This one's a sequel to yesterday's loot post. Turns out there were a few items I overlooked because they deserved more detailed commentary. Fans of untranslated manga, take heed.
- Hinata no Ōkami (ひなたの狼 / "A Wolf in the Sun"): In its fifth volume now, with this one being #4, this is one of many retellings of the Shinsengumi story but with a rough-edged style that's like the manga version of pseudo-cinema vérité cinematography. Compare this against the also-good but apparently far more hagiographic Sayonara Shinsengumi, with art by the same fellow who did the short-lived but interesting Ao (Sō?) no Derashine ("Wild Blue"). That was a seinen adventure series about a mixed-blood Japanese youth in the rubble of WWII who stumbles across a secret emblazoned on a Chinese girl's back.
- Mimi-kaki Ochō (耳かきお蝶 / "Ochō the Ear-cleaner"): Strange title, I know, but it's an absolutely charming series from what I've seen of just the 2nd volume. Set in feudal times, the stories revolve around various professions of the era — makers of fireworks, artists, coopers, etc. — and use the titular heroine, Ochō, as a link between all of them. (Her nickname comes from the fact that she provides said service for the men who come to her for advice.) The art's adorably cartoonish — or maybe I should say "manga-esque" — and the fact that one of the incidental characters looks weirdly like the bearded Tadanobu Asano only makes it all the more enjoyable for me.
- Most people reading this might know the name Masayuki Ishikawa from the series Moyashimon, but he's produced a number of standalone titles that appear to be well worth looking into. I've found two recently: Kataribe, strongly reminiscent of a Miyazaki take on a samurai adventure story; and Hitokiri Ryōma, which I assume is a story about Sakamoto Ryōma. Outstanding artwork in both books.
- Ukiyo-Tsuya-Zoushi (浮世艶草紙 / "Glossy Picture-book of the Floating World"): I picked this one up without realizing it was (ahem) an explicit adult title at first. No, seriously. The artwork and most of the story material revolve around daily life in classical Edo, and the artwork is of high enough quality that I was actually pretty surprised when each of the vignettes in question turned out to be about the sexual mores of the period.