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Manga / Ginga Teikoku Kouboushi
aka: The Foundation Trilogy

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Pictured center: Hari Seldon.
Pictured clockwise from the bottom left: Mayor Salvor Hardin, Yohan Lee, Commissioner Linge Chen, Anselm haut Rodric, and Prince Regent Wienis


Beginning in 2013, Side Ranch (website link) has been producing a Comic-Book Adaptation of Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series. Crediting the 1984 Japanese translation of The Foundation Trilogy by Hiroyuki Okabe, Seldon Project mangaka (including Uzuki Kumazuki and Keitaro Kumazuki) have been adapting the plain text of Dr Asimov into visuals that match modern depictions of Space Opera.

  • Volume 1: Foundation, published 20 September 2013
The first volume covers the events from "The Psychohistorians", "The Encyclopedists", and "The Mayors".
  • Volume 2: Foundation, published 19 February 2015
The second volume covers the events from "The Traders" and "The Merchant Princes".
  • Volume 3: Foundation versus Empire, published 6 December 2016
The third volume covers the events from "The General (Foundation)".
  • Volume 4: Foundation versus Empire, published 28 November 2019
The fourth volume covers the events from "The Mule". It ends with a cliffhanger by showing the fall of Terminus by The Mule.

As of 2018, the Asimov estate has made no announcements regarding possible translations into non-Japanese publication.

Ginga Teikoku Kouboushi provides examples of:

  • Absolute Cleavage: Volume 2: Foundation: Commdora Licia wears a body-length black dress that displays a cleavage down to her midsection, with a cut along the side of her left leg that goes up nearly to the same point. The dress, thin body and pointy shoulder/ear accessories are there to contrast against her fat bald husband, the Commdor.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: The Asimov estate authorized a small Japanese company (Side Ranch) to produce this manga-style adaptation of the Foundation series.
  • Dutch Angle: Volume 2: Foundation: Once Pherl has learned about the Blackmail material, he's kneeling in desperation and terror with Limmar Ponyets in the middle ground, with dozens of screens in the background adding to the ominous and desperate feeling of the frame.
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  • Establishing Shot: Volume 1: Foundation: The first several pages show spaceships approaching Trantor, and a shot of the planet-wide Mega City as Gaal arrives.
  • A Glass in the Hand: Volume 2: Foundation: Jorane Sutt and Hober Mallow are drinking wine while they discuss a compromise. Incensed by Mallow's declaration that he can gain a political seat despite Sutt's opposition, Sutt smashes his glass on the table between them and says that he can put Mallow in jail for twenty years if the trader won’t accede to his demands.
  • Gratuitous English: Volume 1: Foundation: When he arrives on Trantor, the original Japanese has Gaal Dornick stop at an Information booth with "NFORMATION" displayed at the top of the booth in LED-style lights.
  • Handshake Refusal: Volume 1: Foundation: When the ambassador from Anacreon arrives, instead of trading weapons with Anselm haut Rodric, Mayor Hardin tries to shake his hand. Haut Rodric, however, strolls right past him.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Volume 1: Foundation: Anselm haut Rodric is drawn as the tallest character during the "The Mayors" storyline, with long pale hair that goes down to his shoulder-blades. Narrow eyes and a smirk indicate his arrogant personality before he even says word one.
  • Narrator: The original works constantly use an omniscient third-person narration to establish character thoughts and body language, but this adaptation greatly restricts its use (not counting the Encyclopedia Galactica entry at the start of each storyarc). When there is narration, the text is rendered in a rectangular box.
  • Nerd Glasses: Volume 1: Foundation: Dr Lewis Pirenne is of short, round stature with large, round eyeglasses (with frames so thin, the artists sometimes neglect to draw the temple stems). Dr Pirenne is in charge of the Encyclopedia Galactica that the Foundation has been working on for fifty years.
  • Old Master: Volume 1: Foundation: When adapting "The Psychohistorians", the mangaka remembered that Hari Seldon (who is dying of old age) is revealed to be skilled at Helicon Twisting in Forward the Foundation. They add in a scene where a thug tries to grab Seldon's collar but he flips the thug to the ground, stunning them.
  • Ominous Multiple Screens: Volume 2: Foundation When Limmar Ponyets tells Pherl about the recording device he put inside Pherl's nucleic transmuter, over a dozen screens (showing the Askonian joyfully celebrating the gold he was making) appear in the background. A slightly tilted angle featuring Pherl kneeling in the foreground adds to the ominous and desperate feeling of the frame.
  • Opening Monologue: The first three pages of Volume 1: Foundation use a narrator and sequential Establishing Shots to establish the setting and describe why Gaal Dornick is on his way to Trantor to meet with Hari Seldon.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Seldon Project takes advantage of the manga’s visual format and Dr Asimov's lack of character/location details to come up with several designs without contradicting the original medium. They also change details from the original to take advantage of the visual medium, such as adding a Flash Back to Anselm haut Rodric's tales of battle or averting Second-Hand Storytelling during King Lepod's Nyak hunt.
  • Speech Bubbles:
    • Normal human speech is in plain round speech bubbles, with a tail pointing to the onscreen speaker.
    • Narration is in plain rectangular speech bubbles. No tails to imply anyone speaking the text.
    • A Radio Voice is indicated for broadcasts and speakers by using double-lined rectangular speech bubble, with little spokes along the edges. No tails.
    • Shouting is shown by using an angular speech bubble, as if the speaker drew the bubble while upset and was trying to draw a rectangle. Usually has a tail pointing at the speaker.
  • Standard Human Spaceship: A twitter post displays three concept sketches for Foundation battleships owned by the Trade Merchants. It’s thin, angular, and covered in details that might be sensors, shields, or weapons.
  • Tap on the Head: Volume 1: Foundation: Hari Seldon, aging practitioner of Helicon Twisting, is assaulted by a thug, but flips them in one easy motion, knocking them out.
  • Title In:
    • When establishing locations, such as Gaal's arrival on the City Planet Trantor, or changing the scene to Anacreon, the location name usually appears in the upper-right of an Establishing Shot for that location.
    • The introduction of Main Characters is often, but not always, accompanied by a small narrator box giving their name and titles (if any), such as during the translation of "The Mayors", where Mayor Hardin and his assistant Lee appear at age 62 and 66, to indicate why the characters don't look quite the same anymore.

Alternative Title(s): The Foundation Trilogy


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