Birthday book: Ohikkoshi

February 17, 2010

Hiroaki Samura may be best known for Blade of the Immortal (Dark Horse), but if you want an easier (and less expensive) way to observe his birthday, I strongly recommend his one-volume Ohikkoshi (also from Dark Horse). It’s a unique collection that includes the titular novella and some appealing short stories. But don’t just take my word for it. Let’s see what some other reviewers have to say:

Brigid Alverson of MangaBlog:

“Samura doesn’t give us clever plot twists or neat endings. His characters are messy, and the stories are as illogical as real life. This work is full of caricature, exaggeration, and just plain ridiculousness, but in a way, it also feels more real than other manga.”

John Thomas of Comics Village:

“A romance comedy by the writer of Blade of the Immortal with cover art based on a Thin Lizzy album cover…translated into English? Yes, yes, (the album ‘Fighting’) and an enthusiastic yes! Welcome to the unique and rarely explored modern world of Hiroaki Samura’s Ohikkoshi.”

Jarred Pine of Mania:

“I definitely applaud Dark Horse for not only supporting one of their top artists and rewarding fans of Samura’s, but also for releasing a manga that while still niche, is also something off the normal beaten path of dudes and swords.”

Jog:

“So this is a turbulent, endearing work. I think it’s very flawed, but also very interesting in the way that only a real talent’s hazardous steps toward something not entirely familiar can be. Surely there’s no self-delusion: in that Afterward, Samura himself deems the works collected here as ‘just another average achievement.’ He’s both right and wrong, but his honesty will take him places, with the skills he obviously has.”

If you’re looking for something a little unexpected, particularly from Samura, give Ohikkoshi a try.


The Shôjo-Sunjeong Alphabet: R

February 17, 2010

“R” is for…

And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the great yet-to-be-licensed shôjo titles:

What are some of your favorite shôjo and sunjeong titles that start with the letter “R”?


Light housekeeping

February 17, 2010

You don’t need to do anything if you already follow me on Twitter, but I’ve changed my user name to @MangaCur. I like it. It makes me sound like a junkyard dog with a paperback clenched in my jaws.

Update: Oh, and I’m still tracking the great guest reviews that Deb Aoki has been hosting at About.Com.