Comic Charge, Issue 1

The first issue of Kadokawa's new biweekly manga magazine Comic Charge (so called because it allegedly "recharges working men") is out, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much of it I enjoyed.

The series that intrigued me the most was KIYOHARA Natsuno's mangafication of TSUTSUI Yasutaka's 70s novel about a telepathic maid, Eight views of a family (家族八景). Kiyohara's execution is like TAKEHISA Yumeji meets UCHIDA Shungiku, and I dig it.

Then you have the stuff like SHIBUYA Chokkaku and ISHIKAWA Katsuya's Heppoko (roughly translatable as "Fartles"), about a bare-assed, high jink-prone "space potato" who befriends a high school girl and her family. (Incidentally, Japan : potato :: anglosphere : baked beans.)

What? No, I don't see any need to consider the psychosexual implications of a comic about a barbarous, naked alien that farts in the face of a young woman identified as a member of a group which has been romanticized and sexualized in every available medium for decades but with whom intimate relations are in reality forbidden to the magazine's target readership by social and ethical norms. Let's move along.

If you like your fantasy comics a little higher of brow, I can strongly recommend SHIRIAGARI Kotobuki's Jōmon CEO, the title of which reveals its only joke, but which made me laugh anyway.

Special "I forgot to scan a panel" award goes to SADAMOTO Yoshiyuki and TAKA Hamako's Archaic Smile, which is drawn in a low-key but appealing hand and has one of those left-field yet satisfying premises that manga specialize in. I won't give it away, but sculpture is involved.

(The ratio of non-fantasy to fantasy was actually much higher than this post might suggest, but I figured that scans of a farting potato would bring more joy to the world than scans of a semi-realistic surgeon standing in a hospital corridor.)

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Holy Crap. I'm dying. Ass potato!

Wow, do I miss Japan.


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