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08 February 2009 @ 17:48
 
I've been reading "Arakawa Under The Bridge" (荒川アンダーザブリッジ) by Nakamura Hikaru (中村光) published by Young Gangan Comics ('Young', in this case, means for older readers). I bought it on Saturday afternoon and am already halfway through it.

I'd been looking for something to read in Animate and headed for the Square Enix/G Fantasy section, which is the area that consistently has the type of manga I like. Those manga are aimed at a mixed audience, so you tend to get a pleasing blend of action and character development. I don't know why comics aimed at boys/men and girls/women veer off in either direction, but that's the way it seems to work out. A manga called "Sengoku Strays" caught my eye, but then I read the back. A high-school girl gets transported to the Sengoku era... Seriously, Japan? AGAIN?

So I bought "Arakawa Under The Bridge" because a later volume had a picture of a man in a business suit with no trousers on the cover. It made me laugh long enough to be curious enough to buy it.

Ichinomiya Kou (later renamed 'Recruit') has a saying imposed on him by his eccentric and wealthy father -- never owe a stranger. He's so serious about this, he has it written on his tie. So when he meets Nino while trying to retrieve his trousers from a bridge and she saves his life, he's willing to do whatever she says.

She tells him she's an alien from Venus and she wants him to live with her and be her lover... which he agrees to do because of his philosophy. First, he needs to be officially welcomed by the village chief, who is a man in a kappa suit.

I have no idea have to describe the atmosphere of this manga. Nothing ever happens that truly break the laws of reality. The most out-there gags take place in dreams and everything is just within the realms of possibility. It exists in a twilight zone between the two and, although it is a gag manga with some laughs, the threat of living a normal life in corporate Japan runs underneath it. I suppose you could say that it celebrates the value of nonsense?

Anyway, I recommend it.




Currently assigning stories for Weiss Day. D:




Links:

This graph from GraphJam is pretty accurate.

J-Pop World ran an interview with Psydoll the other day. Watch out for sound on that page, btw.
 
 
 
windavatarkaze_no_ko on 8th February 2009 17:33 (UTC)
I've been meaning to read Arakawa Under The Bridge ever since I fell in love with Nakamura's Saint Onii-san. This woman has one of the awesome-est humor ever. :D
Williamgenkischuldich on 9th February 2009 13:38 (UTC)
I didn't realise the mangaka was a woman... I just saw the name 'Hikaru' and assumed.

What I really love about the manga is the atmosphere, and I definitely recommend it.
Starrie: buttseckscrabsushi on 8th February 2009 18:38 (UTC)
Currently assigning stories for Weiss Day. D:

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Williamgenkischuldich on 9th February 2009 13:38 (UTC)
Yeah... it's tough!
Jesshideincarnate on 9th February 2009 10:22 (UTC)
That manga sounds hilarious. XD
Williamgenkischuldich on 9th February 2009 13:40 (UTC)
It also has a really good heart, I think. If you feel like trying it out, please do. :)