License request day: Neighborhood Story

In observance of this week’s Paradise Kiss Manga Moveable Feast, I thought I’d extract a bit about the title’s prequel, Gokinjo Monogatari, from this more general request for… well, for more Ai Yazawa manga.


“Next is Gokinjo Monogatari, also originally serialized by Shueisha in Ribon. Aside from being a Yazawa creation, Gokinjo Monogatari (or Neighborhood Story) has the added allure of being a prequel to Paradise Kiss. (Okay, maybe “prequel” is the wrong word. That’s reserved for stories set earlier in continuity than the one that spawned them, right? Then again, since it would be published in English after Paradise Kiss, it would technically count as a prequel, right? Sorry. Moving on.) Mikako, the story’s protagonist, is the older sister of Miwako, one of the designers from Paradise Kiss. It follows the lives, loves and ambitions of students at Yazawa Arts, and nobody portrays young artists quite as well as Yazawa. It spanned seven volumes, so it wouldn’t lend itself to easy doubling, but seven is a lucky number. Delcourt has also published Neighborhood Story as Gokinjo: une vie de quartier.

“And since I’m on the subject of Yazawa, I’ll restate something I’m sure I’ve mentioned before. I would really love it if someone published a handsome omnibus of Paradise Kiss. At five volumes, it would be a bit chunky, but the story and style almost beg for high-end packaging, and it would be a great way to introduce the series to readers who may have missed it the first time around. If Tokyopop isn’t up for it, they could always partner with Dark Horse, which seems to be quite interested in repackaging super-stylish manga (mostly by CLAMP) in aesthetically worthy vessels.”

12 Responses to License request day: Neighborhood Story

  1. Kris says:

    Yes, please. I’d love to read it. Was really disappointed to see it’s not available here. Neither is the anime.
    I also second the omnibus ParaKiss request. Or at least a new printing.

  2. [...] Welsh posts his weekly license request at The Manga Curmudgeon: He’d like to see Gokinjo Monogatari (The Neighborhood Story), [...]

  3. “Gokinjo Monogatari” isn’t my favorite of her works, since it’s a pretty typical high school romance, but I would still love for it to be licensed as well. There definitely needs to be more Ai Yazawa works licensed.

  4. JRB says:

    I’m not super interested in this manga, but the set of covers for the Delcourt edition are fabulous.

  5. Oliver says:

    Yes please!!! I’m surprised more Yazawa stuff isn’t available.

  6. KrebMarkt says:

    To be accurate better call it Akata/Delcourt.

    http://www.akata.fr/qui.php?page=akata

    That’s a subtlety yet the Akata part has difficulties to obtain the Delcourt part support in order to get some licenses.

    I remember someone working for Akata complaining about the frigidity of Delcourt.

    For details, Tonkam is another French publisher under Delcourt control.

  7. Nhu says:

    No no no no. Not that I don’t love me my Ai Yazawa, but if anything is to be licensed by her, it should be the short 3 volumes Last Quarter, which is romantic and heartbreaking and absolutely fantastic.

    Gokinjo Monogatari is well-done, but after reading Paradise Kiss, I think people would be disappointed with it… It’s almost like Yazawa finished GM, then thought, “What if love isn’t this perfect? What if a designer doesn’t reach her dreams? What if no one quite gets what they want, and end up REALLY REALLY hurting before they do – and then they still lose a part of themselves?” And her answer was Paradise Kiss.

    • Eric Henwood-Greer says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Gokinjo is absolutely charming, and I’m completely baffled as to why Tokyopop didn’t license it back when they had a small hit with ParaKiss and were doing the other Ribon manga that were after the same market as Gokinjo (Marmalade Boy, Kodacha, etc). It’s definitely an above average example of that genre, and is even more fun for us ParaKiss fans. But… I do kinda see Nhu’s point…

      The title by Ai I most want to see is the extremely moving Last Quarter (it’s also out in French, in a particularly thoughtful translation). It’s short, at 3 volumes, and while it was also a Ribon title, it doesn’t read like one (aside from the ages of the character) as it comes off as more thoughtful and deep than that…

  8. [...] Tsubaki Sanjuro (2008), an ill-advised remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Sanjuro… David Welsh makes the case for licensing Ai Yazawa’s Gokinjo Monogatari, the “prequel” to Paradise Kiss… Erica Friedman explains how not to read a [...]

  9. [...] Monogatari – David Welsh of Manga Curmudgeon has already made a plea for this series, but I’d like to do it in the context of its relationship to both Tenshi Nanka [...]

  10. Hana Jun says:

    I would really love Gokinjo to be released in english!!! I am a fashion student in New york and I love this series because I can relate to it a lot :) I also love Ai yazawa for her wonderful works. I really hope this is released in english very soon!

  11. [...] Monogatari – David Welsh of Manga Curmudgeon has already made a plea for this series, but I’d like to do it in the context of its relationship to both Tenshi Nanka [...]

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