License Request Day: Kiko-Chan’s Smile

As I wrap up The Seinen Alphabet (three more letters!), I find myself thinking of the upcoming Josei Alphabet. Since there isn’t a tremendous amount available in English, I’m guessing they’ll consist largely of unlicensed works. It seemed like a good time to do a little investigating and see what’s lurking out there. Imagine my delight when I found something that looks both funny and weird.

It’s called Kiko-Chan’s Smile, five volumes written and illustrated by Tsubasa Nunoura and originally serialized in Kodansha’s Be Love. And it’s about a weird little girl. Isn’t she lovely?

Kiko is an independent, taciturn and, from what I can surmise, kind of forbidding child. Her parents don’t know what to make of her, but her classmates are delighted by the unusual events that seem to swirl around her. She meddles with her teacher’s love life, and she enjoys the companionship of her cat, who also happens to be an angel and the father of five half-angel, half-cat kittens. (Kittels? Angens?) Kittens with supernatural powers, people… tell me that doesn’t light a fire.

I have a documented fondness for manga about weird girls and an unexpected weakness for manga about precocious, disruptive children, so this seems like a fine opportunity to cross the streams, as they say. It doesn’t seem like what one would traditionally think of as josei; I get more of a Morning vibe off of it. But it was adapted into an anime, so that’s always a good sign. And it’s nice to be reminded that the subject matter of josei can be as rangy and odd as the other demographics.

I’m thinking this would be a nice one for Vertical. We can always hope that Kodansha’s own initial offerings do well enough that they’ll publish some less commercial titles, but I definitely get a feeling that this would fit in nicely with the good folks at Vertical. They support kittens in manga.