The “kamikaze” tactic, the infamous suicide bombers of imperial Japan, is a well known public fact of WWII. But kamikaze wasn’t the only suicide tactic that Japan opted for in their desperate moments. As their eventual defeat became more and more apparent, Japan basked their hopes on one naval weapon to overturn the tides of war: the Kaiten (“Turn the Heavens“), a manned, suicide torpedo that trades one operator’s life for a whole battleship.
Tokkuo no Shima (Isle of Tokkou) by Sato Shuho is a story of one Kaiten pilot, Watanabe Yuzou, from his time as a troubled enlistee with doubts about the purpose of throwing away his life, to a determined solider, a lifeless instructor that lost his purpose, and finally a man of conviction that came to a realization as to what he is dying for.
“Cancellation” – the dreaded reality that all struggling series has to face when they fail to gather enough fans to keep going. Any avid manga reader that’s been reading around for a while will sooner or later run into a series that captivates their heart, only to find out that it got cut short by the axe hammer. It’s easy to find fans lamenting over the sudden end, and many get glorified for their “lost potential“.
While such conversations usually revolve around Shounen Jump series, there is one series from Shogakukan’s now-defunct seinen magazine, Young Sunday, that gets frequently cited by various mangaka and editors alike as one of the most unfortunate instance of a series getting cut short. It is the ambitious sci-fi astronaut manga by Yamada Yoshihiro from the year 2000: Dokyo Boshi (度胸星).
“I am not a ninja. I’m just an average high school girl” – Shinobu
When you are translating a series, you tend to end up appreciating a series more than usual because you get to pick up a lot more than you do on your first read through. Here is my (uber long) post-translation overview of the adorable ninja girl series.
Tomorrow, we are no longer friends (Ashita wa Tomodachi ja nai) is a collection of individual vignettes with one simple goal: to capture the magical moment right before a couple realizes their mutual affection for each other.
After losing her mother to a tragic accident, 6-year old tomboy, Michiru, finds a suspicious person moving into her precious home: her dad’s giant younger brother Kouji, the “Beard Gorilla”. While awkward at first, it doesn’t take long for the two to develop a familiar bond that looks more like that of two siblings, than that of niece & uncle.