Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


YESTERDAY, WE OBSERVED the rise and fall of automotive executive Carlos Ghosn. Today his earlier appearances in Japanese Manga comics give me recollection of my meager 日本語 as well as practice with Google Translate (which, by the way, works a lot better knowing the correct order of strokes in writing a Japanese character).

My Manga Red Herring. Manga graphical presentations have multitude of genres, everything from kiddie to hard-core. Indeed, there are niches for businessmen and for product PR as well.

The GT R, published in 2005, has both Japanese and English editions. Curiously, even the English version opens left to right.

When I acquired The GT R, I assumed the fellow on the cover was a less than faithfully illustrated Carlos Ghosn, who at the time was Nissan CEO. 

No. This guy is Shinichiro Sakurai, the Skyline GT’s Chief Engineer: “Subsequently known as ‘Mr. Skyline,’ Sakurai was to be involved in the model’s development from the first to the seventh generation.” 

Not until page 60 does Carlos Ghosn make an appearance in The GT R: “Carlos Ghosn, current CEO of Nissan, test drove a GT-R when he came to Nissan from Renault and praised its performance.” I suspect that Ghosn appears on page 61 as well.

The Manga Business Series. By contrast, there’s no red herring in the Business Comics Manga. Its headline reads カルロス•ゴーン, “Carlos Ghosn” in Katakana characters. The cover is subtitled in English “The True Story of Carlos Ghosn,” accompanied with a soulful image, presumably him as a boy.

Here and there in attempting to read the Manga, I recognize ベイルートレバノン (“Beirut Lebanon”) and シムカ 1000 (“Simca 1000”) and ンチアフラビア (“Lancia Flavia”). 

Later, a foxy young lady utters テスト (“test”) to カルロス (“Carlos”). And Google Translate gets me through her どうだったの? (“How was it?”), but for the life of me, I can only guess what she’s asking about. Her driving prowess? 

And his thinking ドキッ (“Doki”) leaves me baffled.

This Manga ends with Carlos flying off thinking “okay” and the foxy young lady recognizing he won’t come back. Or maybe… 

The Paris Years. The second of four Business Comics ccontinuing “The True Story of Carlos Ghosn” begins in パリ(“Paris”), 1974. 

Later for awhile there, I thought two of its 28 pages were from some other Manga.

I mean, really now. On the other hand, at the top it says 早くこうちこよ (“This is fast”) and, next to the Arab, 遅いぞ カルロス, 何やってたんだよ! (“It’s late, Carlos. What were you doing!”)

At the bottom, カルロス とは初対面だつけ? asks “First meeting with Carlos?” and Carlos/Dracula says よろしく (“Nice to meet you”). 

Geez, what’s going on here?

Carlos later talks with another foxy young lady on the phone. And the segment ends with his admiring a Michelin sign. 

At the bottom, it says カリスマビジネスマン (“Charismatic businessman”), which sure was a good assessment at the time.

I look forward to the Tokyo/Beirut Caper Manga. ds 

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2022 

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