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House of 1000 Manga - Usamaru Furuya




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mgosdin



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 516
Location: Kissimmee, Florida, USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:16 pm Reply with quote
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I don't know if news of this ever got back to Furuya, but if not, it's a strange coincidence that Furuya's message to American readers in the English edition was: "I've heard that 80% of America is made up of anthropocentric and passionate Christians who deny the theory of evolution. Could this be a misconception on my part?" In other words, Furuya's not afraid of controversy, unlike some other manga artists like, say, Hikaru Nakamura, who didn't allow Saint Young Men to be licensed in English out of fear of offending American Christians.


No, the percentage is nowhere near that high - at least in Oklahoma where I was born / raised or Florida where I currently live - now passionate Christians you will find in large numbers unlike Japan where Christians of any kind are a vanishingly small minority.

However, you are far more likely to have Americans look at you funny for using "anthropocentric" i.e. "human centered". It's not a word that you get in most regular conversations.

Saint Young Men would certainly offend some Americans, Christian and non-Christian, but on the whole I think it might do better and be less controversial here than Nakamura supposes.

Furuya's work has been on my "to read" list for a while now. I think this article will get it put higher on the list.

Mark Gosdin
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v1cious



Joined: 31 Dec 2002
Posts: 5058
Location: Fresno, TX

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:07 pm Reply with quote
I can't believe you didn't mention "The Music of Marie". I personally consider that his best work to date. Furuya is truly an underrated talent.
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jennye



Joined: 20 Nov 2009
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:33 pm Reply with quote
I really love Furuya, too. I snagged Lychee Light Club for a review I needed to write, without knowing anything about him or the story at the time, just because I was drawn to the cover art. My eyes may have gone wide a few times, but I was so impressed with the self-awareness and campy snark that I couldn't help but enjoy and respect it even if I was a little afraid of it. I had picked up No Longer Human at the same time for another review, again without knowing much about the source beforehand, and just cried my way through all three volumes. So good. It takes some true talent to tackle such different projects and yet so perfectly capture the winking artifice and heartbreaking honesty integral to each.
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st_owly
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 3649
Location: Edinburgh, UK

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:05 pm Reply with quote
I actually quite liked Genkaku Picasso. Sure, it's not as visceral as Lychee Light Club or some of his other works, but I found it strangely heartwarming. I need to get No Longer Human at some point.
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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Posts: 1382

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:39 pm Reply with quote
I loved Short Cuts for the sharpness of the humor, something most comedy manga don't have. I actually haven't read anything else by Furuya. I'll have to fix that.
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kill-chan



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 119

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:23 pm Reply with quote
I know only of Happiness, 51 and Pikasso and... well, while the 1st was pretty good I found the rest of them surprisingly stoopid and painfull to read.
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jmfsilenthill
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Joined: 31 Aug 2009
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Location: Frig off, Ricky!

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:19 pm Reply with quote
No Longer Human was great, but very, very depressing. I read it all in pretty much one go.
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Sepherest



Joined: 06 May 2007
Posts: 560
Location: The Labyrinth of Amala

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:41 pm Reply with quote
I didn't really like his version of No Longer Human. It's not bad but seems kind of dry compared to the book. To me it was like Furuya trying to do a summary of the book instead of it being the actual story, maybe it should've been longer. His other work is amazing thoihh, I love Music of Marie, Short Cuts and LHC.
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phifedawg



Joined: 24 Jun 2013
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:25 pm Reply with quote
Short Cuts is one of my favourites, I wish more of his stuff would get translated
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Psycho_Despair



Joined: 17 Nov 2009
Posts: 372
Location: Still Trapped in my bookself

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:40 am Reply with quote
I first came across Genkaku Picasso through the issues of the US JUMP in print. Bought the first two volumes and a good friend gave me the third volume of the series. Thoroughly enjoyed Genkaku Picasso, especially due to the fact that I was just like Hikari during my years as a High School student.

After Genkaku Picasso, I bought all three volumes of No Longer Human in the same day. Read them in one night, and after getting to the end of volume 3....I was real depressed for the first time in my life, even going as far as thinking about suicide. Because I was afraid my life was going to lead through the same destructive path as Oba Yozo.

And last year I got my hands on Lychee Light Club, loved it so much that I bought two issues of Manga Erotics, one of them contained a Usamaru Furuya X Suehiro Maruo collaboration which is magnificent.

I look forward to see Vertical Inc. publish more of Furuya's works.
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gilg4mesh



Joined: 22 Jan 2013
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:34 pm Reply with quote
v1cious wrote:
I can't believe you didn't mention "The Music of Marie". I personally consider that his best work to date. Furuya is truly an underrated talent.


FINALLY someone said it! Agree with you so much, I was kinda disappointed I didn't find Marie in the reviews...
For me that one ain't just his best work, but one of my all-time-favourite manga. It amazed me so much after I finished reading it. It's just 2 volumes but so... I really love the world Usamaru Furuya made there, it's like a setting for a child tales, like the the fantasy world in Alice in Wonderland or Wizard of Oz... Yet what lies behind those world is something so... what the word... so unpredictable and twisted just like what you'll expect from Usamaru Furuya.
Really, IMHO, Marie no Kanaderu Ongaku is very, very beautiful Anime cry
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nottimkai



Joined: 05 Jan 2009
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:00 pm Reply with quote
Furuya is much less obscure now than when his available works were Short CUTS and a sample of Palepoli in that Secret Comics Japan book (I was so impressed by the Palepoli manga that I tracked down an untranslated full copy, which I still have and consider a prize), but he deserves all the attention he can get, and you did a great write-up about him, Jason!

I have a slightly different take on Genkaku Picasso, however, which is my second favorite work of Furuya's beside The Music of Marie.

When that title came out, I was working as a neurofeedback technician in a counseling organization. The organization as a whole was based around a theraputic technique called "Internal Family Systems" or "Parts Work", which treats your mind like a system of family members, or parts. From the IFS Wikipedia page:

Quote:
The Internal Family Systems Model (IFS) is an integrative approach to individual psychotherapy developed by Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D. It combines systems thinking with the view that mind is made up of relatively discrete subpersonalities each with its own viewpoint and qualities. IFS uses family systems theory to understand how these collections of subpersonalities are organized.


Have you ever thought "I really want to do this, but there's a part of me that is afraid of the outcome" or something along those lines? Have a conversation with that fearful part of yourself, see what it is actually afraid of.

To me, Genkaku Picasso didn't need to be 'Exactly Freud: The Manga'; in fact that would probably have been a detriment considering where it was being published.

The detailed, surreal portrayals of people's inner worlds; the main character helping people work through serious emotional issues via those visualizations; the main character eventually having to realize that he himself has to allow himself to feel and work through a really serious psychological trauma or else he won't be able to move forward in life ...

These characters were people to me. These characters were people that I saw walk through our doors every day, that I worked with, that I saw struggle and grow. To me, Genkaku Picasso was less "Freude Lite" and more "IFS: The Manga".

I actually bought a full set of Genkaku Picasso for the program's library.

v1cious wrote:
I can't believe you didn't mention "The Music of Marie". I personally consider that his best work to date. Furuya is truly an underrated talent.


A year or two ago I suggested Music of Marie to Ed Chavez of Vertical as a potential license during one of his public calls for license suggestions. He flat out denied it, and when I pressed him about why he said it was too old, the artwork was bad (comparatively?) and that Furuya has written better stuff since then.

I didn't press Ed further, and I understand he has to make business decisions based on what will work best for Vertical, but I disagreed then and I disagree now. :-\
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