Manga Touch
46 pages

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46 pages

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Dana is excited about her school trip to Japan despite the fact that she is surrounded by the Melly Mob, "in-crowd" kids who make fun of her. Dana is certain she will be less of an outsider in Japan, home of manga and anime. But she soon discovers that it's just as difficult to fit in with a foreign culture as it is to fit in at school. And the only other manga fan that she meets refuses to talk to her. As Dana learns to meet people halfway and gains some friends in Japan, Melissa, leader of the Melly Mob, makes every effort to remind her that she's still an outsider.

Also available in French.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 octobre 2007
Nombre de lectures 108
EAN13 9781554696666
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0470€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Manga Touch
Jacqueline Pearce
orca currents
Copyright Jacqueline Pearce 2007
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Pearce, Jacqueline, 1962-
Manga touch / written by Jacqueline Pearce.
(Orca currents) ISBN 978-1-55143-748-4 (bound) ISBN 978-1-55143-746-0 (pbk.)
I. Title. II. Series.
PS8581.E26M35 2007 jC813 .6 C2007-903835-2
Summary: The manga touch is everywhere in Japan, but Dana still feels alone.
First published in the United States, 2007 Library of Congress Control Number: 2007930411
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Cover design: Teresa Bubela Cover photography: Getty Images
Drawing of author: Nina Matsumoto
Orca Book Publishers PO Box 5626, Station B Victoria, BC Canada V8R 6S4
Orca Book Publishers PO Box 468 Custer, WA USA 98240-0468 Printed and bound in Canada. Printed on 100% PCW recycled paper.
010 09 08 07 4 3 2 1
For my daughter, Danielle
This book couldn t have been written without the help of others. I m enormously grateful to my good friend, Jean-Pierre antonio, who has lived in Japan for over seventeen years, was a great host during my visit to Japan and continued to answer questions via e-mail and phone calls throughout the writing of the book. I would also like to thank the many people in Japan who showed me kindness and hospitality, especially Kyoko Nishihara, Masako Nakai, Kikumi Tanaka, Takako Horri, Taeko Kobayashi, aisling Braiden, Michiko Kihira, Sakano-san and the Ito family. Thank you also to Sheya Eno, who shared her experiences as a canadian exchange student in Japan; to Tomoyo Ihaya who read over some scenes in the book; to the students at Iino Highschool in Suzuka-shi, who answered questions about Japanese student life; and to everyone else (both in Japan and canada) who answered questions, talked with me about manga, and otherwise offered support and encouragement. and finally, I would like to acknowledge the artful word-cutting skills of my editor, Melanie Jeffs.
chapter one
I stare out the window as the airplane taxis down the runway. With my back to the other seats, I can almost forget I have to share my two weeks in Japan with Melissa Muller and the others. The Melly Mob, I call them. If you ve ever seen a gang of crows mob some poor raven, you can figure out why.
Melissa and her friends flock together like crows. If they don t like you or your clothes or your hair color-pomegranate red, being my latest-they don t exactly dive-bomb you. But they have a way of looking at you that says you rate about the same as bird crap.
A thrill leaps through me as we lift off. We rise into the clouds, and Vancouver disappears. I m glad to see it go. Outside there is nothing but whiteness. It feels like I m in a magic passageway between worlds. At the other end of all this whiteness is a different place.
I turn away from the window and glance around the inside of the plane. I don t know the girl beside me other than her name, Maya Contina. She s talking across the aisle to a friend. Ignoring me. A couple of rows back, Melissa is sitting beside her boyfriend, Zach Bellows. Their heads are bent together. Someone throws a scrunched-up piece of paper at them. Zach laughs and throws the paper back. Melissa pretends to be annoyed, but it s obvious she likes the attention. She is wearing even more makeup than usual. I am wearing a lot of black eyeliner myself but only because I want to look different. Melissa looks like she s trying to be some kind of phony fashion model. All her clothes are name brand, and she keeps flipping her long blond hair off her shoulders.
Melissa s eyes snap onto mine as if she s sensed me. I give her a bored look. She looks away. For a second, I d swear she almost squirmed. A bit of the old Mel showing through? I turn forward again. Nah. There is nothing left of the Mel that used to be my best friend.
The seat belt sign is off now, and I pull my backpack out from under the seat. I take out my MP3 player and my sketchbook, flip open the book and begin to draw.
With light pencil strokes, I sketch the shape of a body and face. I draw over the lines more heavily as I get them the way I want. I draw manga-style eyes-but not too large. I add two sections of hair that sweep off the girl s face like raven wings.
As I lean over the sketchbook, my own hair falls like a red curtain around my face. I am in my own world. But I can feel the others noticing me and pretending they don t.
Maybe I ll fit in better in Japan. At least I know about manga and anime-Japanese graphic novels and animation. I ve been a fan since the first episode of Sailor Moon that I saw as a kid. I quickly discovered other stuff after that and went from TV shows to manga books. The character I m drawing now is influenced by the darker manga I ve been into lately.
Woosh ! The sketchbook flies out of my hand.
Let s see what you re working on, Red , a boy s voice says.
Hey! I twist around, yanking my ear-buds loose. I come face to face with DJ, the most annoying guy in our school. Just my luck to be seated right in front of him.
My name is Dana, I tell him with a knife-edge glare.
I grab for the book, and DJ holds it out of my reach, laughing. I want to slap the taunting grin off his face.
It speaks! It speaks! he says. He s lucky my hands can t reach his throat.
Give me the book, I order under my breath. By now everyone is watching. Everyone except for Mr. Crawford and Ms. Delucci, our teachers. They are busy ignoring the morons they are supposed to be watching.
I make another lunge for the book, and DJ jerks it away again. Unfortunately for him, there s not much space in an airplane seat. I grab a handful of his hair.
He gives a sort of squeal. It is part surprised pain and part laughter. Then he tosses the book. The next thing I know, my sketchbook is in the hands of Zach Bellows. He starts flipping through the pages.
I force myself not to scream, though I am bursting with anger. For a second, I catch Melissa s eye and glare. If she has any memory of our friendship at all, she knows how much I hate people looking at my private drawings.
Mustering extreme willpower, I turn away and sit down. If I pretend I don t care about the book, they should lose interest. Unless they start making fun of the drawings. I feel a surge of panic.
Here, pass this over, a girl s voice whispers from the aisle.
The next thing I know, Maya drops the sketchbook into my lap.
What did you do that for? DJerk complains.
I look past Maya to see Melissa making her way back to her own seat.
The movie s about to start, she says, giving him a flirty smile. It ll be hard to watch with you guys throwing stuff around.
chapter two
We are beginning our descent, the captain s voice announces. We will land at Nagoya airport in thirty minutes.
Finally! This is it. We are closing in on a patchwork of small green and brown fields. It s getting dark, so I can barely make out the colors. Alongside the fields are the gray shapes of buildings.
Disappointment nudges through me. I guess I expected the clouds to part and everything below to dazzle like jewels. But the view is dull and gray and no different from Vancouver.
It s just the weather and the fading light, I tell myself. It ll get better.
Inside the airport, we could be anywhere. There are just as many English signs as there are Japanese ones. I step onto a moving walkway as a recorded female voice says please watch your step in perfect English. The voice also says something in Japanese that must mean the same thing. we pass through customs and head to the baggage claim.
By now, I m watching for a washroom. I see a sign with the English word toilet. On one door is a small blue man-shaped image. On the other door is a small, pink, woman image. I push open the pink door and step inside. I m followed by a couple of other girls from our group. The wash-room is clean and modern. I open the door to the first empty stall and freeze.
For a second, I wonder if I picked the wrong washroom. I m staring at a men s urinal, but it s on the floor. It s a Japanese-style toilet, I realize. Now I feel like I m in a different place.
What the hell is that? a familiar voice complains.
I look over my shoulder. Melissa is standing in front of a stall, one hand on her hip.
You stand over it and squat, I say. Then I step into my own stall as if I know exactly what I m doing.
The look on Melissa s face is worth the price of this whole trip.
Well, that s it. I m holding it, I hear Melissa say. I am still laughing to myself as I reach the baggage claim area.
In the airport lobby, a Japanese man in a black suit introduces himself as Mr. Akimoto. He is our host teacher from Suzuka High School. He has a round face lit by a welcoming smile. His thick black hair fits him like a tight hat.
We follow Mr. Akimoto out of the airport, pulling our suitcases behind us. I look around, hungry for my first glimpse of Japan. But it s dark out now. I can t see much past the concrete of the airport. It s warm, though, an

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