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Akio Jissōji's 'The Buddhist Trilogy'

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Almost totally unseen outside Japan, these three art projects by a director best known for his 'Ultraman' work are anything but easy viewing, but also seething with vision and ambition

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Tomihiko Morimi's 'The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl': How One Thing Leads To Another

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This newly translated novel, the basis for Masaaki Yuasa's madcap movie, is just as wild as its successor, with the advantage of slightly more insight into its female protagonist

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'Tomie': The Infinite Bad Penny

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Like all great horror, Junji Ito's now-classic series about an undying supernatural siren has something to say other than "boo!"

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'Princess Jellyfish': Girls, Be Ambitious!

A sly treatise on gender roles and presentation, wrapped in a screwball romantic farce and delivered with great affection

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There's not a body alive that doesn't burn with the need to be part of something. More often than not, that something is need to partake of the presence of another human being, one who will accept them as they are and not as they "should" be. We all want to be loved, and without having to go through the emotional equivalent of filling out a grant application to get it. Nobody wants a heart, or a life, with strings attached.

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Katsuhiro Ōtomo's 'Domu': A Child's Book Of Nightmares

A shame that any of Katsuhiro Ōtomo's work should still be out of print, especially this precusor to 'AKIRA' that pits psionic warriors against each other in a high-rise apartment complex

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Some artists make their name from one great thing, while others make it from many good things. Katsuhiro Ōtomo is normally lumped into the first class (ahem, AKIRA) but he really belongs in the second, if only because so much of his other work isn't as widely known now. Domu was, and still is, one of those works, and the one I elected to revisit now that Ōtomo is back in the news. Released from 1980 through 1983, before AKIRA itself, it's evidence to the argument that while Ōtomo may have produced relatively little compared to some other creators, he was no one-trick pony. Any reissue program of his work that began with AKIRA needs to be followed up with Domu at some point.

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'No-No Boy': John Okada's First, Last, And Only

The first major piece of fiction by an Asian-American originally vanished from sight, and seemed all but gone after the death of its author, but found new life in reissues across the decades

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An earlier version of this review was published at Genji Press in 2006.

This is the first, last and only novel you will ever find by John Okada, and that fact makes me seethe with sadness. There was another John Okada book, almost finished when he died of heart failure in 1971 at the far-too-young age of forty-seven, but his wife could find no one to take an interest in it, and when she moved from Seattle she burned that second manuscript along with all of Okada’s other personal effects. Those who encountered No-No Boy decades after its original publication—it was picked up by none other than Charles Tuttle, and promptly sank from sight after one printing—took an interest in its unknown author, and when they found that one book was all that was to be found, better than one book than nothing. This holds as true even more so today as it did then, as does everything about No-No Boy itself.

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