Friday, April 26, 2013

A Girl By The Seaside

There is a unique combination of honesty and innocence, beauty and strength of character in the work of Inio Asano.  The two volume series A Girl By The Seaside (うみべの女の子) is published under the Erotic Fx label.

The story deals with two young introverted kids who have trouble connecting emotionally with their peers and family. They find solace in their mutual antagonism, and find an outlet for their sexual curiosities and frustrations.

As I mentioned earlier, the honesty with which Asano deals with teenage sexuality is courageous. It is a great contrast to the rows and rows of exploitative, juvenile and adolescent manga at the bookstore.

The first time I noticed the work of Inio Asano was the ongoing series Goodnight, Pun Pun (おやすみプンプン). Aside for the fact that the main character is a boy sized bird by the name of Pun Pun, and chronicles his growing pains into adolescence. The real emotion of his struggle and pains is not lessened by Pun Pun's non-human form.

Even if the story lines were not some of the most unique, beautiful and honest stories that I've ever read, the artwork alone would be enough to keep me reading the work of Inio Asano. The city landscapes, the innocent faces, seductive artwork.

Although better known for the 2010 movie adaptation of Solanin, which the 2005 manga is probably the best place to start for anyone looking to jump into his work.

Inio Asano on Twitter:
Erotic Fx website:

April Round-Up

I hope everyone enjoyed their spring break. It's been a busy April, and I've been side tracked by work and spring break. But there were some notable releases in the past few weeks.

Haruki Murakami's latest book, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage (色彩を持たない田崎つくると、彼の巡礼の年) has stormed up the best seller list. I haven't picked up a copy yet, but the books release highlights the reluctance of the Japanese publishing industry to move to digital distribution, as I haven't been able to find it in epub format.

Kentaro Miura's Berserk volume 37 was released. I'm still back in volume 11, but slowly catching up when I have some spare time.

And Takehiko Inoue's samurai masterpiece Vagabond is up to volume 35, which is a series that is on my to-read list. I'm a huge fan of the annually released wheelchair basketball series, Real.