Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths
The book that brought pre-eminent Manga-ka Shigeru Mizuki to the English-speaking world
Kokopo, 1943. A platoon of soldiers is ordered into battle. The objective is death. The alternative is certain execution as a consequence of survival. Inspired by Eisner Award-winning author Shigeru Mizuki's own mandatory tour of duty as an active combatant in the Imperial Japanese Army, Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths portrays a flailing infantry unit on its last legs near the end of the Second World War.
This deeply personal and landmark anti-war work could only have been made by a pacifist. The desperation and moral depravity on display is devastating. Mizuki's fanciful characters must make do against a photo-realistic backdrop teeming with tropical life that remains inhospitable. Indeed, commanding officers prove even more ferocious than the wild unknown of Papua New Guinea. And yet the human instinct endures, seeing through the absurdity of such a rigid and outdated command structure with gallows humor.
About this Author
Shigeru Mizuki (1922-2015) was one of Japan's most respected artists. A creative prodigy, he lost an arm in World War II. After the war, Mizuki became one of the founders of Japan's latest craze--manga. He invented the yokai genre with GeGeGe no Kitaro, his most famous character, who has been adapted for the screen several times, as anime, live action, and video games. In fact, a new anime series has been made every decade since 1968, capturing the imaginations of generations of Japanese children. A researcher of yokai and a real-life ghost hunter, Mizuki traveled to over sixty countries to engage in fieldwork based on spirit folklore. In his hometown of Sakaiminato, one can find Shigeru Mizuki Road, a street decorated with bronze statues of his Kitaro characters.
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