My Favorite Mangaka

Yun Kouga?

Who is your favorite mangaka? Of course, I find this an unfair question. I don't have a favorite author or artist or director, so how can I answer this question at all?

I love stories. I love well told stories. And I like artful stories. And no, I don't think they always converge. For art, in manga, I like Yun Kouga, in the Loveless and Un-Go style. The characters are long and wispy, evocative and memorable. Just the other day, I had to use a band-aid, and I was reminded of Rituska who is so often depicted with a small bandage visible on his face.

This small addition reminds me of Ritsuka's circumstances: he's often abused at home by his mother. There's a wound hidden there. And there is a tie to Soubi, who also wears a bandage around his neck to hide the name carved there: Beloved.

Soubi and Ritsuka

Yun Kouga is a smart writer, too. Loveless is as exceedingly uncomfortable and upsetting as it is beautiful. But across the board, I'm not sure I'm a fan of everything Yun Kouga does. Earthian didn't have a consistent style, and I wasn't that into the story. Her other work is good, but not my "favorite."

For stories and for style, I love both Fumi Yoshinaga and Naoki Urasawa. Both are genius, and I can't choose between them.

I can't find an actual image of Fumi Yoshinaga (but this character seems to capture her spirit)

She's done some absolutely wonderful work, and among my favorite series of hers are Antique Bakery and Ooku. But, she has some one shots that I just truly admire, too. Not Love But Delicious Food Makes Me So Happy pretty much typifies my life, and I often think of All my Darling Daughters.

Naoki Urasawa. I am a fan.

Naoki Urasawa: I am a fan. If I could run away to Japan and study storytelling with this man, I would. Anyone want to send me? I will lend you my run of 20th/21st Century Boys, but you have to give it back.

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