#710 Naoki Urasawa’s “Pluto”

Pluto

You’re probably aware of the Osamu Tezuka character Astro Boy (called Tetsuwon Atom in Japan). Starting in 2003, Naoki Urasawa (the creator of Monster) began his own take on a particular Astro Boy story in his series Pluto, as a murder mystery of sorts. The story includes plenty of robots, but is more concerned with portraying emotion and making a statement about war than any Asimovian rules about robot behavior. Does that approach doom the project? Kumar and Jordan review.

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#709 “Air Gear”

Air Gear
Shonen manga are known for putting their protagonists in systems that they must work their way up through in a series of competitions. In Air Gear, by Ito Ougure under the name Oh! Great, the competitions are races on gravity-defying inline skates. While this manga also includes some aspects that could be judged age-inappropriate, there is fun to be had here, too. DCP Patreon supporter Coleton joins Tim to discuss this manga, focusing on the first three volumes.

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#706 “Ping Pong”

Ping PongProlific manga creator Taiyo Matsumoto’s Ping Pong is, nominally, a sports manga, but it doesn’t stick to the tropes. It presents table tennis matches that take place in a small town, not at a major tournament in Tokyo; often it doesn’t even show the end of a match! In some ways it functions as a parody of the genre. Kumar and Dana discuss this fun and unpredictable manga.

#693 Manga’s Scary Cats!

There’s a history of horror manga featuring cats, especially humans with cat features. What are some of the prominent titles in this genre? Where does this come from? Patrick has been studying this association and is here to tell us about some of the prominent titles, including Shigeru Mizuki’s Mysterious Neko Musume (featuring a character later modified for Mizuki’s Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro) and Kazuo Umezu’s Cat Face, The Girl with Cat Eyes, and Cat-Eyed Boy.

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LOEE: Fullmetal Alchemist ch. 4

The Law of Equivalent Exchange: Tim and Patrick discuss Fullmetal Alchemist chapter 4, which features both scary violence and violence for laughs. Why is Ed sleeping at his desk on the splash page? Plus, volume 1 back matter explained!

Critiquing Comics #184: “R.U.N.” volume 2

Way back in 2014, Tim and Mulele discussed the first volume of R.u.N. (Remember Ur Nature), a comic in shonen manga style about the sport of parkour. Now, at last, volume two is available, and Tim is joined by a new voice, Ryan Carey of SOLRAD, to discuss the book (by Kariofillis Chris Hatzopoulos, Rafail Voutsidis, Luis Figueiredo, Roberto Fernandes De Oliveira, and Vasilis Fotsinos). The comic is a spot-on imitation of shonen manga made in Japan — but is it good?

The Law of Equivalent Exchange: “Fullmetal Alchemist” chapter 3

Fullmetal Alchemist ch3

Tim and Patrick discuss the third chapter of Fullmetal Alchemist, “The Mining Town.” Why are alchemists hated as “the dogs of the military”?

#678 Rumiko Takahashi’s first comedy, “Urusei Yatsura”

Urusei Yatsura

We’ve talked about several of Rumiko Takahashi’s manga series over the years, but this time we go back to the beginning with her first big hit, Urusei Yatsura, sometimes known in English as Lum. Tim and Kumar discuss the history of the strip, the gags you wouldn’t get without knowing Japanese, and what’s odd about it for being ostensibly a kids’ comic.

#677 “The Drifting Classroom”

Kazuo Umezu’s horror manga series The Drifting Classroom is a taboo-busting series: it was aimed at kids and employs kid logic and exaggeration to a story depicting outrageous violence being done to and by kids. Even if you’re into horror, that description may have you asking: “Is this for me?” In this episode, Kumar and Ryan try to answer that question.

Umezu in red and white. (Source: https://www.jprime.jp/articles/-/18187)