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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Dragon Head




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Snomaster1
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Joined: 31 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 4:01 pm Reply with quote
This sounds like an interesting manga,although I've never read it. The article also mentioned that there was a live-action movie based on it. One question I have is how long before someone in Hollywood gets it into his head that he should do a remake of this? It would probably be interesting just to see the American version of Nobuo in that weird face paint.
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Dagon123



Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Posts: 194
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 4:58 pm Reply with quote
I'd say up till about volume 7 is fantastic, the first 3 being what REALLY grabs you, the live-action movie is sadly "eh", it doesn't encapsulate any of the fear or suspense the manga held, and everything after them being in the tunnel is too rushed.

Snomaster1 wrote:
One question I have is how long before someone in Hollywood gets it into his head that he should do a remake of this? It would probably be interesting just to see the American version of Nobuo in that weird face paint.


Wouldn't be kids, wouldn't be suspenseful or scary, and would more then likely go the route of "The Day after Tomorrow", except The Day after Tomorrow would be better, because for some reason, we still can't seem to make something that was Manhwa or Manga not suck, lol
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Maigraith



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 80
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 7:44 pm Reply with quote
Nice to see Dragon Head get some love. The lack of definitive answers can be annoying but totally worth in IMO. After all, it is the journey that matters, not the destination:P
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pachy_boy



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 1120
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 8:43 pm Reply with quote
I would've wanted to have read the Dragon Head manga, just to see an expansion of the story told in the movie. Alas, it is out of print, and all we have is the movie. I loved the movie when I saw it, it truly surprised me. It never did give an explanation what caused the end of the world, but I was able to get the sense that this is more about how people deal with their situation, and the main guy and girl's struggle to survive in their parable-like journey. I was content with that much because the story was that engaging. And I felt it had the most fitting and appropriate ending that reflected what the story was about and what Teru and Ako truly meant to each other. It's an ending that thankfully wasn't completely bleak, but at the same time made me realize "what other kind of conclusion would this have had after everything that happened and is still happening?"
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AFatHouseCat



Joined: 11 May 2012
Posts: 4
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 1:49 am Reply with quote
I actually signed up for account just to reply to this review because Dragon Head is one of the best manga I have ever read. Sure we don't find out what caused everything, but really in the end it didn't matter to me.
Okay, when I first read it, it mattered, I admit I felt gipped we didn't get a big payoff , but after I sat on it for a while, I realized the pit-in-your-stomach-feeling you got when you followed them down, down, down in the helicopter into that dark hole that never seemed to end, that was what stuck with me.
I guess in the end I didn't really care why it happened, just that we had been along for the ride in seeing it happen to the very literal end.
This is yet another time I wish TokyoPop had known what it was publishing so it would have been able to market it to the right crowd, or, you know, market it at all. I fear that if Dark Horse had gotten the rights it might have found a more welcoming group of fans than the mainstream manga kids TP was gunning for.
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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Location: Back stateside
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 7:46 am Reply with quote
Quote:
It starts with that great, first-person opening sequence: you wake in the dark…

Second-person. "You" is second-person, it would be first-person if it said "I wake up in the dark." /grammarpurist

More manga I need to read... I love this column.
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thenix



Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 262
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 8:45 am Reply with quote
Not my genre really but I would give it a try with this manga.
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Snomaster1
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 2:02 pm Reply with quote
Remember those pictures of Nobuo in that weird face paint? It's my opinion and it's strictly that,but I think it bears a slight resemblance to the way John Wayne Gacy did his clown makeup. One of the things that he did when he wasn't killing people,he was a clown and entertained at birthday parties. I've seen some photos of the guy in his clown outfit and there are some resemblance between Gacy's clown makeup and Nobuo's face paint.
But we have to remember that Gacy tried to hide his true nature by being a good citizen and entertaining kids as a clown. Nobuo seems to me not even try to hide his insanity. The face paint seems to me to be proof of that. So,what do you guys think?
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Joe Carpenter



Joined: 29 Oct 2011
Posts: 500
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 9:51 pm Reply with quote
I read the first volume of this when it first came out in the states in 2005, but I never got around to reading anymore

I'm disappointed to hear though that it's never explained what happened

but the premise of an unknown disaster ruining everything reminds me of the video game I Am Alive (I wonder if they took any inspiration from Dragon Head?)
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a_muses



Joined: 10 Oct 2011
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 8:15 am Reply with quote
vashfanatic wrote:
Quote:
It starts with that great, first-person opening sequence: you wake in the dark…

Second-person. "You" is second-person, it would be first-person if it said "I wake up in the dark." /grammarpurist

More manga I need to read... I love this column.


I was going to post this. Anime smile; Yeah, second-person is "You." I remember a bunch of "Choose your own adventure" novels when I was little that introduced me to the concept...
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1739
Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 8:38 am Reply with quote
a_muses wrote:
vashfanatic wrote:
Quote:
It starts with that great, first-person opening sequence: you wake in the dark…

Second-person. "You" is second-person, it would be first-person if it said "I wake up in the dark." /grammarpurist

More manga I need to read... I love this column.


I was going to post this. Anime smile; Yeah, second-person is "You." I remember a bunch of "Choose your own adventure" novels when I was little that introduced me to the concept...


I'm kind of amazed that neither you guys understand what Jason meant by "first-person". He obviously meant that the panels were drawn from the perspective that you are looking through the eyes of the main character, i.e. a first-person perspective, not a first-person narrative.

Jason saying "you wake in the dark" is simply him describing the situation, not actually quoting the book.
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melmouth



Joined: 19 May 2012
Posts: 144
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 4:15 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Nice to see Dragon Head get some love. The lack of definitive answers can be annoying but totally worth in IMO. After all, it is the journey that matters, not the destination.


Yes! I registered just to post here. I'm glad to see that lots of the posters above liked the manga. I LOVED it. It is unquestionably the most frightening and unsettling manga I've ever read, and I've read a bunch. The best thing about the story is something that, if you think about it, led directly to the reviewer's complaining about the ending:

The story ALWAYS STICKS TO THE MAIN CHARACTERS' POINT OF VIEW.

What they experience, see and learn, we know, and that's all we know. Isn't this just the situation that survivors of such a huge disaster would be in? Most people are dead, so there's no grapevine. There's also no radio, TV, newspaper, or Internet--and it gradually becomes clear that there never will be again. Under those conditions the main characters would know nearly nothing about the Big Picture of this event, and they probably never would learn much about it at all. They would just have to struggle on in ignorance, trying to survive in a ruined world, until they died.

That is an ugly prospect, and to live on aware of how completely powerless you are going to be from now on--as highlighted by your ignorance of how this awful world came to be--would be just about as frightening and crushing as anything I can imagine.

By sticking close to what the main characters know, and by showing us chapter after chapter of the ugly devastation, punctuated by the short periods of nearly terminal danger that they endure, the gentleman who drew this manga succeeded totally at his job, IMHO.

That job was to overwhelm the reader with horror and a major taste of despair.

I haven't seen it done so well since some of the "after the nuclear war" stories and novels of the 1960s through 1980s. Those stores really mashed you into the ground, and I think that was because we readers (I'm old enough to have been one), knew that in real life we could be destroyed in a nuclear war at any moment. The fear was always latent in us, and all the storyteller had to do was show us some stuff that would call it up, and we'd be sweating bullets.

I didn't know anyone could match those old stories under current conditions. For me this manga was totally frightening and upsetting, and given what it was, that made it a major success.
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