Saturday, August 20, 2005

About a month ago, I received my contributor's copy of TCJ #269. That's right: I had a short review of The Wallflower vols. 1-3 in it. But my piece is almost the least of the goodies for manga fans. In fact, pretty much the whole issue is devoted to shoujo manga, except for the news section (and even that has a couple of manga-related stories) and Kenneth Smith's column. There's even a sample of the thing itself, in the form of a thoughtful sixteen-page story by Moto Hagio which demonstrates that shoujo is more than just romance and flower petals. Dirk Deppey's editorial -- on the success of shoujo manga in appealing to American girls, in contrast to the dismal failure of mainstream comics to do the same -- has already attracted a great deal of notice. But I want to also call attention to Dirk's thirteen-page review of Chobits and Love Hina, which is lengthy and thoughtful enough to qualify as a critical essay rather than a mere review. And if you're put off by TCJ's reputation for elitism, don't be. Most of the coverage in this issue is quite positive. And while there are a few negative reviews (the one of Princess Ai is a doozy), they criticize the manga for failing on their own terms, rather than for not being Jimmy Corrigan (with the exception, perhaps, of John Carnahan's review). I plan to post at more length on my reactions to this issue eventually, but for now I just wanted to give a heads-up. (Which would have been more timely had I posted this shortly after I received the issue, as I'd intended to.)

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