MICHELLE: I have wished for an English release of Chihayafuru for nearly a decade now. It’s josei, it’s long, it’s about an obscure game… all of the things that made me sure I’d love it made it an unlikely licensing prospect. And yet Kodansha came through! I must say, I am already deeply loving their ramped-up digital initiative. I will surely be checking out Tokyo Tarareba Girls and Springtime with Ninjas (and Germany o/~), but Chihayafuru simply must be my pick this week.
SEAN: Absolutely Chihayafuru, if only so I can cross another title off my “this will never be licensed” bucket list.
ANNA: Michelle has said everything I would about Chihayafuru. As someone who loves josei manga, I wish more of it would be translated, and I’m delighted about Chihayafuru.
KATE: Since Michelle and Sean have already mentioned my top picks for the week, I’m going off-list to honor the late, great Jiro Taniguchi, who passed away on Saturday. A quick glance at online retailers like Amazon reveals that many of his manga are out of print. Two great titles that are still readily available are A Distant Neighborhood, a lovely coming-of-age story that’s funny, wise, and unsentimental, and Guardians of the Louvre, a handsome, full-color manga exploring the Louvre’s history.
ASH: Kodansha’s digital offerings of late really have been fantastic! I’ll throw in with everyone else and declare my top pick to be Chihayafuru. I’d also like to join Kate in highlighting some of Taniguchi’s work: A Distant Neighborhood is a personal favorite of mine as is his collaboration with Baku Yumemakura The Summit of the Gods.
MELINDA: From deep beneath a pile of snow, I raise my fist and shout, “Chihayafuru!” Yes, Chihayafuru.