Affirmative action

Looking back through the license requests to date, I realize that I’ve neglected the shônen category almost entirely. I could defend myself on this front by noting that there’s no shortage of shônen readily available, and that would certainly be true. But let’s be honest: it’s just not where my primary interests reside. There are plenty of shônen titles that I really like, but given the choice between a young man with a dream and a young woman with a scheme, you know which I’ll end up plonking down at the checkout counter, don’t you?

But balance is a good thing, so please recommend some as-yet-unlicensed shônen titles for future installments of License Request Day. Please don’t restrict yourself based on the length, vintage, taste level, narrative coherence, or marketability of the title, because you know I try not to be hindered by such paltry concerns. Fire away!

And here’s the running tally with some links:

  • Sexy Commando Gaiden: Sugoiyo!! Masaru-san, written and illustrated by Kyosuke Usata, serialized by Shueisha in Weekly Shônen Jump (Wikipedia)
  • Pyu to Fuku! Jaguar, written and illustrated by Kyosuke Usata, serialized by Shueisha in Weekly Shônen Jump (Wikipedia)
  • Majin Tantei Nogami Neuro, written and illustrated by Yûsei Matsui, serialized by Shueisha in Weekly Shônen Jump (Wikipedia)
  • Locke the Superman, written and illustrated by Yuki Hijiri, serialized by Shônen Gahosha in Shônen King (Wikipedia)
  • Nurarihyon no Mago, written and illustrated by Hiroshi Shiibashi, serialized by Shueisha in Weekly Shônen Jump (Wikipedia)
  • 1/2 Prince, written by Yu Wo and illustrated by Choi Hong Chong, published by Tong Li (Wikipedia)
  • Shiki, based on a novel by Fuyumi Ono, illustrated by Ryu Fujisaki, serialized by Shueisha in Jump SQ
  • Fourteen Years, written and illustrated by Kazuo Umezu, serialized by Shogakukan in Big Comic Spirits
  • Left Hand of God, Right Hand of the Devil, written and illustrated by Kazuo Umezu, originally published by Shogakukan
  • History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi, written and illustrated by Syun Matsuena, serialized by Shogakukan in Shônen Sunday (Wikipedia)
  • 15 Responses to Affirmative action

    1. Brack says:

      Kyosuke Usuta’s “Sexy Commando Gaiden: Sugoiyo!! Masaru-san” and his current strip “Pyu to Fuku! Jaguar”. Both are absurdist comedies peppered with satire.

      Sexy Commando is a sort-of parody of martial arts/sports manga in which a group of school kids practice the dubious martial art of the “Sexy Commando”.

      Pyu to Fuku! Jaguar does a similar number on idol manga, though it’s a lot more biting in its satire which is specifically aimed at the idol industry and the exploitation therein.

    2. Majin Tantei Nogami Neuro – Demon who eats mysteries comes to the human world searching for the perfect mystery. Teams up with a high school girl who loves to eat and who’s father died mysteriously. Very funny and some fun mysteries. The characters were featured in a bonus comic at the end of a volume of Muhyo and Roji’s BSI. I sooo want to read this manga!

    3. Tony Salvaggio says:

      Did you ever get my email about Choujin Locke (Locke the Superman)?
      Shonen Action that looks shojo-y! Best of both worlds!?!
      The art kind of reminds me of the Sukeban Deka art in a previous license request.

      More info:

      I bought a couple of the revamped larger scale versions when I was in Japan. They are awesome.
      I wish I would have had money to buy all 27+ issues. Sadly I didn’t, and I probably wouldn’t have been able to haul them back to the US anyway.

    4. Rij says:

      Nurarihyon no Mago. It’s from Weekly Shounen Jump so that should guarantee at least some success, right? A tale about the mostly-human grandson of the lord of demons. Japanese demons from Japanese folklore, various other monsters from said Japanese folklore and Japanese sorcerers battling said demons. And schoolkids.

      Also, while it’s somewhat misleading to call it shounen, I’d love to see the manhua 1/2 Prince licensed in English.

    5. Rij says:

      Sorry about the double but my memory suffered a major failure and didn’t come up with Shiki. Based on a novel by Fuyumi Ono (Ghost Hunt, Twelve Kingdoms), illustrated by Fujisaki Ryu (Houshin Engi).

    6. Travis McGee says:

      Late period Umezu – books like ‘Fourteen’ and ‘Right Hand of God, Left Hand of the Devil’! Of course, the high incidence of objects bursting out of human faces and (reputedly) rape scenes would probably make a western printer a little wary…

    7. Fai says:

      You and I (Kimi to Boku) – Kiichi Hotta (ongoing).
      Plot? Who needs it! This is basically a story about four boys who have been together since kindergarten, currently in high school. The story goes back in forth, and sometimes hits middle as well. It’s mostly a slice of life about friendship and growing up. Very light hearted stuff.

      Angel Densetsu (15 volumes) – this author also writes Claymore. This is basically a story about a kind hearted boy who has a terrifying face. There’s plenty of chance for misunderstandings, but it’s pretty funny, silly, or plain ridiculous. There’s something very special about these characters and the world they live in, and the last note of the author leaves a good lasting impression of the series.

    8. Travis McGee says:

      Actually, you know what, though I tend to think of Umezu as a Shonen manga-ka, on further reflection the two I mentioned are actually seinen manga (well, Big Comics Spirits is a seinen magazine, at least). Makoto-chan’s another prominent Umezu manga that hasn’t been translated that is actually shonen- probably *the* most famous Umezu manga, in fact…

    9. Heather says:

      I would love to see one of Mitsuru Adachi’s sport manga licensed and also Kimagure Orange Road by Izumi Matsumoto. There are a few titles I wish would be picked up again. The first being Raika by Yu Terashima. Sun Comics released one volume of this series. I would also love to see many of Gustoon Ent titles like City Hunter, Bow Wow Wata, Keiji, Revenge of the Mouflon and Memuri Kyoshiro. Also seeing Fanfare’s new release of Summit of the Gods, reminds me of the Mountain Climbers Saga Gustoon printed in Raijin.

    10. I’d love to see Jungle Taitei Leo, though I think the book might pose serious challenges for an American publisher, given some of the cultural and ethnic stereotyping in the story. It would also be great for someone to rescue Cyborg 009 from licensing limbo and give it the deluxe treatment — the old Tokyopop edition isn’t bad, but it’s a no-frills affair with little attention given to the production quality.

    11. And one more: GeGeGe no Kitaro by Shigeru Mizuki. Another important series, notable for popularizing the use of folkloric demons in manga.

    12. […] request day: Pyu to Fuku! Jaguar As I’d hoped, the wish list of worthy, unlicensed shônen is coming along nicely, and an early contribution from Brack of Awesome Engine has really caught my […]

    13. Suzu says:

      Ashita no Joe and Devilman! Need I say more? 😉

    14. […] Welsh asks his readers for some shonen suggestions for his License Request posts. The readers come through, and his first […]

    15. Matthewwave says:

      People who advocate for the English translation of Umezu’s horror material — especially his long-form stories — are good people.

      My Name Is Shingo falls into the “horror epic” category, too, right? Let’s have that one, as well!


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