Read The Box Man by Imiri Sakabashira Online


THE FIRST STORY TO BE TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH FROM THE SURREALIST AND ALTERNATIVE MANGA-KAEnter the strange world of Imiri Sakabashira, whose denizens are zoomorphic creatures that emerge from one another as well as their equally bizarre environs. The Box Man follows its protagonists along a scooter trip through a complex landscape that oscillates between a dense city, aTHE FIRST STORY TO BE TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH FROM THE SURREALIST AND ALTERNATIVE MANGA-KAEnter the strange world of Imiri Sakabashira, whose denizens are zoomorphic creatures that emerge from one another as well as their equally bizarre environs. The Box Man follows its protagonists along a scooter trip through a complex landscape that oscillates between a dense city, a countryside simplified to near abstraction, and hybrids of the two; the theme of hybridity permeates throughout. One is unsurprised to encounter a creature that is half elderly man, half crab, or a flying frog in this world where our guide apparent is an anthropomorphic, mollusk-like cat. Sakabashira weaves this absurdist tale into a seamless tapestry constructed of elements as seemingly disparate as Japanese folklore, pop culture, and surrealism.Within these panels, it becomes difficult to distinguish between the animate and the inanimate, the real and the imagined—a tension that adds a layer of complexity to this near-wordless psychedelic travelogue. Imiri Sakabashira (real name Mochizuki Katsuhiro) was born in Shizuoka, Japan, in 1964, the same year that Garo, the influential manga anthology in which he would first be published, was founded....

Title : The Box Man
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781897299913
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 128 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Box Man Reviews

  • David Schaafsma
    2019-01-11 07:52

    This is the first manga to be published in English of this influential manga-ka, Imiri Sakabashira, who first published in Garo. It's a sort of dream story or story of the subconscious, with surreal and other influences, maybe psychedelic. Wordless. There is a narrative, a guy who is part lobster taking us through some town. Wild ride, sometimes disturbing, concluding in the "sea of decadence." Has a closing photo of the author with ray gun and cape and dark glasses and goofy uniform such as his main character. Made me think go Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in… what? But there's (maybe) a kind of critique of modern consumption/culture in it, too, as popular culture, a lot of junk, floats through everything. The nature of reality…. I dunno. He may not want us to take this all too seriously. I don't know what it is trying to say but it might be amusing for a lot readers.

  • Nate D
    2019-01-19 09:52

    Determinedly headed outside the normal paths charted by its manga contemporaries, while riffing off of and channeling certain aspects for strange and eerie power. There are a few threads here -- a kind of adventure story of cryptic travel through a labyrinthine cityscape that gives way to a multilayer voyeurism (and autocritique), then an extended chase. The art has a looseness at odds with the architectural density but it works and gives the the images a kind of murky depth. And then an ending explaining everything and nothing.

  • Matt
    2019-01-05 12:54

    Once again I misunderestimated the difference between the unconventional and the avant-garde. This, if you didn't know, fits into the second category. It's interesting, because I don't think I read that many comics that really fall outside the realm of the more traditional literary form, narratives that cohere around some sort of forward plot movement and that are structured around characters with consistent personalities, desires that are the motive engine of the plot. Interesting because, comics with their visual make-up, it seems like could do so much more-- not that language doesn't have its own potential to go off those well-worn rails, but the visual element of comics seems to allow so much more.Which is, essentially, what happens here: the plot is that the bike rider wants to take a box someplace, but we really don't know why, till the end, when it's revealed that its his dad in the box, and his dad has the lower body of a crab, and well, that 's not much help. Really, the story, to the degree that it has a center, or is focalized in the way Genette would suggest, it's not the driver, but the weird cat that rides on the back of the bike, who seems otherwise unrelated to the action.In the absence, though, of narrative trappings we might recognize as normal, we get a really bravura visual sequence of driving-- I mean it when I say I was incredibly moved by the way the race develops, especially the "chase scene" toward the end, across shingled roofs. Paul Greengrass has nothing on this stuff, it's pure amazing stuff.And aside from that? Well, almost immediately before that sequence, there are a group of full-page voyeuristic scenes that are gross and horrifying and incredibly accomplished, even though they seem to come from a totally different visual zone than the chase that will follow them-- I think there's a risk with this kind of book in reading too much into the visuals, but I feel like the way the voyeurism is so icky, and some of the tentacle-rape overtones of some of it, along with some of the faces on the voyeurs, makes me think this is a critique of traditional comics, or at least its tendency towards fan service.Of course, it's not a critique that's developed or followed through with, at least not in any way I could make out. It's not that kind of book, really. Instead, the book is a collection of such weird improvisations, and I think to the degree that the book succeeds, and it does, brilliantly, it's the skill with which individual moments come to life, not the way they string themselves together. Awesome and challenging, something I've very grateful to have read, and excited creatively to have seen.

  • Sam Quixote
    2019-01-05 07:39

    A man on a moped with a box on the back and an odd Pokemon-type creature at his side cruises past an alien landscape alongside typical Japanese architecture. Except things are a bit off - monsters and half-man creatures are everywhere, the police are after him for harbouring a lobster-type creature in his box, and a disturbing-looking little bald dude with sunglasses is voyeuristically watching as monsters wrestle with humans.What the hell is going on? I don't know, but it's an interesting little book. It's mostly wordless and there are loads of psychedelic scenes which reminded me of Jim Woodring's work, and some of the monster/human scenes looked like straight out of a Charles Burns book.But besides a few well-drawn pages and a feeling of unreality throughout, I didn't get much out of the book. It's too weird, too all over the place, to really make much of an impression and the lack of coherent storytelling made it less interesting to read rather than more. I appreciate Drawn & Quarterly putting out alternative comics from Japan but I wouldn't say this was the best pick as it raises too many questions without answering any, so it's frustrating to read rather than enjoyable.

  • Maureen
    2019-01-04 11:42

    A quick, bizarre read. Nice dark black ink, heavy brushstrokes, with a nod to experimental and traditional Japanese style. A hooded scooter pilot and a tag-a-long street cat struggle throughout the book to an unknown destination with a mysterious box. Inside is some form of clawed crustacean whose strange purpose is later revealed. Through the journey, the pilot is chased by monsters, police cars, and other such troubles. A pretty cool little book.

  • Concertina
    2019-01-05 10:49

    y media...Creo que todo va muy rápido, pero el arte le hizo ganarse esa media estrellita.

  • Pustulio
    2019-01-07 09:40

    Le entendí, pero hubo una parte que me p uso medio incómodo.

  • Liara PvO
    2018-12-31 07:46

    I will fully concede that might general ambivalence about avant garde surrealism may have inhibited me from getting the most out of this manga, or perhaps I was missing some element of folklore. As it stands, this is basically an acid trip in manga form, almost completely wordless and nonsensical, though still managing to have some semblance of narrative. I skimmed some other reviews to see if anyone "got" what this was supposed to evoke, but was left wanting.The art style is definitely interesting. You could give me a thousand years and I'd never come up with anything matching Imiri Sakabashira's mind. It's genuinely unsettling in a way few things really are. Some of those images are going to stick with me.

  • Meepelous
    2019-01-19 15:55

    A random pick up at the library, I am extremely blessed to have found this delightful little book.Perhaps the most adult wordless comic I have ever read, Sakabashira toes the line between conventional story telling and abstract craziness quite deftly. He goes in so many interesting directions, but they are all tied together with an incredibly strong sense of narrative. I'm sure that more than a few cultural and pop cultural references went completely over my head, but I never felt like it. Knowing and not knowing, the world and its story never seems shallow.

  • Felipe Chiaramonte
    2018-12-31 15:56

    Jornada surreal de um sujeito levando uma caixa na garupa de uma mobilete, sem sabermos do que se trata e qual seu destino. Por entre cortiços empilhados desordenadamente, cortados por uma centena de túneis e fios, e em meio a perseguições de cadetes que só sabem apitar e monstros bizarros que só sabem ser muito, muito bizarros (em uma determinada e memorável cena, o ritmo de fuga da história é rompido por 16 páginas inteiras de uma mesma situação, mas encenada por criaturas diferentes aterrorizando sujeitos nos mais diversos lugares, porém sempre com o mesmo mote - um homem lunático se deliciando com a situação e o nosso protagonista bisbilhotando escondido a cena em todas as suas variantes). Enfim, é uma história muito peculiar, quase sem diálogos, mas com muitas onomatopéias, repetições, situações desconcertantes e um final bem irônico.

  • Kate
    2018-12-31 16:03

    A strange animal hops a ride on a man's scooter and ends up on a surreal journey the man takes to deliver the box that is strapped to his back.This book takes about 10 minutes to read. There is almost no dialogue or writing, but there are frequent sound effects. Sakabashira shows two different styles of drawing in this book. The animal is quite simple and cartoonish as are some of the figures. The backgrounds are much more detailed. In one scene the scooter glides across rickety rooftops into strangely deformed peril. Deformity is definitely a strong part of the story.This book is strange, surreal, and a little unnerving.

  • Penelope
    2019-01-05 11:56

    I saw Sakabashira's illustrations before I saw his comics, so when I got this book all I really knew was that I like the way he draws, and I like the weirdness of his subject matter. I had actually seen a number of images from this book without knowing they were part of a larger narrative, so it was interesting to see them in context (although I'm not sure how much context is worth in such a strange tale).Anyway, "The Box Man" really keeps you guessing and wondering what the hell is going on. The ending is hilarious. Sakabashira's drawings are beautiful and full of details. Lots of grotesque, humorous imagery. Overall: Good stuff!

  • Sae-chan
    2019-01-20 07:56

    Culture shock. Well, maybe not culture, more like genre shock. Whoa, first time I read (can I say read? There are only 3 balloons there) "something" like this. Shocking. I went through it twice and it really gave me a chill. Both times, the second even more than the first. Whoa. I'll say it again, Whoa. This is an adventure nobody should miss out. The drawing of Sakabashira-san left a lot for imagination in some places, little in others. The fact that it is monochrome gave it more power. Churning my inside so bad, I craved for more. Whoa.

  • Emilia P
    2019-01-07 13:41

    Oh holy holy crap this was weird.It started out not so weird, and kind of quiet, and then it got nightmarishly horrifically awesomely insectile monster vignettes weird. And then it went back to a semi-quiet chase scene, and then back to monsters. And it was ultimately pretty sad, but as strange as it was, it all made far too much sense and flowed perfectly. Absolutely pick it up if you see it, but do not read it right before bed, or while on drugs. Please. Crazy stuff, man.

  • Zanne
    2019-01-15 09:50


  • Jamie
    2019-01-03 07:48

    I have no idea what I just read, but I couldn't stop turning the pages. Cool and weird and kind of creepy.

  • Scott Stevens
    2019-01-04 15:51

    "Since getting this crab-like lower body, your behaviour has become far too decadent."

  • hissi
    2018-12-24 07:52

    I loved the art but the lack of dialog leaves a lot to the imagination which wasn't good.

  • Ignacio Nova
    2019-01-22 07:42

    This one's gonna stick with me for a while.

  • Ademption
    2019-01-14 11:58

    The book reminded me of the works of Jim Woodring, and it suffers from that comparison.

  • Lara Thompson
    2018-12-27 09:41

    Surreal. Few words.

  • Wess
    2019-01-04 14:53

    I almost feel like I'm doing something wrong by owning this book.