Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I have a confession (of sorts) to make to the Same Hat community: Until this weekend, I think I hadn't bought/read any new, non-Tezuka manga in the last seven or eight months?!

A travesty, right? As folks who follow my other random projects have gathered, I've been focusing a lot of my free time on creating zines and anthologies, hanging out with minicomics folks, and printing comics for friends at my little Risograph print shop. Perhaps it's a sign I'm getting older/lamer/jaded, but I simply got majorly burnt out on manga for a while there, and am just now coming back to the fold.

In re-starting Same Hat, I've been working to catch back up and rectify this... Sunday, I stopped by my local Kinokuniya, and picked up a series about which I heard great things:  Flowers of Evil by Shuzo Oshimi. I read the first volume last night and found it fun, deceptively simple and... psychologically disturbing. I'm stoked to read the next book tonight.

Do you have a suggestion for a manga I need to read, that came out in 2012?  Please school me, my friends!

Okay, so while shopping I snapped a few pics around Kinokuniya of things I like:

Magic Point and River's Edge, by the incredible Kyoko Okazaki. Her amazing body-horror/gender mindfuck comic HELTER SKELTER was licensed this summer by Vertical... it's one of my all-time favorite manga, and I'm stoked to get to read it in non-illegal, Vertical-ized format soon!

The reprints from 2010 of the late Satoshi Kon's manga, "Opus". I love the design of these two soft covers. Detailed scans here:

Ad for Usamaru Furuya's ongoing web serial "Bokuran no Hikari KURABU", on the back of the anthology Manga Erotics F. Pages from the series are online via the Japanese webcomic portal Poco Poco:

[Upcoming SH! posts: details on AkoTako, Poco Poco, and working with Gengoroh Tagame to publish his first ever licensed translation in English!]


  1. inio asano came out with a pretty funny salaryman manga back in may called ozanari-kun. his comedic side really comes out in it

  2. Matsumoto's Sunny of course. And Bokura no Hikari is complete and collected in two volumes already :)

    Flowers of Evil is the freshest shonen manga in years, soooo gooood.

    Other than that I, too, am out of date and toucj

  3. Also: check out the Lychee DE Light Club anime!

  4. @Sebastian: Thanks for the recommendation! I was not a fan of Solanin but I'd be curious to see his funnier side!

    @zytroop: Stoked to check out Sunny (in English, I'm lazy!) soon--- and the continuation of the Hikari tales.

    Dude, I was not expecting Flowers of Evil to get so... troubling? so quickly. That feeling of dread where you can't stop making weird/wrong choices as a teenager, he's tapped right into it!! I dig it.

  5. 悪の華 is a really great series, and gets really fucked up quick. You should check out おやすみプンプン if you have not already, its quite a departure from solanin.

  6. spork9:21 AM

    personally i liked river's edge better than helter skelter by quite a bit.

  7. @Alexce: Thanks for the recommendation!

    @spork: Oh cool, I haven't read River's Edge yet but I really, really enjoyed Helter Skelter-- it talks to my interests (aging, gender, body horror) in a way I found quite cool.

  8. spork9:27 AM

    @ryan sands: River's Edge is different though.

    The funny thing is I opened it, was turned off by the art, skipped to half way and started reading it there. After a few pages, I realized I really liked it and started from the beginning and now it's one of my favorite manga.

    It's kind of like American Beauty in a way. It's just like people going on their lives, but everyone's messed up. There's something poetic about how there's so much messed up stuff there is underneath the facade of normalcy. Actually now that I think about it, it probably more reminds me of The Body by Stephen King (aka Stand By Me, if you prefer the movie version).

    Helter Skelter was really interesting to me too, but I was just expecting it to be a tad more... poetic after reading River's Edge.

  9. A guy blowing up right now here is Keigo Shinzuo (真造圭伍). His three books are everywhere and he is heavily featured in the Village Vanguard shops I frequent and TACO ché. He also did the cover for the latest issue of Freestyle.

    They all look fucking sweet, but I can't vouch for the storytelling.

  10. @zytroop: Oh nice, I am looking at the cover to 台風の日 right now, it seems really great. I'm gonna try to get Kinokuniya to order a book for me and see what's up :)


  11. 革命戦士 犬童貞男 by 佐々木 昇平 is also a fucking crazy b-movie romp. Features a spread where a guy gets killed by a swan doing a kamikaze dive straight into his eye. It also has the funniest first five pages in manga this year.

  12. Anonymous10:25 AM

    Hey! Do you have any idea where I can purchase a copy of River's Edge in either English or Japanese? THANKS!

  13. @Anonymous: River's Edge hasn't been published in English.

    The ISBN of the JP edition is: 4796616691 and the official title is リバーズ・エッジ . If you're near SF/LA/NYC you can order it from Kinokuniya. I'll let other folks jump in for online options for importing books! I know Mandarake does mail-order too

  14. Anonymous1:29 PM

    Thanks Ryan! I do live in SF so I'll check out Kinokuniya.

  15. I hope there was enough interest in the translation of Lychee Light Club that Vertical considers publishing the prequel.

  16. Koutarou Ookoshi brought a new manga out in 2012. It´s called "Zhora". I haven´t seen anything of it yet, but regarding how absolutely AWESOME this gem of a mangaka is, I´m pretty sure it´s at least worth a look.

    Surprised I haven´t heard anything of this mangaka here yet since his style very similar (while still being original)to Maruo`s style...