Tag Archives: Fushigi Yuugi

Underappreciated Manga: Historical Manga

If there’s one thing I love almost as much as manga, it’s history. I gobble history up like a starving dog in front of a huge bowl of food. Some people say they don’t get it or that it’s boring, but history is like reading a good book and I can’t put it down.

Emma by Kaoru Mori

Unsurprisingly I am a HUGE fan of historical manga. It doesn’t have to be based off of actual events, but a good historically-based manga like Emma or Red River? I’m THERE. Even if I barely learn anything new, it just gets my history nerd juices flowing to see someone actually do their research.

Sadly, historical manga doesn’t seem to be a great seller. Ooku is a critical darling and seems to be selling quite well, but it’s Fumi Yoshinaga, for goodness sake.  People will snap her stuff up just because it’s her. (That being said, I REALLY appreciate Yoshinaga’s forays into historical manga.) And despite Emma’s success, I don’t think I’ve EVER seen Shirley on any shelves, even when it was a new release.

My mentor at Tokyopop and I actually had a discussion on this. It largely centered around why Red River wasn’t a big seller. One would think that the hard economic times would push an audience to more fantastical works, but I concluded that stuff like Vampire Knight probably fills that hole better than Red River does. I blame Twilight.

Please do not even get me started on stuff like Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time. It’s historical in nature, but it’s just a little to loosely-based on the actual period and too flaky for me to enjoy it as a historical shojo. Let alone the fact that it’s based off of an otome game. Ick. It reminds me more of Fushigi Yuugi. (Although Fushigi Yuugi is better in my opinion. It had more depth.) In comparison, Tail of the Moon was MUCH better as a fluffy historical shojo. I actually felt like I learned something about Japanese history!

Otoyometagari by Kaoru Mori

I wish that Otoyometagari, Kaoru Mori’s latest historical manga, would get licensed so I didn’t have to rely on way too infrequent scanlation updates or my terrible Japanese reading skills.

I can’t really name more historical titles off the top of my head, but if someone just kept licensing great manga with historical bases, I would probably buy every last one.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be one of the very very few who will always root for more historical manga to come out, but a girl can dream, right?

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Manga as a worldwide phenomenon + Hiatus

Hi everyone, blogging from Bogota, Columbia right now. We just got here a few hours ago, but it´s fairly late at night and everything´s closed.

I know everyone´s first reaction is going to be: WHY ARE YOU IN COLUMBIA?! You´re going to get yourself killed! Actually, a lot of the nasty drug business moved up to Mexico recently so Columbia is relatively safe. Also, my mother is a tour operator and I´ve been traveling with her since I was 2 years-old. We´re here for business the first few days and then a group of clients will be meeting us.

Enough about Columbia and why I´m here. I want to talk about manga as a truly worldwide phenomenon. I haven´t been to every single country and I know for a fact that a lot of countries probably don´t have anything close to a comic book publishing industry, let alone a manga publishing industry. Some countries just leach off the industries in more prosperous neighboring countries. BUT I have been to a lot of places and found manga in some of the most random ones.

Unsurprisingly, China has manhua, but they also publish manga from Japan. I´ve got quite a number of magazines and tankoubon in Chinese. I´ve also got a few from Taiwan that my mother picked up for me. She actually had a comic book store employee help her pick out age appropriate manga for me, so I got a lot josei titles!!

Probably a lesser known fact is that Argentina has a thriving manga and anime culture. I found manga like Card Captor Sakura and Fushigi Yuugi sold at newsstands. I visited about 7 years ago, a few years after they´d had a very bad economic depression. The country as a whole was starting to recover and otaku culture was taking off, but neighboring Uruguay was utterly desolate. So desolate that horse-carts were being driven around in the capital city of Montevideo. But we stumbled into a mall and I found a comic book shop that had some copies of D.N. Angel as well as a few other manga! It was such a strange contrast.

When I lived in Cuba for a summer when I was 14, I went to an arts market and found some comic books on the subject of Cuban hero Jose Martin. A local noticed my interest in comic books and stopped me outside the market, even though it was probably slightly dangerous for him to interact with two Americans. It turned out he LOVED manga. He showed me some pages he´d drawn in a very 80´s cyberpunk style and I gave him a couple of copies of Angel Sanctuary in Japanese. I´m sure he still has those manga because I´m sure Cuba still has a bunch of restrictions on what gets published in Cuba. I was super happy to give them to him and he was positively estatic to get them.

When you think about it, it´s truly amazing. Manga really is worldwide.

Unfortunately, it´s time for me to put this blog back on another hiatus. I`ll make a report if I find any manga here, but we´ll be pretty busy once the group gets here.

I´m really sorry guys! I miss blogging, this is just a busy time for me! See you soon! Hopefully

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