Film Imagines Five Manga Artists on Deserted Island
posted on by Eric Stimson
Stories about eking out a living on a barren, remote island have been a staple since Robinson Crusoe in 1719. Sometimes the protagonists thrive and live surprisingly happy, if simple, lives far away from the burdens of their former lives. But in other times, the protagonists bicker, struggle, and even go crazy from the stress. The film Mangajima ("Manga Island") shows what might happen if five unsuccessful manga artists are the ones living on the island, and it doesn't look pleasant.
The backstory of Mangajima is a little different from the normal deserted island scenario: the artists are stranded and manage to draw a manga on the island, which they then burn to call the attention of a passing ship. They then return to Tokyo and present a manuscript to a publisher there... who rejects it. So they go back to the island. The situation quickly deteriorates from there.
The film is the debut work of screenwriter and actor Fumio Moriya (The Woodsman and the Rain, Dias Police: Dirty Yellow Boys) and stars Shingo Mizusawa, Yūya Matsuura, Shōhei Uno, Taishi Masaoka, Yōta Kawase, Elisa Yanagi and Moriya himself. Moriya explains that he had become jealous of other directors making their debuts but wanted to make the sort of movie that he wanted to watch. He describes that as "somehow messy... Incoherent, nonsensical, but with a real raging energy. Something about that is entertaining." He says that those who have seen the movie so far have very mixed feelings about it, which makes him uneasy yet also happy.
Mangajima premiered on March 25 at Shinjuku K's cinema in Tokyo.
Source: Eiga Natalie