Monday, April 20, 2009

I actually kinda disagree with him but I can't resist using this tag

A translation of one of Kentaro "Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga" Takekuma's lectures, an aesthetic criticism of Nausicaa.

I gotta agree with the general drift of the comments, that Takekuma seems to be just noting that the work deviates from accepted manga conventions, as opposed to whether or not breaking those rules was a good idea or not, but a good read anyway.


  1. I do think that there's some validity in terms of the panel-to-panel flow, at least in Nausicaa's earlier outings. The panels by themselves are fine, but the page composition can be a bit stilted when Miyazaki is just starting out.

    Also, my memory is probably way off, but I recall that this changes around volume four or so -- isn't that when some of the longest breaks in the serialization took place?

    And speaking of reprints for Viz's Signature line...

  2. Does this really need a new edition already? The unflopped sepiatone version came out... huh, in 2004. Pretty sure it's still in print, or at least available, and it's at a larger trim size than Monster and Pluto anyway.

    I've been meaning to reread this, actually; only done so the once, in Derek's copies of the original Viz. I'll keep Takekuma's comments in mind whenever I get to it...

  3. I meant Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga. That sucker needs a new lease on life here in North America.

  4. Oh. Well in that case yes, indubitably.

    Do you know, the Smithsonian gift shop has several copies in their manga section? Or at least did last time I went, which was actually about a year back.

  5. Unless I'm reading your comment wrong, I'm beginning to think that I probably should have worded some sentences more strongly... the way I read it, the main criticism Takekuma makes is that the earlier volumes deviate from normal manga in ways that're detrimental to the reception of a work of story manga, which it is implied Nausicaa is.

    Great tag, by the way. I really ought to work on his Otomo lecture, but I've gotten myself addicted to mahjong :(

  6. I really ought to work on his Otomo lecture...That would be AWESOME.

  7. Ko, it's not that you didn't render it emphatically enough, it's more me not necessarily buying into Takekuma's premises. Like, he just baldly states that Nausicaa is a character-driven manga, therefore the backgrounds being given seemingly as much priority as the characters is a flaw. Whereas my (admittedly several-years-old) recollection of Nausicaa is of a story where the world itself is basically a supporting character, so I don't see anything necessarily wrong with its visual prominence. Perhaps I just like books that are hard to read.

    You did say right at the outset that this was just a handout, so obviously it loses something outside the context of the man himself-- but I did enjoy reading it regardless.