Furuya's cacography

FURUYA Usamaru (古屋兎丸)'s mid-00s series π (Pai) is one of those problem comics: it's so inventive and accomplished you want to spread the word, but whenever you try to do so you sound like a creep. "Yeah, it's about a boy who objectifies the female body to a mystical extent. The whole thing is a riff on the pun between π-the-constant and pai-the-morpheme-that-means-'breast'. You'll love it, Sister!" (Aoi hana poses similar problems.)

Here is part of a panel from π:

I will not explain why our hero, Yumeto, is hallucinating an encounter with a badly-drawn version of a classmate, or why her speech is unintelligible. It is that unintelligibility that I admire.

In fact, though, what she's saying isn't completely unintelligible. The first three characters look a lot like お早う, "Good morning!" Over on the right, she has to be saying something like oboetete kureta no ne ("You remembered! I'm so glad!"): you can see a deformed ボ (bo), a katakana ヱ (e), a flipped and mangled 嬉 (ure[shii]).

I don't know exactly what she's saying. Maybe no-one this side of the page does. But when he laboriously assembled this collection of East Asian typographic elements, Furuya knew exactly what it said. I call that art.

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Could they be ギャル文字? (asked by someone distant in both years and gender from native writers)


That might've been an inspiration, but the key to gyaru moji is that they are made of existing characters. Most of these characters are made of PARTS of existing characters, and would have had to have been created as graphic elements.

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