Two new books today… First off is our latest cookbook release and this one is really fancy and really really useful.
BANZAI BANQUETS combines the knowledge of a young chef who grew up in a beloved Japanese inn and her love for global cuisine to create a book that finally reveals Japan’s modern hospitality sensibility.
If you have ever wondered what it is like to go to a modern Tokyo party or dine at a Japanese inn that mixes in traditional cuisine with an international flair author Riko Yamawaki reveals those details with aplomb. Through dozens of recipes and full-color photos she can help almost anyone create a Japanese experience for get-togethers, whether they are set in New York, Tulsa or Chicago. Along with the event tips, Banzai Banquets shares a number of hearty and wholesome meals for 4 or more for a variety of occasions. Covering a wide range of dishes from traditional Japanese to the nouveau-French found in Tokyo, along with table placement and interior design tips, Banzai Banquets is the must have book for those cooks and hosts looking to have their guests cheer BANZAI!!
And then we sadly have to say good-bye to an old friend. The final volume of GTO: 14 Days in Shonan goes on sale this week, and as you can see on the cover the GTO legend has now finally come to an end. Onizuka thought he was going to go on vacation but ended up changing the lives of many in his home region of Shonan. Throughout the new 9-volume series, faces from the many GTO series - Early Years and original - make cameos and the story comes full-circle with Onizuka making his return to Tokyo at the end.
It was a pleasure to be able to work on this beloved series. I hope to someday get around to releasing Bad Company in some form. So if you haven’t had a chance to experience the continued tales of Eikichi Onizuka yet, go pick up GTO: 14 Days in Shonan and oh finish up your GTO: The Early Years sets while you can too :)
New Manga Re-release - Osamu Tezuka’s AYAKO (trade paperback edition)
Beauty In The Box
Let’s face it. If you’re reading this, you don’t need an introduction to Osamu Tezuka. You know already know who he is and you know why he’s important. Like the critically acclaimed Message To Adolf, Ayako is the godfather of manga at his best. This gorgeous paperback edition of Ayako comes in at just under 700 pages; making this artistically rich and complex work more than a bang for you buck. With Tezuka’s descriptive art and his subtle nuanced writing both at their its peak, Ayako is a work of manga mastery, plain and simple.
The story of Ayako itself centers around one girl named Ayako, who’s had a very unfortunate upbringing, to say the least, and her sizeable. She herself is the result of illicit relations between the family head and one of his daughter-in-laws, though she herself is unaware. Due to baring witness to a murder her communist-aligned brother committed, Ayako’s family locked her up in their basemen, in an attempt to make sure their dirty laundry never slipped out. She remained there throughout her entire adolescence and doesn’t escape until she’s an adult. Her relationships, at times incestuous, with her various family members over the years set against the backdrop of post-war Japan, with a handful of deaths and conspiracies surrounding the family itself unraveling throughout, make up this harrowing graphic novel experience known as Ayako.
Out of his entire breadth of work published here in the US, Ayako possibly is the most mature of Osamu Tezuka’s masterpieces. A work that simultaneously both critiques the developing post-war Japanese society and speaks against some of the more restrictive elements of Japanese traditionalism, Ayako tells a dark story with perfect pacing and some haunting overtones. If you missed the hardcover release of Ayako a few years back, this new more affordable edition is a must. One of Tezuka’s absolute best works, it’s perfect for any established fan, someone needing an introduction, and the general graphic novel crowd alike.