License request day: More Saika Kunieda

As you’ve undoubtedly noticed by now, I can talk about the same titles over and over again if I love them enough. Saika Kunieda’s Future Lovers (Deux) is certainly right up there on the list of books I can and will ceaselessly flog. It belatedly occurred to me that it might be time to start begging for other works by Kunieda to be licensed for publication in English.

In exploring the rest of her catalog, I made a happy discovery that shouldn’t be surprising. Like Natsume Ono and Fumi Yoshinaga, Kunieda isn’t a specialist. She doesn’t just make yaoi. Now, there’s not a thing in the world wrong with just wanting to make one kind of comic, but there’s something about creators who do yaoi and whatever else they please that virtually guarantees I’ll love their work.

Looking at Kunieda’s profile at Baka-Updates, it quickly becomes clear that she’s a candidate for this personal hall of fame. She’s published comics in yaoi, josei, seinen and shôjo magazines, and she’s done a ton of one-shot stories all over the place. Where should one start with the pleading? Working with the assumption that artists get better with experience, maybe I should focus on her most recent work.

There’s Reiko Monogatari, a one-volume comedy seinen that ran in Kadokawa Shoten’s Comic Charge in 2007. It seems to be about a weird, possibly unpleasant little girl.

In the yaoi category, there’s her one-volume 50 x 50 that ran in Libre Shuppan’s Magazine Be x Boy. It’s about co-workers who consider each other hated rivals until they wind up in bed together.

And over in josei-ville, there’s her one-volume Falling in Love Even if I Wake from the Dream, originally published in Akita Shoten’s Miu magazine. It follows the romantic progress of a woman from her schooldays to her marriage.

Honestly, I’ll take any of them, but perhaps those who are a bit more familiar with Kunieda’s body of work might point me in a more specific direction? Can you confirm or deny that she’s awesome, no matter what she undertakes? I always like to be able to focus my greed.

11 Responses to License request day: More Saika Kunieda

  1. JRB says:

    So far, everything I’ve read of hers is awesome, although I admit I’ve mostly been focused on her yaoi. I looooove 50×50, which is disappointingly smut-free but utterly hilarious.

  2. eln says:

    Kunieda is drop dead WONDERFUL. She is my heart-fluttering favourite.

    After Future Lovers, 50 x 50 is my current obsession (so goooood, and so wonderfully funny – she switches her character art style with devastating effectiveness), and her shoujo oneshots are often hilarious. I’ve only read two chapters of Falling in Love Even if I Wake from the Dream so far, but it’s shaping up to be a good, fairly unusual josei.

    Like as the Time Will Come When it Will Rain, and Bannin (aka The Guardian) are both good yaoi volumes; although neither of their main stories are exactly knock-out, the oneshots that come after are great.

  3. eln says:

    And I forgot to say, 50 x 50 contains a dramatic, lovingly-drawn female/female kiss that had my jaw on the floor. In a yaoi?! This is why I love Kunieda Saika.

    • davidpwelsh says:

      See, this confirms my suspicion that she’s a “does as she pleases” creator, which is my favorite kind.

      • eln says:

        Precisely! It’s my belief that 50 x 50 is an exercise in completely ignoring the uke-seme dynamic, because, well, she wants to and that’s good enough; that’s what does it for her. I enjoy and admire that hugely.

      • eln says:

        And “does as she pleases” female creator always makes me hopeful for a Yuri Hime appearance, which would be awesoooome~. *air guitar*

  4. LillianDP says:

    She’s terrific in (almost) all things–great comedy, great drama… She goes off the deep end into some very uncomfortable territory in Bannin, but aside from that, I have yet to see a story of hers that I dislike.

    And I love Mimitabu no Riyuu a lot. She draws great knit hats.

    I need to nag my friend to give me back my copies of Future Lovers. I really want to re-read it now.

  5. […] would like to see some Shonen Jump series from the 1980s, please, while David Welsh wants to read more manga by Saika Kunieda, the creator of Future Lovers. David also picks the most promising manga from the latest issue of […]

  6. Apple says:

    I can’t believe I passed over Future Lovers last time I was in the bookstore. I shall have to go back for it.

    Is 50×50 available in English? Or “Falling in Love Even if I Wake from the Dream”? I am intrigued.

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