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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Eagle


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dormcat
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Joined: 08 Dec 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:22 am Reply with quote
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He's kind of like the Tom Clancy of manga

No, no, no, no, no. Please. The worst thing The Silent Service has brought to the manga fandom is the total misconception of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) to manga fans without military backgrounds.

And don't be fooled by Kawaguchi setting the protagonist of Eagle as a Democrat; he's as right as, if not more so than, Tokyo Governor Ishihara.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:34 am Reply with quote
dormcat wrote:

And don't be fooled by Kawaguchi setting the protagonist of Eagle as a Democrat; he's as right as, if not more so than, Tokyo Governor Ishihara.


But would he call people non-patriots if they don't visit the war dead memorial? Smile
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Echo_City



Joined: 03 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:00 am Reply with quote
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And don't be fooled by Kawaguchi setting the protagonist of Eagle as a Democrat; he's as right as, if not more so than, Tokyo Governor Ishihara.
Throw in appeal to unions (mentioned in the article) and you've definitely got a left wing candidate on your hands. Especially in light of the following:
Quote:
"First, over the next eight years, I will order that all U.S. bases abroad be shut down. Second, unless the lives of American citizens and the territory of the United States itself is under threat, it will be the policy of my administration to forego any future U.S. military action. My administration will work to make the United Nations what our ideals meant it to be…a true collective security organization for a world of freedom…that transcends any need for military nationalism…including our own! In other words, I want to dismantle the military-industrial complex!"
This guy sounds like Relena Peacecraft from Gundam Wing. Relena Peacecraft was most assuredly not a right-winger.

In light of recent politics I think the article needed more clarification on the candidate's eligibility to run for the office of POTUS. The only thing I see is the opening phrase "son of an immigrant", which does not necessarily mean that our candidate was born in the USA, which as we all remember is a major prerequisite for the office.
Quote:
Ellery Clinton, the wife of President Bill Cliff. Ellery—I have no idea who this is a caricature of, honest—is an ambitious politico with a hunger for power. "There's a compelling force in this house. You can feel it in your body…it comes from politics itself! It's erotic…bestial…I thrive on its brutality!"
Well that gave me some mental images I'd rather not have. Having a character with a name too close to Hillary Clinton for comfort mentioning how power gets her sexually aroused is enough to make one gag. South Park called her "hildog" & the right-wingers have referred to her as "her Thighness" for a reason.
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:47 am Reply with quote
Echo_City wrote:
In light of recent politics I think the article needed more clarification on the candidate's eligibility to run for the office of POTUS. The only thing I see is the opening phrase "son of an immigrant", which does not necessarily mean that our candidate was born in the USA, which as we all remember is a major prerequisite for the office.


Being born on an American military base should - with good enough lawyers on your side - be enough to convince a federal judge to rule that you are a natural-born citizen. Just throwing that out there.

Eagle sounds like the sort of thing I'd like. I loved Zipang, and politics (especially American politics) does interest me. I doubt it ever came over to New Zealand but if I ever see it here I will consider buying it.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:58 am Reply with quote
Echo_City wrote:

In light of recent politics I think the article needed more clarification on the candidate's eligibility to run for the office of POTUS. The only thing I see is the opening phrase "son of an immigrant", which does not necessarily mean that our candidate was born in the USA, which as we all remember is a major prerequisite for the office.


Though not necessarily born in the land of USA technically. Laughing

Heck, ex-Prez candidate John McCain "was born (1936) at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone... The former unincorporated territory of the Panama Canal Zone and its related military facilities were not regarded as United States territory at the time, but 8 U.S.C. § 1403, which became law in 1937, retroactively conferred citizenship on individuals born within the Canal Zone on or after February 26, 1904, and on individuals born in the Republic of Panama on or after that date who had at least one U.S. citizen parent employed by the U.S. government or the Panama Railway Company...."
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Wyvern



Joined: 01 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:13 am Reply with quote
Echo_City wrote:


In light of recent politics I think the article needed more clarification on the candidate's eligibility to run for the office of POTUS. The only thing I see is the opening phrase "son of an immigrant", which does not necessarily mean that our candidate was born in the USA, which as we all remember is a major prerequisite for the office.


"Son of an immigrant" pretty much implies that he was born in the US, which would make him eligible to run even if his parents are not US citizens. If he hadn't been born here, he would be considered an immigrant too, thus there would be no reason to designate him as the "son of" one.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:07 am Reply with quote
Echo_City wrote:
Quote:
"First, over the next eight years, I will order that all U.S. bases abroad be shut down. Second, unless the lives of American citizens and the territory of the United States itself is under threat, it will be the policy of my administration to forego any future U.S. military action. My administration will work to make the United Nations what our ideals meant it to be…a true collective security organization for a world of freedom…that transcends any need for military nationalism…including our own! In other words, I want to dismantle the military-industrial complex!"
This guy sounds like Relena Peacecraft from Gundam Wing. Relena Peacecraft was most assuredly not a right-winger.

.. or Ron Paul or Gary Johnson, who are most assuredly not left-wingers

Quote:
Whether or not you believe that the US should end its foreign wars, this plot development is ridiculous; a presidential candidate who said something like that would soon be an ex-candidate.

A few years ago, perhaps. But since Paul's candidacy in 2008, despite being boo'd and aghast reactions, people have taken interest and with the same message (since the beginning many decades ago) he's gain some considerable traction. I mean he's the only presidential candidate to my knowledge, who's ever mentioned Mosaddegh, the Shah, BP, the CIA, and the resulting theocracy, when discussing Iran.
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Melanchthon



Joined: 02 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:42 am Reply with quote
An asian-american elected president? That's completely absurd. What's next, an Japanese elected president of Peru or something?

On a more serious note, I am forever astounded by the amazing breadth of the manga market. The fact that a comic about the American political process was even made is crazy. That being said, the American political process is like a hot dog. I really don't want to know how it is made, or what is made of, and I'll only eat one at a ballpark where I overpay for it by five dollars or more, and my analogy is breaking down here, but the point is that I read manga to escape from the real world, not to wallow in it. Plus, I wouldn't vote for this guy. Gun control? A very Japanese way of thinking. The UN? The UN is an impotent collection of gaseous windbags with all the authority of a water flea. Dismantle the military-industrial complex? Man, I work for the military-industrial complex (Hey, I gotta make money somehow, I mean, it's not like you can get anime for free...uh, well, you know what I mean). Besides, this guy already has my vote.
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brand



Joined: 30 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:43 am Reply with quote
I think one of the big problems with the title not selling well was that the monthly editions were like $7.99. That's pretty darn pricey to be buying something monthly.

I do own the omnibus editions which are pretty awesome. Even if the manga isn't really realistic it still manages to be a good lesson on how some of the political processes works. And it manages to be very engaging the whole time.
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Moomintroll



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
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Location: Nottingham (UK)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:25 am Reply with quote
Good write up.

Eagle certainly has its weaknesses - and it is excruciatingly naive in places - but it's a far, far better manga than the other overtly political titles that have made it into English (First President Of Japan, say, or Revenge Of The Mouflon). Less unintentionally funny and / or revealing of dubious Japanese geopolitical attitudes, maybe, but definitely a better read.

It took me ages to track it all down for reasonable money but I'm very glad I went to the trouble.
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Echo_City



Joined: 03 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:09 am Reply with quote
I contend that "son of an American immigrant" doesn't automatically imply "born in the USA", but if he was then it doesn't really matter. I'm just surprised that the Japanese would remember that nuance of American politics, the natural born citizen requirement, as normally Japanese depictions of America portray an unrealistic America, an America as they imagine it to be. I've read a fair bit of Golgo 13, and the ludicrous depiction of America is hilarious. In some ways, the Japanese depiction of America is better than the reality Crying or Very sad .
Quote:
Plus, I wouldn't vote for this guy. Gun control? A very Japanese way of thinking. The UN? The UN is an impotent collection of gaseous windbags with all the authority of a water flea. Dismantle the military-industrial complex? Man, I work for the military-industrial complex (Hey, I gotta make money somehow, I mean, it's not like you can get anime for free...uh, well, you know what I mean).
FWIW I concur. Considering how the Japanese constantly portray America as a lawless land combining the most famous parts of the Wild West and the 1920s/1930s gangsters, I don't see how they could advocate American gun control. I guess this mangaka didn't get the memo Rolling Eyes
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ptolemy18
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Joined: 07 May 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:17 am Reply with quote
Wyvern wrote:
Echo_City wrote:


In light of recent politics I think the article needed more clarification on the candidate's eligibility to run for the office of POTUS. The only thing I see is the opening phrase "son of an immigrant", which does not necessarily mean that our candidate was born in the USA, which as we all remember is a major prerequisite for the office.


"Son of an immigrant" pretty much implies that he was born in the US, which would make him eligible to run even if his parents are not US citizens. If he hadn't been born here, he would be considered an immigrant too, thus there would be no reason to designate him as the "son of" one.


Well, it isn't a spoiler to say that Yamaoka, in Eagle, was actually definitively born in the USA. -_- I believe he's a third generation immigrant.
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ptolemy18
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Joined: 07 May 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:43 am Reply with quote
Moomintroll wrote:
Good write up.

Eagle certainly has its weaknesses - and it is excruciatingly naive in places - but it's a far, far better manga than the other overtly political titles that have made it into English (First President Of Japan, say, or Revenge Of The Mouflon). Less unintentionally funny and / or revealing of dubious Japanese geopolitical attitudes, maybe, but definitely a better read.

It took me ages to track it all down for reasonable money but I'm very glad I went to the trouble.


I think the big spoiler political twist towards the end of Eagle -- Yamaoka wanting to end the military-industrial complex -- is wishful thinking on Kawaguchi's part. It's true, as another poster said, that less mainstream candidates on both end of the political spectrum have advocated closing US military bases abroad and generally playing less of an interventionistic role in the world, but so far all those candidates have been third party people out on the sidelines. However, it's also true that manga is about wishful thinking and "what ifs".

(Of course, I have to admit, to me as an American, coming from a Japanese author, it does seem clear that Kawaguchi is not just saying through Yamaoka "This would be better for the world at large" but also "This would be better for *Japan*. Let's close those American foreign bases in Okinawa! If Japan has no military, why shouldn't America also not have a military? Our way is best! etc. etc." It's impossible to separate Kawaguchi's (apparent) political self-interests in this story from his (supposedly) realistic depictions of the American political structure and the Yamaoka character. However, it's human nature to want every other country to act in a way that is like your own country and/or favorable to your country, so I can't blame Kawaguchi for doing this, although it does come across as more wish-fulfillment. It would have been nice to see a scene where Yamaoka screws over Japan in some uneven trade deal or something. -_- ("Enjoy your world peace! Remember, I'm Japanese-AMERICAN, suckahh!")

However, I think Eagle is pretty interesting overall... the biggest problem with the manga to me is Vol. 5, the ending. In order to make the 'demolish the military-industrial complex' plotline seem realistic, Kawaguchi would have had to focus a LOT more on the difficulty of selling this to the U.S. public, the history of the US military-industrial complex, the opposition from competing Republicans and Democrats, and so on. But instead Kawaguchi has Yamaoka say this statement, which in the context of American politics comes across as realistic as "I think we should all live in space stations on the moon," this statement which could open up an INCREDIBLY arduous fight & debate, and not much comes of it. (On the other hand, the matter of Yamaoka's race, and of racism in America, is brought up in Vol. 5 in a pretty interesting way.) The most frustrating thing about this last volume is spoiler[ the final presidential race between Yamaoka and Grant seems almost like an afterthought. Election night isn't even a big deal because Yamaoka wins pretty easily. Grant is a pushover; he makes a bad gaffe (so bad that no American politician IRL would ever make it) in the presidential debate and that's that. Kawaguchi could have easily expanded out Vol. 5 into three or four volumes so that, at least, the Dem-vs.-Repub. race takes as much page space as the Democractic primaries did. (Since, after all, political coverage of the Dem-vs-Repub. race is so much more intense and concentrated than the primaries.) Kawaguchi chooses to spend the climax of Volume 5 on the character story, the struggles within the Yamaoka family. Honestly, it feels like Kawaguchi simply wasn't interested in telling the same story that I was interested in reading.]
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luisedgarf



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
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Location: Guadalajara, Mexico

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:52 pm Reply with quote
ptolemy18 wrote:

(Of course, I have to admit, to me as an American, coming from a Japanese author, it does seem clear that Kawaguchi is not just saying through Yamaoka "This would be better for the world at large" but also "This would be better for *Japan*. Let's close those American foreign bases in Okinawa! If Japan has no military, why shouldn't America also not have a military? Our way is best! etc. etc." It's impossible to separate Kawaguchi's (apparent) political self-interests in this story from his (supposedly) realistic depictions of the American political structure and the Yamaoka character. However, it's human nature to want every other country to act in a way that is like your own country and/or favorable to your country, so I can't blame Kawaguchi for doing this, although it does come across as more wish-fulfillment. It would have been nice to see a scene where Yamaoka screws over Japan in some uneven trade deal or something. -_- ("Enjoy your world peace! Remember, I'm Japanese-AMERICAN, suckahh!")


Well, if you take in account the Senpai-kohai relationship Japan have with the U.S., despise being nuked by them. it's obvious that Kawaguchi hates the actual status quo of that relationship.
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Zac
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:00 pm Reply with quote
Echo_City wrote:


In light of recent politics I think the article needed more clarification on the candidate's eligibility to run for the office of POTUS. The only thing I see is the opening phrase "son of an immigrant", which does not necessarily mean that our candidate was born in the USA, which as we all remember is a major prerequisite for the office.


I'd rephrase this to "in light of recent politics I think the manga should've had more focus on how crazy right-wing racists would respond to a presidential candidate with any recognizable ethnicity other than 'white' and how they'd justify their racism with dog whistle non-issue distractions like questioning exactly when and where the candidate was born".

Just throwing that out there.

Also gun control isn't a "very Japanese way of thinking", it's a sentiment shared among millions of Americans as well. And if you're working for the military industrial complex, I hope my tax dollars are paying for a decent wage for you.
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