A Drunken Dream and Other Stories

Moto Hagio, Author
Moto Hagio, Fantagraphics, $24.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-60699-3774
Reviewed on: 08/02/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
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Along with manga giants Keiko Takemiya and Riyoko Ikeda, and other notable female creators known as the Fabulous '49ers who pioneered the shojo revolution, Hagio forever changed the landscape of comics for girls and started a creative industry for women outside of the domicile. A decade after Sailor Moon, American audiences finally have the chance to read Hagio's work and see the genesis of a genre in this anthology. Unlike current shojo manga, Hagio's sentiment is more restrained, recounting a calmer account of destructive sibling rivalry, a quieter portrayal of a romance destined for failure, a subtle unraveling of a young woman in mourning. Her craftsmanship reflects wisdom and exercises the creative strength necessary to unravel and tie together the range of narrative threads that make up the tragedies and slow recoveries of life. In "Angel Mimic," Hagio turns the deflated student-teacher romance on its head, bringing it new life. In "Willow Tree" the story is so subtle, it takes place on the periphery of the page. A Drunken Dream collects stories by Hagio from her beginning, middle, and current career. The consistency of her work is evidence of why she's finally being translated into English and why that was long overdue. (Sept.)
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