Manga and Japanese cinema

Mark Schilling schill at
Sun Nov 23 21:44:26 EST 1997

Re Aaron's post on the Kurosawa manga. As my 13 year-old son -- a budding
manga artist -- recently reminded me, "anything can happen in a manga."
Evidently, anything, even "Shichinin no Samurai," can also become a manga.
I don't whether this is first example of a classic film being
"manga-tized," but I can think of other live-action films that have
appeared in manga form. One is the Tora-san series, which may not qualify
as "classic cinema," but has inspired a popular manga, though the artist's
name escapes me. 

Even Hollywood movies have become manga fodder: the Japanese "making" book
for 'Waterworld," which somehow found its way into my collection, contains
a manga version of the story. I'm sure there are other examples out there. 

I don't know whether manga is keeping alive a "slowly petrifying form," but
I rather suspect that Cho Koronsha's decison to manga-tize "Shichinin no
Samurai" came down to bottom line business. A manga would appeal to readers
who would not buy, say, the annotated script or a book of critical essays.
Also, they would not necessarily be kids who read while moving their lips.
Just as primers on economics and history in manga form became big hits with
salarymen, so might a manga version of "Shichinin no Samurai." It is, after
all, a classier way to kill time on the train than gazing at the hair nudes
in "Shukan Jitsuwa." 


Mark Schilling (schill at

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