|© Moyoco Anno|
The first Manga Moveable Feast of the year begins today, January 20, and will end on Saturday, January 26. The Feast gives the manga blogging community an opportunity to examine together a particular creator. This month we will be focusing on the mangaka Moyoco Anno and her work. Experiments in Manga will be hosting this Feast.
Who is Moyoco Anno?
Moyoco Anno was born in Tokyo, Japan on March 26, 1971. Her uncle who lived with her family was a mangaka, and so Anno became familiar with the industry at a young age. Anno herself began submitting manga to magazines at the age of fifteen before making her professional debut in 1989 with her work "Totally Funky Guys." For a time Anno was an assistant to the influential mangaka Kyoko Okazaki, but she has since become a successful mangaka in her own right. Several of her works have been adapted into film, anime, and television dramas. In 2002 she married Hideaki Anno of Neon Genesis Evangelion fame.
Anno took a long hiatus from story manga due to health reasons in 2008. However, she continued to create essay manga and manga for newspaper serialization. Happily, Anno returned to story manga again in 2011. Anno is a versatile creator, but her works often share some similarities: they explore themes of love (but not always romance), they feature strong characterizations (and frequently feisty women), and they have an appeal that extends beyond their primary audiences. Anno is also a fashion writer and fashion is an important element in her manga as well.
Website: Moyoco Anno Official Site
Anno's Manga in English
Moyoco Anno was introduced to English-reading audiences ten years ago in 2003 when Tokyopop released the first volume of her eleven-volume series Happy Mania. The eleventh volume of Happy Mania was released in 2004. Happy Mania was one of the first, if not the first, josei manga--manga created with an adult female audience in mind--to have ever been published in English.
Later in 2003, Viz Media released the first of seven volumes of Anno's first seinen series--manga for a primarily male audience--Flowers & Bees. Viz would finish releasing the series in 2005. Also in 2005, the now defunct Del Rey Manga began publishing Sugar Sugar Rune, the shoujo series that earned Anno the Kodansha Manga Award for best children's manga that same year. The eighth and final volume of Sugar Sugar Rune was released in 2008. Anno's work was featured in the exhibition "KRAZY! The Delirious World of Anime + Manga + Video Games" at the Vancouver Art Gallery, also in 2008.
After six years of non-stop Anno, it was four long years until any more of her works were released in English. Vertical thankfully ended the drought by publishing Sakuran: Blossoms Wild in 2012. Anno was also a spotlight guest at the New York Comic Con in 2012. And here we all are in 2013, ten years after Anno was first published in English, examining and celebrating her and her work for the Manga Moveable Feast.
At the time of this Feast, only two of Anno's works are currently in print in English: Flowers & Bees and Sakuran. (Three, if you count the anthology Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators which includes Anno's short work "The Song of the Crickets.") Happy Mania is still fairly easy to find, but some of the later volumes of Sugar Sugar Rune getting to be a little pricey. Fortunately, there's promise that we'll be seeing more Anno from Vertical in the future, although no details have yet been released. Regardless, I'm very excited.
Feasting at Experiments in Manga
If you were around last year for the Usamaru Furuya Manga Moveable Feast, you should already have a pretty good idea how I'll be running things. There will be new content relating to the Feast every day at Experiments in Manga. Once again, my focus will be on in-depth reviews--I'll be writing about Sakuran and the first volume of each of Anno's series available in English, as well as the anthology Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators. And, like last year, I also have at least one guest post lined up!
There will be three roundup posts during the Feast (one on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.) The Feast ends on Saturday, but I'll be writing a final sendoff post on Sunday. The roundups will highlight other participants' contributions to the Feast. Throughout the Feast I will also be updating the archive page (which has already been populated with pre-Feast content.)
It will be a very lonely and boring Feast if I'm the only person posting content, so I encourage you all to take part. I would love to see as many people participate as possible. Please notify me of any contributions by e-mail at phoenixterran(at)gmail(dot)com or via my Twitter account (@PhoenixTerran). I'll will include any posts that I know about in the roundups as well as in the archive. And, if you're on Twitter, I'm encouraging the use of the #AnnoMMF hashtag for this Feast.
All right everyone, that's enough from me for now. Please dig in and enjoy the Feast!