Archive for January 23, 2008

Manga and the Cloverfield Monster

Viral marketing made J.J. Abrams’s film Cloverfield a box office hit, and after I caught wind of a manga prequel to Cloverfield, exclusive to Japanese audiences, I know it’s bound to get bigger.


The movie has been described as your classic monster thriller, seemingly shot from a Handicam a la “Blair Witch Project.” (Prepare a barf bag.) It’s a love-it-or-hate-it genre. After all, we have Godzilla and we already know the hero will survive while businessman #2 and #3 will suffer a gruesome death, either A) struck by a falling taxi cab or B) flattened by the big dude himself. So why bother, right?

But then a friend tells me about this rumored prequel. I go to the Kadokawa manga company website which has a link to the online story. I’m used to reading manga with two sweaty hands clenched over my lap so it was hard getting used to clicking pages and zooming over text. But the story proved fascinating. It revealed a sad story of a Japanese boy wanting to give up on life. His mother is dead and he’s the constant target of bullies. The illustrator hints at a correlation between this boy and the monster. A boy turning into a monster? But how?

When Cloverfield’s mysteriously short but silly trailer came out last summer followed by word of Abrams as its producer, I admit, I was perplexed. Abrams is a genius at intricate storytelling. Why this? Now I’m starting to understand.

The manga is a four-part series and so far only one has been released. The next one comes out in February. I’m looking forward to unraveling the mystery. J.J. Abrams is a master of suspense. I just hope Sprite isn’t involved.


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January 23, 2008 at 10:03 am 2 comments

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January 2008


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