22 August 2016

Yakeppachi no Maria v1 (complete)

And this is the second (and probably last) Tezuka manga that Happyscans and I will do. Even among Tezuka's many works, this one stands out as one of his weirder works for its content. 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 (only 2 volumes long), and given its historical context and what it represented to Tezuka's career, deserves to be translated.

Yakeppachi no Maria v01:   Mega
Yakeppachi no Maria c06:   Mega

In any case, I'll also (try to) be doing weekly chapter releases for this.
In case you're wondering about the etymology behind "Dutch wife," one theory is that it comes from a type of Indonesian rattan-made bodypillow the Dutch stationed in VOC's Indonesia found to be useful in keeping their bodies cool during the hot humid nights. Another theory is that the "Dutch" in this sense is simply a pejorative adjectival-term that the English used back when the the Anglo-Dutch rivalry was going strong. However, it was really only in the 1950s that this term was borrowed by the Japanese to refer to sex dolls, so no one's really sure how this came to mean sex doll in modern-Japanese.
Feminist propaganda aside, women do survive famines better than men, though how much of that is biological is debated.
Like I already implied in the opening post, Tezuka intended to fuse elements of a delinquent action story with a raunchy comedy, all the while addressing elements of sex education which was under debate by the greater public at the time.
Anybody ask for inflation fetish?

Yakeppachi no Maria c01:   Mega
Yakeppachi no Maria c02:   Mega
Yakeppachi no Maria c03:   Mega
Yakeppachi no Maria c04:   Mega
Yakeppachi no Maria c05:   Mega
Yakeppachi no Maria c06:   Mega


  1. Mmmmh first we got Womb, now we got this one about a guy getting pregnant, i think i am seeing a pattern here...

    1. Yes, you got me, I got my body pillow pregnant.