"Rejoice, my son, for thou hast chosen the Amulet of Right o'er the Sword of Might! Therefore, let there be beauty and strength--power and compassion--honour and humility, mirth and reverence--within you... Be one with thy brothers of the Round Table--with Arthur and Lancelot, Gawain and Galahad, with them all... Be thou what they were--a hero! Strive forever to maintain the rule of right--of law and justice--against those who live and rule by might."

Chris Claremont, "From the Holocaust--A Hero!" Captain Britain No. 2 (20 Oct. 1976)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tonari no Shugoshin

Ako Shimaki's Tonari no Shugoshin is an Arthurian-themed manga originally serialized in 2007 and presents the domestication of Lancelot by a teen-aged girl living in modern Japan, a storyline that offers a counterpoint to the Fate/stay night anime (also from 2007) in which a female Arthur is brought forward in time and domesticated (in part) by a teen-aged boy. In Tonari no Shugoshin, Lancelot is magically brought into the present and, though he often slips back into knightly behavior, he quickly assumes the guise and costume of a high school student. Much of the series is devoted to the girl's shifting feelings towards Lancelot, and Shimaki includes some graphic scenes (thus making this yet another example of what Elizabeth S. Sklar has labeled "naughty Arthuriana") as the two attempt to resolve their relationship. The manga has been collected by Egmont and released, unfortunately only in German (with a translation by Christine Steinle), as a two-volume series, re-titled Tonari no Guardian, available through Amazon.co.uk. The series can also be read in English through various fan sites, like MangaFox. I first came across mention of the series in John Lance Griffith's essay "Integration and Inversion: Western Medieval Knights in Japanese Manga and Anime" published online in the Korean journal Medieval and Early Modern English Studies 17.1 (2009); Grifith offers a summary of the manga and an analysis of its use of the Arthurian legend.

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