Before I get temporarily tired of the medium and make my way back toward novels.Buronson and Kentaro Miura. Japan. Milwaukie: Dark Horse, 2005. (First Japanese Edition: 1992)Summary
: Japan's economic greed has put it on the path of destruction, and, while visiting Barcelona, a beautiful TV reporter, two Yakuza, and four Japanese students get sent foward in time to see just how bad it has gotten. Europe has become ruled by tyranny, but the yakuza Katsuji, with the newly-appreciative Yuka, form a new nation of Japan.Comments
: The singular mix of hyper-nationalism and hyper-anxiety in this single-volume tankoubon grates. On one hand, Buronson tells you how irrevocably corrupt Japan has become, and yet, on the other, Katsuji walks around asking all the Japanese refugees that he meets, "Don't you have any pride?" And naturally with few exceptions, they don't. Especially the women, who willfully become sex slaves to powerful European men. What a lovely statement about women. What an even more lovely statement about the perceived desirability of Asian women to white men. You also get a Jesus-figure in Azuma, the non-violent Japanese protester. The formation of a new Japan where people can live free and where there will be no races or classes just strikes me as...dumb. Granted, the Japanese like to think that they are all the same, and while this sounds like a proclamation of diversity is to an American, it sounds like a declaration of uniformity to a Japanese. They are also deeply invested in their racial purity, to the point that they'd rather let their country collapse than liberalize immigration and naturalization. Perhaps Buronson is advocating a reimagining of what it means to be a Japanese national, but somehow I'm not convinced. And I'll bet neither were the readers. The best part of the manga was of course Miura's gorgeous, assistant-free artwork, which is nearly as good as what you get in Berserk
. (I was rather surprised by how EXTREMELY loose Yuka's suit was in the beginning, too.) Notes
: paperback, 1st American editionRating
- Vaguely interesting, but you'll either like it or you won't.