License request day: Rescues

We’ll take a break from the usual license request agenda today. I’ve been trying to think of something seasonal to highlight today. Unfortunately, I’ve already asked for Hikaru Nakamura’s Saint Young Men, so I can’t go with the whole “reason for the season” angle. While it doesn’t feature a virgin birth, reliable sources inform me that Makoto Kobayashi’s Chichonmanchi does launch with a virgin death, but I try to cap this blog at PG-13, so I’ll hold off on that for now.

But it is the time of year when many of us turn our thoughts to the neglected and abandoned. So what better way to mark this time of year than to ask for the rescue of three terrific titles that have yet to see their entire runs printed in English?

In fairness, Makoto Kobayashi’s Club 9 has been published in English in its entirety in Dark Horse’s defunct Super Manga Blast, but it hasn’t been collected in its entirety. It’s a sweet, hilarious tale of a country girl who goes to work in a big-city host club. Sophisticated slapstick is difficult to achieve, and this is one of the finest success stories I can conjure. Three of the five volumes of the series are still available from Dark Horse, and I suppose I could try and track down all the back issues of Super Manga Blast, but I gave up back-issue bins when I gave up super-hero comics.

Is there a title that’s inspired more seemingly fruitless yearning than Even a Monkey Can Drawn Manga by Koji Aihara and Kentaro Takekuma? Viz serialized some of it in its defunct Pulp magazine and published one volume, but there are two more out there, shivering and hungry in some sad corner of manga limbo. Is that a just fate for this hilarious parody of instruction manuals and the manga industry as a whole? Do those of us who have read and loved the first volume deserve to be left hanging like this when we yearn to see what heights of satire and questionable taste Aihara and Takekuma reach in later chapters? That sounds pretty Grinch-y to me.

Once upon a time, before Taiyo Matsumoto’s Tekkonkinkreet won an Eisner and GoGo Monster blew many of our minds, Viz tried to publish a little series called No. 5. The two volumes Viz published tanked rather spectacularly, but this was before everyone recognized that Matsumoto is a genius, right? Times have changed, haven’t they? And while releasing Matsumoto may not exactly be printing money, perhaps it’s time to give the rest of the eight-volume series? This was also before Viz had its excellent SigIKKI initiative, and guess where No. 5 was originally serialized? That’s right: IKKI magazine. Perhaps the time is right to at least try and publish it online to see if there’s more of an audience today than there was in 2002?

While I won’t repeat myself on the subject, I’ll just throw out a reminder that it’s rather tragic that we only ever got two volumes of Atsushi Kaneko’s Bambi and Her Pink Gun from Digital Manga. What rescues are on your wish list?

22 Responses to License request day: Rescues

  1. Deb Aoki says:

    Shadow Star by Mohiro Kitoh (creator of Bokurano: Ours)
    Dark Horse only published up to Vol. 7 — but the entire series is 12 volumes long…
    http://www.darkhorse.com/Books/10-762/Shadow-Star-Vol-7-Victims-Eyes-Assailants-Hands-TPB

  2. I adore all of your choices here!

    To them, I’d add:
    * Kobayashi’s What’s Michael published uncut and with proper volume numbers. (Maybe this doesn’t technically count as a resue.)

    * DVD, the first manhwa to blow me away. DramaQueen only managed to crank out 2 of its 8 volumes. It ran in Wink, too, and Yen Press has licensed a few others from that magazine, so I continue to hold out hope.

    * GetBackers. This is one of those Kodansha series that TOKYOPOP is no longer publishing, but unlike some of its brethren, no one else seems to’ve picked it up yet. TOKYOPOP managed to put out 27 of a total of 39 volumes. Maybe someone could put out the remaining 12 in a series of 4 omnibi.

  3. John Jakala says:

    All of the ones you mentioned (especially Club 9!) plus:

    – Reiko the Zombie Shop, a crazy, absolutely gonzo over-the-top slasher-zombie action manga.

    – Museum of Terror. I need more Junji Ito!!

    – Urusei Yatsura. I’ve only read one volume via inter-library loan, so I’d love to have more of this madcap sci-fi rom-com series available.

    And Merry Christmas to you! Thanks for all of the wonderful blog posts this year!!

  4. @Deb: Ooh, good one. I’ve been interested in Shadow Star but its incomplete state has kept me from acquiring it.

  5. @John: Urusei Yatsura is a great pick! As with What’s Michael?, I’d want this to come out with proper volume numbers.

  6. davidpwelsh says:

    So much goodness broken down by the side of the road!

    John, Merry Christmas to you and yours as well! Maybe Viz could throw some chapters of Urusei Yatsura up on their Shonen Sunday or TheRumicWorld site to see who bites?

  7. City Hunter and Angel Heart! City Hunter only went 7 volumes and we never even got 1 of Angel Heart!

  8. davidpwelsh says:

    Oh, Lori, the boulevard of broken promises! Did we ever even get a volume of Sweet Cream and Red Strawberries by Kiriko Nananan?

  9. If we’re talking licenses that never came to any sort of fruition at all, didn’t Viz have another series by the creator of Sensual Phrase once upon a time?

    • Ephidel says:

      Haha, I remember the shock on boards at the time that was ‘revealed’ back in 2004.
      It was Despotic Lover / Haou Airen, and I’m pretty sure all the discussion started because the first volume showed up on amazon. I don’t think a formal announcement was ever made.

  10. […] at Precocious Curmudgeon, David has some manga licenses he’d like to see, and this week he focuses on rescuing licenses that have been dropped by other […]

  11. Oliver says:

    I would just like to mention the HQ Yaoi series that need to find a second home:

    Finder Series, Embracing Love, and the rest of the stellar Be Beautiful catalogue. We never get to see HQ titles like these anymore (I guess because the licenses are more expensive, but I’m tired of seeing B-grade Yaoi!!) Kizuna was rescued by June, but I only need the last 2 vols. which will be a long time coming.

    Also, the extensive and gorgeous lineup that DramaQueen announced but never published. We’re just starting to see a few of those titles coming from June, but I just can’t get the same feeling as I do from reading a DQ book. DQ’s quality would make me buy series I normally would ignore if printed by someone else (it’s all about the product).

    PS. It’s funny how people complained about Be Beautiful’s lack of printing quality but now every Yaoi publisher prints this way.

  12. Lorena says:

    You already mentioned Bambi and Her Pink Gun, but I’d also like to add Tokyopop’s The Embalmer to the list, too. I’ve read the first four hard-to-find volumes, and would love to see this josei series reach its conclusion. While Tokyopop seems to be rescuing Suppli, I don’t know if they’re interested in reviving the episodic series about an embalmer. I’d also like to see Aurora release the fourth and final volume of Walkin’ Butterfly, which has been in limbo for over a year now.

    • Safety says:

      I didn’t know there was more Embalmer!😦 Now I’m really sad, it was so well done and made me come around to Mitsukazu Mihara.

  13. lanugo says:

    To those Tokyopop-left-in-limbo titles, I’ll have to add Love Attack. Only 6 out – and 13 currently published in Japan! Maybe one day, when we hear more from Kodansha😉

  14. Tony Salvaggio says:

    I’d really dig it if “Fist of the North Star” got a complete release at some point.
    I’d also like to see a release of “Gundam the Origin” (picked up Vol.1 of the new hardcover edition when I was in Japan and it is awesome!).
    Hmm… It would be cool to see old school stuff like a complete Area 88. I also got into “Cyber 7” at one point but that one never finished either. However, I doubt that old school stuff will ever catch on unfortunately. If it did, “Mother Sarah” complete and “Rebel Sword” complete would be great to have. Sigh.. Clearly I am living firmly in the past.

  15. Safety says:

    I really want to see the rest of Full House someday.

    Two ADV lost titles: Gunslinger Girl, and More Starlight for Your Heart. I’ll be crazy and hope for Starlight’s prequel, too, because I love historical series, even very fluffy ones.

    Also, I regret that Drama Queen announced pre-disappearance but never published Warera Takarara Corporation, or Naked Jewel Corporation, which is a yaoi series about dildo salesmen. Yes. Really.

  16. Connie says:

    I’m still not over the death of DramaQueen. They were absolutely perfect aside from the slow releases, and there was so much left unreleased that I would have loved to see. Part of me still hopes they’ll bounce back someday, somehow.

    I’d 2nd Fist of the North Star, but it’s a real shame two different companies tried and failed at that one. I’d also like to see a Pineapple Army rescue, maybe? It doesn’t sound very good, but I’d love to see early Urasawa. I should track down the issues, that’s probably about all I need to know.

    And while I’m at it, Oath to Love and Passion. Awesome manhwa released by CPM that only saw one volume, but completely blew me away.

  17. […] few weeks ago, David “Precocious Curmudgeon” Welsh invited readers to make a case for saving favorite unfinished series. Answers ran the gamut from City Hunter to Shadow Star, with David singing the praises of Club 9, […]

  18. […] few weeks ago, David “Precocious Curmudgeon” Welsh invited readers to make a case for saving favorite unfinished series. Answers ran the gamut from City Hunter to Shadow Star, with David singing the praises of Club 9, […]

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