Manga: Why is it urgent to read Rokudenashi Blues?

He grimaces, gets angry stubbornly, bandit, but cries and also falls in love. Big guys can get emotional and the Rokudenashi Blues, in bookstores from June 1st, is proof of that. A manga of the furyô genre, to acquire urgently if you are a fan of Tokyo Revenges and GTO.

To honor this monument published between 1988 and 1997 in Japan, it is in a new collection entitled Masterpiece that Pika rolls out the red carpet for him. A work that is actually not new in the language of Molière, as manga readers, from the 2000s, remember its energetic publication published by J’ai Lu under the excellent name of Racaille Blues. Vanished from the shelves since then and sometimes sold at exorbitant prices, this edition now gives way to a much more prestigious one, adorned with color pages, in the flattering 15 x 21 cm format and a new translation that does it justice. .

Rokudensahi Blues is above all the story of a struggle. That of Taison Maeda, a rogue and bully high school student who dreams of only one thing: to become a professional boxing champion, like a certain Mike Tyson. But behind his appearance as a large, charismatic brute, Taison also offers more complex feelings and a certain touching fragility, while testosterone also excites his teenage body.

Masanori Morita in legend

Strong touching heads, it’s basically the fight led by author Masanori Morita, who destroys prejudices throughout the 42 original volumes that make up this extraordinary series, which helped to center the Weekly Shônen Jump stories in a more realistic world, far from the fantasy of Dragon. Ball and Saint Seiya.

Rokudenashi Blues helped to sublimate the furyō genre in JapanMehdi Benrabah

It should be noted that Masanori Morita was at a good school, as he was an assistant to Tetsuo Hara in Hokuto no Ken (aka Ken the Survivor in France). A reference in terms of design and a heritage that emerges through sublime boards where the characters impose their charisma. “You could say that Rokudenashi Blues is a ‘game changer’ as it helped to sublimate the furyô genre in Japan. [NDR : qui met en scène de jeunes délinquants au grand cœur] and in my opinion it is necessary to have read it to better decipher this genre. I even consider it my duty as an editor to find or revive manga of this type to have an educational approach. In this Masterpiece collection, I want to say to readers: this is a classic you must have read”, explains Mehdi Benrabah, editorial director of Pika, to CNEWS.

“Here the illustrations are very aesthetic, rich in detail and above all the story offers a depth to its characters that is at the height of this graphic design. Once we delve into Rokudenashi Blues, we’ll see an author who continues to grow in power in the mastery of his art. Today, his style hasn’t aged one bit. There are many furyô manga, but there is this one and the others. Taison Maeda is unforgettable. He’s a fighter, but he doesn’t have the technique. So let’s follow his evolution in boxing. He is a charismatic character and his gang is fascinated by him. We can really say that Taison has fire in him,” explains Mehdi Benrabah.

And to continue: “It’s a purely shonen title, even if it can appeal to adults. There’s the tension of the fights, but a lot of humorous situations balance that out. It’s also the age of first emotions, with boys not being very good with girls. It remains a very universal narrative.”

a remarkable legacy

Above all, the author interferes as much as possible in the lives of high school students, like the other great series that was his contemporary in the pages of Weekly Shônen Jump: Slam Dunk. So much so that a “healthy rivalry” was established between Masanori Morita, who chose boxing, and Takehisko Inoue, who chose basketball for Slam Dunk (ed. Kana), where their styles are among the most impressive in the world. Both influencing each other.

“Among the influences, we can also highlight the legacy of Ashita no Joe (ed. Glénat), published between 1968 and 1973. It is a classic of manga boxing, a discipline that is the red thread of the Rokudensahi Blues. We can also mention the 1983 Be-Bop High School (48 volumes still unpublished in France) which was part of the manga that gave its noble lyrics to the furyô genre”, specifies Mehdi Benrabah.

In the new Masterpiece edition, Pika works with talent to translate the very particular vocabulary of the Rokudenashi Blues. “We entrusted the translation to Pascale Simon. She is familiar with furyô codes as she has worked on similar titles such as Bakuon Rettô and Ushijima-L’usurer de l’ombre [NDR : tous deux chez Kana]. I wanted us to keep the fun of these colorful characters.

The result is a high-quality edition that will condense the initial 42 volumes into 25, with a scheduled release every two months. And we hope to one day see the return of Rookies, by the same author and focused on baseball.

Rokudenashi Blues, by Masanori Morita, ed. Pika, I take 1 available on 1er juin.

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