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This blog is a storage space for various thoughts, observations and musings centering on shōjo manga (少女漫画, Japanese comics for girls), josei-oriented manga (Japanese comics for women) and manga created by women (in the widest sense). Topics from other fields of relevance, such as music, art, literature and film may be discussed here as well.

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Viewing all posts in category: Manga News



[Manga & Movie News] Movie adaptation of Okazaki Kyōko’s River’s Edge announced

River's Edge by Okazaki Kyouko (Takarajimasha)The most exciting news of the past few days to me came in the form of the announcement of a movie adaption of Okazaki Kyōko’s iconic manga River’s Edge. Principal photography is already being done while the movie is scheduler for a 2018 release in Japanese theaters. Okazaki started her work as a professional mangaka in the early 1980s, releasing mostly short stories and one-volume series both in manga magazine but also sub-culture and fashion magazines. Her extremely productive career – which earned her a cult following among readers and critics alike – was brought to a sudden tragic halt when she was hit by an SUV in 1996. To this day, she hasn’t been physically able to publish a new manga. She is thoroughly missed by her fans and throughout the years has influenced and inspired a lot of creative and intellectual people, among them artists, musicians, film directors, as well as cultural critics and scholars.

River’s Edge (published from 1993 until 1994 in the fashion magazine CUTiE and as a tankōbon in 1994 by Takarajimasha) tells the story of Haruna, a girl in senior high school who recently broke up with her bully and drugdealer boyfriend, and Yamada Ichirō, who is secretly gay and one of the victims of Haruna’s ex-boyfriend’s cruelties. Yamada one day tells Haruna her about his strange ‘treasure’ – a dead body he found by the edge of the river… River’s Edge is undoubtedly among Okazaki Kyōko’s most accomplished works. It is carried by Okazaki’s characteristic way of portraying young people in the 1980s and, in this case, the 1990s, their boredom, loneliness and lack of direction, partly due to their parents’ affluence, their fears and ambitions, their obsession with appearance – but Okazaki goes deep below the surface and finds the ugliness people try to hide and, at the same time, the very moving and fleeting beauty of what it means to be human.

The movie adaptation is currently in its filming stage, with director Yukisada Isao collaborating with Setoyama Misaki on the script. Yukisada rose to fame in 2001 with GO, a romantic zainichi action drama based on the same-titled novel written by Kaneshiro Kazuki. I’m very interested in seeing how he translates Okazaki’s very distinctive visual style into moving pictures. Haruna, the heroine, will be played by Nikadō Fumi and Yamada by Yoshizawa Ryō. (Coincidently, the two have previously acted together in the 2016 movie adaptation of Hatta Ayuko’s manga Ōkamishoujo to Kuroōji (Wolf Girl and Black Prince, serialized in Betsuma/Shueisha).) This will be the second movie adaptation of a manga by Okazaki Kyōko, following Helter Skelter for which Okazaki received the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize and which she worked on until the accident in 1996. The movie starring Sawajiri Erika was directed by photographer Ninagawa Mika and released in 2012.

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Categories: Film/TV, Manga, Manga News.
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Posted on Mar 27, 2017 (Mon, 1:08 am). .

[Manga News] Start of Nishi Keiko’s new series in Nakayoshi

The ever-busy Nishi Keiko has a new series out and it’s called Kisu suru machikado ~Himitsu~ (The Streetcorner Where They Kiss ~Secret~). The first chapter of it is featured in the March issue (3/2017) of Nakayoshi (Kodansha). This means Nishi-sensei’s back to writing something primarily targeted at a younger audience again – just like her hit series Koi to gunkan (Love & Battleships) which also ran in Nayakoshi and managed to capture a very wide readership age-wise, both female and male.

Colour illustration for the title page of chapter one of Nishi Keiko's Kiss suru machikado in the March 2017 issue of Kodansha's NakayoshiThe preview image and sample pages have a certain calm retro charm to them, with the most prominent visual feature being the exaggerated huge round eyes of the main character, a young middle-school girl called Koharu. And yes, I’m very much aware of the irony of stating the obvious for shōjo manga but – to readers familiar with Koi to gunkan and its heroine Kana, the character design is pretty similar here – the forehead and eyes of the younger characters, especially the heroine’s, are pretty large even by comparison with other titles running in Nakayoshi.
The story starts with Koharu having to stay at home instead of going on vacation with her family for the spring break because she wants to take care of her sick grandmother. Koharu happens to find two old letters addressed to her grandmother which were both sent from abroad… The series promises both the usual romance (with kissing/kisusuru the serie’s proclaimed theme) and dokidoki with secret adventures so chances are high this is going to be as much of an exciting rollercoaster ride as Koi to gunkan. I think the grandmother’s past may play a huge part in the plot and one can already sense quite a bit of heartbreak just from the teaser pages.

Preview image for Nishi Keiko's Kiss suru machikado starting in the March 2017 issue of Kodansha's NakayoshiFrom a more formal point of view, Nakayoshi is calling this a shiriizu (シリーズ) instead of the usual rensai (連載) for longer works, so if I’m interpreting this correctly the story around Koharu might not become as epic as the 8-volume Koi to gunkan and the cast of main characters might change sooner than later. Either way, I’m not expecting the first tankōbon to be released before the end of the summer. It’s going to be a long long fight with my impatience until then as I can’t wait to read what adventures Nishi Keiko has prepared for her characters this time!

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Categories: Manga, Manga News.
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Posted on Feb 18, 2017 (Sat, 5:12 pm). .

[Manga News] Asahi Prize 2016 awarded to Hagio Moto & Poe no Ichizoku back in Flowers magazine

Hagio Moto is one of the recipients of the Asahi Prize (Asahishō) for the year 2016. Since its establishment in 1929, the Asahi Shimbun Company and the Asahi Shimbun Foundation have been awarding the prize to individuals and groups for outstanding achievements in fields such as the humanities and natural sciences and for extraordinary contributions to cultural and social progress in Japan. Hagio Moto is only the third manga artist honored for her achievements after Tezuka Osamu in 1987 and Mizuki Shigeru in 2008. She has most recently been awarded the prize of the Japan Cartoonists Association and the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in 2011, the Medal with Purple Ribbon by the Emperor of Japan in 2012 and the Sense of Gender Prize in 2013.

The cover for the July 2016 issue of Shogakukan's flowers magazine featuring Hagio Moto's Poe no ichizokuThe artist, born in 1949 and referred to by many as the ‘mother of shōjo manga’, was honored for revolutionizing shōjo manga in the 1970s, when she brought a high degree of literariness to shōjo manga with works such as Poe no ichizoku (“The Poe Family”) and Thomas no shinzō (The Heart of Thomas) by combining poetic language and elegantly flowing images to represent love torn apart over the course of time, and the pain and conflicts of adolescent boys, the jury said in their statement. They also honored Hagio’s long dedication to the Poe series which originally ran from 1972 to 1976 but which she started to continue to work on in 2016.

The cover for the March 2017 issue of Shogakukan's flowers magazine featuring Hagio Moto's Poe no ichizokuLast summer, the July issue of Shogakukan’s flowers magazine sold out in record time and had to be reprinted due to popular demand when it featured the beginning of a new story arc of Poe no ichizoku called “Haru no yume” (“A Spring’s Dream”). It was definitely one of the biggest events for shôjo manga fans of the past year and I felt super lucky to manage to get a copy of the first run of the magazine. The second chapter of the new arc can now be found in the current (3/March 2017) issue of flowers (it also comes with a Poe ticket holder as furoku!) and the series is going to be continued in regular installments from now on. Good news for fans of the Poe series, bad news for fans of Hagio Moto’s second ongoing series, Ōhi Marugo – La Reine Margot which is published in Shueisha’s YOU magazine but is currently on hiatus in favour of the continuation of the former series.

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Categories: Manga, Manga News.
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Posted on Feb 17, 2017 (Fri, 6:54 pm). .




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