To my readers......

There will be a break in posting while I take my annual holiday in sunnier climes.
Back in October.
Thanks for visiting mitchmen!
(Sept 12th 2017)

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Tagame stripped down

 Tagame - Country Doctor
This is the climactic initiation-cum-wedding scene from Tagame's 'Country Doctor' (Inaka Isha). In my review of this piece, I suggested that Tagame's sound effects and speech bubbles sometimes detracted from the artwork. This thought prompted me to experiment with removing the 'offending' additions to see what the result would be.
 
  Tagame - Country Doctor (modified) -1
In this version I replaced the symbols and bubbles with whatever I thought was being obscured. The overall effect is not so much to reveal more of the picture, but to remove the distractions. You can decide for yourselves whether the alteration is an improvement of not.

Method: First, I erased all the bubbles and characters electronically.  I electronically copied the coat patterns to fill big gaps and penciled in awkward corners (these are fairly obvious if you look closely but I'm not attempting to fake an original artwork here). Missing lines, hairs etc were also simply pencilled in. 

The replacements required were mostly fairly obvious, but I had to create the tree-top (top right) from imagination. The darkening of the image compared with the original is intentional, partly designed to make my pencilwork less obvious but I also think it looks better.

  Tagame - Country Doctor (modified) - 2

In this second variation I have simply adjusted the Doctor's left ass cheek so it looks a better balance. Ideally the right cheek ought to be reduced as well.

The resulting picture looks as though it would benefit from colouring,
 is that jacket red or gold, I wonder?

If you enjoy my tinkering with other artists work, 
you can click on the 'mitchmods' label below to see more.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Removing the vocal clues, changes the dynamics between the audience and the object of their interest. Now, instead of berating the guy with jeers and such, their reactions can be interpreted as dismay, instead. That changes the whole thrust (excuse the pun) of the storyline.

Incidentally, since the figures depicted are village folk, it most likely that their clothing is colored indigo blue of various hues. Also, since this is a night scene, the colors are darker than they would be in daylight.

Mitchell said...

Thanks for this comment. Your point is a fair one in principle. My aim was to reveal the underlying artwork not compromise it's meaning.
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To take up the point, however, if the vocal clues are not understood or their meaning is not apparent to the reader, I'm not sure it makes such a big difference.
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Your interpretation of the scene illustrates the point. In the translation I have, the villagers are actually singing a celebratory bridal song in honour of their new shared 'wife' - not jeering at him. Unfortunately the words of the song are not translated and to a non-Japanese speaker it's not obvious that it is a song at all, not without any musical notes to point the way (it's actually explained in an earlier frame). I must say that, to me, it looks as if the villagers are laughing - both with or without the words. Whether one sees that as happiness or derision probably depends on one's own psyche as much as what the picture actually shows.
Actually even my description is simplistic. The storyline hinges on the simplicity and directness of the village folk regarding the Doctor's promiscuous (city) behaviour. They are not judgemental but happy to take advantage of it by appointing him as the village bike, bluntly pointing out he is the only person willing to 'just do it with anyone'. This simple truth shocks the Doctor but he accepts the offer anyway. It's not a morality tale but a clever exploration of modern gay lifestyles and traditional values.
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The only real way to understand the scene is to read the whole story, which I would recommend readers to do. The english translation is to be found in the recently published 'The Passion of Tagame'