To my readers......

Normal Posting will now be resumed following my break. Thanks for visiting mitchmen! (Mar 12th 2017)

Monday, 30 June 2014

A-Z of Fetish Artists - Takeuchi


Another Japanese artist who I only know from a group of images which depict a selection of mildly kinky encounters of which the bound for sex image above is probably the most significant for this series. These pictures originally included substantial Japanese texts which some misguided soul has edited out. If you search for the artist and add the words gay art you should find the full version of this one.

 I prefer this image with it's sexy, shiny leotard and elements of embarrassment and control from the minder behind. Oh that we had the explanatory text! Presumably it's not a wife swapping party but if the 'wives' were all like this, well I don't mind if I do! I believe the cropping of the actual pictures is down to the artist not any third party. There was a vogue for this sort of thing in the 1980's magazines but the explicit subject matter suggests a later date.

For my money the chunky athlete in speedos watching some leather guys at it steals this scene too. I love the way that Japanese artists revel erotica with sporting references, like the rugby story in the last article.

These are marvellous, stylish images and I wish I could find more work by this artist 
(can anyone help out?)

For previous articles in this series click on the A-Z label below

Thursday, 26 June 2014

A-Z of Fetish Artists - Takeshi Matsu



As a Japanese comic book artist Takeshi Matsu poses similar access problems (language, culture etc) as those I discussed in my firstTagame article, but to a lesser degree because his stories are far simpler and less nuanced and English translations are plentiful. They are considerably less challenging in content than Tagame, but still have some interesting fetish elements.


Left: Takeshi's Burglar in 'Prowler '              


 


Right: Tom of Finland's Burglar



In 'Prowler' a would-be burglar is surprised and overpowered by the man who lives in the property. This scene setting picture is similar to, but rather less sexily imagined than Tom of Finland's treatment of the same subject. If you compare the characterisations of the two pairs of men, the balance of power and likely outcome is deliciously ambiguous in Tom's picture, but seems more cut and dried in Takeshi's. His occupant of the house even has a handy piece of binding cord to hand 
(or to mouth I should say!)

Takeshi Matsu - Scene from 'Prowler'

The burglar gets tied up and in this frame, his trousers are removed on the pretext of searching for ID (yeah, right!), thereafter one thing leads to another in a pretty conventional manner (with the odd twist). This image depicting the burglar's unexpected (only by him!) de-bagging is nicely composed, note the suggestive positioning of the hand. Clever details like the muscle vest, the burglar's everyday underwear and the trainers tell us a lot about the two men and give just enough erotic flavour to launch the reader's libido.

His characters are depicted using the distinctive style of the genre with spiky hair, small snub noses, highlighted cheeks and crudely drawn (if expressive) mouths. It's all drawn with lines that seem rather thin (and occasionally indistinct). I have tended to think of it as a specifically Japanese style but it's actually not dissimilar to the way Ajay drew 'Harry Chess' back in the 80's. It's not particularly sensuous or masculine in feel and the expressionistic, lean drawing technique means details and faces, like the burglar's here, can be quite hard to 'read' sometimes.

 Takeshi Matsu - Kane from  'Rugby Dormitory 204'

This image shows what Takeshi can do with faces when he wants to (compare with Tagame's portrait of 'Ohashi'). His treatment of light and shadow is marvellously simple, there's no gradation of the shading, just 4 separate 'colours' in blocks - and look how cleverly the hair is done with essentially just 2 colours. This slightly daft story relates to 'size' rivalry between rugby players in a room share. 'Kane' a handsome and resolutely straight beast discovers to his surprise that he has an admirer keen to help him realise his full potential. (The two main bubbles in the picture are reflective 'thinks' rather than speech).

 Takeshi Matsu - Secret Tape, bondage scene

There are more rugby players fooling around in 'Secret Tape' and the fall guy for their practical joke (shown here beginning to have doubts) is a splendid, erotically-idealised rendering of the fuller figure we often associate with that sport. The economy of line here is impressive but it's quality makes me yearn for a more realistic representation of the face. At least the blindfold (unusually) helps normalise to the image.

  Takeshi Matsu - Secret Tape, self sucking scene

You can pretty much get the gist of the whole plot from this image and understand the 'Secret Tape' of the title. The ability of this chunky man to perform self-fellatio (and with his arms tied behind too) is a less than believable proposition (as the onlooker's expression confirms) and yet it's still convincing visually. Quite an achievement, one that compares favourably with some of Tagame's efforts to show contorted chunky bodies. I like the drawing of the feet in this picture which captures that baby-like cuteness which big men sometimes exhibit. It's a terrific submissive pose and fetish fans would find it easy to visualise this and the previous image forming part of a much darker storyline.


Takeshi Matsu - Courier Spirit, gag loosening
In 'Courier Spirit', an old man on his final delivery job before retirement and his young protégé, are taken captive by brigands who want to present their leader with a plaything. Their blood-curling threat to cut the captives' arm and leg tendons so they can never, ever, escape, is worthy of Tagame, but in Takeshi's world it remains just a threat. The efforts of the friends to free each other's bonds using only their mouths provides a nice, erotic interlude of awkward, bodily closeness that embarrasses the younger man - and arouses him.

Takeshi Matsu - Courier Spirit, wrist rope loosening

The old man is not as supple as he once was and in order to reach and chew through the ropes tying his comrade's wrists, he needs to assume a rather indelicate position (above). This intimacy and the grave peril they are in eventually provokes a declaration of admiration and love from the younger man. Afterwards they discover the brigands have been poisoned by eating salted roe taken from their load which is not yet ready for consumption. I had a dig at Tagame for unconvincing representation (agewise) of Ohashi the student in Pride and I must say that in this piece Takeshi's 'old man' looks pretty good for his supposed age. Even allowing for shorter life expectancy in olden times. Must be something to do with the outdoor life – or the salt roe!

Despite their dramatic plot lines, Takeshi's stories have a gentle, romantic flavour and a wry humour which is quite pleasing. Like Tagame, his plots are generously flavoured and spiced by the character's conservative attitudes to sex, and their strong sense of propriety, privacy and embarrassment, but it's all a lot milder. Men trying their best to be 'M-E-N' but not always succeeding. I'm not much enamoured of the generic drawing style he uses, but his technical ability is undoubtedly of a high order even if the requirements of comic book production allow us only glimpses of it.

It's easy to find this artists work via search engines but I've not been able to locate a site I can positively identify as belonging to Takeshi Matsu, if any of you can help me with a link please use the comments facility.

For previous articles in this 'mitchmen' series click on the A-Z label below

Saturday, 21 June 2014

A-Z of Fetish Artists - Tagame (Part 4)

Part 4 – The Artistry of Tagame

In this final part of my review of Tagame's work I want to pick out some pictures by him that I particularly like.

 
Tagame - Student Ohashi from 'Pride', Vol 1

'Pride' contains some of Tagame's best drawing and story-telling and this image depicts Ohashi, the handsome but selfish college student who is destined to fall under the control of one of his Professors. In this drawing, Tagame beautifully captures the young man's youthful arrogance and charisma – and his vulnerability too.

 
Tagame - Ohashi Performs in a Telephone Box (from Pride, Vol 1)

This is one of the highlights of Ohashi's early 'apprenticeship'. His dick has been locked in a chastity cage for weeks and is going crazy with sexual frustration. In order to obtain the combination that will release his dick, he has to go to public telephone box and do what the Professor tells him over the phone – which is to strip naked and use a dildo on himself. I've never quite understood Japanese artists' obsession with dildos and vibrators, it seems to be one of those cultural things, but I do love the phone handset cradled under the student's chin in this picture, it's an authentic little detail that completely explains what is going on – even to someone who has never known the old-style phone boxes.

Tagame produces a gloriously muscular and hairy physique for the young man although it isn't quite what you'd expect of a student. In this picture he has finally been given the information to remove the cage and you get real sense of his pent-up passion. In a significant act of submission, he continues to obey the Professor's commands after release. Unfortunately his mentor has alerted a policeman to 'discover' his indecent performance and arrest him.
.
Tagame - Ohashi Spanked in Pride Vol 3

Spanking is not common in Tagame's stories and where it does occur, the scenes are often fleeting and depicted as close-up details of buttocks with impact symbols*. This is the only 'full view' example I have found. Tagame seems to use spanking a man as a short, sharp, painful punishment, rather than a way of humiliating him like a child. It's surprising considering how much he uses humiliation techniques, I don't know whether the reason is cultural or personal taste. Whatever the case, this good, old fashioned OTK spanking, is a good picture and once again it's from 'Pride'. It fits neatly into this story of a Student drawn into an increasingly dependant relationship with the Professor who becomes his S&M mentor.

Essentially the 'Pride' story is a variation on the universal theme of 'self-loathing becomes self-discovery' which is an indispensable, justifying ingredient in S&M porn of course. To coin a phrase, “You like that don't you?” (no response required, so don't worry about the gag). However, that's not to mock Tagame's working of the theme which is masterly. What makes 'Pride' so fascinating is the extended 'grooming' of the student through an inventive series of increasingly humiliating and painful tests and trials. The Professor exploits the student's attraction to him and uses manipulative, psychological techniques to keep him coming back for more. I'm not sure it's very scientific – or very nice, but it's an arresting read.

*Incidentally, gags seem to be totally absent!

 
Tagame  - The Lovers Kiss in 'Sensei '

This invocation of love from 'Sensei' is challenging taboos in a quite different area. There's a pleasing Yin-Yang flavour about the coupling and the contrasting characterisation of the two lovers. Despite their nudity, it's pretty non-explicit which allows the romantic attraction to surface and it is no less erotic for that. The swirling background patterning conveys the dreamy intensity of it all, an effect which is amplified by the lack of body boundary lines on the left as though emotions and body are one. This could easily be an unintended by-product of editing in the background, but it's a fortuitous one. Very nice.

 Tagame - Funayama Handcuffed (from 'The Trophy')

Back to business with a scene from 'The Trophy' where Officer Funayama (fresh from a whipping) is being readied for the electro-torture which I showed in Part 2. I have spoken of my preference for uncomplicated bondage before and this certainly meets that specification. It's actually quite hard to depict handcuffs realistically in drawings because they are not bulky objects and the real thing is quite unobtrusive when it's being worn, but this rendering works well. The sound-effects don't get in the way too much and are quite helpful in interpreting the captive's otherwise ambiguous expression. The discontinuous background pattern suggests his intense emotion and agitation. As in the previous picture, Tagame's use of this technique adds powerful layers of meaning to his imagery and shines through when the images are detached from their natural comic book habitat.

Tagame - Ginjiro's Itching (from 'Shirogane no Hana' Vol 2)

I have devoted a substantial part of this review to 'Pride' but I also should mention 'Shirogane no Hana' (The Silver Flower) which is considered by many to be Tagame's masterpiece. It's another 3-Volume work and I have never seen a full translation, but it concerns Ginjiro, a professional man sold into prostitution to pay his debts. In this scene his ass has been lubricated with a potion containing irritants and the only way he can scratch it is to use the dildo attached to his heel. This fiendish torment greatly intrigued me when I first came across it, not least for the way it manipulates a proud, virile man and the embarrassing contortions the trick forces him to perform. I believe there is a classic female illustration involving the same device, by using it Tagame is accentuating the man's humiliation.

Tagame - Ginjiro Recaptured (from 'Shirogane no Hana' Vol 2)

The enslaved man manages to escape and is sheltered by his fiancée, but he is betrayed, recaptured and returned to his master, who in this scene ponders how to punish him. No prizes for guessing what the cigarette is for, but that's just the start! The wealthy, cultured, degenerate villain is something of a cliché but his casual power over the virile Ginjiro is still delicious. 

There is something about suspension of a captive, like meat on a rack, that adds an extra dimension of threat and vulnerability and his futile struggling betrays his fear after a brief taste of freedom and normality. Tagame has taken the trouble to get the captive's marvellous, chunky physique looking right and you can almost feel his body straining against the tight, creaking ropes. The uncomplicated composition mitigates the confusion introduced by upside-down imagery.

Tagame - Ginjiro Hard at Work (from 'Shirogane no Hana' Vol 2)

The brothel master's clothing in the previous picture reflects the historical setting used for the story. Tagame also references traditional Japanese customs and social graces in it and at one point dresses the reluctant prostitute as a Geisha.
 This is a double-edged humiliation that not only questions his masculinity (it's not so long ago that dressing as a woman was equally despised in the West) – it also mocks his inadequate, male coarseness compared to famously cultured and refined Geisha women. It spells out the lowly position he now occupies, inferior to both men and women and this image shows him hard at work in that role.
(another dildo, somewhat ambiguous in character)

Also in evidence here is the lesser known custom of tattooing genitals. It has been carried out on Ginjiro as another (permanent this time) feminising humiliation. Indeed the tattoo, chosen at random by him - a flower attracting butterflies - is both feminine and subtly erotic . The flower (symbolically a source of pollen) is tattooed on the head of his penis and it is from this that the name of the story derives.

Tagame - Sterilising the Tattoo (from 'Shirogane no Hana' Vol 2)

The selection of the tattoo and it's application forms an extended passage in the 'Shirogana' story and is very erotic. Ginjiro does not realise fully what is happening until he is tied down completely helpless and had his penis and balls tightly bound up, so that they stay plump and firm for the painting on of the design and the actual needle work. Being Tagame, it's not enough to simply dress the tattoo wound afterwards, instead it is sterilised in a steaming bath via a spectacular - and very painful – crab style suspension (above).

Tagame -  Ginjiro Fitted with Bells (from 'Shirogane no Hana' Vol 3)

This image takes the feminising embellishment a step further as Ginjiro discovers he has now been fitted with little bells which tinkle as he moves. I'm unsure of the cultural background to this but the humiliation of being subjected to such attachments is self-evident. In the West bells like this relate to childhood, merriment and clowning. Tagame uses penis bells in other stories to betray the involuntary arousal of the victims as they are being abused and to draw attention to them in public places. This scene is low key by comparison, but a sweet example of the casual exercise of control, calculated to degrade and dismay the victim.

Tagame - Medical Restraint and Operation
I have a weakness for Medical scenarios. The Doctor-Patient power relationship and the S&M-like procedures involved in surgery give great scope for bondage fantasy (and I explored this in my own 'S&M Clinic' story). I have no idea what story if any this image comes from and the procedure it depicts looks decidedly fanciful, but the terror of the strapped-down patient in the face of multiple invasion by faceless attendants is compelling. Compare with Rex's slightly more authentic treatment of the subject.
(Also click on the 'medical' label below for more medical bondage)

Tagame - Undergoing Treatment (from Kranke)

It seems fitting to conclude this ramble through Tagame's work with a blockbuster moment, also on a medical theme, from 'Kranke'. This story has none of the subtlety of Pride or the humanity of 'SIPOW'. Simply, a young jogger is abducted following a faked road accident and deliberately incapacitated by surgery while he is unconscious. He is then subjected to a series of drugs and pseudo-medical procedures designed to reduce him to a mindless puppet, capable only of sex.

Tagame crams in every imaginable pseudo-medical, body-invasive torture along the way (perhaps a little too many to really take in properly). The spectacular climax for the 'patient' (above) is a 10 hour ordeal alone with the painful body attachments and machines which continuously medicate, arouse and drain him. His torment does not end there, three months later even his teeth have been removed and he is facing the amputation of all his limbs. The villain's motivation in all this is a mystery, but he does not simply carry out his fiendish plan, he takes the trouble to explain it to the victim, who it seems has been chosen entirely at random, in fact he looks the picture of bemused innocence.

This bleak storyline is not unique in Tagame's output, none of them make for easy reading and yet they have a elemental fascination that is both puzzling and disturbing. The wreaking of terrible revenge for great injustice suffered is not unknown in Japanese art, (the film 'Confessions' is a recent example) and the custom of Hara-Kiri has similar roots in cultural norms relating to offence, shame and honour. So while it's tempting to equate these stories to Hollywood Horror films involving the random, mass slaughter of teenagers (films, by the way, whose obvious sexual sub-text is apparently invisible to the porn censorship lobby), it's probably reasonable to assume that a Japanese reader of Tagame's story will infer the existence of a significant (if unexplained) motivation.

I see in this piece a revenge which springs from a deep anger at a terrible injustice. Many of us will empathise with that to some degree. If the revenge here mirrors the original offence, we see a young, undeserving victim, the paralysis of his free will, an unidentified but heartless oppressor, randomly inflicted pain, control of sexuality, gradual destruction of identity. I leave it to you to imagine the injustice I have in mind, perhaps each of us would choose a different one, maybe that is the beauty and point of the piece.

The size of this article is testament to my regard for this artist but I have hardly scratched the surface of Tagame's work. I'm not totally familiar with his recent stuff so there may be some significant omissions. Even so there are many more amazing images that are just too subversive to share in this blog. His inventive and thoughtful approach to S&M is probably unparalleled today so it is a real shame that there are so many obstacles to enjoying his work.

His choice of character types is wide, from very young to very mature, but he really seems to come into his own when drawing chunky, muscular, hairy, 30-ish men with luxuriant moustaches and eyebrows – not everyone's cup of tea perhaps and a tad out of fashion right now.

Tagame's uncompromising challenging of taboos will probably test most of us too at some point. I can only say that any fetish art enthusiast owes it to himself to explore Tagame's work and dig into the stories beyond the isolated images like those in this article. Don't be put off by the stuff you don't like, just pass it by, you won't be disappointed.

See more of his work at Tagame's website
Some his stories are available, in English, in book form at sites like Amazon.
This is the natural way to enjoy his work and it's not terribly expensive. 

Earlier parts of this article;- Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
 
For previous articles in this 'mitchmen' series click on the A-Z label below

Monday, 9 June 2014

A-Z of Fetish Artists - Tagame (Part 3)

Part 3 - Taboos and Secrets

Tagame's comic book style gives him scope to explore the psychology of his characters and his work is full of men with secrets and illicit desires ready to be used against them, like the runaway gangster in 'Kodama' who is trapped by his rescuer (see Part 1).

 Panty Fetishist caught out in Tagame's 'Maso'

In 'Maso' there is a young man who not only has a fetish for women's underpants, but also gets a kick out of trying them on at night in the aisle of the local 24-7 store. Unfortunately his activity is spotted by the checkout operator. 
 
Bullies at Work in Tagame's 'Maso'

Rather than calling the police and exposing the panty boy to public humiliation, the checkout operator decides to bring in two buddies. They strip the fetishist and put him through a series of painful trials utilising commonplace items on sale in the store.
(The characterisation of the bullies in this image is very Yaoi-like especially the spiky-faced character in the centre.)

Beating Scene from 'Maso'
The bullies degradations include shaving the victim, pissing on him and inserting objects into his backside. This torment is briefly interrupted by a fierce belt beating (above) whose intensity Tagame simulates with frightening success using impact patterning and a blurred effect to convey the violence of the attack and the confusion of the victim. It makes Bound Gods seem quite tame!

There's too much sexual involvement by the attackers for this little sketch of homophobic bullying to be truly lifelike but their cruelty and contempt are all too believable. However, at the very end it transpires that the whole thing is a set-up and the victim has actually enjoyed it, regretting only that his assailants declined to fuck him. In the final frame of the story, the chief 'bully' turns out to be his (controlling) boyfriend. This last minute 'sanitisation' doesn't really neutralise the abuse but merely slants it in a different direction.

Tagame's clever choice of a much-derided, feminising fetish, (a minority group within a minority group), allows him to lure readers who see themselves as 'normal' into the bullies camp. Obviously, it's not meant to be a morality story and he lets their consciences off the hook at the very end, but it gives some insight into the thoughtfulness of his story telling.

The writing of this story features two stylistic devices which are often used by Tagame. The surprise ending (or reveal) closes the story with a satisfying(?) twist that causes the reader to backtrack and look for the 'evidence' he missed (like the fact that the victim appears to have donned the panties without removing his trousers). The other sophisticated feature is some selective time shifting back and forth, which he uses to disguise the true motivation of characters. This trick enhances the quality of his story telling, but unfortunately makes his stories even harder to decipher without a decent translation. 

 Associating homosexuality with being female seems to be as common in Japan as it is elsewhere in the world, but Tagame says the negative connotations are an importation from the West and sets out to prove it in 'Inaka Isha'.


The Doctor's Ceremonial Shafting from Tagame's 'Inaka Isha'

A gay Doctor recently transferred from a big city hospital to a remote country village strikes up a casual relationship with an agricultural worker. In the respectability of village life, this homosexual affair with a married man transgresses a host of conventional taboos, not least the social gulf between the Doctor's professional status and that of his bit of 'rural rough'. His fear when his secret is discovered turns to shame as he stumbles into further, increasingly sleazy, sexual encounters, threatening his standing in the community. As word of his promiscuity spreads, however, the men of the village, in an unexpected but bizarrely logical outcome, decide to recruit him as their official, collective concubine. In the scene above, the happy villagers sing their traditional wedding song as the Doctor formally accepts the post (so to speak). This somewhat one-sided expression of commitment is freely adapted from the more usual 'ring on finger' tradition - but is rather more embarrassing to perform in front of a large congregation. The Doctor finds this humiliation outweighed by anticipation of pleasures to come.

The ingredients of this humorous story – conventions, taboos, secrets, self discovery and acceptance - mirror the journey of all gay men. Interestingly, even in Tagame's Utopian vision of a non-judgemental, accepting community of simple folk, the Doctor's promiscuity still causes him to be set aside and (in effect) exploited – albeit kindly. Hmmmm.

Looking purely at this artwork, it's a good example of how the comic book 'commentary' (which is simply singing and sound effects) diminishes the impact of what would otherwise be a powerful image. The unfamiliar costumes are an obstacle to westerners too, but I guess that's our problem not Tagame's!

The Husband's Remorse in Tagame's 'Gedo'

Tagame turns the shame of failing to conform back against the straight world in 'Gedo'. This simple image conveys the humiliation of the impotent husband as he grovels naked before the disapproving family and it's a very erotic moment for us as on-lookers. It's easy to take nudity for granted in scenes like this (less so if you reach it via Tagame's scene-setting) but you only have to imagine doing this before your own family to realise how difficult and embarrassing this act of exposure and contrition would be. Transfer to the Orient with it's heightened traditions of position, responsibility and 'face' and you can see how such a punishment would be scarcely less painful than the beating meted out in 'Maso' (above).



Loosing face is also the theme of this image although the victim is the last to know about it. I don't have a translation of this story (or it's title even! Help!) but the mature man shown tied and blindfolded appears to be a politician, his long hair perhaps suggesting academic or reforming leanings, a pillar of society in other words. He also has a taste for sadistic young men and here he is being offered up by one to his political colleagues/enemies who gloat over the revelation of his secret and the power it gives them. Thankfully he has a better body than your average politician!
 Kazuma Undressed in Tagame's 'The Trap'
(read frames in normal left to right sequence)

The forcible undressing of this bewildered young man in a scene from 'The Trap' layers fear, uncertainty and power play over the most basic of erotic acts – exposure of the naked body. The multi-frame comic format is ideally suited to depicting progressive disrobing of course, but size restrictions on frames and the need to vary the image lead to a detail-snapshot approach which seems tantalisingly incomplete when viewed at leisure. The ideas in frames 1, 3 and 6 are good enough to form the basis of more substantial images and this tells you how much creativity is consumed by these works. The cartoon-y style creates an ambiguity about the age of the youth. Tagame flirts with this from time to time, but of course it is unwelcome (nay taboo!) these days. I'd prefer an older looking man anyway, which would make his loss of power more compelling - (see next image!).

Tormented Hero in Tagame's 'SIPOW'

If physical coercion plays a major part in Tagame's repertoire (and it's implicit in any bondage scene) he does occasionally depict men who voluntarily submit to abuse for altruistic reasons, like the prisoner in SIPOW (South Island Prisoner of War) who surrenders to the sexual demands of the Camp Commandant in order to obtain medicine for his sick comrade. This hero is one of Tagame's more appealing creations - handsome, muscular, hirsute, positively oozing masculinity – and in his scenes with the sick man - touchingly compassionate. His story is not Tagame's most inventive S&M-wise but does feature some interesting twists.



Enema Test from Tagame's 'Pride' 
(Read the frames from right to left)
 
It seems appropriate to conclude this section on psychological plot ingredients with a reference to pride, which comes before a fall and is quite a different animal to the fear and anxiety which drives many of Tagame's stories. It also happens to be the title of one of Tagame's best works, mentioned previously in Part 1. This page from the story shows the besotted student undergoing an enema cleansing so that he might be fit to receive his master's tool for the first time. Tied up in the lounge of the Professor's luxurious flat, the torment of having to retain the fluid needs little imagining.

In the sanitised world of modern porn, enema waters always run clear. Not in Tagame-land though, where the follow-on, emptying of bowels is depicted in graphic detail. I won't test the mettle of my readers by reproducing that here. The revulsion it usually causes is shared equally by the victim of course and that's exactly why a forced public performance is such a powerful humiliation. The perpetrator and witness is the Professor, who the young student victim looks up to and desperately wishes to please. A more telling chastisement for his sin of pride is hard to imagine. 
 

Tagame uses this device frequently in his stories in order to put his men in their place, but thankfully he doesn't usually pursue the subject in greater depth than I have described. For example, it is this procedure (which I alluded to in Part1) that is inflicted in 'Kodama' on the gangster, without warning, by his rescuer, an otherwise perfect stranger. You can imagine the shock and bewilderment that would follow for a grown man, a hoodlum used to bossing lesser men.


We could debate the validity of Tagame's willingness to shock, he does place his atrocities in a thought out context but I know it must deter many readers from the whole of his work, which is a shame. In the final part of this series I will present some lollipops to sooth the nerves.

See more of his work at Tagame's website
 
Part 4 continues here

The earlier parts of this article are here at Part 1 and Part 2
For previous articles in this 'mitchmen' series click on the A-Z label below