Akira Toriyama Super Database: Cowa!



(Note that the above GIFs come from the Shueisha site without permission, and are directly copyrighted by Toriyama.)






Introduction

After 2.5 years of resting, Akira Toriyama has finally started up a new manga series. Starting with the #48 issue of Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, we now have Cowa!.

The hero looks a little like a dorky Ackman, while his friend looks like Bubul. They are named "Paifuu" (a young, troublemaking half-vampire/half were-Koala) and "Rodorigesu Hose" (Jose Rodriques, a young ghost), and are placed in a world of monsters, completely unlike the location in Majin Mura no Bubul. This is a slapstick series, and will include a few other characters, like a werewolf, and either a pig, or a Kappa (frog-like water spirit.)

Kyoufu Sono 1: Paifuu no Otsukai
Fearful Chapter 1: Paifuu's (I'm not sure about this. Maybe "Shopping trip")

In the opening story, Paifuu and Hose come home from school, and start playing games (in Japan, the game of tag is played where the person that is "it" is an "oni", or demon. In the world of Cowa!, which is a play on Kowaii, or "scary", the person that is "it" has to pretend to be an angel. Hose is so convincing as a "goody-two shoes" that it freaks Paifuu out and he has to quit the game.) Paifuu's mother wants Paifuu to buy a watermelon, for dessert before the family goes to bed at sunrise. But, Paifuu spends the money on snacks and toys, then goes to steal a watermelon from a garden. Through a series of silly turns, Paifuu gives the watermelon to someone else, then has to paint up Hose to make the ghost pretend to be a watermelon, while Paifuu goes out to steal another one. When the young vampire returns home, it looks like Hose has been sliced open, and partially eaten. In fact, the mother of the boy that had been given the first watermelon had complained that it was too big, and brought it over to Paifuu's house to share it. Hose, who is inclined to farting under stress, had given himself away, and then explained everything to Paifuu's mother before Paifuu had returned home.

The opening story isn't bad as gag manga go, but it's not a killer start for someone as skilled as Toriyama. Expect that Cowa! will either get better with time, or will be scrapped after a year or two.





Kyoufu Sono 2: Obake no Kimo Dame-shi
Fearful Chapter 2: The Ghost's Challenge Game

(Note that Kimo Dame-shi is a child's game played to determine who is the most brave. Normally, children take turns walking into a cemetery at midnight. The child that spends the most time in the cemetery before panicking and running back out is the winner. Hose's version of Kimo Dame-shi would be to visit a church. Paifuu's version is to find the home of a rumored serial killer, and to see who can get closest to the sleeping killer's bed.)

Paifuu and Hose try to play games to keep themselves amused, but fail. Paifuu decides to try Kimo Dame-shi, using the home of a rumored killer as the playground. Hose is too scared of this idea, and wants to quit early on. But, the killer is missing. Then, they see what looks like the light of a lost soul, and fly out over the lake to check it out. Turns out to be a torch mounted on a raft that the killer is using as he does some night-diving for fish. Hose and Paifuu try to scare the guy, but fail. Finally, he explains that he used to be a sumo wrestler, and had accidently killed an opponent in a match. He retreated from all human contact to become a hermit. The story ends with all three of them still on the raft, and Paifuu declaring that the guy really is a murderer.





Kyoufu Sono 3: Paifuu to Aapon
Fearful Chapter 3: Paifuu and Arpon

Notes:
Koumori Misaki Cape Bat, or Koumori Cape. The town where Paifuu and Jose live
Koumori Misaki Elemetary The name of the elementary school that Paifuu and Jose attend
Kerou Sensei Paifuu and Jose's teacher
Arpon A big lipped, light-haired creature that is in Paifuu's class. Considers Paifuu to be his main rival.


The entire town is coming down with colds. The school's teacher is sick, so the humans have to take classes later in the evening to allow the normal human teacher to substitute for Paifuu's class as well. The human boy that first appeared in chapter 1 thanks Paifuu for the delicious watermelon. As Paifuu and Jose continue on to school, Arpon, who is hiding in the trees, jumps down to intercept them. They don't notice him, and they keep on walking. Turns out that Arpon had claimed to be sick with a cold for the last ten days, but was really studying kung fu in order to challenge Paifuu to gain the title of Koumori Cape Elementary's #1 fighter (not much of a challenge, in a school with only 11 students.) (Arpon also didn't want to return to school because he hadn't done his homework for 10 days.)

Paifuu and Arpon tussle, while Jose meets some classmates and scares them with stories of the killer he'd met the day before. When the substitute teacher enters the classroom, she's surprised to see only three students in attendance, and she thinks that it must be one nasty cold that's going around town. Meanwhile, out on the street, Paifuu keeps fighting, and Jose keeps talking.





Kyoufu Sono 4: Obake Kaze
Fearful Chapter 4: Monster Cold

Notes:
Obake Kaze "Monster Cold". This is a cold that only affects monsters. If the patients are not cured within one month, they will die.
Mimizuku Yama"Horned Owl Mountain". Location of the witch that is believed to have the cure for Obake Kaze. This is far to the west of Koumori Cape.
Kitsune Kaigan"Fox Beach". Location of the "serial killer", and ex-sumo wrestler, Maruyama.


Paifuu's school is closed because everyone is sick with a cold. Paifuu goes out to play, and meets a doctor that is on his way to Jose's house. The doctor realizes that Jose's father has "Obake Kaze", which is a disease that had wiped out half of the town's monsters a long time ago. Paifuu asks if there is a cure, and the doctor uses a map to show that Koumori is on the coastline. 1200 kilometers west is Mimizuku Mountain, where a witch is believed to have the cure. But, the adult monsters are all sick, and there's a dangerous woods to travel through that is a threat to humans. Paifuu volunteers, and then runs to Maruyama to ask the ex-wrestler to help drive them to the mountain. Maruyama agrees, but only if he is paid $10,000 (10,00,000 yen). Paifuu runs away, waits behind a tree for a while, then runs back to say that the town has agreed to his fee, but will only pay it after the medicine is delivered safely.

Finally, Arpon announces that he is going with. As Maruyama, Paifuu, Jose, and Arpon are getting ready to leave, the doctor tells them that some people have been sick for 10 days already, so they have to return with the medicine in 20 days. Jose claims that he can't go because he forgot his gameboy, and Arpon says the same thing. (Note that Paifuu and his mother both mispronounce Maruyama's name as Marumaya.)




Kyoufu Sono 5: Mimizuku yama ni Shuupatsu
Fearful Chapter 5: Setting Out For Horned Owl Mountain

Maruyama wants to get moving, but Arpon decides to take the front seat of the truck, and Paifuu gets into a jan-ken contest (scissors-paper-stone) with him to see who will sit where. The front seat becomes crowded, and Maruyama gets angry -- Arpon and Paifuu get stuck in the back of the pick-up. Paifuu yells for Maruyama to stop, then he runs to a tree where he finds a big horned beetle. Arpon and Hose try to discover even bigger insects, except that Maruyama starts shooting at them and threatening to kill them if they don't stay in the truck. Later, Paifuu yells for the truck to stop again -- Arpon had gotten sleepy and had fallen off onto the road. Maruyama gives up and lets the kids sleep in the front seat.

They drive through Tonbo Machi (Dragonfly City), and Paifuu is delighted at seeing letters that glow with light (neon signs.) Hose tries to get friendly with the human, and tries to teach him their names (Maruyama would prefer to just call them "monster 1, 2, and 3.") We now find out that Arpon and Paifuu don't have last names. They realize that "Maruyama" is a last name, and they ask for his first name. Maruyama gets embarrassed, and expects them to laugh when he says that his first name is "Mako" (he says that it means "The True Tiger", but apparently thinks that it sounds funny.) He's relieved when Hose says that his little brother is named "Pako". Arpon doesn't care either way. In fact, Arpon would rather argue about who gets to be called the "#1" monster. Paifuu decides that it's easier to call the man "Makorin (Macaroni?)" This makes Mako angry, of course. Eventually, they stop for gas, and Mako goes to the toilet. While he is gone, Arpon decides to pretend to be a car driver. Arpon steps on the gas pedal, and the truck smashes into a nearby boulder. Paifuu and Hose look stunned.






Please note that Curtis Hoffmann is no longer maintaining this database, and therefore you will not find detailed summaries of Cowa in these pages. If someone else wants to take on this task, and to be linked in from this page, please contact Curtis in e-mail.






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