Norakuro (Japanese: のらくろ) is a Japanese manga series created by Suihō Tagawa, originally published by Kodansha in Shōnen Kurabu, and one of the first series' to be reprinted in tankōbon format.[1] The titular protagonist, Norakuro, or Norakuro-kun, is an anthropomorphic black and white dog inspired by Felix the Cat.[2] The name Norakuro is an abbreviation of norainu (野良犬, stray dog) and Kurokichi (黒吉, the name of the dog, literally meaning "black luck").

Norakuro
Norakuro bunkoban vol. 1.png
Manga volume 1 cover (1975 bunkoban edition)
のらくろ
Manga
Written bySuihō Tagawa
Published byKodansha
MagazineShōnen Kurabu
English magazine
DemographicShōnen
Original run19311981
Volumes36
Anime film
Private 2nd Class Nora-Kuro: Drill Chapter
Directed byYasuji Murata
Written byChuzo Aochi
Suihō Tagawa
StudioYokohama Cinema Company
ReleasedJune 14, 1933
Runtime1 film reel
Anime film
Corporal Nora-Kuro
Directed byYasuji Murata
Written byChuzo Aochi
Suihō Tagawa
Music byRyozo Sugita
StudioYokohama Cinema Company
ReleasedMarch 9, 1934
Runtime11 minutes
Anime film
Private 1st Class Nora-Kuro
Directed byMitsuyo Seo
Written bySuihō Tagawa
Music byAsahiko Ochiai
StudioSeo Talkie Manga Labs
Released1935
Runtime1 film reel
Anime film
Private 2nd Class Nora-Kuro
Directed byMitsuyo Seo
Written bySuihō Tagawa
Music byAsahiko Ochiai
StudioSeo Talkie Manga Labs
Released1935
Runtime2 film reels
Anime film
Nora-Kuro's Tiger Hunt
Directed byMitsuyo Seo
Written bySuihō Tagawa
StudioGeijutsu Eiga Sha
Released1938
Runtime10 minutes
Anime television series
Directed byToru Murayama
Music byHidehiko Arashino
StudioEiken
Original networkFuji TV
Original run 5 October 1970 29 March 1971
Episodes26
Anime television series
Norakuro-kun
Directed byMasami Anno
StudioStudio Pierrot
Original networkFuji TV
Original run 4 October 1987 2 October 1988
Episodes50
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

Norakuro strongly influenced Machiko Hasegawa, the author of Sazae-san, who apprenticed with its author Suihō Tagawa, as well as Fullmetal Alchemist author Hiromu Arakawa.

HistoryEdit

 
English version of a 1937 Norakuro strip as published in the sixth Kramer's Ergot comics anthology.

In the original story, the central character Norakuro was a soldier serving in an army of dogs called the "fierce dogs regiment" (猛犬連隊, mōkenrentai). The strip's publication began in Kodansha's Shōnen Kurabu in 1931, and was based on the Imperial Japanese Army of the time;[3] the manga artist, Suihō Tagawa, had served in the Imperial Army from 1919 to 1922. Norakuro was gradually promoted from private to captain in the stories, which began as humorous episodes, but eventually developed into propaganda tales of military exploits against the "pigs army" on the "continent" - a thinly-veiled reference to the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Serialization of Norakuro stopped in 1941 for wartime austerity reason. After the war, due to the popularity of the strip, the character returned in various guises, including a sumo wrestler and a botanist.

Pre-war animated films based on the military Norakuro, and two post-war animated series of Norakuro, in 1970 and 1987, have also been produced. In the 1970 series, the voice of Norakuro was played by Nobuyo Ōyama, also known as the voice of Doraemon. During the 1980s and early 1990s Norakuro was the mascot of the Physical Training School (Tai-Iku Gakko) of the Japan Self-Defense Forces.

There is an excerpt that appears in the sixth Kramer's Ergot comics anthology which is the only example of Tagawa's work published in English.[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Jason S. Yadao. The Rough Guide to Manga
  2. ^ ""Norakuro" |".
  3. ^ a b Deppey, Dirk (September 25, 2006). "Kramers Ergot 6". The Comics Journal. Archived from the original on March 24, 2012. Retrieved 2011-07-02.

External linksEdit