ツバキ (Tsubaki)

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 ^^;

IMG_0032

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:

IMG_0033

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:

IMG_0044

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):

IMG_0035

IMG_0036

IMG_0037

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:

IMG_0045

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:

IMG_0038

IMG_0039

IMG_0040

IMG_0041

IMG_0042

IMG_0043

Gotta say, I’m looking forward to the possible continuation! ^^

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “ツバキ (Tsubaki)

  1. OshareKeiji

    Matagi? I remember watching a documentary related to them one time and Ryu Ga Gotoku 5 had Saejima Taiga (one of the main characters) living among such a community (and working with them if the player pursues the Another Drama arc) after escaping from jail.

    Like all other distinct groups of this sort, there are plenty of reasons why their kind are shrinking in number: They don’t take too kindlty to outsiders, youths who are supposedly next in line opting to move to the city and take on an infinitely less risky way of life, etc.

    Seeing a related manga existing (and with a gritty presentation to boot) is definitely an eye-opener.

    Reply
    1. Helu Post author

      Ah, I see, interesting, another reason to check out Ryu Ga Gotoku series X)

      I think matagi one of the cool things in Japan that not many people outside Japan know, unlike samurai and ninja. There is at least more detailed info when I start searching in Japanese, but yeah, there seems to be insider secrets that people outside matagi community wouldn’t know.

      I think they kind of fantasize matagi in this manga though. For one, there isn’t supposed to be female matagi ^^;

      You can kind of guess the backstory though… which is covered at the start of vol.3. Basically her mother died, and there was no one else to take care of her, so her father had to bring her along to the mountains. Not only that, since her father knows nothing other than being matagi, that’s the only skill he can pass on to her so that she can fend for herself when he dies (he might not live long enough because of an illness).

      In fact, the page above where Tsubaki faces a bear; it’s actually a bear her father failed to kill because his illness acted up. It’s also her first bear kill. Her father died soon after T.T

      Reply
  2. OshareKeiji

    Yeah, old-fashioned as they are, women among the RL Matagi are more likely to do house stuff and supply management than actual hunting.

    Take something traditional and add a revolutionary twist to it… that’s what makes the story interesting.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s