Friday, July 1, 2016

Yakeppachi no Maria chapter 1 (With Hox)

Let the Hox man say it in his own words:

It was serialized in 1970 when people were discussing if sex-education in schools needed a reform and when delinquent/battle academy-centered shonen stories were very poular. But more importantly, it was also the time when Nagai Go's Harenchi Gakuen was also running and ruffling a ton of feathers. Adults across Japan were seriously debating if these crude, disposable piece of entertainment known as "manga" should really be allowed to depict sex and violence. There was a sizable movement calling for the banishment of books posing "harmful influence" for Japanese youths. Obviously, manga like Harenchi Gakuen were a prime target but even Tezuka's Tetsuwan Atom(!) was labelled harmful by some of these people. It seems ridiculous to us today, but even the kissing scene in Tezuka's Apollo no Uta provoked criticism from the PTA, and some of Tezuka's manga were burned in public book burnings by this social-movement, many of whose members likely thought that all manga were better off eradicated.

In this chaotic time for the manga world under attack when many new artists deliberately sought to break even more taboos to smugly annoy the uptight conservatives, Tezuka, being the father of manga, probably felt trapped between two sides. As an artist, he too, likely wanted to explore new boundaries without being restrained, but as part of the older generation, he probably felt more hesitant about breaking them than the youngsters. Moreover, his Mushi Productions was veering towards bankruptcy and that certainly must have added additional stress. It was this "desperation" that he felt at this time that allowed him to channel that era's zeitgeist and draw "Yakeppachi no Maria," whose main character is literally nicknamed "desperation (Yakeppachi)." In the end, like Alabaster (which I also translated), Tezuka has come to regard this manga as a rubbish work. In my opinion, however, I think it's an enjoyable quirky work, and given its historical context and what it represented to Tezuka's career, deserves to be translated.

Here's chapter 1!


  1. Thanks for the new Tezuka! While we're at it, any chance to see Ishinomori make a come back as well? It's nice to see all the Nagai and Ishikawa, but I miss the times we could still look forward for more Ishinomori as well. Still, great job as always, Happy Scans and Hox.

    1. We'll try. If you know any translators who are interested...

  2. I'm not interested in this particular manga, but I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this "trivia" you posted from Hox. As a fan of Tezuka & Go Nagai from the 80s, I found this an interesting read. Thank you for all the work you guys are doing with these scanlations.