I have a weakness for PBS series about professionals living in small communities, from All Creatures Great and Small to Doc Martin. I also love manga about people’s work. I believe I’ve found a perfect fusion of these two pet entertainments.
It’s called Shimane no Bengoshi, written by Masahito Kagawa and illustrated by Tetsuo Aoki, and it’s currently running in Shueisha’s Business Jump. I must warn you that the cover image I’m about to display may shock you.
That’s probably the most modestly proportioned woman I’ve ever seen depicted on the cover of a Business Jump title. And she isn’t holding an automatic weapon or wearing lingerie, or both.
Her name is Mizuho Yamazaki, and she’s a hard-working and principled lawyer serving the underrepresented population of Shimane Prefecture. To do so, she travels around on her bicycle, presumably helping elderly couples write wills, settling contentious divorces, facilitating adoptions, and so on. I can’t quite see her mounting a defense in a highly charged murder case, but there isn’t a ton of information on this title. Still, it’s been described as “slice of life,” so I feel fairly certain that she deals more with the routine details of the legal profession rather than the high drama.
Kagawa is also writing a title with the legendary Shotaro Ishinomori , which is certainly a vote of confidence. Aoki seems to be no stranger to manga with a travelogue quality, and I’m quite intrigued by the idea of his Koufuki no Hito, which is about farms and food.
And, honestly, episodic manga about a bicycling lawyer just hits all my buttons. It’s been adapted into a live-action drama, and if the lawyer could talk to dead people, she’d already have a series on CBS. I doubt I’d watch that series, as it might involve an Arquette, but I’d absolutely read Shimane no Bengoshi.