Posts Tagged ‘vertical’
Shun Mizorogi is an acclaimed novelist who seems to have passed his prime. He hasn’t written a thing in years yet at his publisher’s party, he becomes infatuated with a young girl who calls herself Aki Fujino.
After the debut his new work, the police calls him in to identify a body of a girl who jumped a building. At the morgue, he sees Fujino’s body and another girl who looks exactly like her.
This is a story of a novelist. This is Utsubora.
When I first read Utsubora, it was in Kansai airport, waiting for my trip back home. The somber cover was telling that this wasn’t a cheery Asumiko title, but as soon as I inspected past the cover flap, I wondered what I was just reading into.
It was mysterious, seductive, and beautifully desperate.
As a celebration of Vertical’s licensing of Utsubora, here’s a visual sneak peek on what you might expect (and not expect). Some Utusbora images featured here are from the inside cover design and a special postcard from the Japanese edition. Still, pretty little things to lure you in.
Aku no Hana, Flower of Evil
by Shuzo Oshimi
Serialized in Shounen Magazine
Licensed by Vertical
A young boy falls in love with prettiest girl in class and makes a crucial mistake.
A girl witnesses the young boy’s act and uses it against the boy’s fragile heart.
Another girl longs to save the boy.
This shounen title about adolescents and their control issues may have a lot of contemporaries but it is immature to assume that this story is nothing but erotic fanfare. Unlike Sundome and Nana to Kaoru, Flowers of Evil understands that ‘strength’ comes from great insecurities and weakness. However, this ‘strength’ is not about climbing mountains and emerging victorious. This involves strength in crossing the dark side of the mountain and how to bask in it — nourishing our personal demons.
It’s hard to imagine Tezuka with heroines. People often associate Tezuka with heroes like Astroboy (Atom), Black Jack, and Buddha. In the last five years, the most fervent of readers would possibly have heard of Sapphire from Princess Knight. Unless you’re Japanese, she is a mystery. In many books, Sapphire is deemed as a representative of the ambiguous gender identity in Japan and she is celebrated as an icon of feminism in Japanese Popular culture.
However, Sapphire is not the only heroine that Tezuka has penned. There are many others who may shock us and they are far from the Disney ideals that we often associate with Tezuka.
This is a tale of three ladies written and drawn by Tezuka. All of them have different stories to tell but all of them present a dimension of our femininity.
It feels like 2012 took me in like a tornado. I spent the first week thrown into the fray of work and my lungs were hacking a lot more than what I inhale. That said, the year has started to calm down and I am more than pleased to see the nominees for Manga Taishou this year.
Last year, it felt like there were clear winners among the nominees. While I felt that the horse-riding bride of Otoyomegatari (A Bride’s Story) will be shooting straight for the coveted prize, Sangatsu no Lion seemed to have played the right pieces last year and took the prize home.
This year’s nominees is quite an interesting set. For one, I can’t seem to distinguish who will take the Manga Taishou home. More so, it seems that there are brave soldiers who are still fighting for this prestigious prize.