License request day: Kaguyahime

Erica (Okazu) Friedman and I are usually of one mind on most issues, but we’re having a really teensy difference of opinion at the moment. She says Reiko (Moon Child, Himitsu: The Top Secret) Shimizu’s Kaguyahime is josei. I say it’s shôjo. On my side of the argument is the fact that the 27-volume series ran in Hakusensha’s Hana to Yume and Lala. But Erica has experienced the series first hand. After a mesmerizing synopsis of what the series is about (kind of a fusion of an LGBT soap opera with Parts: The Clonus Horror), Erica makes this recommendation:

If you like a challenge, strange sci-fi, conspiracies, pretty boys, hunky girls, angst, fantasy, absolutely ravishing art, and a TON of yaoi/yuri, you need to read this manga.


Honestly, I cannot be bothered to try and understand the plot, which seems to defy succinct description, but those are sometimes the best comics of all.

Those lucky, lucky French are able to enjoy this under the title Princess Kaguya, courtesy of Panini. Let’s see how their first-volume blurb translates, shall we?

Reiko Shimizu revisits an old Japanese legend in this new shôjo manga with the pace of a thriller. Children raised at an orphanage on an island off the coast of Japan are intended to be sacrificed to the princess of the moon when they reach sixteen years age. Some manage to escape, but they still feel the island’s pull. Will they be able to escape their destiny? A fascinating thriller with breathless suspense!

That’s so un-French of them not to mention the rich tapestry of sexual orientations Erica promises. Anyway, Panini seems to be about halfway through the series at the moment.

I think, in cases like this, it’s best to just conclude that everyone’s right. I’m technically correct in saying that Kaguyahime ran in shôjo magazines. Erica’s certainly correct in noting it has enough sex and violence to snap most comics for teen-agers right in half. And really, its category doesn’t matter. I just want to read it.