Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths
Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths.jpg
Cover of Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths as published by Drawn and Quarterly
総員玉砕せよ!
(Sōin Gyokusai Seyo!)
GenreWar,[1][2] autobiographical[3][4]
Manga
Written byShigeru Mizuki
Published byKodansha
English publisher
MagazineShūkan Gendai
Published1973
Volumes1
Television drama
Kitarō ga Mita Gyokusai: Mizuki Shigeru no Sensō
Produced byTsuyoshi Yanagawa
Written byTakuya Nishioka
Original networkNHK General TV
Original runAugust 12, 2007
Episodes1
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths (Japanese: 総員玉砕せよ!, Hepburn: Sōin Gyokusai Seyo!, literally "Whole Unit Ought to Fight to Death!")[note 1] is a one-shot manga written and illustrated by Shigeru Mizuki. In it, Mizuki describes his experiences as a soldier participating in the New Guinea campaign during World War II. He portrays the final weeks of his infantry service as the soldiers were instructed to die for their country to avoid the dishonor of survival.

The manga was first published in Kodansha magazine Shūkan Gendai in 1973, based on Mizuki's work of 1970. After being translated and published by Drawn and Quarterly in 2011, Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths has been well received by English-speaking critics. It also received awards in France and in the United States, and was adapted into a television drama in 2007 by Japanese broadcaster NHK.

Overview[edit]

Shigeru Mizuki is a Japanese manga artist who is best known for his yōkai (Japanese folklore monsters)-themed manga, especially GeGeGe no Kitarō.[7][1] Mizuki enjoyed writing about the monsters' histories, which a local woman related to him; however in 1942, at the age of 21, Mizuki was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army.[7] He was sent to Rabaul, a city on New Britain island in Papua New Guinea, where his comrades died and Mizuki lost his left arm.[7] Based on these experiences, Mizuki wrote Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths, containing "90 percent fact".[1][2] Fictionalizing himself as private Maruyama, Mizuki tells the story by combining drawings with photographs.[8]

Release[edit]

Shigeru Mizuki wrote and illustrated Sōin Gyokusai Seyo!, which was first published in the August 1973 issue of Shūkan Gendai.[9] In the same year, Kodansha released it in tankōbon format with the subtitle Sento Jōji Misaki Aika (聖ジョージ岬・哀歌, "Cape St. George Lamentations").[10] In July 1985, Holp Shuppan published the work,[11] and Kodansha re-released it on June 15, 1995.[12] Ohzora Publishing released the manga on August 9, 2007, as Ā Gyokusai: Mizuki Shigeru Senki Senshū (ああ玉砕~水木しげる戦記選集~),[13] and on July 30, 2010, as Mizuki Shigeru no Senki Senshū (水木しげるの戦記選集).[14] It was released under the konbini comic format by Shueisha on August 11, 2007, and on August 16, 2008.[15]

At the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International, comic book publisher Drawn and Quarterly announced it had acquired the manga's publishing rights and would release it in North America under the title Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths.[3] The company released the manga in May 2011; it was the first manga by Mizuki published in English.[16] The release had an introduction written by manga commentator Frederik L. Schodt and an interview with Mizuki.[6][4] The publisher chose the work because they thought it was "an excellent introduction" to Mizuki's work, and because "readers have knowledge of and thus can relate to on a certain level".[1]

Reception and legacy[edit]

Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths has been critically acclaimed. At the 2009 Angoulême International Comics Festival, the manga won the Prize for Inheritance.[5] In 2012, it was nominated for a Harvey Award in the Best American Edition of Foreign Material category.[17] It was selected for the Eisner Award in the categories Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia and Best Reality-Based Work, winning the former at the Comic-Con.[18]

According to a compilation by Deb Aoki of About.com, Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths was considered the best new manga of 2011 because it was included in 18 critics lists of best comics/graphic novels.[19] Aoki said the manga is "dense with details, and filled with pathos, humor and horror".[20] Paste's Garrett Martin wrote that the "realistic depictions of normal men trapped in a horrible situation" makes Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths "brutally honest".[21] Brigid Alverson of MTV Geek said, "this is not an easy story to read, but its historical importance and the lessons it holds for the future are undeniable".[22] Noel Murray writing in The A.V. Club said the manga's artwork is "detailed, often beautiful illustrations of small Pacific islands with characters rendered far less elaborately".[23] Karen Green of Comixology wrote that the "story is so human and its message so powerful" and that is a good book to eliminate the preconceptions American may have of the Japanese Army that are frequently propagated by Hollywood.[6] Among others, Library Journal,[24] Dan Kois and Glen Weldon of NPR,[25][26] Comic Book Resources,[27] Ed Sizemore of Manga Worth Reading,[28] and Publishers Weekly included it on their lists of best comic books of 2011.[29] Further, in 2014, Joe Gross of the Rolling Stone qualified it as the 46th "Best Non-Superhero Graphic Novel" of all time.[30]

David Maine wrote for PopMatters that "there is little here to criticize. Perhaps some of the transitions are a bit abrupt, [and] maybe some of the characterization could be sharper."[31] Similarly, Sean Michael Robinson of The Comics Journal said Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths for its theme "as well as its many strengths and virtues, it is a very difficult book to criticize".[2] Robinson's critics was that it has "loosely characterized" characters and that its art "can also be a stumbling block". He said the art is "problematic", is "the hand-off—when characters suddenly leap modes, bouncy and expressive one moment, and photo-rendered and flat the next".[2] Tom Spurgeon, writing for The Comics Reporter, said he had difficulty "in not being able to easily track which soldiers are which at any one point in the book".[32]

Television adaptation[edit]

On August 12, 2007, NHK General TV broadcast Kitarō ga Mita Gyokusai: Mizuki Shigeru no Sensō (鬼太郎が見た玉砕 〜水木しげるの戦争〜), a Japanese television drama based on Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths.[33] It was written by Takuya Nishioka and produced by Tsuyoshi Yanagawa, and starred Teruyuki Kagawa as Shigeru Mizuki.[34][35] On July 16, 2008, Pony Canyon released the drama in DVD format.[34] The Agency for Cultural Affairs awarded it the Excellence Prize for a television drama during the National Arts Festival.[36] The drama was awarded the Excellence Prize for television program at the 45th Galaxy Awards by the Japan Council for Better Television and Radio.[37] At the 34th Hoso Bunka Foundation Awards, Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths won the awards for Best Television Drama, Best Actor (Kagawa), and Best Production (Yanagawa).[35]

Cast[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Also translated as "Let us all die honorably!"[5] and "Let's All Commit Ritual Suicide!"[6] by other sources.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Cha, Kai-Ming (July 13, 2011). "D&Q Publishes Shigeru Mizuki's Classic War Manga". Publishers Weekly. PWxyz LLC. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Robinson, Sean Michael (June 29, 2011). "Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths". The Comics Journal. Fantagraphics Books. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Spurgeon, Tom (July 24, 2010). "Notes From The 2010 CCI Floor". The Comics Reporter. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Nadel, Dan (April 20, 2011). "Preview: Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths". The Comics Journal. Fantagraphics Books. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Loo, Egan (February 2, 2009). "Mizuki's Opération Mort Wins Angoulême's Heritage Award". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c Green, Karen (September 30, 2011). "Let's All Commit Ritual Suicide!". ComiXology.com. Archived from the original on January 4, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c Otake, Tomoko (February 6, 2005). "Drawing on experience". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
  8. ^ Solomon, Charles (October 10, 2011). "'Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths': A graphic novel of war's rage". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015.
  9. ^ 週刊現代 15(増刊) (in Japanese). National Diet Library. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  10. ^ 総員玉砕せよ : 聖ジョージ岬・哀歌 (in Japanese). National Diet Library. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  11. ^ 総員玉砕せよ : 聖ジョージ岬・哀歌. CiNii (in Japanese). National Institute of Informatics. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  12. ^ 総員玉砕せよ! (in Japanese). Kodansha. Archived from the original on July 23, 2014. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  13. ^ ああ玉砕~水木しげる戦記選集~ (in Japanese). Ohzora Publishing. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  14. ^ 水木しげる戦記選集 (in Japanese). Ohzora Publishing. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  15. ^ 過去の出版物一覧<1> 平成19(2007)年 ~平成21(2009)年 (in Japanese). Mizuki Production. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  16. ^ "Products by Shigeru Mizuki". Drawn and Quarterly. Archived from the original on May 30, 2014. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  17. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (July 2, 2012). "Mizuki's Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths Gets Harvey Nod". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  18. ^ Loo, Egan (July 14, 2012). "Mizuki's Manga Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths Wins Eisner Award". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  19. ^ Aoki, Deb. "Critics' Choice: Best Manga of 2011". About.com. InterActiveCorp. Archived from the original on July 23, 2014. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  20. ^ Aoki, Deb. "2011 Best New Manga". About.com. InterActiveCorp. Archived from the original on July 10, 2014. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  21. ^ Martin, Garrett; Brown, Hillary; Edgar, Sean (December 4, 2011). "The 20 Best Comic Books of 2011". Paste. Wolfgang's Vault. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  22. ^ Alverson, Brigid (November 28, 2011). "The Best Manga Series of 2011". MTV Geek. Viacom International. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  23. ^ Murray, Noel (December 29, 2011). "The best comics of 2011: Graphic novels & art comics". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  24. ^ Cornog, Martha; Raiteri, Steve (December 1, 2011). "Best Books 2011: Graphic Novels". Library Journal. Media Source Inc. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  25. ^ Kois, Dan (December 21, 2011). "Six Graphic Novels That Will Draw You In". NPR. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  26. ^ Weldon, Glen (December 22, 2011). "The Best Comics Of 2011. Yep". NPR. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  27. ^ "CBR's Top 100 Comics of 2011, #75 - 51". Comic Book Resources. December 27, 2011. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  28. ^ Sizemore, Ed (December 30, 2011). "Ed Returns to Present His Top 10 Manga of 2011". Manga Worth Reading. Comics Worth Reading. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  29. ^ "Hark! A Vagrant Tops 2011 PW Comics World Critic's Poll". Publishers Weekly. PWxyz LLC. January 10, 2012. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  30. ^ Gross, Joe (May 5, 2014). "Drawn Out: The 50 Best Non-Superhero Graphic Novels". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  31. ^ Maine, David (June 13, 2011). "A Manga Superstar Gets Serious with This Tragic Tale: 'Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths'". PopMatters. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  32. ^ Spurgeon, Tom (May 26, 2011). "Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths". The Comics Reporter. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
  33. ^ "NHKスペシャル「鬼太郎が見た玉砕〜水木しげるの戦争〜」 8月12日 (日) 総合•午後9:00~10:29放送" (in Japanese). NHK. Archived from the original on August 21, 2007. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  34. ^ a b ドラマ「鬼太郎が見た玉砕」スタッフ・ブログ (in Japanese). NHK. Archived from the original on December 7, 2008. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  35. ^ a b 第34回 放送文化基金賞 受賞一覧 (in Japanese). Hoso Bunka Foundation. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  36. ^ 文化庁芸術祭での受賞について (PDF) (in Japanese). NHK. December 21, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 24, 2014. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  37. ^ 第45回ギャラクシー賞受賞作品. Hōsō Hihyō Kondankai (in Japanese). Japan Council for Better Radio and Television. Archived from the original on November 8, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.

External links[edit]