License request day: Sakuna Hitona

Looking at the major French awards programs that honor comics from Japan, it’s not hard to conclude that there’s a bit of bias in favor of male creators. All of the current Prix Asie nominees were created by men, as were this year’s manga honorees at Angoulême.

On the plus side, the actual commercial market for comics in France seems just as enthusiastic for Japanese comics by women as you’d expect. As you also might predict, they’re well ahead of us in terms of josei offerings. Just look at Sakka’s selection. Since I’m still in the throes of The Josei Alphabet, I thought I’d pick among Sakka’s josei titles for this week’s license request.

I’m quite taken with the description of Mlle Ôishi, titled Sukana Hitona by original publisher Shodensha for its four-volume run in Feel Young. It’s about a 30-ish woman who becomes engaged to a divorced man and the various difficulties that relationship presents. It follows protagonist Kon from 28 to 32 years old and considers the plight of the Japanese woman in search of her soul mate.

Minami has quite a body of work, a fair amount of which explores yuri themes. She also recently launched a series (Hirake Koma!) in Kodansha’s always-reliable Morning. I’d be very interested to see some of her work in English.