Eternal Blade by Tara Tamayori
For young Hawai‘i artists in the early 2000s, manga was commonly found in bookstores in Hawai‘i and the United States. Along with the rise of the Internet, American artists had access to the latest manga and anime trends in Japan.
Tara Tamayori’s (b. 1989) adventure manga, Eternal Blade, is indebted to the themes of Japanese shonen manga. Geared for elementary school boys, shonen manga is action-packed and include strong-willed heroes who persevere through adversity. Tamayori’s heroes, however, are far from heroic. The protagonist is hopelessly naive and the supporting characters continually argue among themselves. As a parody, Eternal Blade pays homage to shonen manga while spoofing it, thus creating a genre of its own.
Eternal Blade was published in Hachi-Maru-Hachi: Manga and Short Story Anthology (HMH) in 2010 and 2013. Founded by Jordan Takemoto (b. 1989), HMH strove to reproduce the frequency in which manga are released in Japan by publishing on a monthly basis. After the first issue in 2010, sales could not meet production costs, forcing it to go on hiatus until 2013. HMH reveals the problem of marketing home-grown manga in Hawai‘i where non-Japanese publications are not as popular as Japanese publications among many manga fans. However precarious financially, HMH represents one step toward establishing a local manga publishing industry.
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