Back in November '05 I bought a comic from Bookoff called Madara (青). The 青 is actually surrounded by angle brackets but I can't be arsed to look up the code for them, and in fact I didn't even notice that detail until last night. It was also vol 2. I tried reading it in summer '06-- the manga has grey moistness and Temeraire as its associated images in my head-- and gave up. Too much katakana, too much back story from presumably vol 1, couldn't follow it. Started again just recently and have been hacking through it ever since.
We begin a flashback to our hero, Kaos, abandoning Jamila, the mother of his children, to go off with his pal Yudaia in search of someone or something called Madara; an event which apparently happened several milennia ago, because now Jamila is Zenobia and immortal, having sold her soul to a demon. And off we go.
Who is Madara? Whoever he is, Kaos says he'll drop whatever he's doing to go off with him once he-- or his incarnation-- is found again. At which point I start having flashbacks to that White Hart novel series last fall with much the same premise. From in-manga flashbacks Madara looks like yer average genki spiky-haired shounen hero, yawn, but his current avatars, of which there are two, are much more interesting in their smooth villainy and high-handed diplomacy. Lotsa hints of plots and counterplots and betrayals lurking in the shadows; fascinating reading.
But up crops stuff that gives me pause. To get Madara back we must have the red warrior and the blue warrior and a female who is called Kirin. Who it appears is really... a kirin. OK, 12 Kingdoms shout-out, why not. Yudaia is the red warrior and Kaos the blue, but... Yudaia is also called Enkidu and Kaos is Gilgamesh. And then I remember Papuwa circles who advertised their Gilgamesh djs that looked most interesting, only I had no idea what Gilgamesh was.
Things get more complicated. Yudaia is also called Seishinja. Yeah, as in manga bonbons no Seishinja. Never knew where that name came from and still don't, quite. This dA link gives a rundown of the history-- Madara was a manga into anime into obscure game twenty years ago; and now it would appear to be a buncha novels as well. This restored from cache post summarizes the premise of what I assume is the original manga :
hey u guys ever heard of the manga called "Madara"....what yasha says kinda seems similar to the summary of this manga...heres what it saysBut where does Gilgamesh-the-manga come in? Was Gilgamesh ever a manga or was he always just a character?
Summary: According to myth, the evil emperor Miroku will be dethroned by a young hero who's also destined to open the gateway that connects the human world to the legendary land of Agalta. When a son with tremendous powers was born to Miroku, the infant's body was cut up into eight parts to prevent the prophecy from becoming true and given to Miroku's eight evil generals for safekeeping. Then the poor baby was cast into the river but luckily was found by Tatara who gave it both its name, Madara and artificial limbs to compensate for the missing ones.
Madara grew up with a girl named Kirin and when he was 15, he was given the sword Kusanagi and told to go and get his real body parts back. Along the way, he discovers the truth about his father, his lineage and his own powers. Madara also finds out that there are 3 other contenders for this prophesized hero role: Kaos, Seishinja and his own older twin brother, Kage-ou.
Get my lead from a Japanese blogger who remarks 今更ながら「ＭＡＤＡＲＡ」をウィキペディアで調べてみると・・・ うっしーの知らなかったストーリー設定が書いてあって、奥が深いな～・・・と。 (loosely-- so I finally go look MADARA up on Wikipedia and OMG so much backstory I knew nothing about-- there's an awful lot going on there.) Err, yes.
Japanese wiki's Madara entry is straightforward enough, but get to the Madara series and umm one is faced with deep time and a dizzying plethora of sources. What I have appears to be part of the Madara Gilgamesh saga-- except there are two manga called Madara Blue with different content entirely. Suggests what Higuri You did with Seimaden and Whoever with Yasha saga, complicated by having several forms and different artists at work.
What I glean finally is that the main Madara series, translated into English and turned into an anime, was drawn by Tajima Shou, whose artwork leaves me unmoved; the Madara Blue and the Gilgamesh saga that drew the doujinka is the work of Hanatsu Yoshiko; and the former is still active while the latter's stuff is out of print. This is when I start wishing I was made of money, because I feel the lure of a body of myth that needs to be tracked down and straightened out in my head, especially when there's LOTS of it. OTOH... OTOH maybe it's all witless shounen 'ripe to be turned into an RPG' stuff, and only Hanatsu's side stories have that frisson and je ne sais quoi that niggles at me now.
And besides, there's a new edition of Channel 5 with two new chapters drawn specially, at a wincey cost; but I think I must have it. Anything for closure, you know.