The next big things

Brigid’s look at the latest chart-topping manga triggers some interesting discussion. MangaCast and Manga Recon’s Erin F. suggests that, while vampires certainly aren’t driving anyone away from Millennium Snow, it’s creator Bisco Hatori’s reputation for Ouran High School Host Club that’s doing more to feed Millennium’s success.

I’m always interested to see a new “name manga-ka” emerge. Clearly, several someones believe that Chika Shiomi will join the ranks of creators who might be able to move a title at least partly on reputation, what with Go! Comi, CMX and Viz adding her work to their rosters. Last year, You Higuri seemed to be the manga-ka everyone wanted to license.

Maybe it’s because series targeted at women tend to be shorter and there are consequently more available to license, but most of the name manga-ka I can think of are women: the CLAMP collective, Ai Yazawa, Yuu Watase, Fumi Yoshinaga, Moyoco Anno, among others.

Who are your no-question manga-ka, the ones whose work you’ll buy no matter the genre or subject matter?

26 Responses to The next big things

  1. ChunHyang72 says:

    I’d read anything by the usual suspects: Mitsukazu Mihara, Junko Mizuno, Rumiko Takahashi, CLAMP, Kazuo Koike, Moto Hagio, Tezuka, and–thanks to Vertical’s superb To Terra treatment–Keiko Takemiya. Fumi Yoshinaga’s name is also a lure, though I’ve passed on a few of her series because I just didn’t think the subject matter meshed well with her style. (Gerard and Jacques is a case in point. I agreed with Brigid’s assessment that it wasn’t particularly good as porn or as a Cliff Notes treatment of major Enlightenment philosophers.) I also like Matsuri Akino’s stuff, though she isn’t really much of a brand name, and I’d investigate any manwha series with Kyungok Kang’s name on it.

  2. Huff says:

    Probably too many for my own good: Taiyo Matsumoto, Iou Kuroda, Hiroaki Samura, Naoki Yamamoto, Katsuhiro Otomo and most recently Inio Asano. Tezuka goes without saying. Might also incude the Mushishi author despite only having read two of her works. There are plenty of other authors who I always make a point to check out but have failed me in the past; case in point, Usuamaru Furuya, who despite producing some of the greatest manga I’ve ever read (Music of Marie, Palepoli) has also produced some lesser works (Suicide Club; I’ve heard nothing but bad things about his newest series). People like Ai Yazawa or Naoki Usasawa also fall into this “almost favorite” category (almost all of his stuff is above average though).

  3. ChunHyang72 says:

    Ditto on Naoki Urasawa.

  4. davidpwelsh says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing more of Urasawa’s work. I kind of wish Viz would pick up the release pace on Monster, just so they can get to the next work in the pipeline more quickly.

    I think Hiroki Endo’s on my “almost favorite” list thanks to Eden and Tanpenshu. And I’ll grab anything by any of the ’49ers, should the manga gods be so generous.

  5. Huff says:

    Urasawa’s stuff is always worth looking at, even his early work (Yawara is actually one of the best shonen manga I’ve read). His best work is his current thrillers (20th Century Boys and Pluto), which are easily better written than Monster (the former taking a more sentimental and rip-roaring approach, while ironically the Tezuka-inspired project has a very calculating and ruthless tone).
    And just because I just realized I totally forgot the ladies: Kan Takahama, Nananan Kiriko, Kyoko Okazaki and Takako Shimura. Not that many of them are published in English, but I’d totally by anything if it were. And for even more fun (I need help): Daisuke Igarashi, Jiro Taniguchi and Jiro Matsumoto (yes, I’m a total freak; I’d probably put Hideo Yamamoto on the list too if everything he did was as good as Homunculus). Maybe Makoto Yukimura too, though Vinland Saga isn’t nearly as good as Planetes.

  6. davidpwelsh says:

    I’ll definitely second Kuroda, Takahama and Taniguchi. I’d love to see more of Nananan and Igarashi as well. And depending on how much I like King of Thorn,, and knowing how much I loved Chikyu Misaki, I’ll add Yuji Iwahara to my “likely favorites” list.

  7. “I’ve heard nothing but bad things about his [Furuya’s] newest series”

    Which are you thinking of? (I hope it’s not Raichi Hikari Club, since I was planning to special order that.)

  8. […] Welsh asks: Who are the manga-kas whose work you will buy no matter what the subject […]

  9. dm says:

    Kei Toume. So far only his Lament of the Lambs and Kurogane have been translated, but he has a number of series which appear (to this semi-literate in Japanese) very interesting, with a distinctive artistic style.

  10. mark thorpe says:

    Kazuo Koike could write a manga about babysitting and I would still buy it. Katsuhiro Otomo even more so.

  11. Jake Myler says:

    Anything Drawn by Takeshi Obata I automatically have to buy, just to drool all over the artwork. Also Yuji Iwahara for the same reason. But with both of them, they consistantly work on projects that are also engrossing storywise, so I don’t need to worry about not liking the storyline.

  12. j.n.z. says:

    Marimo Ragawa, Hiroyuki Takei, Riyoko Ikeda, Moto Hagio, Reiko Shimizu, Yumi Tamura, and Arina Tanemura (but largely to see how far she can take her flash pacing and manic characterization and, more recently, ridiculous halftone application). Mostly, though, I just want to see more of Reiko Shimizu’s work licensed so that she can acquire the fanbase she justifiably deserves. (Moon Child is a good start – love CMX – but it’s not the essential Shimizu and is, frankly, a little languid. Kaguya Hime and Himitsu are better representations of her eccentric storytelling and seductive art.)

  13. ed chavez says:

    Hmm, tough question especially because I tend to enjoy manga specialists more than manga freelancers.

    Not a mangaka but I have to put Koike Kazuo at the top of my list. If he is writing I’d be up for it. His golf manga alone proves my point.

    Soda Masahito is not appreciated enough out here but he has won awards in Japan by creating captivating dramas out of strange themes. M-gumi no Daigo (from Viz about firefighters) and Capeta are two examples of his ability to really capture emotions and excitement in manga.

    Cuvie might be known for ero-manga but Dorothea (coming soon from CMX) is also a stunning book.

    Urusawa keeps on showing why he is possibly one of Japan’s most talented mangaka. Adam mentioned Lichi Hikari Club… how can someone meld Grand Guignol, ero guro, BL and sailor suited bishojo and make it work? Urusawa makes it work and makes it perfect for manga. Amazing stuff.

    People might laugh at me for suggesting this guy but Egawa Tatsuya is a great example of a versatile hitman. Yeah he is best known for his etchi seinen titles – Golden Boy and Tokyo Daigaku Monogatari – but he has also worked on some series stuff. He did manga versions of the Tale of Genji and the Japanese-Russian War. He’s also worked on some tokusatsu remakes as well. Yeah Obata’s art is much more impressive and only he can make Go entertaining but I give the nod to Egawa (just for the range of stories he has worked on).

    Ichijo Yukari is a mangaka that in Japan is known for turning anything into a must read/must see drama. She has done comedies about spoiled brats in high school, dramas about opera singers, stories about wannabe fashion designers and dancers… One of the most prolific mangaka in the last 30 years, I wonder why Viz hasn’t licensed her works (almost all her works are from Shueisha)… maybe too josei. She is respected (maybe even feared) as the Queen of shoujo by her shoujo mangaka colleagues and yes she was born in 1949 (even if she isn’t considered a Fab 49er).

    Koge-donbo, Takahashi Rumiko (when she isn’t drawing InuYasha), Taniguchi Jiro, Lee Hyung-se, Takahashi Hiroshi (just because he made the new yanki look with his designs in CROWS and WORST), Hojo Tsukasa (even if Angel Heart is dragging), Ikegami Ryoichi, Koyama Yuu, Ishigawa Yuugo and Gokurakuin Sakurako just to name a few of my favorite artists…

  14. Huff says:

    Adam: I’ve actually heard nothing about that one. Its the one that ran in Spirits with an odd name I can’t seem to think off.

  15. Connie says:

    Mostly the lead girls and a few horror artists for me – Moyoko Anno, Satomi Ikezawa, Ai Yazawa, and Fumi Yoshinaga are all must-haves, and CLAMP is too, even though I don’t like most of their series. I suppose Kaori Yuki is too, I own all her series even though I don’t like them. Hm. I’d also buy anything else from Yasuko Aoike in a second, but I doubt anything but Eroica would see the light of day in English (maybe because they’re not good, but Seven Seas Seven Skies and the Eve series are at least entertaining).

    On the boy’s side, I’d buy anything else from Eiichiro Oda if it existed (which, at this point, is just a volume of short stories), same for Hirohiko Araki. Almost 100 volumes of the same story? Done. Hideshi Hino and Junji Ito are immediates for horror manga, and Kazuo Umezu probably is too, even though he’s kind of hit or miss for me.

  16. ed says:

    Hey David, were you thinking about 51 Ways to Save My Girlfriend? This is his most current title from Coamix/Bunch Comics (from the maker of Raijin Comics). Usamaru hasn’t done something for Shogakukan since Happiness and before that π (pi).

  17. Kokoro says:

    CLAMP of course.

  18. Estara says:

    An obvious one, Natsuki Takaya (as I read through the comments I am fairly certain someone will have mentioned her before) and a not so obvious one, Kyoko Hikawa.

  19. Hayashiya Shizuru. I’ll read anything and everything, including Ultra Sword, which has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Her current works, Strawberry Shake Sweet and Hayate x Blade are pefect vehicles for her humor/action/yuri mix.



    Hungry for Yuri? Have some Okazu!

  20. Kagama says:

    Akino Matsuri…ive yet to read a bad manga by her.All her manga is awesome Petshop of Horrors,Genjuu no seiza,Elixir…..although ive heard kamen tantei isnt that good…but surely one can forgive one miss.

  21. 14: Did you mean Urusawa or Usumaru?

    17: I hope that’s not the one, because I just ordered the first volume of that.

  22. ed chavez says:

    Gah, you are right. Typo on my part. That is supposed to be Usamaru.

  23. Arisa says:

    Matsuri Hino artwork is just amazing, I love her series Vampire Knight and MeruPuri. Yuu Watase, Natsuki Takaya Arina Tanemura are awesome too.

  24. […] Whom do you find irresistible? […]

  25. akeleven says:

    Iou Kuroda, Shin Mizukami, Nakamura Shungiku

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