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discussion of my thought process about whether to count manga as books for my three hundred sixty-five books )

I was delighted to hear that Fantagraphics Books was putting out a Moto Hagio collection. Moto Hagio is one of the most important and interesting of the mangaka called by critics and fans the Magnificent Forty-Niners, a group of women who made shoujo manga what it is today. There's been some Hagio in English before-- her They Were Eleven appears in the rare out-of-print Viz collection Four Shoujo Stories and was also printed as single issues, and her A, A' came out from Viz at about the same time-- but her major and long-form works have never been translated. I was made very hopeful by her prominence in the 2005 shoujo manga issue of The Comics Journal, and the translation of her contemporary Keiko Takemiya's Terra E and Andromeda Stories by Vertical over the last couple of years. Fantagraphics are not the house I expected to pick up any Hagio (that would be Viz or Vertical), but I take what I can get.

Unfortunately, I don't think this is as great an addition to the work of Hagio in English as one might want it to be. It collects all her short work, meaning up to about twenty-five pages in length, between 1977 and 2007, and from this I have come to the conclusion that Hagio is best in a longer format.

Do read this. But then agitate for somebody to reprint They Were Eleven. )


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March 2017

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