Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Manga Introduction: Gorillaman

Manga Introduction:
   GORILLAMAN   ゴリラーマン

Drinking his favourite drink, 'Calorie Mate'

Hey there,  welcome to another Manga introduction.....
This time around its the manga 'Gorillaman', by Harold Sakuishi, also the author of BECK (which I also talked about before).

This was the very first serialised manga of Sakuishi, started running all the way back in 1988 on the Weekly Young Magazine. It's not particularly famous, but seems to be held in pretty high regard by those who have read it. Well I haven't read any bad thoughts about it....not that their are many reviews out there. Regardless, I think that this manga is quite good, albeit a little strange in the atmosphere that it produces, although that (for me), is what makes it stand out.

The story follows Ikedo Sadaharu, from when he transfers suddenly to Shiratake High School. The reason for this is not explained until later, but it seems that he has done something very bad. Not only that, but he does not talk at all (well..... almost), and has a tough/ugly face like a gorilla. This catches the eye of the head furyou (delinquent) of the school, Fujimoto, who nicknames him Gorillaman.
Japanese Furyou

Not this..
Fujimoto and his gang befriend Gorillaman (well, starts off more as a person to play jokes on), without realizing just how incredible Gorillaman could be. The first few volumes are generally just a simple Gag Manga (Comedy Manga- Gag as in joke, not the one to stop people from talking/screaming...), depicting their humorous school life and squabbles between other delinquent youths.However, slowly the story begins to delve into Gorillaman's past, about why he transferred, and various other questions that arise throughout the manga.

Being a story about furyou/yankii (yankee is also a word for delinquent), obviously their are many scenes of brawls. Gorillaman just happens to be an incredibly formidable fighter, but his friends don't find out till quite later on, as he generally reduces his foes to bloody piles in seconds without being noticed by Fujimoto and co.

"Whatchoo say punk!!??"
Actually its more like "...........*smack*" for Gorillaman 
I don't know how to describe my experience of reading 'Gorillaman', but as strange, but very entertaining and pleasant. It's strange as it seems to be a typical delinquent youth manga, and well it is, as the story mainly has characters having fights, thinking about girls, and getting up to no good. But at the same time there's a weird uniqueness to it, possibly due to the fact Gorillaman does not say a word (...almost) throughout the series, which makes his past that much more mysterious, and attract my curiosity more. It's off beat style of humour also struck my chords well, and the characters, especially Gorillaman are generally quite likable.

In my opinion, the manga 'Gorillaman' is quite a hidden gem.  It's definitely not well known in the West, and maybe may not be appealing to the general Westerners tastes. Even so, I would still very much like more people to have a read of this very special manga if you are able to find an English translation, or can read (and understand) Japanese.

Omake おまけ (Bonus)

I couldn't find any scantalations out on the net, so I've done...................a whopping 3 pages!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
........haha, sorry but I couldn't be bothered doing anymore, but maybe in the future I'll do some other scenes that I liked. These are the very first 3 pages of 'Gorillaman'.


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