MANGA: Search and Destroy Ch. 06, by Atsushi Kaneko
The end of Book One
Hello everyone, welcome to the final chapter of Book One of Atsushi Kaneko’s Search and Destroy, based on Dororo by Osamu Tezuka. This week’s chapter is paywalled for paid subscribers to MSX: Mangasplaining Extra. If you just want this week’s chapter of Search and Destroy and to skip the essay below, scroll down to the title.
A few thoughts on the end of volume 1
I can’t believe we’re already at the end of volume 1! Wow. And it really goes out with a bang…
One of the things that I’m happiest about, when it comes to Search and Destroy, is that you can read and enjoy what Kaneko-sensei is doing here even if you haven’t read Dororo before. In my opinion (hi it’s Christopher), what we have up to this chapter is the story of a young woman, more machine than human, hunting and stealing body parts from some pretty deplorable machines. With the chapter you are about to read, the full scale of this mission, her actions, and their importance becomes clear, and sets the stage for the next two volumes. It’s why I fell in love with this series, and Ben too I think, and well, we hope it’s the same for you.
Since we first announced Search and Destroy I’ve been eager to share with all of you a short documentary about Atsushi Kaneko that I watch just before moving forward to license the title. I was already lucky enough to have met Kaneko-sensei, and had read Search and Destroy in its French edition. I’d been thinking about his manga for a long time too, in other contexts… But when researching him as a creator, this documentary really cemented my understanding of him, and my belief that his work absolutely needed to be brought to North America.
Just, don’t watch it yet.
I waited until this last chapter of volume 1 to include it here because it contains some spoilers, let’s say, for Search and Destroy. Some important images, some thoughts on what this story truly is (that might not be visible until this chapter), on where Kaneko-sensei comes from and his feelings about art. So this week when you get to the end of chapter 6 and you’re hopefully as blown away as I was… Well, go watch this. Enjoy.
(Shout out to the folks at Archipel for making some amazing documentaries on manga and video game creators, your stuff is awesome!)
While Kaneko-sensei is clear in this documentary and elsewhere that Search in Destroy is a far-future sci-fi take on the samurai epic that is Osamu Tezuka’s Dororo, it also needs to be said that, from my perspective, it’s also very clearly an essential part of Kaneko’s bibliography, something that is both influenced and itself deeply influential. I’m tremendously proud that myself and Ben, Phil, and the team of Eric, Paul, Ryan and Jacq at Fantagraphics are able to bring it to all of you.
And uh, if you’re not much of a digital person, I would be remiss not to remind you to please pre-order Fantagraphics’ print edition of volume 1, which will be coming in April. We just confirmed that we’re adding French flaps! It’s going to be awesome.
As a final note, Search and Destroy Volume 2, containing Chapters 7-12 of Search and Destroy, will resume serialization in January. We will be making chapter 7 free to read for all readers, and chapters 8-12 will be paywalled for paying subscribers. We will have a special month of material serializing in December, with more info to come on that soon. :)
Search and Destroy - Chapter 06
By Atsushi Kaneko, based on the story Dororo by Osamu Tezuka
Translated by Ben Applegate. Lettered by Phil Christie.
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