Friday, June 14, 2024

Murakami Manga

Haruki Murakami is definitely one of my favorite authors, and I’ve read most of his novels, which tend to be quite long. I’ve read quite a few of his short stories also — so I decided to read this graphic version of some of them.

“Super Frog Saves Tokyo” is a Kafkaesque story of an ordinary office worker named Katagiri, who is enlisted by a tormented giant frog. His mission: to save Tokyo from a disastrous earthquake that is about to be caused by a hideous worm that lives underground beneath the office building where he works. 

Like most of Murakami’s magical realism, you can’t be sure what’s happening in some literal sense, and what’s only in the imagination or hallucinations of a character. And of course it doesn’t matter. The poor office worker has to save Tokyo.

Here are a couple of panels where the frog introduces himself to Katagiri:

I looked up the text version of the story (here). The description given has different details from what you see in the art wor:

“Katagiri still had his briefcase jammed under his arm. Somebody's playing a joke on me, he thought. Somebody's rigged himself up in this huge frog costume just to have fun with me. But he knew, as he watched Frog pour boiling water into the teapot, humming all the while, that these had to be the limbs and movements of a real frog. Frog set a cup of green tea in front of Katagiri and poured another one for himself.”

I always find it hard to read graphic novels, because I rely so heavily on reading, and I forget to look carefully at the images. In reading this version of stories which I also have read as text, I made an effort to find the details of the narrative in the pictures, not in words. I tried to see the ordinary house, the teapot and cups, the flat pillow that the man kneels on, the steam from the teacup, the posture of the frog, and many other details. Afterwards, when I reread the story as originally published, I was struck by the very different way that details were presented. Very interesting.

Review ©  2024 mae sander



My name is Erika. said...

I don't know this author. Thanks for sharing. It's always fun to read about authors and books I don't know about.Especially if they include a frog. hugs-Erika

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Murakami is one of my favorite writers, too. I tend to stay away from graphic novels. Is it because I find graphic novels show things I'd prefer to imagine in my own mind? Is it that graphic novels make definitive things I find uncertain? I don't know.

Valerie-Jael said...

Not a book I know, but enjoy it! Happy weekend!

Helen's Book Blog said...

I haven't ever read a Murakami, but in a work meeting yesterday my client had Murakami posters on his wall so we had a nice chat about books.

Divers and Sundry said...

I like this author but haven't read this book. Thanks!

Lydia C. Lee said...

The New Yorker Firction is a bodcast wehere authors read short storuies by other authers and discuss them. A lot of Murakami stories have been selected. You might want to check out. I have been looking at the Graphic novels but so expensive!! I really enjoyed seeing your review. Still wanting to get my hands on them, from a library if I can....#SaturdayCritters

eileeninmd said...

The author is new to me, the frog looks fun. This book and the images are interesting. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great weekend. PS, thank you for leaving me a comment.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

This is new to me too and I can't wait to read one of the books. Thanks for sharing!