Jul 13, 2011

Japanese Manga Classics (1): Moto Hagio "The Silver Triangle"

I'd like to write about Japanese managa.

I think that people, who like manga, know much more about modern manga much better than me even if they are living overseas, so there are only few things about manga to be introduced by me. But since I've read manga for more than thirty years, I could introduce some manga classics.

I'll write about three of my favorite manga authors, Moto Hagio, Katsuhiro Otomo and Taiyo Matsumoto. Katsuhiro Otomo is well known overseas by his work "Akira", but do you know Moto Hagio and Taiyo Matsumoto? They are the most important manga authors in manga history.

Manga consists of several elements, such as graphics, stories, words, characters, onomatopoeia, gags and so on. There are outstanding works of manga with poor graphics, but I like the wonderful graphics of manga. These three draw beautiful and unique graphics (of course the stories and characters of their works are also amazing), and they deeply influenced and changed the graphics of managa.

Today I'd like to introduce Moto Hagio.

Moto Hagio is an author of girls' comics, "少女マンガ (Shojo Manga)" and belongs to "the Fabulous 24ers" (花の24年組), who are authors of girls' comics born in the year Showa twenty four, 1949, and created the foundation of the modern girls comics in the 1970s. The most famous authors from "the Fabulous 24ers" are Keiko Takemiya, Yumiko Oshima, Ryoko Yamagishi and so on.

Moto Hagio has created a wide varieties of works. She became a popular author due to her work "Poe no Ichizoku (The Poe Family)" whose story is about a boy vampire with eternal life living in Europe in the eighteenth century through to twentieth century. But I love her science fiction manga. She likes classics of SF, such as Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein, and she has adapted Ray Bradbury's short story "R is for Rocket" into manga format.

My most favorite work of hers is "The Silver Triangle (銀の三角)". At first this manga was published in a magazine specialized for SF fans, "SF Magazine", so it is a marvelous girls' comic and a real SF work at the same time. Its graphics are wonderful as usual and its story is complicated and interesting.

Some of her works were translated into English, but I'm really shocked at the fact that "The Silver Triangle" and "The Poe Family" haven't been translated yet. Some Manga, such as Taiyo Matsumoto's work, can be enjoyed without understanding Japanese. If you can understand Japanese it's worth reading "The Silver Triangle", but as I wrote, since its story is complicated, it's difficult to understand without understanding Japanese. I hope that they'll be translated into English well. The Japan Foundation should do that as soon as possible!

Her graphics in "the Silver Triangle"

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