“Thermae Romae,” “Himizu,” “Moteki,” “Space Brothers,” “Helter Skelter,” “Jin,” “Brave Hearts, Umizaru.” Do you know what these have in common, they are all recent big hits? The answer is that they are all based on comic books. These are just some examples and you can easily find a lot more movies like them.
Comic books are real treasures for the movie and TV drama industry. However, I have hardly read any comics for all but two decades and I’m not well up in them. Then, I have just started reading some major comic books at hand to see what their contents are actually like. As a matter of course, soon I realized that some of them are annoying with amount of onomatopoeia and I thought they are just waste of time, but some of them are actually not bad.
“March comes in like a lion, ３月のライオン” written by Chika Umino is great! It’s a shogi-themed manga, but I think it should attract both men and women in all generations. Story goes like this. Rei Kiriyama, a 17-year-old boy, is leading a lonely life. He lost his family in an accident when he was a kid. He became a professional shogi player for living, still holding a big pain deep in his heart. One day, he met Kawamoto three sisters and finds what he lost little by little.
I got goose-bumps in shogi match scenes. In shogi, games end when a looser declares “I’m lost.” That’s a rcruel rule. Umino depicts how players stick to winning the games with the characters’ background stories. Players sometimes have to resort to tricky tactics. They have no choice but to do it to win the game because winning means getting a place for their own. By the way, Manabu Senzaki 8 dan supervises the descriptive notations in the story and most of them are from the records of historically famous matches. That makes the story very realistic.
I was always wondering why manga geeks liked quoting a lot of famous phrases from comic books? I thought that geeks should be more creative and start making their own phrases, instead of borrowing other people’s phrases. However, now I feel a bit different because I found some good phrases in this comic and wrote them down in my notebook. Power of manga could be very strong.
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