Undiscovered Ono

I keep meaning to write up a license request for two of the comics that Natsume Ono has created for Kodansha’s Morning 2, Danza, which ran for one volume, and Coppers, which is ongoing. They’re dramas about police officers in New York, which is certainly unexpected subject matter for this particular creator, and I’ve enjoyed lots of comics that were originally published in Morning magazines. The thing is that, by most accounts, they aren’t very good, at least by Ono’s standards.

Here’s what Khursten Santos said about them in her marvelous overview of Ono’s work:

Danza is a collection of stories although she eventually focused on two NYPD detectives before eventually dedicating Coppers to an entire squad. Her venture into this copland ain’t no NYPD blues. It’s simpler, if not, less dramatic than that. I would have to admit that these two are the weakest of her works as her brand of storytelling kills the excitement in police stories. It’s still a good read. Just not as great as the others. If you sincerely love her sense of melodrama, then you might find some fun in Danza and Coppers.

Personally, I’ll read anything by Ono, and even lower-tier Ono is still pretty awesome. But if I’m going to devote my energies to begging for more of her work in English, I’d be more inclined to bend my energies towards her Basso work.

She started a new series in Shogakukan’s IKKI called Futugashira, but there’s next to no information available on that one. I’m quite intrigued by what little I’ve seen of her other ongoing, an historical drama called Tsuratsura Waraji that’s another Morning 2 title. But if I were to pick one non-yaoi Ono title that I really, really want to see, it would be Nigeru Otoko.

It ran for a single volume in Ohta Shuppan’s Manga Erotics F, which is a constant source of surprises, mostly in the “I can’t believe this comic ran in the same magazine as that comic” vein that makes me love a magazine. (Hi, Comic Beam!) The description makes it sound like a moody, grown-up fantasy, which is very much in my comfort zone. And it reinforces Ono’s standing as the queen of the Fifth Genre prom, so it’s hard to see how something could go really badly wrong in a single volume.



  1. YES PLEASE. To all of that. Seriously, “lower tier” Ono is still loads better than a lot of stuff out there.
    What I really want is her yaoi, though.

  2. I own the japanese edition of Nigeru Otoko, and while I can barely read any of it, I must say it is Ono at her very best (at least artistically) and would really love to see that in english.

  3. You know, the more cartoonish style that Ono uses in Coppers, Danza, and some other series reminds me a lot of the Scott Pilgrim art style. I wonder if Ono was one of O’Malley’s inspirations.

    • David Welsh says:

      I think it’s just one of those neat coincidences. They’re professional debuts were pretty much simultaneous. “Lost at Sea” and “La Quinta Camera” came out at the same time.

      I demand a collaboration, though, like Takahashi and Adachi.

      Or just an Ono Wallace Wells doujinshi.

  4. I like Tokugawa Shōgun sokkinno kenkyū, but this looks good too. Thanks! Awesome blog. Will read me some Natsume Ono

  5. i love this……….

  6. How do you feel now that Danza’s been licensed by Kodansha US? ^^ I’m looking forward to reading this one…


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