Tagged: A Drifting Life

New Manga: Watch Out Fumi Yoshinaga, Natsume Ono Is On The Prowl

By Mat K.

There are a decent amount of books coming out this week, and one title in particular made something fairly clear to me. Natsume Ono is the new Fumi Yoshinaga. “How is that?” you might ask? The beginning of Fumi Yoshinaga’s American career began with Antique Bakery, which brought her unique wispy art style to fans in The States, and separated her from most other manga artists, drawing lots of attention, combined with great story-telling. Also, you can’t forget the gay pastry chef, and various shonen ai undertones. Well, Not Simple, Natsume Ono’s premier book can be described much the same way. Between her very unique art style (more akin to American indy comic artists), and the awesome gay character and other undertones as well as an amazing story, these are what rake in the girl fans. Never mind the fact that her second book was also about a restaurant, and still pretty Boy Love-ish.

When I was going over the new list of things coming out this week, I discovered that there was another new book coming in from Natsume Ono called “House Of Five Leaves“. This would be her fourth title release in less than a year, it looks like someone has a fan over at Viz. In this one a masterless samurai named Akitsu Masanosuke is a skilled and loyal swordsman, but his naive, diffident nature has more than once caused him to be let go by the lords who employ him. Hungry and desperate, he agrees to become a bodyguard for Yaichi, the charismatic leader of a group calling itself “Five Leaves.” Although disturbed by the gang’s sinister activities, Masa begins to suspect that Yaichi’s motivations are not what they seem. And despite his misgivings, the deeper he’s drawn into the world of the Five Leaves, the more he finds himself fascinated by these devious, mysterious outlaws. Continue reading

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Kai-Ming Cha’s Top Ten Manga of 2009

Well-respected manga blogger and FP buddy Kai-Ming Cha has posted her Top Ten Manga of 2009 list, along with some industry analysis, to Publishers Weekly. Comprised mostly of titles geared for an older readership (sorry, kids- no Naruto, nor free hugs here) it’s an eclectic brew.

What made #1?  Why, Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s A DRIFTING LIFE of course!!! Natch…

DCD390415This may not be fair, entirely. I spent more time with Tatsumi’s A Drifting Life than I did any other book this year. And it was well worth it. Tatsumi’s illustrated text, (historic, autobiographic, economic) of the Japan that he grew up in and the growth of the industry there that we currently know as manga, is an even handed, revealing work of graphic prose that evokes the youth and imagination – as well as the industrious nature – of a young artist. Soon after publication, A Drifting Life was awarded the Osamu Tezuka prize in Japan. Well worth an Eisner in this country, and well worth owning.

Although I wholeheartedly agree with her on many of her selections, Kai-Ming should be taken to task for rating badass Death Metal comedy DETROIT METAL CITY at a lowly #5.  Shame on you, Cha.  Shame on you.


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