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The Blue Lotus: general discussion

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Dark Gallon
#1 · Posted: 3 Jan 2005 03:52
I will be posting some topics of specific albums so we can make some reviews and discuss the books.

So, what do you think about this book? Do you like the drawings? And what about the story? Talk about anything that you want

#2 · Posted: 3 Jan 2005 23:57
I like "The Blue Lotus" for several reasons. For starters, it is the first book that Hergé took seriously when he created it. I especially like how it is, for the most part, historically accurate. There is one scene that I find to be very interesting, and that is on the page 22, from the second row of frames ("Ministry of Tokyo...") to the second to last frame on the page ("...we have been forced, to our utmost regret, to send troops into China..."). A very movie-like procession of events.
#3 · Posted: 4 Jan 2005 04:19
I like the way western imperialism and racism has been potrayed in the book by the means of Gibbons and Company. Coming from a country which itself was at the receiving end of the western rule, it feels disgusting to see the way the white treated the chinese in their own country.
#4 · Posted: 4 Jan 2005 12:52
it feels disgusting to see the way the white treated the chinese in their own country.

Its also interesting to note the way the invading Japanese have their eyes on China as part of their own Imperial Empire. 'The Blue Lotus' has a political plot which was very much taken from what was going on in the world at the time. It also tell us about 'The Boxer Rebellion' and the 'Opium Wars', which are quite heavy going for a comic book!
#5 · Posted: 9 Jan 2005 02:47
The Blue Lotus is actually a continuation from Cigars or so it appears, since Tintin is vacationing in the palace of the Maharajah.

The story itself is quite involved and is totally different from some of the later Tintin adventures. This is one of the books that actually explore emotions more (Tintin actually cries in the parting scene!) and gives the book a very human touch. The friendship between the orphaned Chang and Tintin is actually the best. Until "Tibet", we never see Tintin so emotional again.

The storyline is also quite historical and interesting. Mitsuhirato is one of the most diabolical villains in the entire series (and yes, I mean more diabolical than Rastapopoulos). His spying activities, his sinister opium business and his low-down treachery and double-dealing makes him one of the most sinister of them all. Also the way he takes advantage of the police force in the International Settlement in Shanghai and how he almost manages to get Tintin arrested by the Chinese police themselves are very good indicators as to his villainy. And in the end, he commits suicide.
#6 · Posted: 10 Jan 2005 10:02
To be honest, I’m not a fan.

I know that that is swimming against the tide, but it arrived too late in English for me to be youthfully smitten by it, it looked dated to my then eyes, and I always sort of lump it with “Broken Ear” and “America” as “books in my collection”, before heading of to the perhaps more light-weight, but to my taste more enjoyable, action adventures of later (chronologically) books. I prefer “Cigars”, and wonder if I’d have a higher opinion if “Lotus” had been revised to the same extent?

I mean I appreciate that it is an important work, developmentally, and marks a water-shed in the career of Hergé; I greatly enjoyed seeing the B&W version on display in Haarlem, and there are many, many exceptionally fine images in it (I particularly like a sketch of the old man and a car in the rain, which is beautiful) - but as book and story it leaves me at best unmoved. (But I like “Lake of Sharks”, so what do I know?)
#7 · Posted: 10 Jan 2005 10:33
True true. The Blue Lotus is not a book that is readily enjoyable by all Tintin fans. For one thing, Tintin goes through a lot of indignities at the hands of his Japanese captors and almost goes mad at the hands of Mr. Mitsuhirato (in my opinion, the plot element that led to the bottles of Rajaijah Juice being substituted with coloured water was a bit thin).

On retrospect, I think the whole "Shanghai-Nanking Railway" plot could have been avoided and the story kept along the lines of Tintin vs. Mitsuhirato. It would have needed a different line of plot from the point where Tintin meets Mr. Wang in Shanghai for the first time.

But in spite of it, it remains one of the more "adventurous" Tintin books.
#8 · Posted: 22 Jan 2005 08:32
I liked Blue Lotus because it is quite interesting and also because it is the sequel to Cigars of the Pharaoh. I quite enjoy reading the books about the drug dealers and stuff. About the racial topic, Mr Gibbons is a stereotype of how they treat chinese people. On another topic, i like this book because Mitsuhirato is so evil but its interesting to see wat he got up to.
Mull Pascha
#9 · Posted: 6 Feb 2005 10:38
And in the end, he commits suicide.

Yes, I never liked that, but maybe Mitsuhirato faked his suicide? Maybe he is You- Know-Who from L'alph art?
#10 · Posted: 6 Feb 2005 10:45
Hari Kari is Japanese ritual suicide from the time of samurai. It was a form of honour if there was danger of you being captured. Of course I don't condone suicide but since he was a Japanese gangster it seems a suitable demise, if somewhat dark. But then again this Tintin adventure is probably the most "adult" Tintin book.

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