A manga junkie's recommendations on titles Company B can't or won't license.
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Himawari ~ Ken'ichi Legend vol 2
2006.09.04. (Mon) | Edit |
I picked up Himawari ~ Ken'ichi Legend vol 2 (ひまわりっ~健一レジェンド) because it's by manga author Akiko Higashimura, who has a manga series called Kisekae Yuka-chan in Cookie.

I pre-order new manga when we get new order sheets from Tohan, one of the two main book distributors in Japan. So I didn't realize it until I got the actual manga, but Himawari ~ Ken'ichi Legend is actually published by Kodansha, while Kisekae Yuka-chan is a Shueisha title. It's pretty rare for manga authors to get published by different companies, although it's becoming more common now-a-days.

Anyway, Himawari ~ Kenichi Legend (I'll call it Himawari for short) is a gag manga based on the manga author's real life story.

I don't know when Akiko Higashimura started this series (I only picked up vol 2... and need to order vol 1), but I'm assuming it was after she wrote about her OL life and about her father Ken'ichi in the aftertalk sections in the back of Kisekae Yuka-chan manga.

Akiko Higashimura's story of becoming a manga author is very common. She was an OL working in a regular company, while continuing to submit manga to publishers in hopes of becoming a manga artist. Many manga artists continue to hold a regular job while writing manga, especially if they write for small publishers. Only a select few debut during high school & make it big early in their careers.

Then there's Akiko Higashimura's stories about her crazy father. The father who pours curry directly on top of the rice, even though the rice is only on 2/3 of the plate (the curry is s'posed to be poured on the 1/3 of the plate + 1/2 of the rice). The father who loves tropical fruite soooo much that he brings in a durian on the tour bus even though the tour guide warned them about bringing durian into buses & hotels.

So, Himawari is about an OL named Akiko who is very good at drawing illustrations for her company bulletins. She drew manga as a kid, but hadn't pursued it. Her father Ken'ichi works at the same company. He is a tropical fruit freak & is on a different wave length than others.

I re-read the manga to figure out a way to explain the humor of Himawari. And it's really difficult.

Akiko Higashimura likes to make her characters role-play using old drama, movie, or manga references (she does it in Kisekae Yuka-chan too). Like if other OLs see Akiko the OL talking to the gardener, they start role-playing as bully high-school girls who are talking behind their classmate's romance. Aaaah, so hard to explain!

And father Ken'ichi's silly antics are really funny in the back of Kisekae Yuka-chan. But in Himawari, you get a much bigger dose of father Ken'ichi. And while most are funny, you start to develop a feeling of frustration at this middle-aged man who has no sense of sensitivity to others & not realizing it. So he's a type of character where you enjoy his dumb-ness, but at the same time you want to beat the crap out of him.

Himawari ~ Ken'ichi Legend
Author: Akiko Higashimura
Volumes: currently up to 2
Publisher: Kodansha

Likelihood of Company B to license: -2
Not that I would recommend Company TP or Company DR to pick this manga up. It's funny, though. Almost like Atashi 'nchi (あたしンち), where if you have parents who are horribly embarrassing and can relate to the author's experience.


2006/09/04 22:04 | Gag Manga | Comment (0) | Trackback (0) | Top▲
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