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SMAC! Web Magazine

Kakimoji S.O.S #19 – Tomizawa sensei Kakimoji special! (PART 01)

Kakimoji fans, CIAO!

To help us study the power Kakimoji further, we’ll be taking at a look a very special manga masterpiece. 

Today’s title is…

 

Tomizawa sensei’s “MENKICHI THE AVENGER” (KOROSHIYA MENKICHI, 殺し屋麺古) !!

If you haven’t heard of this manga, then reMENber the title and find it in MANGA HOT! 

 

 

“WOW! I can finally read this manga online! I need to install the app ASAP!” 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, PenMaru… and just for you, here’s a very brief description of this fantastic work:

MENKICHI is a manga that combines two very different things…ramen and a sweeper! 

Ryoto Akagi, the protagonist, runs a very successful ramen shop. Though friendly and good natured, not to mention an amazing ramen cook, Ryo hides another, darker side… a deadly assassin! 

Much like Robin Hood of old, Ryo uses his deadly talents for good, not evil. As a guardian to his surroundings, Ryo holds a state ‘killing license’, allowing him to dispense justice where the law has failed. 

 

Now you’re up to speed, let’s take a look at the protagonist of today’s article, the Kakimoji used in Tomizawa sensei’s masterpiece!

 

① Noises heard consciously / Noises heard unconsciously

Are you consciously aware of the noises around you? The world is full of noises, and we as human’s are experts at unconsciously blocking out sounds as we go about our daily business.

Let’s try to classify these noises: 

* Background speech

* Footsteps

* Sound of a vehicles 

* The sound of the wind

* Birds and insects 

* BGM heard from convenience store speakers

As you can see, the list could be endless with virtually infinite types of sounds. 

All you Kakimoji masters out there will be well aquatinted with “Zawazawa” (to be noisy), the Kakimoji used to express the noise of a bustling city. But for now, let’s look at “conscious noises”.

“Conscious noises” here are very much a meta occurrence, unique to manga. Even if the character is unconscious of the noises, by using Kakimoji, we readers certainly are. This is a very cartoonist approach.

 

Consciously 

Look at these 3 panels…

In the long shot, where a man goes down a staircase, we see the ‘sound’ of footsteps (“Katsun Katsun”), drawn in small speech bubbles.

An unmistakable noise (unconscious even if you hear it), but why drawn the footsteps noise Kakimoji in this speech balloons?

As we become consciously aware of these small footsteps, we develop a somewhat sad and lonely impression. Once we become conscious of minor sounds, we become aware of the paradoxical relationship with have with silence. 

Unconsciously

Well, let’s take a look at the following page. The footsteps represented by “Katsu Katsu” are considerably stronger than before, with the acute sound of high heels hitting the ground. The Kakimoji used is greatly represented with a strong design.

However, the character is looking at the person to whine she is approaching, making her unconscious to the big sounds of the footsteps.  

Although it is expressed as a loud sound, when comparing it with the earlier Kakimoji, this is an “unconscious” Kakimoji!

 

② Feminine and Masculine Kakimoji

Often in manga, it is important to express the contrast between female characters and male characters. By giving clear charm to both the female and male characters, we can add elements that empathize specific emotions.

Difference in attack power


ぐわ
 (GUWA, a scream) 

 

ゴッ(GO, hard sound) 

A woman brandishes a knife, on the brink of attack, yet the kakimoji is styled in a pretty, feminine font. 

Whereas the man, posses the solid Kakimoji “GO!”, drawn in a strong and bold design.  

… and now, RAMEN TIME!🍜

 

PACHI! (Sound of the chopsticks)
Zu… (Sound of the noodles been eaten)

 

Zuzuzuzu (Noodles eaten with great effort)
HAFU HAFU (Blow sound)

The woman eating the ramen is styled in a pretty and elegant format, while the man is disordered and unstylish … a big difference indeed! 

MENKICHI does not only possess Kakimoji as sound effects, but also takes advantage of the feelings and personality of each character.

This wonderful manga feature continues again next week with part 2!

I’ll be here once you finish your noodles! CIAO!

Hey, why not jump over to MANGA HOT now you’ve finished and see all Tomizawa sensei’s Kakimoji in action!

 

 

CIAO!!


 

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…and remember to use the hashtag #kakimojisos 😉

Enrico Croce