Close to Shin-Koiwa Station, on the first floor of the apartment facing Kuramae Street, there is a secondhand bookstore.
With “Seiwa-do” written in gentle gold-lettering on the door, it has such a discreet appearance that many would not notice it is a used bookstore at first glance. However, it is actually a well-known vintage manga specialty store, overflowing with valuable vintage manga books inside.
The shopkeeper is a comic artist, Chiko Takahashi, who has created works such as “Miiko Metamorphosis.” At the same time, he runs the fanzine group “Apple Box Create”.
At present, Apple Box Create regularly publishes two series called “Natsuman-Oh” and “Manga-Ichi”.
Reprinting old manga not published as a single title and lining it up with the cover of when it appeared on the magazine, both fanzines are published four or five times a year. Add single reprinting of old manga, and it publishes twenty-four or twenty-five issues per year.
The distinctive feature of Apple Box Create is its deep attachment to old manga which can even be called an obsession, and the depth and the length of its challenge that overwhelms others.
In April 2018, the 50th “Shonen-Natsuman-Oh” was published. The old manga reprinting project will celebrate its 30th anniversary in the summer of the same year.
Regarding this marvelous achievement, I hardly have any words to describe it.
I asked Mr. Takahashi what his motivation to continue up to this point is, and why he has been continuing reprinting like this.
I personally expected words that talked about a strong sense of mission and passion, but such words never came out from him.
Mr. Takahashi, with a quiet manner, seems like the person who originally does not have words of such high-handed attitude in his dictionary.
When he talked about delight, his words were modest. And even when he recounted his hardships, a serene atmosphere, as if looking back through the eyes of a third person, drifted.
Thus, only the enormously large facts he has piled up, remain.