Baoh Volume 1

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Baoh, the Invincible Body (無敵の肉体バオー Muteki no Nikutai Baō) is the first volume of the manga series, Baoh the Visitor.

Summary

One night, a young psychic girl named Sumire escapes from the nefarious Dress Organization who develops superweapons. During her escape, she also frees a young boy named Ikuro Hashizawa, who is already a guinea pig and host for a superweapon named Baoh that grants him superhuman powers. To stop Baoh from going out of control, Dress sends many assassins to kill Ikuro.

Chapters


Author's Note

Araki Baoh Vol 1 Note.png

I was once asked, "If you could have a superpower, what would it be?" I immediately answered, “Transform!” because with transformation, you can be anything you want. I think one would eventually get bored of precognition and telekinesis after a while, but transforming would always be fun. You could mess with other people and go to different places...... I'm sure you'd be able to enjoy yourself forever without ever getting tired, which is why I'd like everyone to check out "Baoh the Visitor". It's a cool story, but also a sad one at the same time.

超能力を持てるとしたら何? と聞かれ、ぼくは即「変身!」と答えました。何にでもなれるからです。

予知とか念力とかは、ある程度やると飽きてしまうと思います。 でも変身はきっと楽しいよ。 他人をからかったり、いろいろな所へ行ったり……。 きっと一生飽きずに遊べると思うな。そんなわけで『バオー来訪者』をどうぞ。カッコイイけど悲しいお話なんです。

週刊少年ジャンプ・S59年45号~

52号掲載分収録

Afterword
Terasawa Baoh Vol 1 Afterword.jpg

I think my first contact with Araki was when I read his submission for the Tezuka Awards. Looking at his manuscripts, I was surprised and delighted at how similar are styles were. Araki is very meticulous with how he crafts his story, going over it several times before putting pen to paper. He's the type of person who only starts writing once he has a complete grasp of the dynamics of his characters, the circumstances they face, their outlook on the world, and so on. This method is the same one used by novelists and screenwriters, but for a serial manga artist is very detrimental.

Most of these subtle attentions to detail go unnoticed by the reader, like the sci-fi themes scattered throughout the story and the deliberate awe created by the protagonist. Nonetheless, this is precisely where a science fiction writer gets to put their skills to the test, trying to visualize what we can only see in our wildest dreams. I mentioned earlier that our styles were similar. That's because I felt that his approach to drawing manga was very close to mine. There are very few artists who can make sci-fi manga entertaining without compromising the overall quality of their work, and Araki is one of them. Given his current style, I think he'll continue to grow as a manga artist in the future.

It's important to recognize that science fiction manga isn't the same as novels or films. At first, this seems obvious, but I think it's something necessary to keep in mind. I hope the both of us will continue drawing science fiction manga until we truly understand what it means.

荒木さんの作品とのファースト・コンタクト(はじめてのふれあい)は、彼が出した手塚賞の応募原稿を読んだ時だったと思う。驚きそして喜んだ。なぜなら、彼は僕と同じにおいがしたからだ。

彼は何よりもまず、ストーリー展開を何度も緻密に練りあげてから構成していく。人間関係はもちろん、それを取り巻く状況、センス・オブ・ワンダーをどこに置くかなど、すべてを完壁に把握した上でなければ語り出さないタイプだ。とはいっても、これは小説や脚本を書くのと同じ手法であって、連載マンガ家としては非常に不利な一面を持っている。

みを求めるあまり、画面の中にちりばめられたSF的感性や主人公の中にある計算されたワンダーに、すべては大気のように気づかれず読み落とされる場合が多い。

しかし、SF作家はそこにこそ自らの資質をつぎ込み、自分の白中夢を映像化しようとこころみる。

先に、彼と僕は同じにおいがしたといったが、それは彼の求める作品の方向が、僕のそれと非常に近しいと感じたからだ。

SF漫画において、作品の質を低下させずになおかつ、エンターテイメントであろうとする作家は数少ない。彼はもちろんその中のひとりであり、今後、今のにおいを持ったまま成熟してゆくと思う。

SF漫画にSF小説でもSF映画でもない。あたりまえのことのように思えるが、SF漫画を描く上ではこの認識が最も重要であり、難しいものだと思う。

お互いそれを意識し、SF漫画というものが何者であるかを知るまで描き続けていきたいものだ。

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