for ch. 35.

Last week's special guest appearance really took me by surprise. Anyway, Yukio Mishima is awesome. There's this movie called Mishima A Life in Four Chapters and it's fantastic, but you should read some of his stuff first. The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea or Temple of The Golden Pavilion are good starting places but his masterpiece is his tetralogy. He was a really fascinating man.

Unlucky Young Men ch. 5


Sunday, May 9, 2021

Too Much Spring

Back in business, cool intro by a character based on a super cool person. And speaking of cool, these chapter covers... so coool

Unlucky Young Men ch. 4



These are such "magazine oneshots", like, they're good but they're fairly simple and a bit ambiguous. Take for example the previous chapter, you're never told if you should pity her or think she's getting what she deserves. They mostly represent the troubles of youth - love fast, love hard... crash hard and fast...

As a collection, reading a lot in a row is probably not "the best way to experience them", they're like a bonus that comes with those serializations you follow. Not that you should devour a collection of short stories in one sitting anyway. But yeah, they work well as a bonus to our usual releases.

Kiriko Nananan - Water ch. 7



First day at work for the gruesome twosome. Yep, they're wagies now. You asking yourself "hmm, I wonder how long that's gonna last?" ? Well, let's read this volume and find out. Also, disclaimer, do not read this chapter while children are present, you have been warned, that last panel on the last page is pure nightmare fuel it's JESUS CHRIST HOW HORRYFYING



Monday, May 3, 2021

Mixtape

Best Friends Forever. And we've reached the end of the third volume, one more to go(11 chapters). Yasui means cheap by the way. 

Looming darkness.

Saltiness ch. 33

And of course

Saltiness Vol. 3


And now the last Akane Torikai oneshot featured in this collection. I enjoyed all four and I really wish there were more, like, six would've been such a perfect length for a collection. I think I liked the first one best but all four were very good.

I liked how different they were, they talked about different subjects and they had different themes and everything. In a way, it was a pretty chaotic collection because of that so we tried showcasing this with the different fonts we used for the title pages. The first one is handwritten because it's a personal story and because handwritten style fonts are pretty and that's the whole point of the story that I hope I did justice with the translation because even the dialect is supposed to show this, things are pretty on the outside, but they're cloudy on the inside. It's also shaky, because it matches the story, it's about depression and how shaky you can be on the inside. And it's the same for the others, Runaway is about teens so it looks cool, Swan Park has an elegant and slender swan like appearance and the underline serves like a "cut" if you will, and the fourth one is "thorny" because the story is about time and the passage of time. I really like the design of the book but there's some blandness in the plain white pages and in the plain white pages with generic font, and yes I know that for official releases you have limitations in fonts because you have to pay for them and shit but.. iunno, I like how the different fonts for the title chapters looks in our release.

Hopefully we get some Akane Torikai in english, and hopefully it's not this or "Sensei" since these are already available in english through scanlation. She's got a lot of interesting stuff, there's another collection of short stories that I really wanna read, there's Ohayo Okaeri, There's Jigoku no Girlfriend, there's Household of Women, and there's also Saturn Return which looks super cool but scanlation on it seems to have stalled... I really would like to read it. Oh and there's that other two volume one I talked about that's being released in France right now, I'll get to it eventually for sure if nobody else does.

I know there's not much of a market for josei in the english manga scene but... ya never know. The stories weren't particularly "josei" except for maybe the third one, ya know? Ya know.

You've gotta love song ch. 4

There were two extra pages at the end with sketches from Runaway, I've included them in this here batch

You've Gotta Love Song (complete)

I guess I'll end it with a mixtape where I assign a song for each story, seems appropriate considering the title and the fact that Akane used a different song for inspiration on each of these, so here we go, I tried not to be too on the nose with them, the stories just made these songs pop into my head, it's just feeling

What if I try to live

Runaway

The Swan Park

You've gotta love song

And okay, okay, maybe the last one is a bit obvious but screw you, The Cure kicks ass! Well, maybe I was a bit rude there so I apologize and I'm gonna take that "screw you" back but Disintegration is the greatest album ever

Anyway, Ingenue is actually the first song that popped into my head when I read the story buuuuutttt, y'know... maybe it's a bit of a "cheap" choice in a way, still, I vastly prefer this version to the original. So... yeah, had to share. It's fun assigning songs to stories.


Sunday, April 25, 2021

Escapo

Everyone's busy and stuff this week but we got Saltiness. All hail Alti.


Delightful chapter. I love the ending.

Saruchinesu ch. 32



See ya next week! 

Monday, April 19, 2021

The Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade of Blue

So after our usual release on sunday, here we are on monday with a little something extra. As always, you can just scroll down for the link but this is a very very small thing and I'm gonna attempt to explain it and contextualize it.


Drawn & Quarterly put out a collection of stories by Kuniko Tsurita in a book called The Sky is Blue With A Single Cloud in july, last year.

Who is Kuniko Tsurita? she was the first woman to be published in the legendary alternative manga magazine Garo. As manga historian Ryan Holmberg put it, she is most likely the first female cartoonist in the world that did "not girly" comics. Now, don't misunderstand, there were plenty of women that were doing comics or manga before her but they all did little comedy manga and jus plain girly things, she was the first woman to do comics/manga about women, about men, about the student revolts that were happening in Japan at the time(and of which she was sympathetic towards), about her personal life, about so many things, and she did them unshackled and without being caged by the gender based genre conventions and stylistics structures that still exist today.

While the early to mid 70s saw the rise of shojo manga brought on by the likes of Moto Hagio, Ryoko Ikeda or Keiko Takemiya, women that revolutionized a demographic and changed the landscape of manga by brining in european literature influences, Kuniko Tsurita was doing that in the mid 60s and while I do enjoy 70s shojo and I am a big fan of Moto Hagio, their works still had a very feminine atmosphere in terms of writing and art(particularly the layouts). Not exactly a bad thing though, I believe that in life you need balance, you need feminine and masculine voices in fiction and the best writers are able to channel both femininity and masculinity in their works.

Still, while those women took a demographic and evolved it, Tsurita was breaking down any and all gender based barriers... or at least fighting against them. See, in the 60s, a woman writing about philosophical dilemmas, students revolts, and other more high brow subjects was... not met with an open mind, one of her editors calling her a "big headed girl" because a bookish girl that would read Dostoyevsky and Sartre and would be fascinated by French New Wave cinema like Bergman was seen as "weird" and not in a "quirky" but in a "shut up and go to the kitchen and fix me a sandwich, you weird woman" kinda way. See, despite the fact that Kuniko Tsurita was a trailblazer, she is to this day an obscure mangaka even in Japan and while we talk about feminism today and people like to bastardize feminism and turn it into a joke which only antagonizes the idiots that aren't open minded, thing is... she actually had to face sexism in her time and it actually kept her down. She still succeeded in her own little way though, back in 1970, Garo actually gave her a special issue dedicated to her, that's super impressive and there's no doubt that she paved the way for the likes of Akino Kondoh or Kiriko Nananan to be published in Garo and also Nekojiru, who became a sensation before committing suicide, but also for the likes of Arakawa with Fullmetal Alchemist or Q. Hayashida with Dorohedoro or that woman that made the record breaking Demon Slayer manga that also had an anime film that shattered all previous box office records, these women made very successful boys manga which, in Kuniko's time, was probably not something they would've been allowed to do. 

Also, not sure if this is sad or actually kind of inspiring but...






See, as sad as it is to hear about the fact that she is obscure in Japan, the fact that there's a market for her in English is both a joy to hear but it also means that this market for alternative manga in english can grow. Holmberg is very happy with how well it sold and he said it opened up doors to publish other more obscure names in english so... I'm, like, praying we get a nice big oversized collection of Akino Kondoh stories that would collect 20 or so of her early stories, everything in Hakoniwa Mushi included... or at least just an english edition of Hakoniwa Mushi. I think it's a crime that we don't have much of her stuff in english... she's been living in New York for over 10 years now and she's even fluent in english so publishers wouldn't even have to pay a translator. But I'm getting sidetracked here...

Back to Kuniko Tsurita, the thing that I should mention is that she was diagnosed with lupus and after several years of battling the illness, she died in 1987, at only 37 years old. The Sky is Blue collects 18 of her stories, they are nicely selected and put in chronological order, I didn't find any of them to be bad, some were okay, others were quite good and some were actually really great, they range from humorous feminine stories to cinematic murder stories to philosophical and artsy pieces. At the end, there's a wonderful 30-35 page essay by Ryan Holmberg that truly just... needs to be read. There's so much research put into it and it's just a wonderful journey into her life and struggles and by the end of it... if you don't at least get a bit teary eyes... you are not human. For a secondary market like us, these essays that we sometimes get are gems and we need to show our appreciation for them.
My personal favorite stories in it were: Occupants, Yuko's Diary, The Sky is Blue With A Single Cloud and Max. Though there are others like Arctic Cold or Nonsense that were just so so good.


So basically, this is my plea, I want the people that are interested in gekiga and alternative manga to go out and buy The Sky Is Blue With a Single Cloud. If you want more manga like this, then you have to, you just have to. And the essay at the end is a must read. And maybe if you read it and like it a lot, maybe... you can tweet at Ryan Holmber(@mangaberg) and tell him you'd love a second collection of Kuniko Tsurita stories, I think another one would be enough to collect her entire body of work. There are a few other stories of her scanned but I'd rather we get them in a nice collection, some of them sound really interesting.
Now what we have here is a little oneshot, it's only three pages and it's not actually done by Kuniko Tsurita, it's by Susumu Katsumata, it appears in the Garo special from 1970 and it's about her. A film crew are searching for her and they hear all kinds of different rumors about them, some true, some just rumors and if you wanna find out which are true and which aren't... read that essay I was talking about. It also features some cameo appearances from well known people such as Yoshiharu Tsuge or Kishin Shinoyama.

Big thanks to elemhunter for scanning this, Gyoshi for his patience in translating what turned out to be a bit of a headache despite being only 3 pages long and to pip3 for the edits. It's not something that would've ever been collected in a future Susumu Katsumata release and it's not done by Kuniko Tsurita herself so... it would've been lost to time without the help of these wonderful people.


But before I drop the link to the oneshot, I will leave you with the intro to The Sky is Blue, written by Kuniko's widower. I think it does an amazing job setting up the contents of the book




The Woman of Rumors (Susumu Katsumata)