Wish list

Tom Spurgeon ran an interesting Five for Friday query this week: “Name Five Archival/Translation Projects That Aren’t Happening Right Now (As Far As You Know) That You’d Love To See.” There are lots of interesting projects in the responses, but there isn’t much in the way of comics from Japan, so I thought I’d try and open a manga-specific version of the conversation here.

My picks:

  • Japan Tengu Party Illustrated by Iou Kuroda (of Sexy Voice and Robo fame)
  • Moyashimon: Tales of Agriculture by Masayuki Ishikawa (winner of this year’s Best General Manga award in the Kodansha Manga Awards)
  • The Music of Marie by Usamu Furuya (brought onto my radar by Adam Stephanides)
  • Otherworld Barbara by Moto Hagio (another entry inspired by Jog’s list from 2005)
  • Princess Knight by Osamu Tezuka (because an excerpt in Shojo Beat is not enough)
  • What are yours? (This isn’t a demand or anything, but I’d love for people to go with blind optimism instead of dwelling on the commercial realities that make such potential licenses doomed to failure.)

    34 Responses to Wish list

    1. Chloe says:

      These list making posts are designed to provoke, aren’t they?
      -C-Blossom – Case 729 by Fukui Harutoshi and Shimotsuki Kayoko (because there’s a serious dearth of hybrid seinen-shoujo)
      -Princess Knight by Osamu Tezuka (c’mon, Vertical, where are you?)
      -Eikaiwa School Wars by Matsumoto Tomo (because there’s a serious dearth of smarter, anti-angsty shoujo)
      -Pluto by Osamu Tezuka and Urusawa Naoki[!] (the two kings of psychological thriller manga team up! Paging Viz!)
      -Moyashimon: Tales of Agriculture by Masayuki Ishikawa (agreed)

    2. Great question! I’d love see Tezuka’s Faust and Crime and Punishment available in English. (I know there was a dual-language edition of the latter, but it’s out of print and ridiculously hard to come by here in the US.) I’d also pony up money for an English-language edition of Ludwig B., his unfinished Beethoven biography. I own the Japanese volumes simply for the art, which is wonderfully musical (if that makes any sense).

    3. Sean Gaffney says:

      1) Gokusen by Kozueko Morimoto. I’m actually surprised Viz hasn’t tried this one yet, considering the anime has already come out in the US. It’d also be a josei title, so the bloggers would love it. 🙂 Who can say no to GTO with yakuzas?

      2) Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou by Hitoshi Ashinano. Come on, Del Rey, you make money hand over fist from Negima, you can afford to put out this gorgeous 14-volume elegy to scenery.

      3) Touch by Mitsuru Adachi. No love for baseball manga over here. Maybe if Slam Dunk does well. But Touch is Shogakukan, so they can’t put it in the Jump line…

      4) Kimagure Orange Road by Izumi Matsumoto. I don’t actually care for this as much as I used to, but if Viz put it out it would shut up SO many old-school otaku that it would be worth it. 🙂 And this one COULD go in the Jump line…

      5) Air Master by Yokusaru Shibata. Yes, I know. The art is ugly, the humor is crude, and the art is REALLY ugly. But who can resist a protagonist that’s almost a foot taller than all the other girls in her school and who literally runs UP THE SIDE OF BUILDINGS to get into position to kick people’s asses? Tokyopop’s put out worse, they could grab this.

    4. jun says:

      1. Rose of Versailles – it’s a classic, dangit!
      2. The Song of the Wind and Trees – one (if not the) of the pioneers of the BL genre.
      3. Touch – agreed. Something recently voted one of the most moving manga deserves to be licensed.

      Beyond these three, I just have a sort of general request for everything the 49ers did. And some more of Reiko Shimizu’s stuff.

    5. Ellie says:

      Oh, I’d love to see Music of Marie brought over. Beyond that, choosing only five is painful:

      -Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou by Ashinano Hitoshi. Seconding this one. I can’t think of any other manga that inspires such a huge amount of loyalty and fondness in its readership – once they’ve read it. Which most people never will if it’s stuck in scanlation land forever. It’s the most beautiful, amazing manga I’ve ever read and needs the Del Rey treatment.
      -Happy! by Urasawa Naoki. It’s not quite as crowd-pleasing as Monster or 21st Century Boys, but oh my god I love this manga. The strengh lies in a) the supporting cast (oh, the supporting cast…) in all their Dickensian glory, b) the sheer amount of stuff going on, and c) the innate fascination in watching an immensely bland protagonist’s life get worse and worse until she has no choice but to become interesting. Oh, and there’s an irritable yakuza with a secret heart of gold, so I was doomed to love this one from the start. I need a hard copy in my hands so badly.
      -Witches by Daisuke Igarashi. The mangaka’s normal craziness is streamlined into artwork and plotting that seriously can take your breath away. Gorgeous, distinctive covers, so it’d look good on the shelf as well. Del Rey again, but that’s my preference.
      -The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese by Mizushiro Setona. People seem to have been turning to her ever since she overhauled her artwork a few years ago, and this josei is a perfect example of why it works so well for her. On top of that, it’s a yaoi that *doesn’t take shortcuts* (how unique is that?), and which goes out of its way to make the things that would normally be at least a little gratuitious truly necessary to the plot and the characterisation. Really, truly impressive, and I think the yaoi audience is ready to take it seriously. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s hot as hell.
      -Sweet Blue Flowers or Hourou Musuko by Shimura Takako. Either one, I’m not fussy. I just need to see one of them on a shelf somewhere, translated. Lovely artwork, thoughtful exploration of gender roles and sexuality, interesting characters and plotting, and some of the nicest covers I’ve seen so far.

    6. James Moar says:

      1. Blind optimism? Then can I say “The Complete Works of Osamu Tezuka”? I’d buy pretty much anything of his.
      2. Bokurano by Mohiro Kitoh. Really liked Shadow Star.

      Otherwise, I know there’s a lot of good stuff I’d like to see, but I don’t read enough in Japanese or scanlations to put in requests.

    7. Trevor N. says:

      These are mostly representative picks for artists and genres (especially Historical Josei) that I’d like to read more of.

      Abunazaka Hotel by Moto Hagio
      Heat by Ryoichi Ikegami
      Maihime Terpsichore by Ryoko Yamagishi
      Onmyoji by Reiko Okano
      Ooku by Fumi Yoshinaga

    8. Eva says:

      I’ll piggyback on a few choices:
      Princess Knight, by Osamu Tezuka
      Gokusen, by Kozueko Morimoto
      The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese, by Mizushiro Setona

      and add a couple of my own:
      Hataraki Man, by Moyoco Anno
      Rules, by Miyamoto Kano

      If I could add in a couple of manhwa, they’d be:
      They, Too, Love, by Seo Moon Da Mi
      Safe Again Today, by Yoo Jinsu and Park Suhlah

    9. Dave Carter says:

      I posted my list a while ago: A Short List of Manga I’d Like To See Translated Into Engish

      * Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro by Shigeru Mizuki (This is available in a bilingual Japanese/English edition, but only in Japan!)
      * Palepoli by Furuya Usamaru
      * Genju Jiten (Hungry Wolf Story) by Taniguchi Jiro
      * Yomi Henjou Yawa by Okano Reiko
      * Tengoku-Kyu (Crazy Heaven) by Takaya Miou
      * Ame Miya Yuki Kohri (Rain, Princess, Snow Ice) by Tsuno Yuko
      * Louise by Hiroki Mafuyu

    10. John Jakala says:

      * Anything by Usamaru Furuya
      * Anything by Katsuhiro Otomo
      * Anything by Satoshi Kon
      * The rest of Museum of Terror by Junji Ito
      * Zashiki Onna by Minetaro Mochizuki (I have got to know how this thing ends!)
      * Yotsuba&! Volume 6

    11. danielle leigh says:

      I posted a wishlist two months back (those titles might be a bit different today, who knows….)

      1. Ooku by Fumi Yoshinaga
      2. Hataraki Man, Moyoko Anno.
      3. Ookiku Furikabutte, Asa Higuchi.
      4. Spicy Pink, Wataru Yoshizumi.
      5. Umimachi Diary, Akimi Yoshida.
      6. Kiss and Never Cry, Yayoi Ogawa.
      7. Cesare, Fuyumi Soroyo.
      8. Golden Days, Shigeru Takao.
      9. Gokusen, Kozueko Morimoto.
      10. Cat Street, Yoko Kamio.
      11. Yume No Kodomo, Shouko Hamada.

    12. […] Welsh lists some manga collections he’d like to see at Precocious Curmudgeon; commenters chime in with […]

    13. jun says:

      Oh yes, definitely Hataraki Man!

      Cat Street and 7SEEDS are also big on my list, but I think they have more of a chance than the other stuff I originally listed.

    14. Bill Randall says:

      Can I second the calls for Kuroda, Igarashi, and Anno? And third Touch, Princess Knight, Versailles, GeGeGe, and anything made before 1985? I worry that it’s hard to get a sense of history from the English market.

      I would add everyone I’ve written on for TCJ, especially:

      1. Z-Chan (okay, I never wrote about this, but Fred Schodt did, and it’s now out in a single volume)
      2. Shiriagari Kotobuki’s A-Maru-Su/A*S (okay, Adam Stephanides wrote about it)
      3. The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio (one volume, utterly essential, I’m amazed Vertical or D&Q hasn’t picked it up)
      4. Dousei Jidai (“The Age of Cohabitation”) by Kazuo Kamimura, a great, long, tortured romance from the 70s with crazy layouts
      5. And Daisuke Nishijima’s stuff

      Umimachi Diary is good slice-of-life, btw, with at least one good afro.

    15. Elizabeth says:

      1. Fumi Yoshinaga : Ooku, Ai Subeki Musume Tachi.
      2. Moto Hagio : The Heart of Thomas, Abunazaka Hotel, Otherworld Barbara (basically anything by her).
      3. Ryoko Yamagishi : Maihime Terpsichore, Hi Izuru Tokoro no Tenshi (Heaven’s son in the land of the rising sun).
      4. Yumiko Oshima (also one of the 49ers) : Gou-Gou Datte Neko De Aru (it won Short Work Prize in Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize this month).
      5. Naoki Urasawa : Master Keaton.

    16. harrellj says:

      I’d like to second noms for Moyashimon and Ookiku Furikabutte. Both winners of Kodansha Awards and deserve a look by the Western licensees. For one thing, Ookiku I know has a huge fanbase already and Moyashimon (based on the anime at least), could potentially pull in that hard to snag college-age boys market. Otherwise, Beast Master by Motomi Kyousuke (already finished in Japan and its a mere 2 volume shoujo series) would be an excellent choice.

    17. ErinF says:

      Ooh! Everyone has such great suggestions. I’d like to second the following nominations:

      Moyashimon: Tales of Agriculture
      Ooku by Fumi Yoshinaga
      Princess Knight
      Rose of Versailles
      Hataraki Man by Moyoko Anno
      Anything by Satoshi Kon
      The Song of the Wind and Trees

    18. Huff says:

      Great picks David. Music of Marie and Japan Tengu… are both superb (the former is one of my all-time favorite manga). Limiting my choices to manga for the sake of this blog and excluding your five, I’d go with:

      *Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou by Ashinano Hitoshi-Yes, people have already listed it, but its just that damn good. So simple yet endlessly nuanced and thought-provoking, reading a chapter of YKK is almost a meditative experience.

      *The World is Mine by Hideki Arai-And on the other side of the seinen-spectrum is this insane masterpiece that manages to both horrify and entertain in equal doses. The saga of two sociopaths and their quest to bring about the physical and metaphorical downfall of Japanese society, TWiM reads like Bonnie&Clyde on PCP, flaunting brutal violence and the kind of reckless ambition that would make the creators of Evangelion proud. The characters are incredibly complex and the plot is immaculately detailed, viciously satirizing modern society and human nature at every turn. To top it all of, you’ve got superbly detailed artwork (NO ONE draws action/violence like Arai).

      *Hourou Musuko by Shimura Takako-I wrote about this a couple days ago, and I agree with every bit of praise people give it. One of the most fully-realized and beautiful coming-of-age stories in any medium.

      *Daisuke Igarashi awesomeness-If Yuki “Mushishi” Urushibara had an obsession with tribal mysticism, loved watching epic movies and smoked a lot of pot, then she might create similar stuff to Igarashi, the mad-genius of the fantastic and weird. There will be no justice in the world until all Igarashi manga have been published. This stuff is MADE for Viz’s signature series.

      *Kyoko Okazaki works-Her art may not be the prettiest, but josei legend (and Moyoko Anno mentor) Okazaki has some of the sharpest writing you’ll ever read in manga. The two stories I’ve read from her (Helter Skelter and River’s Edge) are brilliant portraits of human depravity and ugliness. A “line” of her books similar to the Erika Sakurazawa series Tokyopop did would be awesome.

      And because 5 is just too few:

      *Historie by Hitoshi Iwaaki-What all historical manga aspire to be. As good as Iwaaki’s Parasyte is Historie blows it out of the water. I can only hope that Del Rey is moving a lot of books of the former and feels compelled to continue to release the author’s work.

    19. Michelle says:

      Well, Princess Knight. Ooku, Cat Street, and how about this little known manga called Honey Bitter by Miho Obana? She’s the author of Kodocha, but that one brings the dark themes of Kodocha more out to the surface, and her art has really improved. I would love to have that one picked up. Tokyopop or Viz would make a good fit.

      I’d like to see the series by Aoki Kotomi. She’s won some awards, and did a serious manga about incest, which was really sad but quite interesting. Boku no Hatsukoi wo Kimi ni Sasagu is a follow-up of that series, and I think would be more liked by publishers because it’s tragedy, but no incest this time.

    20. Sabrina says:

      Anything by Tezuka or Yoshinaga or Urasawa. Also, a compendium of Rumiko Takahashi’s short stories.

      ALSO! Violinist of Hameln. ^^

    21. Connie says:

      Man, I’ve been wishing for Violinist of Hameln to be licensed for years. I needed to post just to second that one. Also… let’s see.

      – Sakuran by Moyoco Anno – not only is it fantastic because it’s by Anno, it’s also the most georgeous manga I’ve ever seen.
      – Palepoli by Usamaru Furuya – I’ll second this one too, I got totally hooked by the little bits I’ve read recently.
      – Rose of Versailles by Ryoko Ikeda – Something tells me this won’t live up to the image I’ve been building of it over the years, but I still want to read it.
      – Seven Seas, Seven Skies – A prequel of sorts to From Eroica with Love that I know I’ll never see in English, but I’ll hope anyway.

    22. Grant G. says:

      I mentioned Jungle Emperor and Urusei Yatsura on Tom’s page. I’ll fourth or fifth the calls for Rose of Versailles and Princess Knight above, and for my fifth pick, UFO Robo Gurendaiza. Go Nagai seems criminally underrepresented in English, and I was flipping through my old volume of this (book 1 of 3 or 4, I guess…?), which I picked up better than twenty years ago, the other day and it’s very strange, weirdhead stuff for a giant robot story. I’d love to see more of it.

    23. JennyN says:

      Seconding these nominations:

      – Takemiya, The Song of the Wind and the Trees. One of the great psychological novels of the 20th century, but unlikely ever to be touched by an English-language publisher because of the explicit scenes between an adult man and the young boy he’s sexually (and in every other way) abusing.
      – Ikeda, The Rose of Versailles. Yes, it’s got free-floating roses and huge starry eyes, but it’s also about a young woman liberating herself mentally and emotionally. (A selection of Ikeda’s short stories would be good, too).
      – Moto Hagio, yea! Maybe something like The Poe Clan – vampires and their interactions with mortals over the years – to start with?
      – Waki Yamato, The Tale of Genji. Massively romantic retelling of thousand-year-old classic.

      I’d also recommend these, available in French but not (yet) English:
      – Ai Yazawa, Final Quarter. A three-volume, wonderfully drawn, romantic ghost story – though it goes slightly flat at the end when Yazawa tries to explain a bit too much. Earlier than Nana, but with the same style.
      – Rumiko Takahashi, My Boss’ Dog. Short stories for adults, with a bitter-sweet flavour that’s often quite sharp.
      – Nobuyuki Fukumoto, Seizon Life. Three-volume thriller about a man tracking down his daughter’s murderer. Some of the clues are convoluted, Agatha Christie-style, but a Japanese taste as well.
      – Fumi Yoshinaga, All My Darling Daughters. Essentially short stories with recurring characters. What can I say? FY at her best.
      – Natsuki Sumeragi, various titles. She draws on both Japanese and Chinese history, legends and classical literature, with fabulous artwork clearly inspired by Chinese ink painting. I’m currently waiting on a two-volume story set in 1920s Peking, about a young man who becomes a performer of Peking opera.
      – Ima Ichiko, Night Procession of One Hundred Demons. A young exorcist in modern Japan, the spirits and odd beings he sees, his feisty girl cousin and the ghost of his grandfather. Very adult in feeling.

      And that’s well over the limit! But there’s such fabulous stuff out there…

    24. Sam H says:

      I desperately want to see Orange Delivery in English, if only because I’m a sucker for weird torunament manga.

    25. Wow, good choices all around. I’ll add my voice to the clamor for more Tezuka (especially Princess Knight), Rose of Versailles, Moto Hagio, Usamaru Furuya, GeGeGe No Kitaro, and Pluto (or anything else by Naoki Urasawa). And while I don’t know if I can come up with five suggestions, here are a few:

      -Fourteen, by Kazuo Umezu
      -More work by Taiyo Matsumoto (has Ping Pong been translated?)
      -Other “Magnificent 49er” manga
      -Stuff by Go Nagai?
      -Vinland Saga, by the creator of Planetes (I’m too lazy to recall his name)

    26. Jason Ramos says:

      ANYTHING by Shintaro Kago

    27. -Glass Mask.

      -Anything and everything by Moto Hagio. At the very LEAST I’d like Viz to bring A, A’ back into print so I can bully my friends into buying it and stop being paranoid that my copy will get lost or damaged.

      -Glass Mask.

      -I second the call to bring over Ai Yazawa’s Last Quarter. It’s pretty, and tightly plotted, and only three volumes long, and it’s Ai freakin’ Yazawa.

      -Glass Mask.

      -Seizon [LifE] I like this salaryman mystery drama. Nearly all the detectives in the mystery manga we bring over seem to be teenagers.

      -Glass Mask, Glass Mask, Glass Mask. It is never going to happen, because it is old, and over forty volumes long, and ongoing, but GLASS MASK, DAMMIT. If someone would only license it I will buy each and every one of those forty-plus volumes that you put in front of me.

    28. Doctor says:

      I think people would really dig the work of Kazuichi Hanawa. His recent work is being published in French, and it’s absolutely mind-blowing, but he’s been making comics for 30 years, so there’s a whole lot of material to draw from. The only thing that’s been translated into English so far is “Doing Time”, which is great, but not at all representative of his other work, which is a mix of fantasy and horror, heavily influenced by Japanese folk tales. Anyone who reads French should check his stuff out.

    29. tcp says:

      Seconding Taiyo Matsumoto in general and Japan Tengu Party

    30. A. Hunt says:

      I’d love to see Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou come out, but I’d also really like any of Nobuyuki Fukumoto’s works too. I do love homely gambling.

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