manga bookshelf

The Most Anticipated Manga of 2016

We’re kicking off 2016 with a look at the manga titles and trends we’re most excited about. Joining me and Brigid is manga journalist and critic Deb Aoki, former guide to, current host of Manga Comics Manga, and Publishers Weekly contributor. What new manga are we looking forward to this year? BRIGID: Fruits Basket! […]

BL Bookrack: The Heart of Thomas

MICHELLE: Thanks for joining us for the first BL Bookrack column of the new year. This time we’re doing something a bit different and devoting this month’s column to Moto Hagio’s The Heart of Thomas, which is one of the most historically significant works influencing the boys’ love genre in Japan, and the most historically […]

My Week in Manga: March 19-March 25, 2012

My News and Reviews Last week was the Jiro Taniguchi Manga Moveable Feast and so I made a point to take advantage of that fact. I posted my second in-depth manga review for March, taking a closer look at Taniguchi’s most recent work to be released in print in English, A Zoo in Winter. I […]

Six to grow on

Viz has certainly delivered some beloved manga to English-reading audiences in their almost-25-year history, haven’t they? Yesterday’s discussion has certainly reinforced that belief. So, by all means, let us extend warm and gracious thanks for the seinen, the shônen, the shôjo, the josei, the fifth genre, and so on! And yet… It would not be […]

My Viz 25

Viz is celebrating will celebrate its 25th anniversary this summer, which is quite an accomplishment. Given how many English-language manga publishers have fallen away over time, you have to give Viz credit for sticking around, no matter how well resourced they may be. They’ve always struck me as grown-ups and professionals, which certainly helps. Beyond […]

The Best Manga of 2010: The Manga Critic’s Picks

For all the upheaval within the manga industry — the demise of CMX, Del Rey, and Go! Comi, the layoffs at VIZ — 2010 proved an exceptionally good year for storytelling. True, titles like Black Butler, Naruto, and Nabari no Ou dominated sales charts, but publishers made a concerted effort to woo grown-ups with vintage […]

Linkblogging: Stuck on Shojo

So, just as I thought I’d satisfied my obsession with shojo-centric conversation in the manga blogosphere, Deb Aoki posts the transcript from her recent interview with Moto Hagio, rendering me fully obsessed all over again. The transcript begins with Hagio’s panel appearance at San Diego Comic-Con, and moves into a private interview Deb was able […]

Pick of the Week: A Drunken Dream

As I peruse this week’s new arrivals at, I feel a bit sad. There are a number of new volumes that might normally catch my eye for Pick of the Week. Rasetsu, for instance, has become quite a favorite. And who can resist Sand Chronicles?

This week, however, everything fades in the presence of a newly-released collection of short manga from shojo pioneer Moto Hagio, A Drunken Dream and Other Stories. The book is published by Fantagraphics, and edited and translated by Matt Thorn.

Simply put, this book is gorgeous. You can expect a review here soon at Manga Bookshelf, though there’s no way I’ll come even close to doing it justice, unlike Kate Dacey, whose recent review should be required reading all on its own. Visit Publishers Weekly for a very generous preview, if you’re wondering just what I mean by “gorgeous.” Also, check out the slideshow at Fantagraphics’ website for a glimpse of its spectacular, hardcover glory. This is not a cheap book (in any sense of the word), and it is a must-buy for any fan of sequential art.

A Drunken Dream and Other Stories

The 1970s marked a turning point in the development of shojo manga, as the first time in the medium’s history that a significant number of women were working in the field. These “founding mothers” weren’t the first female manga artists; Machiko Hasegawa was an early pioneer with Sazae-san,[1] a comic strip that first appeared in her […]

A, A’ and They Were Eleven

Though Vertical has published two series by Keiko Takemiya, the Magnificent 49ers’ work remains largely unavailable in English, with a few exceptions: Yasuko Aoike’s From Eroica With Love (which debuted in 1976 in Akita Shoten), and Moto Hagio’s short stories “A, A’ [A, A Prime],” “4/4 [Quatre/Quarts],” “X+Y,” and “They Were Eleven.”* These four stories […]

Fantagraphics Makes Dreams Come True

A thousand giddy manga bloggers just raced to their keyboards in rapturous joy. Why? Because Dirk Deppey has announced officially in his blog that “Fantagraphics has signed an agreement with Shogakukan to launch a full manga line edited and curated by Matt Thorn.”

A, A’ by Moto Hagio: B+

Back in the late ’90s, Viz dabbled in this weird thing called “shojo manga” and released a few one-shot volumes. A, A’ (A, A Prime), a collection of science fiction stories, was among these, and (lamentably) represents the largest chunk of material from Moto Hagio available in this country. Hagio, along with many other women […]

Four Shōjo Stories by Keiko Nishi, Moto Hagio, and Shio Sato: B+

From the back cover: An unprecedented collection of stories by the greatest shōjo manga (girls’ comics) artists of our time! In shōjo manga, a uniquely literary genre of Japanese comics, the relationships between characters are as meticulously crafted as the story’s action. Shōjo artists are renowned for their visual innovations, as well. Experimenting with page […]