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Lefèvre, Pascal. "Kawaguchi’s Zipang, an alternate Second World War." Quaderns de Filologia 14 2009. Accessed 29May. 2016. <https://www.academia.ed ... ernate_Second_World_War>. 
Added by: joachim (2/27/15, 4:17 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (5/29/16, 3:12 PM)
Resource type: Web Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
BibTeX citation key: Lefvre2009b
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Zipang", Japan, Kawaguchi. Kaiji, Manga, Science Fiction, War
Creators: Lefèvre
Collection: Quaderns de Filologia
Views: 20/522
Attachments   URLs   https://www.academ ... e_Second_World_War
Science Fiction is not necessarely about the future because it can deal with history as well. Since the publication of H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine (1895) time travel has become a popular feature of various SF-stories. Time travel has proven not only a fantastic device for imagining “what if”-stories, but also an intriguing means to revise past events from a contemporary perspective. A very interesting and recent example is Kaiji Kawaguchi’s ongoing manga series Zipangu (translated as Zipang in English and French), which has met since its start in 2001, in the popular Kodansha manga magazine Weekly Morning, both popular and critical success. By August 2008 some 400 episodes
were collected in 36 volumes of the Japanese edition, and 21 volumes were translated into French. While the English translation was suspended, the French edition seems a lot more succesful, at least from a critical point of view, and a nomination at the Angoulême comics festival in 2007. Zipang is not only a fairly skillfully manga for young males (“seinen”), but it adresses also a number of current political debates of Japan’s recent history and near future. The story is about a vessel of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force that is transported mysteriously during a heavy storm from the first decade of the 21st century to a day before the battle of Midway in June 1942. Gradually the 21st century crew is drawn into the maelstrom of this ‘alternative WW2’ and all kinds of political and moral debates surface. Though my reading will foremost focuss on this ‘political content’ of Zipang, I will also pay some attention to the formal aspects of this work, because I do believe that the formal aspects of visual works are essential in the creation of meaning and war manga can engage readers in various, even distinct, ways.
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