The Drifting Classroom: Volume 1 Paperback – 20 Aug 2008
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About the Author
Kazuo Umezu was born September 3, 1936 in Wakayama, Japan. Umezu, who started drawing professionally in the 1950s, is considered the most influential horror manga artist ever. His many horror and sci-fi/horror works include Nekome Kozo ("The Cat-Eyed Kid," 1967-1968), Orochi, The Drifting Classroom (1972-1974), Ultraman (a manga adaptation of the TV series), Senrei ("Baptism"), My Name is Shingo, The Left Hand of God/Right Hand of the Devil, and Fourteen. His popular gag series Makoto-Chan (1976) and Again prove that Umezu is also an accomplished humor cartoonist. (He is also a musician.) Umezu's weird style, incredible ideas and sometimes terrifying imagery have made him a fixture of Japanese pop culture, and his work has been adapted into movies, anime and collectibles.
Top customer reviews
This series deal with the Time-slip, and the Survival of young students who face in the world where no adult professionals such as physicians exits. Thus, when illness struck, they have to perform operation by themselves while consulting a medical book. In order to understand and appreciate the creativity of unique Manga-ka, the entire series must be read from Vol.1 to the end. Such an usual story brilliantly drawn. This is a masterpiece of Umezu. Highly recommended.
The protagonist of the manga is a young 6th grader called Sho. After falling out with his mother (in what I'll admit is an effective and very sad scene, considering the circumstances) he attends school when suddenly... an earthquake. Although it's not an earthquake. The entire school ground has left Japan, leaving a huge hole in the ground, and has reappeared in a barren, deserted wasteland. What's promised next is how these people of different ages deal with the situation but more importantly, how they deal with each other.
Yet, the promise doesn't quite come true. It seems only possible that in this situation true colours would emerge. The emotions people try to hide would be unleashed and our basic savagery would emerge. The manga, at least in this volume, doesn't capture this theme too effectively. The primary example - one teacher grabs his own son and shoves a pair of scissors into his arm, all to scare and calm down the rest of the crying children. A tad melodramatic? It seemed forced and, as the warning on the front exclaims, explicit for the sake of being explicit.
Still, Sho seems interesting enough and I am looking forward to seeing the manga develop, despite not getting off to the greatest of starts. It has a lot of potential and I can only hope that such an original and engrossing premise becomes as good as it should be.
If you can get past the dated appearance (the lead characters face on the front cover is literally exactly the same as seen throughout the entire volume), its a pretty good story.
However, due to many artistic niggles I had that irritated me and took me out of the story, I probably won't be buying volume 2.
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