Dec 5, 2009
Back to the Jack we go.
I’d been putting off talking about this, as frankly I don’t think I’ve much to talk about. The guest characters this time round are from 1969′s Gakuen Bangaichi, his first professional collaboration with Ken Ishikawa (though Ishikawa had assisted on earlier manga).
So thoroughly neglected is the title, that it doesn’t have a Japanese wikipedia page, let alone much information in English. ebookjapan.jp doesn’t have it either so I can’t get information from there. The best I can tell is it was another tale of school debauchery. Most references in Japanese are either to this chapter of Violence Jack or to auctions of the two 70s editions of the manga. Shame.
If someone who can actually read Japanese wants to explain better, the indespensible Mazingerz.com has a little information. In the meantime here are the meandering thoughts of someone who likes to blunder through and jump to his own conclusions based on the art alone.
Once again VJ avoids formula by focusing for a change on Kid Violence Jack, and to a lesser extent Lady Violence Jack. Kid Violence Jack shows up at a school house in the middle of nowhere, where a bunch of kids and hoodlums are having lessons. He joins the class, but the lessons are disturbed when the Terrence Stamp looking dude from the Dragon Fort arc shows up.
Meanwhile, Lady Violence Jack has troubles of her own as she runs into one of the Slum King’s thugs at the beach while she’s buck naked. She easily disposes of him, but is blind-sided by a second, snorkelling, thug. Who then proceeds to make the worst move a snorkelling thug who has just blind-sided a naked female Violence Jack could make. He decides he’ll try and rape her.
Back at the school, Terrence Stamp has had similar thoughts regarding the one adult female there. Of course, the murder of a child wasn’t enough to get Kid Violence Jack into belated action, but this is, and Terrence Stamp learns you don’t bring a sword to a knife fight.
During all this we’ve been seeing troop movements from the Slum King and the arc ends with yet another huge dust up between Jack and the Slum King’s army. Of course Jack doesn’t kill the Slum King, instead once again humiliating him by removing his mask. Along with plenty of scenes establishing that the three aspects of Jack make a whole, this may be foreshadowing that Slum King is not whole in a way that goes beyond his missing face.
Not a great arc, nothing particularly novel is done with the guest character(s), but at the same time it’s not going anywhere mind blowingly weird like that first Susano-OH related arc. Weird sexual stuff is also low compared to some arcs (like the next arc), but it does end with an odd sequence where the girl who Kid Violence Jack “saved” earlier dances naked in the rain before dressing like a “proper” Japanese school girl rather than the weird sixties gangsters moll she was dressed as before. Strangely puritanical vibe (“don’t dress slutty or you’ll get raped”) which seems oddly out of place given the excesses of the strip in general.