Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Village of the Poes (Page 19)

The second episode in "Poe no Ichizoku" is "ポーの村 (The Village of the Poes)". This was first published in the July 1972 issue of Bessatsu Shojo Komikku, 4 months after the first episode.

1972 was the second and final year of the Oizumi Salon, which was a center of activities for Year 24 Group or Fabulous 49ers, so called because many of the influential shojo manga-ka from this group were born around 1949 or the 24th year of the Showa Era. The salon was formed when Hagio Moto, then living with her parents in Fukuoka, moved to a shabby apartment in Oizumi, Tokyo ("It was more like 'O-izumi Row-house'"), as Keiko Takemiya's roommate in October 1970. In 1972 the group went on their first trip to Europe for 40 days, returning in late autumn. Then Hagio and Takemiya moved into separate, but still close, apartments in Shimoigusa, Tokyo, ending the "Oizumi Salon" era. (Hagio's CV)

This was an important period for Hagio—gaining independence from her parents who were not necessarily supportive of her career choice, and switching publishers from Kodansha to Shogakukan. Kodansha pressured Hagio to follow proven formulae, and rejected many of her stories. Shogakukan, on the other hand, was more accommodating with Hagio's desire to try unconventional stories. It was not only Hagio who benefited from this new freedom, but the genre of manga in general took another leap forward from that point in what could be expressed in terms of story, mood, characterizations and so forth.

Hagio's ex-roommate, Keiko Takemiya's classic SciFi shojo manga "地球へ(Terra-e)" was picked up for US publication by Vertical, Inc. So maybe "Poe no Ichizoku" still have a chance for US publication if Takemiya's work stimulate interest in shojo manga classics. Takemiya also did "Kaze to Ki no Uta" (1976), which was the first major shojo manga work that focused on shonen-ai.

No comments: