While waiting for Highscore Girl vol.5 (which would be released this Christmas), I found that one of Oshikiri Rensuke’s previously non-digitized works has been, well, digitized ^^;
The title is Tsubaki and yep, that’s the protagonist’s name ^^
I don’t know if there is a label for such genre, but this is the kind of story where you have this lone female wanderer who is cool, beautiful, and deadlier than men, and she travels from place to place, meeting new situations and conflicts. Reminds me of Xena… ^^;
She wields a rifle and a knife:
At first I thought she’s a kunoichi or at least a mountain girl. But apparently, besides samurai and ninja, there is another cool profession in Japan and that is matagi.
Matagi is a mountain hunter and they hunt mainly bears and other animals.
Here’s a rare English page that talks about them in some details:
Ancient matagi bear-hunting tradition of Japan dying out.
The mountain god mentioned there is also ‘featured’ in this manga.
The more I read about matagi, the more I think Monster Hunter is somehow inspired by them (just like how Pokemon is inspired from collecting insects). It can be felt especially in Monster Hunter Portable 3rd where you live in Japanese-style village and one of the monsters is a bear.
In this manga, they add ghosts and spiritual stuffs to the mix, though (the author loves ghost stories, after all), which makes it more supernatural than what I read about real matagi.
The bears however do appear a number of times:
You might notice (if you can read Japanese) that she calls the bear itazu instead of kuma. Well, apparently that’s what matagi call the bears (apparently, they think that if they use the word kuma, the bears may know that they’re being talked about).
As usual, there are gore scenes like in the author’s other serious manga, Misumisou (both Tsubaki and Misumisou are flower names):
In case you don’t get it, he stuck a rifle inside her vagina and then opened fire 0_o”
Yep, there’s sex in some stories, especially vol.2, though it’s all the other characters; Tsubaki is not the kind of heroine who uses sexual charm. But she herself was almost raped two times, one by evil villagers that badly needed to make children and one for intervening a mining business:
As I’ve read more and more of Oshikiri Rensuke’s works, I noticed that he pretty much draws the same kinds of faces for the characters who are supposed to be pretty boys and girls… ^^;
The manga ends at vol. 3, but at the postscript the author said that one day he might revive the series, when he’s thought of new ideas and improved his skills.
Here’s how the story ended. She was spotted by a filming crew in the mountain and was asked to act for them, since their original actress fled away. After acting, the director offered to guide her to live in the city. She almost felt that it might be a good idea, but then a wild boar attacked the crew. She shot down the wild boar but it survived and ran away. And so she bid farewell and chased after it:
Gotta say, I’m looking forward to the possible continuation! ^^