krpalmer: (mimas)
[personal profile] krpalmer
Poking around, I noticed an article on the Star Wars official site taking a look at the manga adaptations of the "Imperial Trilogy," then kept noticing links to it on various comics and manga weblogs that I follow. I suppose I might even have hoped there would be a piece like it when I first heard about the official site running articles about "Star Wars in Japan" in advance of the official convention there later this year. When I first heard about the manga adaptations basically a decade ago, the combination definitely got my attention; at that point, I was already a reasonably seasoned veteran of my university's anime club, if still very aware of the titles I hadn't seen but which seemed to be part of some general "fandom consensus" ...nowadays, while I still haven't seen some of those titles, I don't quite seem bothered about that. Maybe it's a case of not reading as much fanfiction as I used to... I eventually found the Star Wars manga version not that long after getting the news (for example, there are still two impresssed period reviews around from a long-defunct if still online "anime webzine"), but did have to snap out of my general "maybe if I actually experience Star Wars again for myself, I'll finally be offended just like everyone else" funk before I managed to pick up the Return of the Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back adaptations, in that order.

Right off the mark, Pablo Hidalgo makes a point I've thought of myself, that any comparison to the old Marvel adaptations should take in mind that the manga artists had more space to work with and long familiarity with the movies themselves. With that said, though, a thought did begin creeping up on me, that the scenes being selected for comparison seemed to have a particular emphasis on things like planets being blown up and strangulation and Rebels being stepped on and lightsabre decapitation and lightsabre amputation and strangulation again (with just a dash of "fanservice...") I started wondering about the way anime seemed to have been promoted fifteen years ago, with definite undertones of "You won't believe cartoons can show this!" (Then, I pondered the North American cable shows from nowadays that take somewhat the same approach, but go more for "crass and crude.") I suppose one of the things that attracted me more to the manga version was the way they told the stories without the heavy use of added dialogue and captions. (The page on the "cantina scene" makes almost that point, I suppose, but still manages to seem to imply the whole "every background character has their own biography!" flood of detail you can get into nowadays.) Another thing that appealed to me about the manga, I admit, was the character designs themselves. (After all, the manga version of Star Wars loosens up Princess Leia's controlled "cinnamon bun" hairstyle just a bit...)

Still, it was an interesting article, if one that, in showing the "unflipped" Japanese originals (when Dark Horse published its translation, manga tended to be mirrored so that it read the way other comics did; then, another company Tokyopop got the idea to cut the price by cutting out the necessary retouching and tapping into a certain fan undercurrent of craving "authenticity"), left me thinking again that I'd certainly buy a new "unflipped" version, and then wishing once more that they'd get around to commissioning comparable adaptations of the "Republic Trilogy." I also happened to notice an article about "merchandise Japan had that we never got"... but was surprised to see the wind-up R2-D2, which was one of the first Star Wars toys I ever had, before noticing the clarifying note that it did manage to make it to Canada. If it just plain hasn't vanished in a move, though, most of the stabilizing prongs would be broken off its feet by now.

Date: 2008-03-02 07:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lazypadawan.livejournal.com
I loved the manga adaptations of the films and wish they'd done AOTC and ROTS.

Date: 2008-03-02 02:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] krpalmer.livejournal.com
Of course, one thing that's come to mind for me is that it took about fifteen years for the manga adaptations of TESB and RotJ to arrive... also, I suppose I've wondered how well the TPM manga adaptation did. It was only half as long as the others, and may have seemed a bit more "constructed from production photography" than them as well.

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