License request day: Manga Taishou nominees

Gia (Anime Vice) Manry recently shared this year’s nominees for the Manga Taishou Awards, a new-ish but well-regarded program. For this week’s license request, I’ll just point out the three that sound most interesting to me. These choices are admittedly based on very little evidence, but they look and sound desirable, at least superficially.

Otoko no Isshou, written and illustrated by Keiko Niishi, Shogakukan, flowers, two volumes available so far. Nishi’s work was included in Viz’s Four Shôjo Stories, and they published Promise in 1994 and Love Song, a collection of her short stories, in 1998, so any work by her is a lock. Since I’m on the subject, it would be really lovely for Viz to put Four Shôjo Stories back in print.

Thermae Romae, written and illustrated by Mari Yamazaki, Enterbrain, Comic Beam, one volume available so far. I should probably start a category dedicated entirely to how much I love comics that were originally serialized in Comic Beam, which sounds like a wonderfully idiosyncratic magazine to me.

Mushi to Uta, written and illustrated by Haruko Ichikawa, Kodansha, Afternoon, one volume total. I like collections of short stories, and the cover is really lovely. That’s all I’ve got, but that seems like it’s enough. Also, I keep fixating on manga originally serialized in Morning and Morning 2, so I felt like I should throw some love to Afternoon. Update: Jog has some absolutely gorgeous samples of Ichikawa’s work in this post.

10 Responses to License request day: Manga Taishou nominees

  1. […] Welsh’s latest license requests are drawn from the winners of the Manga Taishou awards. David also tackles the question of whether […]

  2. Emilio says:

    Do you know what Thermae Romae is about? It’s got me interested simply from the unique cover art.

  3. davidpwelsh says:

    According to Gia, “a special bathhouse operates as a portal between modern-day Japan and ancient Rome– at least for our hero, Lucius.”

  4. I second the request for more Keiko Nishi — her stuff appeared in English before there were enough readers to really appreciate what makes her work so beautiful and moving. And a manga about a secret portal to ancient Rome (and via a public bath, no less)? Sign me up!

  5. JennyN says:

    All these look terrific. I agree with Katherine about Keiko Nishi – she’d find an English-language audience today that simply didn’t exist in the days when Rumiko Takahashi was THE one well-known name. (Not to diss Takahashi – I wish Viz or someone else would (re)publish some of *her* work for mature readers). The final cover shown seems as if it might front one of those “floating world” story or essay collections the Japanese do so well, whether in prose or manga (and lightness can be a lot more difficult to write successfully than heavy drama).

    Hope some enlightened publisher is reading this blog…

  6. davidpwelsh says:

    Oh, it would be great if they ran some of those Rumic World short stories on the Rumic World web site. Or is that too on point? ;-)

  7. Jog says:

    I saw some of Ichikawa’s art in Afternoon last month… REALLY good looking stuff…

  8. […] News Network notes that Mari Yamazaki’s Thermae Romae (Enterbrain) has won the Manga Taisho Award: “The gag manga deals with the two cultures in the world ‘that have loved baths the […]

  9. […] so I’m not left in a fever of anticipation for any of the above to be licensed, and my initial wish list is still intact. But just because I’m always interested in this kind of thing, I thought I’d […]

  10. […] for the Manga Taisho Awards. I’ve covered the other yet-to-be-licensed contenders in two previous posts, and I’m sure plenty of people will be talking about Bakuman, seeing as it’s by the creators of […]

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