The Josei Alphabet: I

“I” is for…

Ice Age, written and illustrated by Akiko Monden, originally serialized in Shueisha’s Chorus, ten volumes. There are no wooly mammoths here, but there is the whiff of extinction. Smelling the death of traditional journalism well ahead of time, Eiji quits his job as a reporter to teach English. Published in French by Kana under the title Professeur Eiji. Its sequel, Ice Age 2, is up to three volumes in Chorus.

Ice Forest, written and illustrated by Chiho (Revolutionary Girl Utena) Saitou, currently running in Shogakukan’s Flowers, up to 8 volumes. In this weekend’s random question, there was great enthusiasm for figure skating, which is the subject of this series. A former solo skater thinks her career is over until she’s paired with a Canadian-Japanese ice dancer.

Ichiya dake no Princess, based on a novel by Marion Lennox, written and illustrated by Takako Hashimoto, originally published by Harlequinsha, one volume. Tragedy! Royalty! Yarn! A fashion designer travels to a European principality for its fabulous yarns, gets into a traffic accident that kills the prince’s fiancée, and winds up staying with the royal family. Tangled! (I know that this is available in English as Princess of Convenience, but I couldn’t wait until I got to that letter. Yarn!)

Imagine, written and illustrated by Satoru Makimura, originally serialized in Shueisha’s Chorus, 11 volumes. This one’s about two working women, a mother and a daughter. The mother is an architect, and the daughter is an office lady. I suspect Makimura’s Imagine 29 may be a sequel of sorts. It ran in Shueisha’s Young You for 3 volumes and focuses on the relationship between two very different sisters.

IS: Otoko demo Onna demo Nai Sei, written and illustrated by Chiyo Rokuhana, originally serialized in Kodansha’s Kiss, 17 volumes. This series takes an apparently episodic look at intersex people and the various challenges they face. It does seem to have long arcs focusing on individual characters, though the point of view seems to change over the course of the series.

Licensed josei:

  • IC in a Sunflower, written and illustrated by Mitsukazu Mihara, originally serialized in Shodensha’s Feel Young, published in English by Tokyopop, one volume.
  • Idol Dreams, based on a novel by Charlotte Lamb, written and illustrated by Youko Hanabusa, originally serialized in Ohzora Shuppan’s Harlequin, published in English by Dark Horse, one volume.

What starts with “I” in your josei alphabet?

Reader recommendations and reminders: