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Posts tagged Japanese Manga

Tokyo International Anime Fair

Many posts ago I mentioned that we went to the Tokyo International Anime Fair in 2007, but all of my pictures were lost due to an SD card going bad. For Tokyo International Anime Fair 2010 (東京国際アニメフェア2010) I was more successful as my pictures made it to my computer safely.

The venue was the same place, Tokyo Big Sight (東京ビッグサイト), on Odaiba. The weather was poor, but that didn’t stop tens of thousands from lining up to wait to enter.

Detective Conan (名探偵 コナン and also known as Case Closed in English) is one of Japan’s more famous manga and has been catching on overseas lately too with an English-language translation.

Heroman (ヒーローマン) is a new anime series coming out on Japanese TV in April. They were promoting it by giving away giant bags, big enough to hold all of the other freebies we collected on this day.

After nearly four hours of crowds, anime, manga, and more crowds we headed home. On our way we stopped at Oosaki Station and exited just long enough to eat some ramen. You can see our train through the window in the restaurant.

More photos coming soon…


adolf osamu tezuka japanese manga

Before this time in Japan I read every issue of Mangajin as well as several of the serialized volumes of Kochi Kame. I thought I’d be enjoying manga by now. Unfortunately, after reading a few issues of the most popular weekly manga, Shonen Jump (週刊少年ジャンプ), I realized that most manga do not appeal to me in the least. Outside of Kochi Kame (こちら葛飾区亀有公園前派出所), only about two of the 22 manga in Shonen Jump are even mildly interesting to me.

However, since we live near Osamu Tezuka‘s stomping grounds, the libraries in the area carry some of his works. I recently picked up the first installment of his Adolf series (in Japanese) and had a hard time putting it down. A month later and I have consumed all 5 volumes (or over 1,100 pages).

I don’t think I would have found the Adolf series nearly as interesting in English, but an English translation is available and the reviews are good. Unfortunately, the first issue in English is hard to find at a decent price.

Other sites provide detailed summaries and character descriptions so I won’t go into that here. Even though the contents are fictitious you can learn a bit of history and get a flavor of Japan before, during, and immediately after World War 2. The series isn’t just about history though. The character development is fantastic, the illustrations superb, and the dialog engaging. It is a manga though so there are some jokes and Tezuka does get a bit carried away with “chance meetings.”

In Japanese the books are simply called アドルフに告ぐ (or Tell Adolf) and numbered 1 to 5. The reader doesn’t find out the meaning for the アドルフに告ぐ line until the last few pages of the 5th book. In English the names are:
Adolf: A Tale of the Twentieth Century
Adolf: An Exile in Japan
Adolf: The Half-Aryan
Adolf: Days of Infamy
Adolf: 1945 and All That Remains

ATOM アトム Astro Boy

手塚治虫 tezuka osamu “Atom” opens in Japan today. It opens in the US and much of the rest of the world as “Astro Boy” in a couple weeks. I recently read “手塚治虫”, a book about the creator of Astro Boy, Osamu Tezuka. The book is aimed at Japanese kids which makes it very easy for me to read (unlike some of the Japanese novels I read on the train which require frequent usage of my Japanese dictionary).

Outside of Kochi Kame there are few Japanese Manga that I find very interesting. Astro Boy (鉄腕アトム or “Iron Arm Atom” if translated directly) is intriguing to me now simply because he was “born” at Takadanobaba Station, a place I experience almost daily. The Astro Boy song plays when each train departs and there is much Astro Boy art in the neighborhood.


As previously mentioned I picked up another copy of the Japanese manga Kochikame (こちら葛飾区亀有公園前派出所) on our recent trip to Portland. This one was just as fun to read, if not funner, than the first one I reviewed before.

Either my reading and understanding is getting better or this second was simply easier to understand. I’m guessing it’s the former as I’ve been reading and studying Japanese a lot lately.

Even if your Japanese isn’t great, Kochikame is a great way to improve it (while having a smile on your face) as there is furigana next to all of the kanji as you can see in the example below.

If you’d like to take my two books off my hands they are $5 each plus shipping. Each is almost 200 pages in length.

Powell’s Books

Powell’s Books in Portland is the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. With almost a couple of acres of floorspace piled high with not only new, but used and rare titles too, the selection of over 4 million books is amazing.

My son, pictured above, was in heaven seeing the heaps of Naruto (in English) and other manga so nicely arranged. I picked up some used copies of kochi kame (in Japanese) for only $2.50 each. Once I finish them they can be yours.

If you visit Powell’s be sure to check out the rare book collection on the top floor. There are some amazing titles. Many of the books go for well over $1,000.

What’s Michael?

The first five compilations of “What’s Michael?” by Makoto Kobayashi in pristine condition can be yours for $50 delivered. Postage is extra if your address is outside of the U.S.A.

This version is all in Japanese, unlike the version on amazon that is all in English. “What’s Michael?” is one of the easiest manga to read and understand for those studying Japanese.

Email me if interested.

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