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Ethan Weisgard
05-02-2007, 02:37 PM
I haven't heard any mention of it, so I thought I would see if anyone else out there has read this 4 volume series of a Japanese language manga called Evil Heart. It is - to my knowledge - the first manga that has Aikido as its main theme.It is a great story, wonderfully written and drawn by Taketomi Tomo. It is about a young boy - Ume - a junior high school student - who has a very hard time controlling his aggression. He comes from an abusive family environment, and has serious problems with his rage.

An added twist is that the second main character apart from the boy is the Aikido teacher at his school. He is the English teacher, a Canadian called Daniel, who also teaches Aikido. It is great that the hero of the story is a foreign Aikido teacher!

The story represents Aikido very nicely. The techniques shown are very clear and well depicted. Much of the inner workings and philosophy of Aikido is represented as well. This is actually the whole focus of the series: how Ume is taught Aikido by Daniel in order to teach him how to avoid the fights that are so out of control that Daniel fears that Ume will either get killed himself or end up killing someone.
I really hope that the series gets translated into English, I think it would be of great interest for the international aikido community.

Please let me know if there are others out there that have read this series, and tell me your thoughts.

In Aiki,

Ethan Weisgard

Ron Tisdale
05-02-2007, 02:43 PM
neat idea...can't read japanese, and not really familiar with manga in general (probably a good thing ;)) but if it does make it into english, let us know!

Best,
Ron

Raul Roldan
05-02-2007, 03:51 PM
yes thanks for heads up, ethan. i, myself is a big fan of manga, especially samurai-themed ones. so, yes, if in english one day, i would love to know where to get a copy.

RoyK
05-03-2007, 02:33 AM
cool!! It's a long time from now when I'll read Japanese, but I'll remember the name until then, thanks!

aikilouis
05-03-2007, 05:47 AM
The manga is being published in France these days.

Roman Kremianski
05-03-2007, 07:31 AM
Did anyone make any fan subs yet online?

Carl Thompson
05-06-2007, 06:26 PM
This looks awesome! Iím going straight to the comic store asap!

Tinyboy344
05-10-2007, 02:45 PM
Holy crap! Where can you get these? Please tell me where?

Ethan Weisgard
05-10-2007, 04:34 PM
Duy,

You can order them through amazon.com

Evil Heart 1 by Young Jump Comics
By Tomo Taketomi
ISBN4-08-876824-8

Evil Heart 2
ISBN4-08-876825-6

Evil Heart 3
ISBN4-08-876883-3

There is a number 4 out now, it has another name apart from Evil Heart 4, I think it is called Kihen.

In Aiki,

Ethan Weisgard

Largo
05-20-2007, 07:10 PM
Where can I get it?

Carl Thompson
05-20-2007, 08:28 PM
http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/31WAHKWCSQL._AA200_.jpg

They've got it on Japanese Amazon here (http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/switch-language/product/4088768248/ref=dp_change_lang/503-8277167-8316729?ie=UTF8&language=en%5FJP)

Carl

Tinyboy344
05-22-2007, 10:16 AM
the thing is... I cant read Jap :(

asiawide
05-22-2007, 07:40 PM
There is also Korean version. I'll try to read it. By the way, there are some aikidoka in japanese manga. In Monster, Kakeru, Grapler Baki, and etc..

If you like fighting manga, I recommend 'Shamo' by Tanaka Akio.
(http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/manga.php?id=7470)

ps. Nice to meet you again Raul. he he.

lifeafter2am
05-23-2007, 03:26 PM
There is also Korean version. I'll try to read it. By the way, there are some aikidoka in japanese manga. In Monster, Kakeru, Grapler Baki, and etc..


Grappler Baki is just an all around great fighting manga/anime. I really only read the first manga and then switched over to the anime out of pure availability and laziness! I love the Iaido guy, but don't really remember an Aikidoka, although I just started the second series, so I guess he / she is in there..

grumpingtons
05-24-2007, 03:04 PM
Wow, aikido manga!

Presumably you can find it in places like Book Off?

asiawide
05-25-2007, 12:16 AM
Grappler Baki is just an all around great fighting manga/anime. I really only read the first manga and then switched over to the anime out of pure availability and laziness! I love the Iaido guy, but don't really remember an Aikidoka, although I just started the second series, so I guess he / she is in there..

During the tournament, one old jujitsu-ka appeared. Shioda Gozo must be the model of the character.

Jaemin

lifeafter2am
05-25-2007, 06:33 AM
During the tournament, one old jujitsu-ka appeared. Shioda Gozo must be the model of the character.

Jaemin

Oh ok! I know who you are talking about. Baki wanted to train with him also. Yeah I couldn't tell if he was Aikido or Jujitsu, great show none the less!

--Drew

Murgen
05-25-2007, 09:53 PM
Apparently it's available in French as well. I guess I can see that, I think Aikido is really popular in France.

http://www.amazon.fr/Evil-Heart-1-Tomo-Taketomi/dp/2505000115

Cheers

Anthony

Murgen
05-25-2007, 10:11 PM
From what I see on a japanese site, it was released on 7-19-2005. You'd think if it was going to be released in English they already would have. I won't hold my breath for a translation. Interesting story though.

The main character of Evil Heart, the way he's drawn reminds me a lot of Tetsuo Shima from the Aikira series.

-Anthony

Murgen
05-25-2007, 10:29 PM
Sorry for posting so much. That dang 15 minute time limit to edit.

You can read the manga at the following japanese site. Looks like they scanned it. I don't know if the entire manga is scanned. I just looked at the first couple pages.

http://www.s-manga.net/title/evilheart.html

batemanb
05-26-2007, 12:40 PM
It's not about Evil Heart, nor about Aikido, but a shameless off topic plug for my wife's book that has just been published in Japan, and released this very week. If any of you Japanese readers out there fancy something to read.

http://www.amazon.co.jp/s/ref=nb_ss_b/503-3194240-4922351?__mk_ja_JP=%83J%83%5E%83J%83i&url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=%CD%DE%B2%C4%CF%DD%96%BE%8Eq&Go.x=18&Go.y=8

jennifer paige smith
05-27-2007, 11:50 AM
Many of my younger students are way in to Manga. One of them draws characters all the time and is deeply into it.
She and her brother both are reading Full Metal Alchemy. I read it and found the alchemical allusions to be very 'O'Sensei'. This is currently in English and can also be enjoyed in Anime' on T.V.

jen

lifeafter2am
05-27-2007, 09:40 PM
The main character of Evil Heart, the way he's drawn reminds me a lot of Tetsuo Shima from the Aikira series.

-Anthony

Yeah he does! Another great Anime, but don't get me started, its my little secret obsession! :D

Ethan Weisgard
06-19-2007, 02:05 AM
I have just gotten hold of the fourth volume - called "Ki Hen." It looks just as good as the first three, though I have just started working my way through it.
I showed the book to Isoyama Sensei recently, and he was very happy to see that Aikido is being presented to a larger audience. He was also pleased that the spiritual sides of Aikido are being emphasized in the stories.
I sincerely hope that all these volumes get translated into English - they are great books, and they paint a very good picture of our beautiful martial art.

In Aiki,

Ethan Weisgard

Carl Thompson
07-29-2007, 07:35 PM
I'd just like to say thanks again to Ethan Weisgard for bringing this to our attention. I hope I get to thank you in person someday. I've heard nothing but good things about you in Iwama and from your students who have come over to train.

This series was truly a pleasure to read. From the Japan side of things, I found issue 4 "Ki-hen" first on the shelves, so I had to restrain myself from reading it until I got the others which came out a while ago. Fortunately, I am extremely good at not-reading-Japanese, although I couldn't help but glance at the nice pictures.

Kihen was easy enough to find in the manga section of most bookstores (just scan for Young Jump's "YJ" on the spines and the romaji title usually stands out among the kanji). I got the others from Amazon Japan (http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/switch-language/product/4088768248/ref=dp_change_lang/503-8277167-8316729?ie=UTF8&language=en%5FJP) (They ship overseas too) Within Japan, my only problem was never being in when they tried to deliver, but eventually I got them to drop the package off with my landlady.

Reading the books themselves was a pleasure. With regards to the language, I'd say that if you're in the upper part of the void between level's 3 and 2 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, you'll get by. I think I'm around 2kyu JLPT (but don't fancy the test this year -- we'll see) and found that I knew enough of the kanji, grammar and slang to get through without too much stopping. There were parts where I really needed to check my dictionary, but I was getting carried along by the story too much to stop and just ploughed on with the gist. It was probably the most frustrating thing about reading them, but it means that now I'm enjoying reading them again, this time with a little more patience.

As for the story and artwork, I thought all four books were marvellous. It was really compelling reading and I agree that the way Aikido is represented is excellent. I've studied design and in my opinion the artwork is superb, combining good composition with meticulous attention to details -- you get panels with nice and simple lines contrasted with close-ups on gestures from characters' hands or rain falling in puddles. It's all put together really well.

My only desperate question: will there be anymore? It can't end with kihen!

http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/31mXDp95gzL._AA207_.jpg

PeterR
07-29-2007, 10:30 PM
Totally unbelievable plot - Canadian teaching Aikido in Japan. Ludicrous.

Carl Thompson
07-29-2007, 11:57 PM
Totally unbelievable plot - Canadian teaching Aikido in Japan. Ludicrous.

Haha. Just checked your homepage. :D

PeterR
07-30-2007, 12:18 AM
and the kicker is I know at least two more.

Jory Boling
01-02-2008, 04:57 AM
i've located a few copies if anyone is interested. maybe we can make arrangement$ to have them sent your way. but i'm in Japan and they're in Japanese.

pezalinski
01-03-2008, 12:54 PM
Awesome! Can you hook me up? I have Nihonjin friends here in Chicago who can help me to translate them... pezalinski@gmail.com

Jory Boling
01-04-2008, 09:20 AM
Mr. Zalinski, check your email!

Awesome! Can you hook me up? I have Nihonjin friends here in Chicago who can help me to translate them... pezalinski@gmail.com

Ethan Weisgard
01-16-2008, 05:44 AM
Dear Carl, thanks for the kind words! I haven't seen your comment before now, sorry for not replying sooner. I have some more I want to write, but I need some time to get it together, so I'll post it ASAP.
In Aiki,

Ethan

Peter Goldsbury
01-16-2008, 07:46 AM
Awesome! Can you hook me up? I have Nihonjin friends here in Chicago who can help me to translate them... pezalinski@gmail.com

Hello,

I obtained all my copies (I have the whole series) from Japan Amazon. I have one account with Amazon, which also covers US Amazon and UK Amazon. So I think you can obtain the series quite easily. In my case it took four days since placing the order.

Ethan Weisgard
01-16-2008, 11:11 AM
Hello Carl,

Excuse me for not replying before. Thanks very much for your kind words. I am glad to hear that you liked Evil Heart, too! I am mukyu in regard to Japanese reading skills, so I sat with my trusty Wordtank and spelled my way through most of it. I do the same thing as you mentioned -- getting totally absorbed by the story and just reading through, getting whatever kanji I can in the first reading. Then I try to discipline myself and go back and check the kanji properly afterwards. I try to write a list of the kanji I look up for future reference.

There are a lot of very good explanations in the text about the inner workings of aikido, and this is good training for when I have to translate for Japanese aikido sensei. If I am lucky I remember a fraction of the complicated terms, but everything helps!

When I was in Hombu Dojo in November 2007 for a morning practice in Doshu Sensei's class, I had the chance to ask him afterwards if he knew of the Evil Heart series. Initially he said hehadn'tn't heard of it. He asked his young helper in the office, and he had read it. It turns out that the writer of the series is a woman (Taketomi Tomo) and she trains occasionally at Hombu Dojo. I mentioned that I thought that the series depicted aikido very well, both technically as well as from a spiritual viewpoint -- and Doshu Sensei seemed happy to hear this. In general, I think the older generation of Japanese seems to consider Manga as being not quite worthy of respect as an art form or of any real literary merit. But I think it is great that the series was made -- and so many people have read it. It really is a great presentation of aikido. And the fact that the gaijin sensei is portrayed so respectfully says a whole lot. I can see by other posts here that there are real life Daniel Sensei out there in Japan -- gambatte kudasai!

I feel inspired to go back and read Kihen again, after writing this -- and yes-when will the next one in the series come? It can't end with Kihen. We could write to the author and ask for more!
I hope to see you in Japan some time.

In Aiki,

Ethan Weisgard

Carl Thompson
01-21-2008, 12:20 AM
Thanks Ethan.

I ended up taking JLPT 2kyu in December after all, but I'm not sure how I did. If I failed, you can expect to hear silence from me on this matter when the results come out next month. :D The reading/grammar section really sucked, but this manga series was good practice beforehand!

In general, I think the older generation of Japanese seems to consider Manga as being not quite worthy of respect as an art form or of any real literary merit.

I think some older people missed Tezuka's boat in the late fifties when manga really took off, but I think the Japanese generally hold comics in higher esteem than the West. Back home they are largely associated with very young kids and boys in their early teens. There are some adult comics and graphic novels, but they're nowhere near as popular as here. I like the fact that manga are for everyone, even girls. It's not unusual to see my middle-aged female colleagues reading one on a lunch break. It's one cultural aspect I'm happy to see spreading overseas and this manga in particular is a real bridge-builder.

Catch you in Iwama soon I hope.

Carl

Ethan Weisgard
01-21-2008, 12:14 PM
Hello Carl,

I hope the results turn out ok for the 2 kyu test. I looked at some of the stuff in the test and decided I wasn't ready for it!
It's true that there is a kind of recognition of Manga in Japan, but I still run into older Japanese people who don't quite take it seriously.

Are you going to Tanabe and Kumano with the Ibaraki Shibu Dojo group for the events in conjunction with O-Sensei's annivrsary?

In Aiki,

Ethan

Carl Thompson
01-22-2008, 11:42 PM
Hi Ethan

Maybe we need to read more manga? Itís certainly a fun way to study.

Are you going to Tanabe and Kumano with the Ibaraki Shibu Dojo group for the events in conjunction with O-Sensei's annivrsary?

Iím not sure if Iíll still be aroundÖ

Can anyone give me my career back if I stay another year? :sorry:

Carl

MentalError
05-20-2009, 09:03 PM
There's a fan sub here.

http://sakurahana.com/forum/active-projects/14755-evil-heart.html