The Seinen Alphabet: W

“W” is for…

Wandering Son, written and illustrated by Takako Shimura, originally serialized in Enterbrain’s Comic Beam and due for English-language release from Fantagraphics. This tale of gender identity is easily one of the most anticipated books of 2011.

What a Wonderful World!, written and illustrated by Inio Asano, originally serialized in Shogakukan’s Sunday GX and published in English in two volumes by Viz. Interconnected short stories that are sometimes very lovely and sometimes kind of predictably mope-y, but Asano is undeniably talented, and I’ll certainly read any of his work that’s published in English.

What’s Michael?, written and illustrated by Makoto Kobayashi, originally serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Morning, then partially serialized in English in Dark Horse’s Super Manga Blast. It’s about cats. That’s all I really need to say.

Wolf’s Rain, written by Keiko Nobumoto and illustrated by Toshitsugu Iida, originally serialized in Kodansha’s Magazine Z and published in English by Viz. It’s a two-volume adaptation of a popular fantasy anime.

Wounded Man, written by Kazuo Koike and illustrated by Ryoichi Ikegami, originally serialized in Shogakukan’s Big Comic Spirits and published in English by Comics One. I think this might be the most violent Koike manga to be licensed. I certainly remember people cringing at the thought of it.

Working!!, written and illustrated by Karino Takatsu, serialized in Square Enix’s Young Gangan. It’s a comedy about quirky people working in a family restaurant. I have a weakness for manga of that type, so I suspect I would be pleased if someone published it in English.

What Did You Eat Yesterday?, written and illustrated by Fumi Yoshinaga, serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Morning. I mentioned this previously, but I’ll mention it again, because I’m desperate for someone to publish it in English. It’s about a food-loving gay couple.

What’s the Answer?, written and illustrated by Tondabayashi, originally serialized in Shogakukan’s IKKI, appears very intermittently on Viz’s SigIKKI site.

“W” is also for “Weekly,” a modifier that often appears before the title of various Japanese manga magazines to indicate the frequency with which they are published. Please peruse this list at your leisure for examples.

What starts with “W” in your seinen alphabet?


And the glaring omission klaxon sounds! I inexcusably forgot Daisuke (Children of the Sea) Igarashi’s Witches, originally serialized in Shogakukan’s IKKI, which means it seems like fair game for the SigIKKI site. I’ve already given this one the License Request treatment, which I’ll take this opportunity to reaffirm.

Update 2:

This omission is even more inexcusable, as Jiro Taniguchi’s The Walking Man (Fanfare/Ponent Mon) is one of my favorite comics of all time, and I read it over and over again. It’s title is entirely accurate; it’s about a middle-class guy who goes for walks in his suburban neighborhood, enjoying everyday wonders, and it’s quite unlike almost anything else you’re likely to find in a comic shop. It originally ran in Kodansha’s Weekly Morning and was later reprinted by Shogakukan.

On the creator front, there’s the hilarious Kiminori Wakasugi, whose Detroit Metal City (Viz) continues to delight and offend.