The Seinen Alphabet: H

“H” is for…

High School Girls, written and illustrated by Towa Oshima, originally published by Futubasha and published in English by the defunct DrMaster. This one was subject to a lot of jokes, mostly along the lines of “Isn’t that what all manga is about?” But it’s a favorite of Ed (MangaCast) Chavez, so it deserves a place of honor.

Hayate X Blade, written and illustrated by Shizuru Hayashiya, serialized in Shueisha’s Ultra Jump and published in English by Seven Seas. It’s a favorite of Erica (Okazu) Friedman.

House of Five Leaves, written and illustrated by Natsume Ono, serialized in Shogakukan’s IKKI and on Viz’s SigIKKI site. It’s a favorite of… well… mine. And of lots of other people, I’m sure.

Lest you think that all seinen published in English has been created by women, there’s Hellsing, written and illustrated by Kouta Hirano. Hellsing is about a secret organization that protects England from various supernatural threats. Published in Japanese in Shonen Gahosha’s Young King Ours, it’s published in English by Dark Horse.

Hakusensha is best known in my neck of the woods as the publisher of terrific shôjo, but they also publish seinen in magazines like Young Animal, home to comics like Detroit Metal City and Berserk. There’s also Houbunsha, with seinen magazines like Weekly Manga Times and lots of four-panel stuff in the Manga Time family.

There are several fine-sounding series in the unpublished category.

Hataraki Man, written and illustrated by Moyoco Anno, recently resumed publication in Kodansha’s Weekly Morning.

Historie, written and illustrated by Hitoshi (Parasyte) Iwaaki, runs in Kodansha’s Afternoon. It’s about life in ancient Greece and Persia. Jason (King of RPGs) Thompson wrote about it for ComiXology.

I’d never heard of Human Crossing before, but it sounds kind of great. It was written by Masao Yajima and illustrated by Kenshi Hirokane, and it ran in Shogakukan’s Big Comic Original, winning a Shogakukan Manga Award. Another update: It seems strangely remiss of me not to specifically note that Hirokane is the godfather of salaryman manga, having created white-collar wonder Kôsaku Shima.

There’s something about the cover and concept of Hanamaru Kindergarten that I find perfectly terrifying, but perhaps this is because I’ve been listening to Ed Sizemore and Erica Friedman’s delightful podcast on moe. It’s written and illustrated by Yuto and published in Square Enix’s Young Gangan. I readily admit that I have no idea if where it falls on the cute-creepy spectrum. Updated yet again: A commenter informs me that this is very likely just cute instead of possessed of any leering intent.

What starts with the letter “H” in your seinen alphabet?

Updated to add some other titles mentioned in the comments and on Twitter by various kind folks:

  • Homonculus, written and illustrated by Hideo Yamamoto, originally published in Shogakukan’s Big Comic Spirits, which Scott Green describes as “the only manga to make [him] feel physically ill”
  • Hen, written and illustrated by Hiroya (Gantz) Oku, originally published in Shueisha’s Young Jump
  • Happy! written and illustrated by Naoki (Monster, 20th Century Boys, Pluto) Urasawa, originally published in Shogakukan’s Big Comic Spirits
  • 13 Responses to The Seinen Alphabet: H

    1. Shawn says:

      I’d like to add to the unpublished list: Homunculus by Hideo Yamamoto

    2. judi(togainunochi) says:

      House of Five Leaves, that’s all, just House of Five Leaves.

    3. Jade Harris says:

      I’m not so sure about the creep factor behind Hanamaru Kindergarten. Young Gangan prints mostly BL fodder or stories by female creators, including Yuto herself. Like Yotsuba, I think reading some sort of misogynistic pervert conspiracy into the story may take more indignant, self-righteous gymnastics than is able to justify the effort to explore media from other cultures.

      • davidpwelsh says:

        Did I say something to offend you, Jade? Your last few comments have been borderline hostile, and I have no idea why.

        • Jade Harris says:

          Oh no, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean any hostility towards you at all.

          Here in the feature, you seem to have went out on, ‘Is it perverted? I’m not sure, but it’s worth a brief mention.’ My comment was aimed more at the sort of people who do actively read subversive intent into everything so they can try to capitalize on it. You just reminded me that people who really bother me exist. It really bothers me that people would make such serious allegations so flippantly. It really, really bothers me that people are so quick to malign female authors this way just because those women are apparently completely ignorant of their culturally predetermined sexism and pederasty where American geeks are far more enlightened on those matters.

          *ahem* I didn’t mean any hostility towards you though, just towards people whose biases are in contrast to your own insightful and good-natured musings. I did something like that in other comments too because I’m an idiot. Honestly, I feel such a complete lack of hostility towards you that I had absolutely no idea that my comments could be read that way. No offence intended toward Ed Sizemore or Erica Friedman either, I couldn’t even watch the podcast.

      • davidpwelsh says:

        That’s a relief, and I can certainly understand the frustration at seeing creators and work dismissed based on lazy, narrow thinking (which I’m clearly guilty of, since I had no idea that Yuto was a woman). (Of course, it’s just as lazy to assume that a woman can’t write and draw something gross, but that’s a different subject.)

        • Jade Harris says:

          That’s a good point too, about giving women a bye. It’s always odd to see someone totally enraged by something and then laugh it off as soon as they find out the gender of the author.

          I do believe people have a right to be offended by things that offend them, though I hope they give the work the benefit of the doubt first. I’ve seen some really out-of-control analysis that go beyond personal interpretation into outright misrepresentation and fear-mongering though. I’ve read comments to articles like that with readers actually regretting ever liking Yotsuba. That’s just sad.

          All in all, I really didn’t see you taking any sides on the creepiness of Hanamaru Kindergarten, but if someone wants to blaze it up, I hope they research where the message came from more than where it’s going.

          Ugh, sorry to spam up your comments too, I hope I made my messy thought process a little clearer.

    4. Eric Henwood-Greer says:

      I haven’t checked out House of Five Leaves yet, just the first few episodes of the anime (and I largely only did that because it’s part of the Noitamina prgramming block which, for the most part, has been the most interesting TV anime in ages with its focus on josei and seinen). The art, which looks exactly like the manga from what I can tell, is spectacular, but I’m kinda mixed on the story. I’m intrigued enough to give the manga a chance though (and to be honest there are countless times I’m so so on an anime adaptation, and then love the manga).

      Ono is a manga-ka I wanna love but so far there’s something I don’t quite connect with. Then again, I had the same problem with the beloved (by nearly everyone whose opinion on manga I respect) Fumi Yoshinaga and just recently finally clicked with her works, so…

    5. […] Welsh reaches the letter H in his review of the seinen alphabet at The Manga […]

    6. Aaron says:

      easy Hidamari Suketchi or as it’s known in Egnlish Sunshine Sketch

    7. lys says:

      I think I missed the news that Hataraki Man had started up again! That’s great though!! Now if we can just get someone to license it already…

    8. […] it’s kind of a cheat, I’ll mention Q Hayashida in this letter, since I think I forgot her in “H.” She’s the creator of Dorohedoro […]

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