License request day: Filament

April 30, 2010

A Manga Moveable Feast is always a good opportunity to see what else the creator has to offer. The weeklong look at Iou Kuroda’s Sexy Voice and Robo (Viz) led me to request for Japan Tengu Party Illustrated, and I’d already asked for Kuroda’s Nasu. By the time the feast focused on Kaoru Mori’s Emma came around, I’d already issued a plea for Otoyomegatari, which is her only other major ongoing work. (Note to self: look into Violet Blossoms at some future date.) So let’s see what’s in store for fans of Yuki Urushibara.

The answer is “Not a whole lot,” but what’s there certainly seems to be worth a look. Filament is a collection of Urushibara’s shorter works that was published by Kodansha in 2004.

“She Got off the Bus at the Peninsula” is about a single mother who takes over the family’s isolated grocery store (conveniently located next to a popular suicide spot). “The Labyrinth Cat” is about a helpful feline who helps humans navigate their baffling apartment complex. “Bio Luminescence” was created under her pen name, Soyogo Shima. I’m not having much luck figuring out what the collection’s title story is about, but the book also contains two of what might be described as Mushishi-verse tales, moving the action into contemporary times and featuring different characters.

Based on the episodic nature of Mushishi, I think it would be fascinating to see a grouping of Urushibara’s shorter, unconnected works. Plus there are apparently several color pages in Filament, and I’d love to see her work in that state, since the Mushishi covers are so gorgeous.

She also has a new ongoing series, Suiiki, which is running in Kodansha’s Afternoon magazine. It’s about a girl who mysteriously travels to a different world every time she dozes off. I don’t think it’s been running long enough to generate a paperback just yet.