August 17, 2011

Nao Yazawa – Plex International Design – 2003 – 1 volume

When I say “volume,” I mean “issue.” There’s only one issue of Nozomi, but it’s a cute one-shot shoujo story. In full color. In case you always wanted to know what a shoujo manga would look like in full color, here you go. It’s very colorful. This was made right when comic color was transitioning to digital though, so the coloring technique is a little rough.

It’s a cute, if predictable, story. A girl named Nozomi has a huge crush, and wishes on a shooting star for her crush to like her back. But the shooting star turns out to be a demon. When either an angel or demon loses a battle in heaven, the loser is sent to earth to grant a wish. So the demon hangs out with Nozomi, trying to figure her out and help her in small ways to win over the boy she likes. Part of the deal is that, for some reason, she gets some demonic transformation powers herself. The boy has a crush on another girl, though, and Nozomi has to come to terms with that, as well as the fact that the demon will leave once her wish is granted.

Reading Moon and Blood made me want to dig up more of Nao Yazawa’s English back catalog. Luckily, this was easy and cheap to come by (thank you, Mile High Comics!). I believe it was created especially for the American market, and you can read on Yazawa’s site where she talks about how difficult it was to do a full-color comic.

Her stories and are are fairly simple and a little rough around the edges, but I can’t help but have a soft spot for them. They’re the kind of story I would’ve loved when I was younger. I also like that it seems Yazawa primarily draws doujinshi, which means her work is free of major publishers and editorial restraint. It doesn’t show, really, but it’s clear that she loves what she draws.

A single issue, and an old one, isn’t going to be something most readers are going to seek out at this point, but it is unusual. Rescue it from the backissue bin if you happen across it one day. As for seeking it out… hm. I don’t think it will interest very many shoujo fans, but it might be good for young readers, if you happen to have a little shoujo fan on your hands.