You know: in a foolish, undiscriminating way, I've been happy these last few months. I don't know why. I just am. I love my friends; I love my pupils; I love what I read; I -- dammit -- love my thoughts. I love the taste of oranges.
Thornton Wilder in a letter to Gertrude Stein, Aug 14, 1936

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


OK, I was wrong on this one. After Vol 10 I was saying the series had jumped the shark and was headed for an inevitable anti-climax. But I forgot one thing. It is Japanese.

Since this is the final volume, it would be easy to make these comments into Spoiler City. So I will just list a few stand out moments:
That arm is not connected to a body

1) Sixth graders confess their undying love for one another.
2) The school cafeteria man who will not die is finally done in by the severed arm and half the face of a character that I do no believe has made an appearance before this episode.
3) Sho's mom goes on national television to ask all the children of Japan to pray for the safe return of her son.
4) And only in Japan would you get a plot development that finds the first signs of hope for a new society in the plants that sprout from the corpses of the dead school kids scattered over the desert and around the campus.

Troy about the time of his role in The Drifting Classrom
Umezu's manga was originally serialized in the early 1970's. It is still the wildest ride of any of the manga series I have looked at. A film version was made in 1987, but I can find only snippets on Your Tube. It appears to take place at an international school, so half the dialog is in English and all the characters are turned into older teens. There are musical numbers. Troy Donahue plays one of the teachers. Did I just write that. Yes, Troy Donahue plays one of the teachers.

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