Enemigo M. A. T. and Jiro Taniguchi | Review


Published on Feb 22, 2019


The part of the vast production of Jiro Taniguchi arrived in Italy in the last years is surely linked to his mature period, however, the prolific Sensei hides numerous gems in his “younger years” and Rizzoli Lizard has dug in an intelligent and painstaking in that period, recovering this Enemigo, work, published in the mid - ’80s that Taniguchi illustrates with texts of the joint M. A. T.

Nasencio, a small country in central america, is recovering from years of dictatorship and civil war, however, is back to his feet, not only politically but also economically. The government has in fact decided to deforestare a wide area of the country to turn it into arable land turning to the japanese company Seshimo led by its young president Yuji. When he reached the place, however, Yuji is kidnapped by rebels who want to stop the operation and attempt a new coup.

In New York, Gloria Roberto – the secretary of Yuji – closer to Kenichi, the brother of Yuji, from years away from the family business with a licensed private investigator. As soon as the woman communicates to him all that had happened, Ken understands to go to Nasencio with urgency to save his brother. However, the undertaking will not be easy: the government is now obstruction, and the rebels are extremely aggressive, Ken will find, however, an unexpected faction ally while the general framework of the thing is complicated: it's a true rebellion of the mercenaries in the pay of the lobby's north american grain? and if it was a plot inside the company to oust Yuji from its role as a command?

Before venturing into the jungle, Ken will have to accomplish his mission, though with great sacrifices, but will be returning to New York, definitely a different type of jungle justice I will find true fulfillment.

With Enemigo we really stand in front of a work different from the standards that we have come to expect from Jiro Taniguchi, a “Taniguchi before Taniguchi” as indicated in one of the editorials at the end of the book both for the plot and for the graphics part.

The collective M. A. T. in fact, imbastisce a story that pays duty on what was the taste the most popular hollywood films of the era or the action movie, the background of the tensions of economic and political of the prevailing Cold War innestandovi but in a measured and effective elements that refer more to the literature noir “classic” which is a silent protagonist, and from a tormented past, a co-protagonist, beautiful and deadly, a plot that thickens as you proceed in reading and the ending definitely “personal”.

There is of course large space for the action which constitutes the whole of the central part of the book balancing first part is “slow” and purely of construction, perhaps here one feels more the influence of the Taniguchi that will be, and a final part, the last two chapters to be precise, instead of where the action is more staid and less hollywood.

Although the above-mentioned action of the driving force of the story, with all the styles related to it in evidence, Enemigo is not a waiver of moments more “reflective,” which are filtered by a dimension that is more personal like for example, the past of Ken, which reminds us not only of the horrors of war, but a war in particular, the Vietnam war, so stupidly political. Or even Glory whose faith is goes well beyond the simple spirituality, or even the complex interweaving of Nasencio, America, and the Seshimo that brings to surface the incredible envy and greed of human beings.

However, it is in the graphics part, that the “first” Taniguchi clashes most with one of maturity. The stretch is more urgent and muscular, recalling aesthetically other productions of the era, especially in the field of animation – while the detail, especially prospective and environments, it is less refined with a greater concentration on the contrasts of the black and white – the obvious influence of a certain school of european – and with the board that while preferring an orderly, constructed already show those panes irregular that increase the pace and the cineticità of the story.

Enemigo is a gripping story, action-packed, and while being set in the ’80s, is still extremely topical. The book is recommended to fans of Taniguchi in the round but also to those who may of the Sensei more preferred the production of the genre instead of literary inspiration and intimate.

As regards the edition, Rizzoli Lizard packs a solid column with fins from the excellent care carto-technical. The fit is very good, to report only a few “uncertain” in the process of translation, but nothing that negatively affect, really reading. Very full-bodied and out of the apparatus in the editorial, which also includes an introduction by Vittorio Giardino, and focuses both on the sources of inspiration for this work that is so “different” from the classic Taniguchi and his stretch of “youth”.

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