Violence Jack – Black Forest

Well I’ve been putting off writing about this for a while now, so let’s get this over and done with as briefly as possible.

This is one of the arcs that is likely what people have in mind when they say the Violence Jack manga is more offensive than the OAVs. Because this arc is. And what makes it worse, is that the really offensive portion doesn’t really have anything to do with story at hand. It’s just there to shock, which it definitely does, to the point of disgust.

The actual arc involves a flashback to the Slum King growing up pre-Earthquake. We see him being born, not so much a birth as a monster bursting from his mother’s womb. Such is his violent nature from birth his family have him chained up (wearing samurai armour for some reason) in a shed.

He falls in love with the woman his family appear to be paying to strip naked and dance in front of him (I mentioned last time how these later stories are much harder to follow without Japanese reading skills than the 70s material didn’t I?). However there’s a jealous suitor, and when the Slum King is freed he finds the pair together (the man is possibly raping her – he has forced himself on her once at this point, but it’s not clear from the art if that’s the case this second time) and he kills him. But in his rage, Slum King ends up killing her too.

I’m doing that whole sequence a disservice, as the strip does a decent job just by the illustrations in illiciting some sympathy for the Slum King, before spitting it in your face and reminding you what a bully and monster he actually is. That may also be the point of the aforementioned offensiveness, but it was a little unsubtle if that was the intention.

That indeed is the final payoff of this arc, as in the future, Jack and Slum King battle, and Jack appears to cause Slum King to hallucinate this woman that he loved and killed, leaving the tyrant pathetically crying on the battle.

No noticable cross refencing to other Nagai works here. The only other note to make is that as we’ll learn later on, the events in the Slum King’s flashback probably never happened.

So all in all not great and two arcs in you’re kind of wondering what happened to the Violence Jack familiar from the 70s. The next arc doesn’t really help matters either…