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'Phaethon' manga warning of nuclear risks now available free online

http://www.asahi.com/culture/update/0416/images/TKY201104160230.jpg http://userdisk.webry.biglobe.ne.jp/005/024/17/N000/000/001/130121256591516102967_natsunoguuwa.jpg
(The cover of Phaethon credit (c) Ryoko Yamagishi Ushio Publishing Co.)

A more than 20-year-old manga that warns against nuclear power generation has drawn hundreds of thousands of readers since being posted online soon after the crisis hit the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Ryoko Yamagishi's "Phaethon" manga was first published in 1988, two years after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine.
Ushio Publishing Co. made it available in e-book form at the author's approval after the manga became a hot topic on the Internet as the crisis began to unfold at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.
"(What is happening at the plant) is just like what is depicted in 'Phaethon,'" said one Web posting.
According to the publisher, Yamagishi suggested the free online release after the publisher contacted her about the renewed attention her comic was attracting.

More than 150,000 viewers have accessed the Japanese e-book, according to the publisher.
Its title derives from a boy named Phaethon in Greek mythology.
The arrogant boy asks his father, Helios, the sun god, to let him drive the chariot of the sun. But Phaethon fails to control the horses, nearly setting the Earth aflame. Zeus ends the crisis by killing Phaethon with a thunderbolt.
(A page from the manga Phaethon. The protagonist is shocked at the blurred images of Chernobyl shown
on TV. She is even more alarmed to learn that strong radiation had caused film to be overexposed.)

The manga portrays humans as arrogantly believing they can control nuclear power.
It also explains how nuclear power is generated, where Japan's nuclear power plants are located and what impact a nuclear accident would have on the country.
Yamagishi drew the comic book after researching nuclear power and reading a number of books inspired by the Chernobyl accident.

She became alarmed when she realized such an accident could happen at any time in Japan.
"Nuclear power releases a tremendous amount of energy, which humans cannot handle once an accident occurs," Yamagishi said.
"Despite the benefits, the potential risks of nuclear power are too great, and the danger posed has not changed one bit in 25 years. I hope as many people as possible think about this issue."
"Phaethon" can be viewed at (http://usio.feliseed.net/paetone/).

By AS on Apr 30, 2011
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tag : Anime Manga News



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