Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Vertigo Pop Tokyo 1 page 17

I am posting a small image of page 16; it has been posted here before, on Sept 5 of '07. In that page, Ryuji has attempted to punish Nishizaki for not paying his "rent" money to the Yakuza, but he did it by throwing one of the game machines out the second story window. The top right frame of the next page (large image) shows what happens at sidewalk level when the machine hits the ground.

Hara explains, in his usual way (by hitting Ryuji in the head), why destroying the machine was not an appropriate punishment. So Ryuji, his noseless face and beady eyes as full of expression as a more complex one, goes to Nishizaki and whacks him with a plastic elephant. Note all the animals in the machine where poor Nishizaki is lying. There is the ever-popular toy snail, a big-eyed elephant similar to one that showed up in Willworld, a sort of whale that looks like one of the monsters in Big in Japan, and various turtles, rabbits, and ducks that are somehow peculiarly Seth's. Maybe it is the big round eyes with a dot in the middle.

The bottom panel of the Yakuza demonstrating for equal rights was an idea born from an actual demonstration that occurred in Tokyo in the early 90's. We don't see Ryuji's face, only the elephant that he used as a weapon, which he is still holding tight in his hand, his other hand clenched as well. Clear markers of a man who has just done something he is deeply conflicted about. The text gives no indication of what is going on in his mind, but the pictures tell us plainly.

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