By women for men

For some reason, it came to mind that some of my very favorite Japanese comics were made by women for a male audience, in that they ran in seinen anthologies. I don’t know precisely what that means, and most of them were serialized in magazines that I suspect have more of a mixed audience than is average, but I’m feeling lazy, so I thought I’d turn the observation into a poll.

Did I forget any? What women-created seinen would you like to see licensed? Hataraki Man? What Did You Eat Yesterday? Cesare?

Update: Okay, anything else I may have forgotten should be considered a write-in for the comments.

29 Responses to By women for men

  1. Shawn says:

    Dorohedoro by Q Hayashida

  2. Alex Leavitt says:

    Solanin, by the amazing Inio Asano, /must/ be included.

  3. Rij says:

    I’m torn between voting for xxxHolic and Eternal Sabbath. So while I think about that I’ll gush about an unlicensed favourite and other stuff.

    I think I’d probably love Cesare, but I’m hoping to actually see it licensed one day and so have stayed away from scanlations. But I haven’t kept away from scanlations (I know I’m evil) of Ookiku Furikabutte by Asa Higuchi. Serialized in Afternoon, won the Kodansha manga award and the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize. It’s about baseball and as the first season of the anime was a commercial flop (or so I heard), there’s little chance of it ever getting licensed. It’s not even available in French and they get pretty much everything.

    Some of my favourite shounen is also made by women. FMA, Kekkaishi, Nabari no Ou…

  4. thirstygirl says:

    That was *hard* to pick just one. But in the end I went with ES because Fuyumi Soryo does such amazing work wordlessly, just through subtle expression changes.

    • davidpwelsh says:

      I’m still flopping between Mizuno and Kouno, and who knows when I’ll finally decide, but I’m glad you said that about Soryo’s illustrations. Some people find them stiff, but I think they’re amazing in their subtle shadings.

  5. Eric Rupe says:

    I’m going to go with Saturn Apartments since I’ve only read the first two or three chapters of House of Five Leaves. Emma and Pelu would tie for third.

  6. Ahavah says:

    I can’t vote via Blackberry, but if I could, it’d be Emma, hands down, with ES: Eternal Sabbath on it’s heals!

    I love Soryo’s fast-paced, sci-fi thriller, but Emma makes me feel like I’m reading Jane Austen and enjoying it more than I did in high school. The way I feel transported to 19th Century England as I read it is a very special treat.

    I can’t wait ’till Mori’s latest title comes out next year!

  7. Jade Harris says:

    David, what are you trying to do to the word seinen lately? I honestly don’t know if you’re trying to strengthen or dilute it as a term, celebrate its diversity or indict its failure to encapsulate a genre or demographic. Maybe just observations?

    For my part, I think I’d be perfectly happy reading half of these books even if the word were stricken from existence. Would that even have affected the marketing?

    • davidpwelsh says:

      I’m not really trying to do anything to the term… I’m just always interested in what happens to things between their origin point and here.

      You’re quite right, too, about the marketing. For the most part, I can’t even remember being aware of the gender of the creator in most cases until I started writing about individual titles and looked it up so I could use the right pronouns.

      But that’s another thing that’s interesting to me — the fairly widespread commercial and critical success women enjoy in the Japanese comics industry, and the volume of seinen titles available in English reflects that, to some extent.

      • Jade Harris says:

        Yes, you’re good at making interesting observations. I just don’t quite know what to do with them when they aren’t spattered with wild speculation and opinion, haha.

        Hmm…I think the larger portion of titles available in English these days is picked for feminine appeal though since they actually sell. Manly man Seinen is becoming a sort of fairy tale that has endless parodies in English but very few actual Kenshiros and Golgos. Does that really reflect the Japanese market? Even under current conditions, there’s a whole history of seinen manga that just doesn’t exist over here.

        I guess my point is it’s just strange that for so many people, seinen means manly comics for adult men, but the reality in the English market isn’t anything like that. The trees in this poll may not colour the whole of the Japanese forest, but they’re a good, broad sampling of seinen in English, I think.

  8. Just for the record. I’m not absolutely sure that Yuki Urushibara is a woman. Did you ever see anything that confirms it, because I never did.

    It’s nice to see Mushshi doing so well in the polling, though.

    • davidpwelsh says:

      All the usual (sometimes unreliable) sources say Urushibara is a woman — Wikipedia and Baka-Updates. I’ll see what else I can find.

    • TG says:

      I was wondering the same for a while.
      There where a lot of things that made you think she was a women, but she never really mentioned it until somewhere in the last couple of volumes where she says that she is a rain woman or something like that.
      Should be in the afterword of volume 8 or 9, or at least somewhere in the final 3-in-1 release.

  9. bahamut says:

    Kekkaishi by Yellow Tanabe!

  10. bahamut says:

    Also, FMA and Reborn! are good shonen comics by women.

  11. bahamut says:

    Woops…saw the topic was seinen. My bad.

  12. Oliver says:

    Maria Holic (Minari Endou) and Aria (Kozue Amano). I know Amano’s a woman because her manga’s going quarterly due to pregnancy and then taking care of baby. Both are Seinen authors, no?

  13. Shawn says:

    I just realized, and it’s probably too late for the poll, but Afterschool Charisma is also done by a woman (can’t remember her name right now).

    Interesting that so many of the IKKI licenses that Viz has picked up are by women.

    • Shawn says:

      Kumiko Suekane

    • Shawn says:

      Add to that, Kingyo Used Books, by Seimu Yoshizaki.

    • davidpwelsh says:

      I think Afterschool Charisma is just awesomely terrible. It’s by Kumiko Suekane.

      And it’s definitely interesting that the SigIKKI selections are very often by women. I wonder if that’s because of the way IKKI, the magazine, was conceived? I heard that it was inspired by Viz’s Pulp, in that it was a magazine for fans of excellent comics more than it was designed to cater to a specific (adult male) demographic?

  14. ZeroDemio says:

    Lol, I didn’t know Q Hayashida was a women! Thanks for the info. Dorohedoro rulez!

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