Manga License Request for Yama-ari Tani-ori (ヤマありタニおり)
ヤマありタニおり by 日下 直子
3 volumes 2009-10
Just about anything can be written in a manga, and the lucky few like Hikari no Go, or Yakitate Japan that gets translated over into English always leaves a manga reader like me wondering if there is even more of something more interesting to read. I am not even getting into the anime, which is based on Japanese manga and talking about niche hobbies.
So I have gotten back into origami folding, and of course with making new friends, and acquaintances. I found an outlet to talk more about manga with. Origami folding people are pretty nice, and definitely aware of Japanese culture. Recently a friend from the group lent me this manga to look through. It has fulfilled my quota that there is an origami themed manga!
What is the background for this manga? Yama-ari Tani-ori in English is translated to Mountain Fold Valley Fold and they are paperfolding techniques, where the paper is fold on the diagonal on front side and backside. Its genre is for josei, and it is serialized in Kiss, the same magazine that serialized Nodame Cantabile, and who would happen to own Kiss? Kodansha of course, so with their setting up shop on the shores of the United States. I am at this point hoping that Kodansha would one day remember to maybe bring this over. It only ends in three volumes. The author Kusaka Naoko is an author that is definitely not known in America.
So what can I gleam from this volume? It is about a16 year old named Aida Yoshi. He is a pretty shy and quiet boy, who has a passion for folding origami. Unfortunately his school doesn’t have an origami club, so he begin the process of starting a club. Eventually his classmates, Kawashima and Miyamoto joins the club.
The story details some pretty cool origami things, such as folding a gigantic frog. I have seen photos of a gigantic Elephant so folding a gigantic frog is sure to impress. In later chapters, readers would learn that Kawashima is a pretty experienced folder, while Miyamoto is a beginner. Beginners usually fold mushi-gami, so of course Miyamoto is pretty upset by it. This group of three unlikely friends, is eventually led into an origami competition.
The themes of this manga is youth, friendship and of course origami. Even the author Kusaka Naoko said on Amazon Japan, that origami is a Japanese tradition. When I say the them is on youth, and friendship, Japanese would definitely associate that with schoolboys, and high school. There are some fan service, in the drawing and interactions of characters, that is a cultural difference though. Looking beyond that, as a reader you can see that this is a story with the theme of origami, and for this subtle past time, having a comic would definitely inspire more people to pick this past time.