Easy(going) reading

I can’t resist list-making. Over at MangaBlog, Brigid Alverson shares a request from a reader for “slice-of-life” manga. Excellent recommendations ensue, so I thought I would compile the titles that got multiple nods from the folks leaving comments.

  • Antique Bakery, by Fumi Yoshinaga (DMP)
  • Emma, by Kaoru Mori (CMX)
  • Flower of Life, by Fumi Yoshinaga (DMP)
  • Honey and Clover, by Chica Umino (Viz)
  • Japan, as Viewed by 17 Creators, by various gifted people (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
  • Love Roma, by Minoru Toyoda (Del Rey)
  • Sand Chronicles, by Hinako Ashihara (Viz)
  • Suppli, by Mari Okazaki (Tokyopop)
  • The Voices of a Distant Star, by Mizu Sahara and Makoto Shinkai (Tokyopo)
  • The Walking Man, by Jiro Taniguichi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
  • The Day I Become a Butterfly, by Yumeka Sumomo (Juné)
  • Same Cell Organism, by Yumeka Sumomo (Juné)
  • There are plenty of great recommendations in the MangaBlog comments thread, both of slice-of-life series and good reads in general. If I missed a slice-of-life title that got multiple mentions, let me know, and I’ll update the list.

    3 Responses to Easy(going) reading

    1. Huff says:

      No Aqua/Aria? I’d also go ahead and throw Yotsuba&! in there if we’re including stuff like Emma and Voices of a Distant Star.
      It’s surprising to see just how many titles that are commercially available in English could be considered “slice-of-life” when it’s considered “un-marketable” by some. That said, I eternally lament the fact that the definitive masterpiece of the genre, Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, seems to have little chance of getting licensed.

    2. davidpwelsh says:

      Ah, the person doing the requesting had already read and loved Yotsuba&! and Aria, which I probably should have mentioned.

    3. Huff says:

      Ah, that would explain it. But since I didn’t mention it before, good list. I always avoided the Voices… manga since, as a rule, manga adapted from animes are usually poor, but most of the press for it has been surprisingly enthusiastic. A lot of the short film’s appeal came from its intimacy (which was enhanced by the fact that it was literally created by a single man), so I guess it isn’t that surprising that it would translate well into the graphic fiction medium.
      As for other great unlicensed slice-of-life manga (besides the amazing YKK of course) one title that I would kill to have licensed is Hourou Musuko. Usually when you hear the words “gender bending” in the context of manga you think of comedy. This is a rare work that takes the subject seriously (but never oppressively so), offering an incredibly nuanced and heartfelt coming-of-age story about two children who were born in the wrong bodies so-to-speak. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a manga which gives a more honest portrayal of puberty and how kids that age act. And if a cynical bastard like me can fall in love with it than anyone can.

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