This is a one-shot found in Hiroki Endou's first short story collection (Hiroki Endou Tanpenshu 1). He is my favorite comic artist and I translated this in order to share more of his work with the world.
Story cover picture
The Crows, the Girl, and the Yakuza
By Endou Hiroki
Translated by Jenshin
*I'm lazy about page breaks, so I just put dashes, and sometimes numbers.
**I'm not fluent in Japanese so don't kill me if something's wrong.
***There are like three sentences in the first part I didn't know how to translate, I'm really sorry.
So, the crows of long ago
They used to be stark white birds
But they talked too much
So God painted their feathers black.
What kind of story is that?
A fairy tale.
Stand up, you.
Had enough beating?
When you're in Japan, you use Japanese!!
He was chasing after a prostitute and ended up with us . . .
That's right, isn't it.
That Fillipino woman died by a drug overdose 'cause of you!
Restrain him, don't hold back.
You're a fiesty little bastard aren't you.
I love you, too.
He's screaming now, Aoki-chan.
Shinoki and you are pimps, so I assume you're into other crazy shit, too.
Oh.... Jerk-face showed up.
Everyone hates me. Hahahahaha.
Aw poor thing, are we going to have to kill him? That South Asian guy.
Kill him? But he got this far..
It seems that today's cities are floating on drugs.
Want a cup?
Can't refuse an old man, you know.
I have no idea.
It's not 'cause we're handling a different ((daimon? Not sure how to translate this sentence)).
Unlike you, I purposely took a sake cup.
What do the "Life Takers" from the contractor company do?
I heard from a shop girl that when they go off, it becomes a problem.
That's no good.
By the way, can I have some of this youkan?
You're gonna get diabetes.
You could die.
Hey I've lived this far.
How about your smoking problem?
(The sounds of heavy breathing)
Have I stopped bleeding?
I really lucky you're here to take care of me.
I bet I'll live nightmares tonight.
About the crows, sometimes they'll do things like attack domestic animals, y'know.
When I was a kid in the countryside, I saw a newborn calf's eyes gouged out.
But aside from that, seriously is it okay if we don't find Aoki's whereabouts?
Yeah. That assult over an internal dispute? We're friends of justice.
Profiting while others fight while we wait to fall together is pretty clever, isn't it?
Petty friends of justice we are.
Anyway, that Kanemori guy also disobeyed his parents. The plan to kill Aoki..
He wants to destroy the group. It's pretty bad over here and over there, huh.
Nah, that's not what it is, is it?
It's just restructuring. (The yakuza, that is.)
You've been collecting cardboard boxes since this morning, right?
Kamata's ((??)) has got some spirit, huh.
From Keiji's guys, there was an accident early this morning.
Hahahahaha, early to rise, early to bed, that's how they are.
It seems like his hitmen will assemble to strike.
Who's gonna get it this time?
It's Aoki. Do you know him?
If you can, I wanna find him before they kill him, okay?
If I can... So it's no problem if I find a corpse?
Ask the investigator or something.
Well I'll let you know what I find out.
Right. What's that brat doing?
He's always roosting.
Who is that anyway?
Two years ago he leaked some equipment.
He a hobo who lives in the garbage disposal storage house on the pier.
What's that thing?
Around here, there's a murder of crows in operation.
They're all running away this early in the morning.
It must be time for the restaurants to open.
They put out the garbage today.
Is your fever down yet?
Why did you rescue a yakuza like me?
... These children..
They found you.
Haha, I owe my life to some crows?
No, they were waiting for you to die.
So they could gouge out your eyeballs.
What, you don't think they taste good?
Cough cough.. Is there any person in the world that likes eating them?
When we're buried or become ashes, other living things eat us in the ground.. It's the same thing.
Anyway, we become food for the sake of other living things. Don't you think that's a good thing?
Oh, and sorry about all the crow shit.
So you like crows huh..
I made a promise to these children.
A promise? ah!
Ow ow that's heavy wtf!
Oo I think he likes you.
How does a crow get attached to someone like me?
That little one has a broken leg and can't fly properly.
She can't find food on her own, so she's used to being fed from humans.
What a moving story..
(You're a heavy bugger..)
All the children here aren't like wild crows.
They were all injured, sick or not able to fly..
The failed at "leaving the nest."
With their beaks they sing a song of injustice.
This murder of crows is all crows who have gone astray.
So I'm their mother who gives them food.
And we hang out together.
So they're like defeated dogs.
They can't live in the wild.
So they won favor with humans in order to survive. Like pet dogs.
........ These crows..
I wonder if they're thinking, "What is it that I lost?"
I wonder if it's shameful to be fed by humans.
They just live to avoid death.
Kinda like us yakuza guys, the black sheep of the companies. Heheh.
I'm gonna go rest for a bit.
Mommy has work to do. Go play outside!
It's that Inbai kid.
Don't you know? It's a kid who doesn't know who his father is.
Aw, what happened to your parents?
Did you fall from the nest?
I'm askin' ya, Nakayama-chan.
You caught the unlisenced doctor, and the woman, and you still couldn't find him?
If you're not quick, I'll give you a good punch in the gut. You ain't going nowhere 'til I say so.
Now, where the hell is Aoki?
.. ke.. The hell you wanna know where he is for...
Is he an enemy of yours..?
You used to be in the same group..
Doin' the same job, right?
Me from the army and this guy with the brains, we're interested in this old man.
Ha, what you need is some yakimochi.
Yeah I think so. Let's start round one!
So um.. your left eye..
What happened to it?
That crow we were talking about..
Oh, I see..
... What are you doing?
We need to give this crow a name.
Did you know crows can talk?
Hm, did I..?
Do these ones have names, too?
From the right, Kaji, Saji, Buchi.
How can she tell them apart..?
Look, this one's saying your name!
Aho-ki, Aho-ki ((Note, ahou means stupid))
Who're you calling stupid? (Twack!)
Hey he didn't do anything to you!
It's just 'cause I'm really violent. (I was in that group after all)
Where are you going?
Are you all right by yourself?
Urinals are pretty simple, you know...
What the hell a crow shit on me!
Whenever I do morphone..
I can't get back from the restroom on my own.
Shit this hurts.
STOP! I worked so hard to make him better..
What's wrong with that dirtball?
'Cause of who? I'm the only one around here who makes people cry!
And, the first pitch to the head!
Ah? He's coming.
What's he gonna do?
..... I hate crows.
It's 'cause you have a headache.
It's okay to say it hurts..
No no, haha!
It's just that once, when I was a boy..
Boys rarely cry.
But this owl died.. and...
You're afraid of others seeing your weakness?
...... It's 'cause I'm a yakuza.
Have you really gone so long.. without anyone seeing you cry?
... It's 'cause I've led an extreme life.
If you are a strong person, then by natural selection I will get eaten by you.
If I just exist as a weakling, there is nothing but humiliation.
That time, if that bird hadn't been eaten
He would have been able to soar in the skies forever,
And maybe I would have been able to, too.
I might have been able to live a different life.
What's on today's menu?
It's pretty sad..
I'm getting used to living like this.
Well all the stores are closed for New Years. It's so annoying.
Hey there's something weird about the sauce on these shrimp.. It's oozing.
Here, this croquette is still safe.
Hey, what are you doing, Saji?
You want some fried shrimp?
This guy'll eat anything.
It's 'cause you're omnivorous, huh.
Hey, just up to the chopsticks, okay? Ah - stupidsonnovabitchgivethosebackgrr (etc.)
Hey.. Remember when you said something about making a promise to these guys?
Yeah I said that..
What kind of promise?
You know what Masuda-san?
Freud said guns and pistols were phallic symbols.
Well, Masuda-san, that's what war comes down to.
It's just a big sperm fight.
Shut up, that's nasty.
So, where are we going?
The crow's nest.
Nice to meet you, Miss.
Where do you think you're going?
If I could have saved that bird..
I could have flown too..
My old friend..
If you have something to say, say it.
I've become a crow.
Did you want to become a bird?
Is that what you said?
Hahaha that's impossible for you.
It's an investigator!
The investigator is coming!
The juror Masuda-san, and some new guy.
What're you going to do, Kanemura-kun?
Didn't bring a silencer?
Haha, be careful.
Should we let my men hear the sound of a gun?
Are you... alive?
Ah.. Is this the promise?
People die, we burn them, and they turn to ash.
We return to the ground.
Our ashes rise into the sky, become clouds, and rain falls.
And so the flowers bloom.
Animals that have been eaten also return to their earthly grave and make the flowers grow.
Don't you think it's all the same?
So weaker beings are born
But it's nothing to lament over.
They're eating her?!
You know what, Masuda-san?
I read that in Greek Mythology, crows were Apollo's servants.
You know that, huh.
And then there was Apollo's Coronis, but..
The talkative crows told him about her affair.
So then Apollo killed her with Artemis' bow.
But anyway, so the crows that told the secret used to be pure white, but they were turned black.
AND, the girl who was killed, Coronis, was pregnant with Apollo's child! But they saved him.
So then what happened to him after he grew up?
He became the God of Healing.
He could save any sick person.
What kind of story is that?
A fairy tale.
The Crows, the Girl, and the Yakuza - End.
Back to Translations