by Ed Sizemore
Sadly, this is our final update for the Taniguchi Manga Moveable Feast. The weekend yielded a bumper crop of reviews.
Beginning her own mountaineer training, Linda gives us a third review for the MMF. This time it’s The Quest for the Missing Girl. To avoid spoilers, Linda kept this one brief.
Taniguchi is a great storyteller, and I would recommend his works to any adult readers who would want to read a great story. Since The Walking Man, I found this to be one of my favorite books from Jiro Taniguchi.
Thanks, Linda, for all your effort. Ash better watch himself, or he’s going to find you got to the top of the mountain first.
Lori Henderson also tackles the mystery featuring a mountaineer, unpacking the story’s genre.
The Quest for the Missing Girl isn’t strictly a mystery. It’s a character study wrapped in a mystery. Megumi’s disappearance is just an excuse to get Shiga off his mountain and involved again with her and her mother Yoriko, the widow of his best friend, Tatsuko. Tatsuko died while climbing Mt Daulaghiri, so Shiga feels some survivor’s guilt since he had turned down Tatsuko’s offer to join him on the climb. And that is really what is at the heart of this story. As Shiga searches for Megumi, he is also dealing with memories and feelings that he had pushed aside.
Jason Yadao classes up the joint with his insightful review of The Walking Man.
The reason why this book appears at first glance to be about nothing from a storytelling standpoint is because “nothing” is exactly what Taniguchi wanted us to embrace. The man clearly has an identity and a job that keeps him busy, but that doesn’t matter; we’re always seeing him unplugged from that, walking somewhere, enjoying whatever life happens to present to him on a particular day.
Phillip at Eeeper’s Choice discovered, like the rest of us, one review just isn’t enough when it comes to Taniguchi, offering us a second review, this time of The Ice Wanderer and Other Stories. It’s a wonderful read, so be sure to check it out.
As always, Taniguchi’s lines are precise, delicate and detailed. There is a timelessness that I think generations will be able to appreciate for years to come. Whether it’s mountains, bears, boats, holy men, or whales, all these things are to be found.
Justin of Organization Anti Social Geniuses (Why do I feel like Lex Luther and Dr. Doom are their role models?) gives us this surprisingly civil review of Kodoku no Gourmet.
…Yakinuku shows it’s not just what you eat — it’s where you eat it that also adds to the experience. If anyone watches the Food Network and sees Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and sees the great food being made, you’ll also see the personality (albeit briefly) of the people who go and see how much of a good time they’re having.
In the comments, Justin seems to have convinced someone to try JManga. So that’s your evil plan!
Manga Connection finds common ground with the protagonist of A Zoo in Winter in her review.
Taken a whole, this is a nice coming of age story. I was a bit bored initially, but things picked up during the “Big Brother” arc as I realized just how Hamaguchi was being forced to buck up and finding a driving force within himself.
Johanna got caught in the review fever, too, and wrote her thoughts on The Summit of the Gods Volume 2.
I was engrossed in Habu’s experience — the exaggerated natural conditions, his thoughts while trying to survive, the amazingly detailed portraits of the environment, his aggression against the weather when he’s the interloper, why he’s so competitive with someone he has so much in common with. In the previous book, he was a monster figure, larger than life. Here, we finally get to know him and more about what drives him.
I told you it was a lot. And that’s not all!
Because we here at Taniguchi MMF want to leave the customer satisfied, we interviewed Stephen Robson, co-owner of Fanfare/Ponent Mon.
I was immediately bowled over by the beauty, clarity, and detail of Taniguchi’s art and was soon even more impressed by the depth and wisdom of his writing (albeit I was reading in French). I couldn’t wait to bring his work to the English-speaking public.
Go read the rest and then help Stephen publish more Taniguchi by buying some books.
Finally, a little video dessert to finish off your meal. Julia at Retconned Fangirl pointed out this video of a Taniguchi exhibit that was part of an Italian comics convention. Hey, Otakon, how about bringing that exhibit over here to the US?
Here is a French video interview with Taniguchi. It’s brief, but we get to see his studio and his assistants. That’s a rare treat.
I’ve certainly enjoyed myself as co-host of the Taniguchi MMF, and I hope everyone’s enjoyed the reviews. A very sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the contributors. If you haven’t read any Taniguchi, I hope we’ve inspired you to pick up a title or two. Trust me, you won’t be sorry.
The Manga Moveable Feast will be taking an Easter break in April. But we’ll be back with renewed vigor in May for the Oishinbo and Food Manga MMF to be hosted by Khursten Santos at Otaku Champloo. You don’t want to miss out on this MMF. There are a lot of foodies in the manga community, so this promises to be an exciting MMF.