Rescue request day: CMX shôjo orphans

It’s Shojo Manga Week over at The Manga Critic, and it’s evolved into Link to The Manga Critic Week here at The Manga Curmudgeon. In honor of both, I wanted to put out a plea for some kind publisher to pick up two of CMX’s shôjo titles that saw only one volume released before DC pulled the plug on the much-loved manga imprint.

Miku Sakamoto’s Stolen Hearts has several things going for it. It’s about an ongoing relationship rather than a potential relationship, which is almost always entertaining. It also explores fashion in its way, which puts it in the same category as Banri Hidaka’s V.B. Rose and Ai Yazawa’s Paradise Kiss (both from Tokyopop). It’s about a tall, menacing-looking boy whose family runs a kimono shop who starts dating a short, innocent looking girl who becomes the shop’s model. There’s a bossy, conniving granny involved, and just about every comic can be improved by the inclusion of a bossy, conniving granny. Here are some of my thoughts on the book, which basically repeat what I just said.

I think the book is still ongoing in Hakusensha’s Hana to Yume, which has given the world a lot of great shôjo manga. CMX was also planning to release Sakamoto’s Nadeshiko Club, another Hana to Yume title about a girl who joins a home economics club filled with hot guys. It staggers me that nobody has picked up this reverse-harem title yet. It ended up being seven volumes long.

We also only saw one volume of Mayu Fujikata’s My Darling! Miss Bancho. This makes me sad, as I was looking forward to reading more of it:

“It’s a likable, well-executed variation on a very common theme, and its clear-headed freshness keeps it from seeming derivative to the point of superfluous. Fujikata also gives good author’s notes in which she expresses pixilated amusement that her editor keeps letting her get away with this stuff.”

Snarky author’s notes are always welcome, especially when they’re the icing on a generally tasty cake. This ongoing title is currently being serialized in Hakusensha’s LaLa DX. I wonder why Hakusensha never started its own stateside manga imprint? In retrospect, it’s probably just as well, as there was never any shortage of outlets for their licenses, but still… they have so many great books.

10 Responses to Rescue request day: CMX shôjo orphans

  1. [...] The Manga Curmudgeon, David Welsh pleads for some kindly publisher to adopt two shoujo manga orphaned by CMX, and he has more thoughts and some runners-up for Kate Dacey’s best new manga [...]

  2. lys says:

    Oh yes, please, someone release these two (or three, even) series! Actually, Stolen Hearts got a second volume released just this week or last (depending on your source). But I’m really going to miss both of them. Miss Bancho… I still feel a pang of grief whenever I remember the joy with which I read the first volume, and the overwhelming excitement I had when the license was announced just last summer…!

    (If Hakusensha set up a US imprint, I’d just die of happiness. Since I’m dreaming anyway, they could focus on all the really old and/or long series that no sane publisher here (except maybe CMX, in the past) would risk! Glass Mask, Tea Prince, anything by Reiko Shimizu or Miyuki Yamaguchi…)

    • davidpwelsh says:

      Crap! This means that my copy did not show up at the local comic shop, in spite of the fact that I essentially subscribed to the series through the shop and Diamond. Hurry, chum! To the Nerdcave!

  3. Rij says:

    Personally I’m more hurt by Go! Comi’s demise but I feel your pain as I look at the two lonely volumes of Crown on my shelf.

    • davidpwelsh says:

      I’m also a big fan of Crown. Has there been any official word on Go! Comi’s fate?

      • Rij says:

        Nobody’s come out and explicitly stated that the company’s dead. But nobody’s said that it’s alive either and since the website’s gone and all, my guess is that there’s no hope.

        But I’m a pessimist.

  4. I want to read My Darling Miss Bancho, but I’m on the fence about Stolen Hearts. I absolutely adored Nadeshiko Club… until the end. I don’t want to spoil it for everyone who can’t read Japanese, but there’s a subtle turn that painted the entire series in a different, creepy light (at least for me). I would worry about getting invested in SH only to have that same disappointment at the end.

    • lys says:

      I haven’t read the end of Nadeshiko Club, but I’ve read a fair bit of it (still wish I could have bought the actual volumes in English). I think Stolen Hearts is a different kind of story, though. From the first volume and what I’ve heard of the second, it’s fairly episodic (it runs in The Hana to Yume, which is published every-other-month, so continuous storylines don’t work so well), and it’s less about getting the couple together and more about the couple having fun and dressing up in kimono and being utterly adorable, if that makes sense. I don’t see it turning into a shoujo-drama-fest (as Nadeshiko kinda does), and can’t imagine anything actually creepy or disturbing happening in it. I hope you try it out—maybe request the first volume from your library if you’re unsure? I love the series very very much, and would definitely recommend it!!

      (but now I’m really curious about the end of Nadeshiko, even if it does sound a bit worrisome.)

      • That’s a good idea – I think I’ll ask the library. The twist in question comes in the very last volume, as I recall. It’s hard to say for certain because there are a lot of one-shot stories showing what happens to various characters after the main story ended.

        I don’t want to totally spoil it, but I will give you the gist of it. (Spoilers ahead): Basically, there is a big retcon revealing that the heroine was set up to fall in love with the guy she did by some of the other characters, and this was all tied in with the homemaking club. I enjoyed Nadeshiko Club, but part of why I liked it was that Reo came to love the traditional homemaking stuff on her own – not to please any guy. The big reveal made it seem as though whether she liked it or not was irrelevant; whether she found her way in life (an important later theme) or not was irrelevant; homemaking was a skill she needed to be an appropriate girlfriend. That was a big disappointment.

  5. The shoujo title that made me scream and curse an uncaring god when CMX was shut down was Apothecarius Argentum. Man I hope someone publishes those last four volumes. Non-useless heroine! Interesting hero! Medieval herbalism nerdery! Believable obstacles to the romance!

    (Though one of these days I wan’t somebody to write a couple who can’t physically touch each other for whom that’s only a minor inconvenience, easily overcome with a little caution and a lot of creativity. And I’m not talking about curing the tragic condition, I mean working around it with clever use of gloves, toys, and plastic wrap. At least in Apothecarius Argentum the fact that Argent was a commoner and former slave was always presented as the bigger obstacle to his relationship to the princess than the fact that he was poisonous, which I love.)

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