Katsuhiro Otomo, Akira

Akira, Vol. 1 by Katsuhiro Otomo My rating: 3 of 5 stars The 1980s—the latest, the last golden age. The length and breadth of our politics, our pop culture, even our high culture, was laid down in that decade. Everyone now is either trying to overthrow it or recapture it or some incoherent combination of … Continue reading Katsuhiro Otomo, Akira

Riyoko Ikeda, Claudine

Claudine by Riyoko Ikeda My rating: 4 of 5 stars This 2018 English translation of Riyoko Ikeda's 1978 shōjo manga about the brief life and tragic loves of the eponymous protagonist is being hailed, to quote Wikipedia, as "one of the earliest manga to feature a transgender protagonist." While I'm sure this is literally true, it … Continue reading Riyoko Ikeda, Claudine

Moto Hagio, The Heart of Thomas

The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio My rating: 4 of 5 stars Consider two articles published within the last week. In one, Marie Doezema explains the role played by the philosophers of 1968, who tutored several generations of intellectuals (including my own), in legitimizing pedophilia in late-twentieth-century France: After May 1968, French intellectuals would … Continue reading Moto Hagio, The Heart of Thomas

Moyoco Anno, In Clothes Called Fat

In Clothes Called Fat by Moyoco Anno My rating: 3 of 5 stars Further beginner's adventures in manga. In Clothes Called Fat's creator, Moyoco Anno, was a protege of Kyoko Okazaki, author of Helter Skelter: Fashion Unfriendly, which I think is brilliant. This book, detailing the weight-loss struggle of an office worker named Noko, agreed … Continue reading Moyoco Anno, In Clothes Called Fat

Kyōko Okazaki, Helter Skelter: Fashion Unfriendly

Helter Skelter: Fashion Unfriendly by Kyōko Okazaki My rating: 5 of 5 stars Continuing my beginner's exploration of manga. Kyoko Okazaki's aptly titled and subtitled Helter Skelter: Fashion Unfriendly is a remarkable narrative. Set in a vaguely science-fictional world of high fashion, wherein supermodel celebrities are owned outright by corporations and constructed head-to-toe by plastic … Continue reading Kyōko Okazaki, Helter Skelter: Fashion Unfriendly

Inio Asano, Nijigahara Holograph

Nijigahara Holograph by Inio Asano My rating: 5 of 5 stars I promised a fuller review of this back in July, when I was only on my second reading, and here one is after my fourth or so, and after teaching it (to a class that found it rather unsatisfying!). Asano—a younger mangaka, one sometimes … Continue reading Inio Asano, Nijigahara Holograph

Osamu Tezuka, Buddha, vol. 1: Kapilavastu

Buddha, Vol. 1: Kapilavastu by Osamu Tezuka My rating: 3 of 5 stars I will excuse myself from writing a lengthy review since I am insufficiently grounded in the narrative idiom and traditions of manga. I confess that I find some of the conventions personally off-putting: the cartoonishness of the figures, the shrill and totally … Continue reading Osamu Tezuka, Buddha, vol. 1: Kapilavastu