Winding paths to wanting

This week’s requests were both born of… well… getting off the subject, basically.

In this week’s installment of the seinen alphabet, someone mentioned Reiko Shimizu’s Moon Child (CMX), which… isn’t seinen, but hey, I never want to stop people from talking about comics they love. This reference came in service to a passionate endorsement of Shimizu’s Himitsu – The Top Secret, which is… also not seinen, and doesn’t start with the letter “M,” but it sounds interesting, and Moto Hagio likes it a lot. Here’s Hagio’s description:

“It’s a story about an organization that examines the brains of dead people to find out everything they’ve experienced, everything that they’ve done. Because their brains are full of all kinds of secrets. [laughs]”

The series is running in Hakusensha’s Melody magazine, which I believe straddles the shôjo-josei age line and is home to Fumi Yoshinaga’s Ôoku: The Inner Chambers (Viz), so it’s obviously a nice neighborhood with good schools. I can’t quite tell if Hakusensha has collected it in its older-skewing Jets imprint or not. [Update: Michelle Smith informs me that it is in the Jets imprint.] It’s been nominated for awards at the Japan Media Arts Festival at least twice. It’s being published in French by Tonkam.

When I was trying to figure out how I feel about March Story (Viz), I was trying to get a handle on the kind of manga published by Shogakukan’s Sunday GX. I’m not really a whole lot further down that road, because I got totally distracted by the fact that the magazine was home to a series called Rubbers 7. Because, all forensic evidence to the contrary aside, I am nine years old. Here’s the Baka-Updates summary:

“Welcome to Rubbers 7, a small Japanese convenience store with a reputation for some odd owners. Rumors of mob connections and one rather eccentric boss with a passion for Ping-pong tend to keep business low. But when a young, quiet girl is framed for shoplifting and ends up working for the store. Can her touch, with the help of her unusual coworkers, including a shy boy and a drag queen, turn the fortune of the store around?”

It ran for seven volumes, and was written and illustrated by Sukune Inugami. I like the premise, and I think there’s always room for goofy seinen created by women.

9 Responses to Winding paths to wanting

  1. Himitsu is indeed published in the Jets Comics imprint.

    Here’s volume one on Amazon Japan.

  2. judi(togainunochi) says:

    I’ve actually seen part of the anime of Himitsu. I loved the idea and the anime was good. Maybe there is a chance for it to be published here.

  3. Eric Henwood-Greer says:

    Nice to see you took our discussion of Himitsu to heart. I’ve started to really appreciate Reiko Shimizu as a pretty important manga-ka, and Himitsu actually seems like one of her titles that, despite being technically josei, actually could see some success here. It would fit spectacularly well at Viz SIG, as you say, and they honestly need more josei/shoujo titles in that line, if you ask me. 😛

    I actually didn’t realize it was in French yet–I know her insanely popular in Japan title, Kaguyahime, is coming out there albeit insanely slowly. Sigh, another title to add tothe list I guess. Also, like Oouku (maybe it’s a Melody Magazine thing?), the tankoubons come out quite slowly in Japan, so there wouldn’t be an insane level of catch up for an English publisher. And it’s simply pretty great (I guess that goes to say if Hagio’s a fan–I get the impression that Melody may be one of the magazines she regularly reads, if she reads any). The anime is good, but from the little I can read of the manga (the *very* little) isn’t as comp0lex, but it would give Viz or whoever another incentive for something to help market it with.

  4. lys says:

    Reiko Shimizu!!!! Yes please! In regards to the slow release schedule, Melody comes out every other month in Japan, so if there are four chapters in a volume (looks like Himitsu has anywhere from 3-5) they’re only published once or twice a year. But there are a number of mangaka whose work I’d love to read in that magazine—Minako Narita, Miyuki Yamaguchi, Kyouko Hiwatari…

    • Eric Henwood-Greer says:

      Minako Narita! I think I was one out of five people who read CMX’s translation of Cipher–and kinda grew to being obsessed with it. (I know it was one of the top shoujo titles of the 80s back in Japan). I’ve tracked down some of the sequel in French but would love to read what she’s working on now.

  5. […] Welsh has two license requests this week, and he also asks his readers to name their favorite manga featuring motherless […]

  6. Erica says:

    If we’re talking Sjimizu, the one title I really want is her 21-volume Kaguya-hime. Ithave *everything.* BL, Yuri, incest, bad science, fantasy, androgyny, violence, clones, eveil moon rocks…everything.

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