The Seinen Alphabet: L

“L” is for…

Well, we have to start with Lone Wolf and Cub (Dark Horse), written by last week’s poster boy, Kazuo Koike, and illustrated by Goseki Kojima. It was one of the first manga series to be published in English, and it’s one of those series that many comics fans who don’t normally read manga might have read. It originally ran in Futubasha’s Weekly Manga Action and is 28 volumes long.

Koike collaborated with Kazuo Kamimura on Lady Snowblood (Dark Horse), a dark, sexy and violent revenge fantasy. The four-volume series originally ran in Shueisha’s Weekly Playboy.

Lots of people probably have some fond memories of Lupin III, written and illustrated by Monkey Punch and originally serialized in Weekly Manga Action. Tokyopop has published all 14 volumes of the series, and Cartoon Network used to broadcast episodes of the very likable anime adaptation of the capers.

I’m not sure how many people have fond memories of Lament of the Lamb, written and illustrated by Kei Toume. It’s a seven-volume vampire series that was originally serialized in Gentosha’s Comic Birz and was published in English by Tokyopop.

Sadly, Minoru Toyoda’s funny, sweet and quirky Love Roma is one of those series that may be in limbo thanks to the recent shifts between Del Rey and Kodansha. The five-volume series originally ran in Kodansha’s Afternoon.

Last Gasp publishes a lot of interesting prose and comics, some of them from Japan, and Junko Mizuno’s Little Fluffy Gigolo Pelu was probably my favorite debut of 2009. The series originally ran in Enterbrain’s glorious Comic Beam. I would like the second volume now, please, thank you.

What starts with “L” in your seinen alphabet?

10 Responses to The Seinen Alphabet: L

  1. I’ve been wondering about that second volume of Little Fluffy Gigolo PELU myself. That was some inspired crackalicious goodness.

    I think The Legend of Kamui is also seinen, though VIZ only published two volumes, and I believe those were from the sequel series and not the original.

  2. Aaron says:

    I didn’t know Lupin III was a Seinen title I always thought it was a Shonen title.

    • Eric Henwood-Greer says:

      The original Monkey Punch manga was one of the earlier, big seinen hits it seems (well I guess along with slightly similar, if more serious titles like Golgo, which came in 1969 a couple of years later). Many English speaking fans (myself included) got into Lupin thanks to two released episodes from the second TV series, directed by Miyazaki, and of course Miyazaki’s first major feature as director, Castle of Cagliostro, in early Streamline (?) dubs. I remember it being one of the first animes I could find to rent as a kid, hungry for anything I could find after reading Manga! Manga! (the original massacred dub of Miyazaki’s Nausicaa, Warriors of the Wind was another).

      Because that was many here’s first exposure to Lupin, they might be surprised at how much more crude and “adult” the original manga (and anime) were, pre Miyazaki, who made all the characters a bit more gentlemanly, to say the least. Still, great stuff and a lot of fun (I wish I had picked up more of the TokyoPop vols–I only found two, and they seem pretty obscure now.

  3. judi(togainunochi) says:

    I use to read the Lone Wolf and Cub comics when they were published by First in the 80’s. I, also, saw the movies under Shogun Assassin. Then it became the first manga I ever read. I seem to have seen it in all it’s various forms. In all that time, I can’t remember the baby ever out of the carriage.:D
    BTW, Kamui was also a comic published by Eclipse in the 80’s, too.

  4. Yi says:

    Special shout out for Lament of the Lamb!

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