Monday, January 2, 2012

Gegege no Kakeibo, chapter 16

Shigeru Mizuki (Gegege no Kitaro) is nothing if not prolific. He has a new series in Big Comic (the same magazine that carries Golgo 13, Yuukoku no Rasputin and Yukinobu Hoshino's version of J.P. Hogan's Inherit the Stars). This time, it's Gegege no Kakeibo (Gegege's Household Accounts). You may remember that Shigeru's wife, Nunoe Mura, wrote the book Gegege no Nyobo back in 2008 to relate her account of how the two of them got together and went through the tough times of getting Kitaro published. It was turned into a TV series in 2010. Gegege no Kakeibo is Shigeru's version.

The 1.10.12 issue of Big Comic has chapter 16 of the manga, entitled "From Shinjuku to Choufu". The story picks up with Shigeru drawing a manga page and giving it to his female assistant. The main reason he chose a woman to help him with the pages is that he's doing contract piece work for shojo magazines making girl's manga. However, he's suffering from a toothache that's preventing him from focusing on drawing, so he goes to look for a cheap dentist. While the cost is only 200 yen ($1-$2 USD at the time), it still cuts into his budget. Then he learns that his little brother has found a job in Tokyo, and bought a house in the countryside area of Choufu (it's now just a suburb of Tokyo, 30 minutes away from Shinjuku by train on the Keio line). Land is much cheaper there than in Shinjuku in Showa era year 34 (1959), so that Summer he found a small house and put a 700,000 yen down payment on it. Then he, his brother and their father loaded all of his belongings into a push car, and pushed it all the way out to Chofu. When they finally reach the place, the other two learn that it's surrounded by fields. Shigeru muses that he's about to enter debter's hell, and his brother tells him that if he ever manages to pay off the loan, the place will be his to keep.

[Note: My apartment used to be across the Tamagawa river from Chofu. I'd ride past it on my bike for exercise 3-4 times a week, and sometimes go in to the Chofu train station for clothes shopping.]

Gegege no Kakeibo, chapter 16

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