The Purple Pinup Guru Platform

When purple things are pulsating on your mind, I'm the one whose clock you want to clean. Aiding is Sparky, the Astral Plane Zen Pup Dog from his mountain stronghold on the Northernmost Island of the Happy Ninja Island chain, this blog will also act as a journal to my wacky antics at an entertainment company and the progress of my self published comic book, The Deposit Man which only appears when I damn well feel like it. Real Soon Now.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

SPARKY: WHAT YOU SHOULD BE READING AND WATCHING — Part the Second. I like the human backstory that frames the series. The artwork is solid and invokes Alex Toth and George Wildey. The animation is rock solid stuff we see rarely here in the States:

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Story: Hokusei Katushika & Art: Naoki Urasawa

From the DVD backcovers:
Keaton is Half Japanese and half British.
An archaeologist with Schliemann's dream,
a detective with Holmes's brain, an Oxford
graduate and a SAS staff sergeant.

Plot Summary: Taichi Keaton-Hiraga - born of Japanese and British descent. A former SAS agent with remarkable skills in military tactics and archaeology. Keaton is a single father with a part-time job as a world history teacher in Japan. But when certain international issues arise, he is called upon by Lloyd's of London as a special insurance investigator.

Number of books: 18
Number of pages: 215
Vintage: 1988 to 1994
1988-11 (Japanese Volume 1)
1989-05 (Japanese Volume 2)
1989-07 (Japanese Volume 3)
1989-11 (Japanese Volume 4)
1990-04 (Japanese Volume 5)
1990-07 (Japanese Volume 6)
1990-11 (Japanese Volume 7)
1991-06 (Japanese Volume 8)
1991-07 (Japanese Volume 9)
1992-01 (Japanese Volume 10)
1992-06 (Japanese Volume 11)
1992-11 (Japanese Volume 12)
1993-05 (Japanese Volume 13)
1993-08 (Japanese Volume 14)
1994-01 (Japanese Volume 15)
1994-04 (Japanese Volume 16)
1994-06 (Japanese Volume 17)
1994-08 (Japanese Volume 18)
1998-11 (Japanese Volume 1 Re-Release)
1998-11 (Japanese Volume 2 Re-Release)
1998-12 (Japanese Volume 3 Re-Release)
1998-12 (Japanese Volume 4 Re-Release)
1999-01 (Japanese Volume 5 Re-Release)
1999-01 (Japanese Volume 6 Re-Release)
1999-02 (Japanese Volume 7 Re-Release)
1999-02 (Japanese Volume 8 Re-Release)
1999-03 (Japanese Volume 9 Re-Release)

Note: Each volume of the Japanese re-release combined two volumes of the original release. Thus there are 9 volumes rather than 18.

In the news:
2001-07-05 - Anime Expo Opening Ceremonies

Master Keaton Animation Production:
Madhouse Studios (Trigun, X, Ninja Scroll, Patlabor WXIII)
Character designs by Kitaro Kosaka (Director of Animation/ Princess Mononoke)

Master Keaton - Excavation I (DVD 1) 2003-06-10

The amazing Taichi Keaton works on cases around the globe that always lead to adventure! He combines his arsenal of multidisciplinary expertise in investigation, archeology, and survival with his experience as a professor, a Falklands Conflict veteran and a SAS agent to unravel the often dangerous challenges in each riveting episode.

In this volume, he rescues the beautiful Sofia from a gang of thugs in Greece, then works with bounty hunters to locate a terrorist in Germany. Later, after he escorts the heir to an Italian fortune to France, he meets an "immortal" being chased by the Russian mafia in Poland, and finally returns to Paris for an emotional reunion!

Master Keaton - Excavation 2 (DVD 2) 2003-08-12

His job is Danger, his office is the World! Trouble always finds Taichi Keaton, but even the most violent cases are overpowered by his razor sharp intellect! Keaton begins his adventures at an archeological dig in England where an old friend uses the techniques her mother used to fight Nazis in WWII to save an ancient burial site.

Next, Keaton returns home to Japan for a quiet vacation with his daughter, but his father arrives along with a heat wave! Then it’s back to Europe to tackle kidnappers in England, old ladies on German trains and a murder case involving the famous detective, Charlie Chapman.

Master Keaton - Killer Conscience (DVD 3)2003-10-14
From the innocuous to the Intense! Keaton often applies his skills to a variety of challenges, from uncovering secret recipes to solving murder mysteries. Then again, sometimes the cases come to him with a vengeance! Whether its an IRA bomb maker and his belated conscience forcing Keaton to diffuse bombs in a crowded shopping mall or a search for a missing daughter in Germany, Keaton always depends upon his ability to think. Yet this time, his real challenge for survival comes in the mountains of Spain against a killer on four legs!

Master Keaton - Blood & Bullets (DVD 4) 2003-12-09
A Brave Coward! Murder, bankruptcy, blackmail. Can Keaton really claim to lead a quiet life with this caseload? Even when not working a case, drama still works its way into Keaton’s life in the form of a friend of his daughter’s who wants to leave his stifling life behind to be free like a hawk... Finally, Keaton goes to Scotland to visit a friend; naturally, danger soon follows in the form of mercenaries from the Polish Mafia who take over the hotel after getting into a gun battle with the police!

Master Keaton - Blood & Dust (DVD 5) 2004-02-10
The past conceals grand adventures! Keaton explores the amazing history of a Scottish watch enshrined in Japan and a bottle of fine French wine hidden from the Nazis. Then, Keaton uncovers a false "Robin Hood" and must run for his life! Attempting to follow his dreams, Keaton turns to archeology, but just as his passion led to his first murder investigation, Keaton finds danger on his next dig site when the natives strand the team in the Taklimakan desert!

Master Keaton - Fakers & Friends (DVD 6) 2004-04-13
Keaton starts by rescuing an East German Olympian from depression and skin-heads before interfering in a KGB hit on a Russian attending an air show in the UK. Later, after a trip to Spain's islands where he learns about passion and betrayal from a veteran of the Spanish Civil War, Keaton returns to hunt a murderer within England's premiere accounting firm.

Master Keaton - Life & Death (DVD 7) 2004-06-08
From Europe to Japan, Keaton's family matters drag him in between his father and a strange woman then leads to memories of his childhood in Cornwall. To avoid those troubles, Keaton explores more dangerous paths while investigating suspicious murders and terrorists across Europe. As usual, Keaton's skills will be put to the test to uncover the truth, but while he's in be recovering from a broken leg, his daughter Yuriko will use skills of her own to track down a purse-snatcher in London!

Master Keaton - Passion Games (DVD 8) 2004-08-10
Keaton's intellectual curiosity helps him to locate an elusive insurance beneficiary, but then distracts him from making a job interview at Tozai University. Natural tendencies may occasionally be troublesome, but Keaton will need every instinct and trained skill to survive his next case when two knife murders in London appear to link the SAS to a drug ring!

Youngrok Lee has some interesting information ... on Hokusei Katushika the author. Check it out.

Urasawa Naoki - the artist is very active:

Date of birth: 1960-01-02
(1982-07) Wins Shogakukan Comics Award
(1986-01) Pineapple Army Begins
(1986-07) Yawara! Wins Shogakukan Manga Award
(1986-09) Yawara! Begins
(1988-05) Pineapple Army Ends
(1988-06) Master Keaton Begins
(1993-09) Happy! Begins
(1993-09) Yawara! Ends
(1994-05) Jigoro! Begins
(1994-07) Master Keaton Ends
(1994-09) Jigoro! Ends
(1994-12) Monster Begins
(1996-09) Monster Wins First Media Arts Award of Excellence
(1997-07) Monster Wins Shogakukan Manga Award
(1999-05) Monster Wins Tezuka Award Grand Prize
(1999-06) Happy! Ends
(1999-08) 20th Century Boys Begins
(2001-06) 20th Century Boys Wins Kodansha Manga Award
(2001-12) Monster Ends
(2004-03) Pluto Begins
(2005-05) Pluto Wins Tezuka Award Grand Prize

In the news: 9 times
2005-07-09 - 20th Century Boys Delay
2005-07-08 - Live Action Monster Movie Screenwriter
2005-06-02 - Japanese Top Tax Payers
2005-05-10 - Tezuka Award Winner Announced
2005-05-06 - Tezuka Cultural Awards
2005-04-07 - New Line Cinema to Adapt "Monster" Manga
2004-09-13 - Viz Licenses Monster?
2004-02-06 - Monster to be Animated
2004-02-04 - Manga-mania in France

Staff in:
20th Century Boys (manga) : Story & Art
Happy! (manga) : Story & Art
Jigoro! (manga) : Story & Art
Master Keaton (manga) : Art
Master Keaton (TV) : Original Manga
Monster (manga) : Story, Art
Monster (TV) : Original creator
Pineapple Army (manga) : Art
Pluto (manga) : Story & Art
Yawara! A fashionable Judo Girl (manga) : Story & Art
Yawara! A fashionable Judo Girl (TV) : Original Manga

One will notice some similarities between the cast of Yawara! and Keaton - but ignore them. And I'll admit I was reading Version (Dark Horse Manga) rather than Pineapple Army (which was an indie title from little VIZ). But Keaton is a solid story. Maybe I'll buy the American rights to it.

Hisashi Sakaguchi will be missed ... But I guess Toren Smith and I were the only ones saddened Dark Horse didn't translate Version 3.0 ...

A hard-bitten Japanese P.I. and a scientist's daughter travel to Australia to unravel the mystery of a sentient biochip! A secret research project has gone awry, and both the biochip and Eiko Hirgure's father have disappeared. Together with detective Happo Mitsuri, they uncover an increasingly tangled trail. Who is the mysterious stranger who contacts Happo? What is the sinister organization following the proceedings? And what does a mermaid have to do with all this? ....

Tomorrow, Sparky will praise Justice Leaque & Justice Leaque Unlimited unless the PP GURU beats me to it.
- Sparky o&o

Fixed some image links - Sparky


  • At 4:31 PM , Blogger Coat said...

    Does Sparky expect some Justice Leaque DVDs in his future?


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