License Request Day: The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese

When a Manga Moveable Feast comes around, I sometimes like to request another title from the creator of the featured book, and I have no compunctions about asking for more work by Setona (After School Nightmare, X-Day) Mizushiro. I’ve asked for another of her unlicensed works (Diamond Head), and I would also love for someone to publish The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese.

Here’s what a commenter had to say about the book:

“It’s a pity no one licensed Mizushiro-sensei’s josei/BL work, Kyūso wa Cheese no Yume wo Miru (The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese) and its sequel… it is easily her masterwork; truly the mangaka at her storytelling and characterization best.”

I think Mizushiro’s licensed work is pretty impressive, so this is quite a thing to say. I mean… After School Nightmare isn’t Mizushiro at her best? Bring it.

The story was originally serialized in Shogakukan’s apparently defunct Judy josei magazine. It’s about a serial adulterer who gets blackmailed into sex by the male private investigator hired by his wife, which sounds potentially creepy, but Mizushiro has a way with creepy, so I’m totally game for it.

It’s been published in French in two volumes by Asuka as Le jeu du chat et de la souris. It’s also been published in German and Italian, so we’re just about last in line again. Viz is partly owned by Shogakukan, but Viz has displayed a general disinterest in books with a pronouncedly yaoi characteristic. Fantagraphics has formed a partnership with Shogakukan, and this sounds like it could be up Matt Thorn’s alley, so perhaps they’d be the better home for the story.


  1. Oooh…this is one that I’d like to see.

  2. Matt Thorn for Fantagraphics eh.. that’d guarantee an excellent translation and quality printing to bring tears to a booklovers eyes, judging from Drunken Dream.

    Thanks for the request, David! After Yoshinaga Fumi, hopefully publishers will be open to more gay-themed manga in the seinen and josei genres. We definitely need more beyond the ‘generic’ BL manga.

    Hmm.. now if only someone would license Natsume Ono’s work as BASSO!

    • No problem! I had heard of it, but I’d never seen anyone endorse it so persuasively, so thanks for bringing it to my attention!

      And BASSO… dear lord, why has it taken this long? (Of course, I thought Future Lovers would unleash this whole deluge of yaoi about realistic grownups, but it didn’t.)

      • What i’d give for that deluge to happen.. but i think Future Lovers (and Est Em) is a bit of an anomaly in Deux’s lineup, in comparison to their usual, rather more pandering, titles.

      • Also waiting for the deluge. I really enjoyed Future Lovers and est em’s work. And after House of Five Leaves I would love to see what Ono’s created as BASSO.

    • Agreed! We need more “adult” BL titles with realistic/interesting characters :3 Thanks, OP.

  3. “After Yoshinaga Fumi, hopefully publishers will be open to more gay-themed manga in the seinen and josei genres. We definitely need more beyond the ‘generic’ BL manga.”

    Well, Cornered Mouse isn’t really “gay-themed josei”, it’s BL that ran in a josei magazine. It’s extremely well-done BL, and I’d give my left pinky for an English release, but it’s clearly full-on BL.

    Mizushiro has quite the BL-centric background; her older series Douseiai and Seventh Moon 1999 – Shanghai are also fabulous, but have a distinctly old-school and generic 90’s art style that would probably make them less commercially viable (plus, Douseiai is hella long). Cornered Mouse is nice and short, and really good, and a lot of people want it, so maybe one of the BL publishers can get Shogakukan to play nice. I really don’t see Fantagraphics picking it up, though; it’s not at all in the axis of indy / artsy / historically important that they seem to prefer.

    • That’s true, i suppose i should rephrase it as full-on BL for a josei audience, which accounts for its level of maturity and seriousness in dealing with the subject.

      Yeah, Mizushiro’s older art is pretty hard on the eyes for the modern reader.

  4. I’m still wondering why VIZ hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon for yaoi yet?

    Viz already has its VIZ Signature imprint which is targeted at a more “mature” audience, and to me, for I believe they should utilize to a fuller extent by say *cough* LICENSING Natsume Ono’s YAOI works( of course, included those that would have the same or more merit in that genre).

    In other words, Viz, has so many imprints, why don’t they have one for yaoi or fit that yaoi into their more “mature imprint”?

    * Good to note*
    Last time I checked Viz’s Sigikki sight for Natsume Ono’s biography , I didn’t see ANY of her yaoi works listed there! T^T

    Which leaves me to wonder if Viz has some sort of homophobia? T_T

    • There were gay characters in “Not Simple,” so no, I don’t think it’s homophobia. But I have absolutely no idea what their reasoning is. If I had to guess, I would say they are probably timid about starting an imprint in a market where small imprints seem to fold rather quickly, and the larger imprints (such as June) get by because they release a slew of crap titles that pander to the “yaoi” audience. That’s just a guess, though.

  5. judi(togainunochi) says:

    Wow, I’d love to see Cheese over here. How about Digital Manga? You already know how much I love Ono. :D

  6. This series is probably the best yaoi ever made. I totally second this request and I wish Mizushiro Setona created more for the genre; it was a really mature and gripping story.
    And yes, this is her masterpiece so far ;)

  7. Just to chime in with a me too — goodness, yes! This series should be licensed, and I agree with what many have said — that it’s one of the best and most intriguing BL titles I’ve seen thus far.

    David, you said, “Of course, I thought Future Lovers would unleash this whole deluge of yaoi about realistic grownups, but it didn’t.” I so wish it had. I’m going to bring this very issue up at our panel at NYCC — why DOESN’T this happen? It makes me sad to think that pandering fantasies are more viable market-wise than titles like Future Lovers, but I’m sadly coming to terms with the fact that this is likely true. I’m trying to figure out what we need to do to get more titles like Future Lovers here.

    • I sometimes wonder if a more engaged fanbase of people who are specifically interested in more realistic stories might not help. I think that the fact that a lot of yaoi and BL isn’t designed for a gay audience can sometimes obscure the fact that there are titles that would serve that audience pretty well. Just pondering.

      • I dunno; I think that what Future Lovers, Cornered Mouse and etc. have in common is not that they’re more realistic in overall design so much as that they’re better written. I mean, CM has a bog-standard BL plotline, it’s just handled really well, because Mizushiro is a much better writer than, say, Makoto Tateno.

        And wile appealing to readers outside the target audience is a good sign for pretty much any genre work, I don’t think that “more BL that appeals to gay readers” is necessarily going to bring over higher-quality stories; I’ve read a limited amount of for-gay-men manga and from what I’ve seen it’s not on average any more mature or realistic than BL, it’s just catering to a very different set of fantasies.

  8. KrebMarkt says:

    Available in French for those who can read and get it.

  9. I have also checked out Setona’s works (After School Nightmare, X-Day) and I have to wholeheartedly agree that her BL mangas are the better ones. Somehow, she’s able to really make a deep impression with her writing and characterization (and of course, crazy drama).
    It just all…works!
    Another really gripping one of her BL works was 1999 Shanghai but I highly doubt it would ever be brought over =(

    So I read this title and the sequel and I can easily store them in my life long favorites. To date, I have reread them 4 times and would love to see it available in English — I would purchase it immediately and consistently recommend this title to others. That being said, I wouldn’t just pick any publisher to do it…whoever picks this up needs to do this story justice in both the translation and quality. What a waste otherwise…
    Oh yeah, I would love for Matt Thorn/Fantagraphics to pick this up XD


  1. [...] Be sure to check out Sean Gaffney’s blog, A Case Suitable for Treatment, for the latest additions to the Manga Moveable Feast, which is celebrating After School Nightmare this month. David Welsh’s latest license request is another manga by Setona Mizushiro, The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese. [...]

  2. [...] The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese, written and illustrated by Setona (After School Nightmare, X-Day) Mizushiro, serialized in Shogakukan’s Judy, one volume, published in French by Asuka. Described by some as Mizushiro’s masterwork, it’s about a sexy relationship that begins with blackmail. [...]

  3. [...] The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese, written and illustrated by Setona Mizushiro, originally serialized in Shogakukan’s Judy. If you’re looking for someone who can explain to you why there isn’t more Mizushiro manga available in English, you can just keep on looking, because I am not even remotely equipped to do so. It’s honestly hard to pick just one of Mizushiro’s yet-to-be-licensed works, but I settled on this one to add a little boys’-love spice to the mix. [...]

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