by Ed Sizemore
My Taniguchi sense wasn’t wrong. The mighty Manga Moveable Feast marches forth. People are diligently working on pieces and here is the proof.
Craig Fischer has written a must-read piece on the opening story of The Walking Man, “A Blanket of Cherry Blossom”. His essay is meditative and thoughtful with a real idea for details. This is a wonderful way to start your day. He says:
Taniguchi’s art is the antithesis of expressionism: he represents the world with as much objectivity as he can, and the results are both breathtaking (in its cascade of details) and a little abstract, a little detached, not unlike the Walking Man himself. When Taniguchi draws the branches of a cherry tree, it’s a triumph of accretive detail, a network of overlapping forms rather than an emotional celebration of plant life.
If that doesn’t whet your appetite for more, you may need to check your pulse.
Sean Gaffney wrote a delightful review of Kodoku no Gourmet. Man, I really wish I could write like this.
Taniguchi’s works in general, and this one in particular, are not something that you simply read with your eyes — you need to use all five senses to give the best impression, or else it will become dull.
Last and never least, Ash Brown reviews A Zoo in Winter. This is the first book-length work of Taniguchi’s that he’s gotten to read. Can’t tell you how happy I am to see Taniguchi make a new fan. For us gnarled veterans of manga, it’s nice to remember the joys of discovering a new creator.
A Zoo in Winter is a quiet story. Some people may even find it boring, but I think its realism is what makes it work so well. While there may not be thrilling action sequences, there is still plenty of interpersonal drama as Hamaguchi finds his place in the world. His relationships with other people and his own self-discovery provide much of the driving force behind the story.
Thanks to all three for such well-crafted writing. Hopefully, reading these will inspire others to read some Taniguchi and maybe contribute to the MMF. It’s Thursday, so keep thinking Taniguchi thoughts.