License request day: Adachi shôjo

I love a lot of shônen created by women. There’s Hiromu Arakawa’s Fullmetal Alchemist and Rumiko Takahashi’s Ranma ½. Yumi Hotta’s script for Hikaru no Go goes just as far to make the series a favorite as Takeshi Obta’s art does. There’s a lot to like in Yuu Watase’s Arata: The Legend, and Kazue Kato’s Blue Exorcist shows a lot of promise. I’m probably deep into the three-volume collection of Yellow Tanabe’s critically acclaimed Kekkaishi as you read this.

I would love to read more shôjo created by men to see if that construct also applies, but there’s very little available in English. I quite enjoyed Meca Tanaka’s Omukae Desu and Pearl Pink. I’m still mourning the discontinuation of Crown, largely for its sly, snappy script by Shinji (Sukeban Deka) Wada (though the title’s attractive art by You Higuri certainly doesn’t hurt.) And I’m positively impatient about the opportunity to read Osamu Tezuka’s Princess Knight later this year.

So imagine my excitement when I discovered that Mitsuru Adachi, creator of the title featured in the current Manga Moveable Feast, has done a number of shôjo series. I’ll happily read anything he creates (and I have to track down copies of Short Program, which includes some shôjo shorts), and I’ve already requested Rough, but I’m very curious about these earlier works.

First up is Slow Step, which ran for seven volumes in Shogakukan’s Ciao. It’s about a schoolgirl who’s looking for love, is besieged by suitors, and is harassed by a pervy teacher, and it involves boxing, baseball, criminals, and disguise. Why not?

Hitari Ryoukou! (which ran for five volumes in Shogakukan’s Sho-Comi), gives us Adachi in reverse-harem mode. It’s about a girl whose aunt runs a boarding house filled with high-school boys. Our heroine tries to stay true to her overseas boyfriend, but she’s developing feelings for one of the boarders.

Ah! Seishun no Koushien, originally published by Shogakukan, seven volumes, is about kids who want to make it to the youth baseball championships! Sound familiar? Still, Adachi seems gifted at finding variety in familiar scenarios, so I’m not going to let familiarity breed contempt or anything near it.

Of all of those, I think I’m most interested in the promised slice-of-life vibe of Hitari Ryoukou! Which one looks good to you?