Thursday, April 19, 2007

Translucent Silver Hair (Page 18)

//Panel 1//
//Panel 2//
The family that inhabits the blue mists and twilight, and lives forever…

End —January 1972—

Notable rightward slanting of the carriage in Panel 2, to illustrate how physically at odds the carriage's inhabitants are with the townspeople on the outside. Then in the next panel, Marybel is also shown veering away off-kilter, while the "reaction shot" of Charles shows him in balance and straight-up (though obviously stunned).

In Panel 4 we see that the rose Marybel holds (the one the middle-aged Charles has given her) wither away in her hand. In this episode, we are never told what Marybel and Edgar are, except for not aging at all over a long time and this very subtle hint.

Moto Hagio say in her interview that she got inspiration for the "Poe no Ichizoku" from "きりとばらとほしと (Mist, Roses, and Stars)" by Shotaro Ishinomori - published in 1962 when Hagio was still in middle school. I never read this manga, but Hagio was making a reference to this work when she depicted the rose dying in Marybel's hand.

In the interview Hagio says Ishinomori had a number of manga stories with time travel motif. In another interview she mentions "きのうはもうこない だがあすもまた… (Yesterday comes no more, but neither tomorrow…)" by Ishinomori, which she says shocked her. The story is about a girl from the future who keeps coming back to the present, each time growing bit by bit. Hagio was intrigued by this whole concept. And she was looking for similar stories when she encountered "Mist, Roses and Stars". This turned out to be a story about a girl who turned into a vampire, told in three parts - past, present, and future. It was not a traditional gothic horror - rather it was from the vampire's perspective, and the same girl, never aging, appears across a vast time expanse, just the opposite to the structure of "Yesterday comes no more, but neither tomorrow…"

When Hagio thought of drawing a vampire story, she didn't want to do a horror story where a vampire approaches its victims with evil laughter, and she remembered "Mist, Roses and Stars", where a vampire was beautiful and sympathetic. Thus "Poe no Ichizoku", a multi-layered saga that covers a vast time range, was born.

In the interview Hagio mentioned Anne Rice. She saw the movie first, then read the Vampire Chronicles. She says she was relieved to find that "Poe no Ichizoku" predates the Chronicles by two years.

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