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38 Dosen  
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Description
A collection of short stories set against the backdrop of various wars; World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

Nagai Knife no Yoru (Night of the Long Knife)
A German spy for the Allies has been captured by the SS and is awaiting execution. Throughout the night he recalls everything that brought him to this point, including the SS officer he has loved since he was a child.

Normandy de Aimashou (We'll Meet in Normandy)
Comparatively light-hearted in mood, this the only non-tragic story in the collection. Two army units -- one German and the other British -- run into each other, and reminisce about the days in which they were merely rivals on the football field.

Sakura, Sakura
The story of two young fighter pilots for the Japanese army during WWII.

Housei wa Tooi (The Distant Sounds of Battle)
Two boys become acquainted with each other as teenagers. One of them is crippled in a car accident while the other is drafted into the Vietnam War. The one who was left behind patiently waits for his friend as the wounded soldiers return -- destroyed in mind, body, or both. But of course, there are always those who never make it back home...

38 Dousen (The 38th Parallel)
This was Ishihara's debut story. The setting is Korea shortly after the Korean War, when the North-South border was heavily guarded on both sides. One American with a clownish personality is determined to make his North Korean counterpart crack a smile, and will stop at nothing to snap him out of his stony-faced reverie.

Type
Manga

Related Series
N/A

Associated Names
38 Dousen
38度線
The 38th Parallel

Groups Scanlating
N/A

Latest Release(s)
N/A

Status in Country of Origin
1 Volume (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?
No

Anime Start/End Chapter
N/A

User Reviews
N/A

Forum

User Rating
Average: 9.7 / 10.0 (3 votes)
Bayesian Average: 7.25 / 10.0
10
 67% (2 votes)
9+
 33% (1 votes)
8+
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7+
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6+
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5+
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4+
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3+
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2+
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1+
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Last Updated
January 23rd 2012, 5:24am PST


Genre

Categories

Category Recommendations

Recommendations
N/A

Author(s)

Artist(s)

Year
1997

Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Magazine Zero (Biblos)
Shousetsu B-Boy (Biblos)

Licensed (in English)
No

English Publisher
N/A

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #1130 increased(+171)
Monthly Pos #2468 increased(+443)
3 Month Pos #3916 increased(+1412)
6 Month Pos #6063 increased(+1354)

List Stats
On 3 reading lists
On 70 wish lists
On 7 completed lists
On 3 unfinished lists
On 32 custom lists

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]
 

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So, so very touching...   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by cyclamen
February 11th, 2012, 7:57am
This collection is simply wonderful. It's such a terrible shame that no-one, not even Ishihara Satoru herself, writes BL likes this any more. The art is old-fashioned, sketchy, and really rather ugly, but the depth and psychological realism of each one-shot is so incredible that you really, really should make an exception in this case even if you're the kind of person for whom the art style is a deciding factor when choosing your manga.

At first glance it might seem that Normandy de Aimashou is somewhat incompatible with the rest of the stories...and I thought so too, at first. But in retrospect it struck me that even though war is harsh, cruel and disgustingly brutal, there may, just may, be some astounding acts of kindness in the midst of all that despair. I don't know whether it's just my fancy or not, but I do feel the mangaka wanted to express that -- while also giving our tormented emotions a bit of respite along the way.

I can't really describe how stunning and affecting these stories are, so I recommend anyone who can understand Japanese to read this if you ever have the chance. Wartime love stories are far from being uncommon, and some of these one-shots do carry certain basic clichés from that genre, but they still manage to stand on their own as original tales that will make you feel sorrow from the very depths of your heart. I definitely didn't cry while I was reading, but my throat clenched quite painfully several times -- and believe you me, it's nigh impossible to make me feel anything at all about fictitious tragedies.

Highly recommended to pretty much anyone, regardless of general genre preference (it doesn't matter whether you're a BL fan or not -- there's very little male x male romance here anyway, and all such relationships end less-than-happily); but I must warn you -- melancholy and tragedy abounds throughout this volume, so if you're looking for happily-ever-afters and "love conquers all", better skip this one.

... Last updated on March 3rd, 2012, 9:34pm
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