Originally posted: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 on Blogger

I was going to do a top 10, but I figured I haven’t read enough Japan-only manga to pick ones I really really would like to see, so I settled for a top 5, which has titles I would purchase in a heart beat if they were ever brought over:

 

5. Olimpos

I originally read this 2 volume series because it was featured in the manga reading club I was a part of on MAL. I’m really happy I gave it a chance. Not only is the manga heavily based in Greek mythology (which I am crazy about), but it also feels like an existentialist work: meaningless living, unknown purpose for being a prisoner, ending lacks answers to the meaning behind the character’s imprisonment, etc. And I guess because I am somewhat sympathetic to existentialism, I found this manga a pleasure to read. Although I readily admit that most would probably be frustrated with the lack of closure. Oh and the art is drop dead gorgeous. Two volumes isn’t much to translate, any entrepreneurial translators want to officially license this here? please? :3

edit: Got my wish, Yen Press is publishing this later in the year and in a single omnibus. Thank you Yen Press~

4. Kagen no Tsuki

I decided to try this manga out because it was written by Ai Yazawa-san, author of ParaKiss and the popular Nana. While I haven’t finished reading both of those, I did enjoy what I have read, so I thought, why not read something else by a mangaka whose work I already enjoyed. Seemed like a good idea and I wasn’t disappointed; in fact, I think Kagen no Tsuki is probably one of Yazawa-san’s best works! The story has dual heroines, who could not be any more different from each other, and it’s unlike any of her other works available in English. Rather than a romance, this is a supernatural thriller. While romance does play a part in the story, the main conflict and the reason to continue reading is for the mysteries surrounding a ghost named Eve. And these mysterious were page turners! I believe I finished this 3 volume series in a 2 days. I’m actually surprised this hasn’t been liscensed yet, given the popularity of Yazawa-san’s other works in English. Hopefully someone picks this up soon.

3. Rose of Versailles

I haven’t personally read the manga, but I really really enjoyed the anime. I keep hoping for an official English version, and thus I keep putting off reading a fan translation. There are many theories as to why this shoujo classic hasn’t been licensed in English, but I nonetheless hope a dedicated publisher takes the task upon themselves and brings us this gem. It would be a shame if this stayed in Japan. Also, I am a big fan of retro shoujo art. ;)

2. Gokusen

I was recommended this one and I am really glad I gave it a shot. It was another series I marathoned for a few days. The premise is rather simple: gangster teacher straightens out punk students, but the way it is handled, well, it makes the journey quite the ride. For one, the teacher doesn’t try to force her views on the students; she upholds this meek mask and only gets involved when her students are in serious trouble. For another, it’s really funny and the romance is nice and slow. And my favourite thing? it breaks the mold of the guy love interest being older and stronger than the female. Of course, the manga is highly unrealistic with it’s depiction of Yakuza, but for what it is: a woman’s romantic comedy (yes woman’s, this is a josei title ;] ), it’s not too big of a deal. I guess what it comes down to is that I really enjoyed the male and female leads, neither of which was really submissive or overly macho, which is the most important thing for a manga that is a slow romantic comedy, at least for me.

1. 7SEEDS

I know, it’s rather odd that my most wanted license is a manga that I haven’t even tried. But I have great faith that anything, and I mean anything, by Yumi Tamura-san will be worth every single penny. I adore Basara and I enjoyed Wild Com. I’m sure that I will enjoy Chicago when I get around to reading it as well. The sad part is, I probably won’t ever get the chance to purchase an English version of 7SEEDS since most of Tamura-san’s manga that was localized, hasn’t been that popular. It makes me sad. Tamura-san is a master storyteller. I can only hope some of the smaller more dedicated publishers like Fantagraphics, Yen Press, Vertical, and maybe even DMP would give Tamura-san’s manga another chance. Am I dreaming here? Maybe, but this is still a list of what I want to see and not what will most likely be brought over.

–SW

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