This year we started a new monthly column The Line-Up that complies the new anime and manga news for that month. This has also allowed me to keep track of some of the new shojo titles premiering. Thanks to that I found myself checking out the year’s worth of releases as listed by Baka-Updates Manga so I thought I’d roll that into a post about some of the new shojo titles I’m most interested in that started in Japan in 2012.
This list got crazy long pretty quickly! Honestly, it is as much to help myself keep track of things as it is a post for others.
Lovely Complex Two (Love*Com Two) This is a one volume semi-sequel to the wonderful romantic comedy Love*Com by Aya Nakahara. This is a short, one book series with new characters and a slightly more serious bent. I’d love to see all these short titles related to Love*Com get a collection here in the U.S.
Members Site -Zoo- This mystery story is part of a compilation of shorts from Yumi Tamura best known for Legend of Basara. She also started a series this year Iromen ~Junin Toiro~ which is a josei title. Amazingly her josei title is being released in full-color. Along side all of this I believe 7 Seeds is still running!
Romantica Clock and Sekai wa Kimi o Sukuu! I lovelovelove Yoko Maki! Both of her new titles are for Ribon magazine which I’m so glad she is getting back to, I’m really excited for more of her signature cute stories. Sekai wa Kimi o Sukuu! is a short story collection similar to 14R and Romantica Clock is an ongoing series about a twin brother and sister who are rivals.
Kyokutou Prison This manga sounds like a survivalist type story maybe along the lines of Limit. This is a new ongoing series by Nokiya about a school of people deemed unfit for society. Nokiya’s other original work Conductor is a mystery manga that also grabbed my attention.
Kaitou Magu no Ichibushijuu I’m a huge fan of manga-ka Nari Kusakawa who I’ve talked about plenty before. This is a short story about a phantom thief, I’m so there! Additional, she has an ongoing series Yashio to Mikumo which is about a secret cat society(?) which started in 2009.
Makoto no Kuni After finishing Otomen, Aya Kanno has started working on her third manga set within the historical Shinsingumi. I only just found out about the other two, Hokusou Shinsengumi and Kootetsu no Hana which are both just one book long. It would be great to see them all collected together in a U.S. edition once her new series is completed.
Natsu Yasumi Zero Zero Nichime This is a sweet, summery one-shot by Sorata Akizuki who I actually know more for her fantasy settings mixed with romance. She has a series still going at the moment too, Akagami no Shirayukihime which is based on Snow White.
Long Goodbye and Forget-Me-Not Well, Yuuki Obata certainly has been a busy bee this year with two ongoing titles starting up, plus We Were There just ended earlier in 2012 as well. Ms. Obata likes to tackle the topics of life and death and that continues; Long Goodbye is about immortals and Forget-Me-Not is about a girl who attempted suicide.
Life x 01 This is the first original work by Kabosu. From what I can tell it either started as a webcomic or is still a webcomic which is what initial caught my eye. It is about a school in the underworld where you can earn your life back.
Detarame Mousouryoku Opera Since this is from Bisco Hatori I hope this will get a U.S. release. It takes place in a magical world which Hifumi finds in her closet one day. Ouran High School Host Club has recently finished up so I think the chance is even more likely that DMO will make it over to the States soon. I can only assume Ouran was popular, because it is Ouran, and it is getting a boxset for the full run of the manga in English. To top it all off, DMO is a one book story.
Boku no Kanojo wa Yojinbo Rie Takada has had a few titles published in the U.S., Happy Hustle High being one of my favorites of hers. This one features a girl who is hoping to act in Japanese period dramas.
1001 and Junkissa Neko I love Yukiru Sugisaki’s artwork so I’m interested in these titles, but I can’t help but complain that D.N.Angel is basically on permanent hiatus never to be completed. 1001 is set in the world of One Thousand and One Nights which sounds fun, since Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic is also a popular title right now maybe the Arabian setting is becoming a trend? Junkissa Neko I don’t know much about except that it involves cats and a coffee shop.
Kamisama no Sonata, Mahoroba no Yobigoe, and Visukiisu no Akai Ningyou These are all one-shots from Kaoru Ichinose who likes to play with fantasy. Each of these stories is a little different but all have a bit (and sometimes more than a bit) of melancholy.
Korisu Ballet I really like the art style of Youko Komori it has a very whimsical feeling. I also happen to like stories about ballet. She’s also done a josei title that looks like it might be about a ghost.
Daisy ~3.11 Joshikosei-tachi no Sentaku~ This manga based on a novel is being adapted by Reiko Momochi. The story takes place in Fukushima Prefecture after the possibility of radioactive contamination. Even if I didn’t know this was based on an existing work, it sounds like it fits in with Ms. Momochi’s repertoire of tragic human stories.
Hanasaki Kanon I know absolutely nothing about this other than it is by Yuki Fujitsuka the creator of Kingyo Sou. Kingyo Sou was an incredibly sweet story about a girl who falls in love then begins dating a deaf Taiko drum player.
Sakura Juuyuushi While Rinko Ueda has done a number of works that have been released in English, I’ve never read any, but the plot of this one caught my attention. A magical sword and possible connections to the Warring States Period sounds good to me. Ms. Ueda also drew a josei one-shot earlier this year.
Tsuki no Shizumu made This is a revenge story! Tooko Miyagi has created a modern world of nobles, money, crime, and secrets. Ms. Miyagi has done a number of yaoi titles over the years in addition to shojo, so the men in this series seem to reflect that style.
Maigo no Obakeyashiki and Jinja no Mori no Nora Neko-kun These are both the first professional works of Chiyori. Maigo no Obakeyashiki is a one-shot not-so-ghost story. I don’t know anything about the one book title Jinja no Mori no Nora Neko-kun, it could be a short story collection.
Kono Mama ja Dame Mitai desu A mysterious time traveler comes out of the rice cooker one day, doesn’t that sell you? Said man then helps a young boy win his crush. This is a one-shot from the manga-ka of Kaichou wa Maid-sama, Hiro Fujiwara.
Hinoko This is a new series from Masami Tsuda manga-ka of Kare Kano. I ended up with rather mixed feelings about Kare Kano, but I always have my eye on new fantasy series and Hinoko is just that. Not a lot of information yet but we do know it involves magic and shrine maidens.
Orange This is by Takano Ichigo who I’m not familiar with but now I’m keeping an eye on. A girl receives a letter from her future self saying she regrets that a friend is no longer with them. I don’t know if it is about changing fate or living in the moment but either way it sounds like it will end up quite bittersweet.
Idea no Hana I wasn’t crazy about W Juliet but Emura’s artwork is lovely and that shows in the promo image for this new title as well. On top of that the promise of an “exotic fantasy” has me curious.
Ore Monogatari!! This wacky romance is a collaboration between Kazune Kawahara known for High School Debut though I like her more for Aozora Yell, and Aruko the creator of Yasuko to Kenji among other things. If you haven’t read the hilarious Yasuko to Kenji, do so now on JManga.
Kakuritsu Sousakan Mikoshiba Gakuto The reason this is on the list is because Manabu Kaminaga’s previous works are both mysteries and it is assumed this new title is as well. The artist Majiko! has done manga adaptions of anime as well as authored and illustrated her own original works.
Sakura no Kioku and Hatsukoi Asterism Simple and sweet romances seem to be Yuu Yoshinaga’s forte. Sakura no Kioku is short story about a long-distance relationship and Hatsukoi Asterism is about first love.
Kimi to Rakuen Room I love Aya Oda’s manga because they are so ridiculously over-the-top romances so while I don’t know anything about this new title, I expect enjoyable things. It makes me sad none of her works have been licensed for the U.S.
Shojo manga often gets criticized for sticking to straight-up high school romance stories, and despite personally enjoying such stories I can’t deny I’d like more variety, too. There are a ton of one book titles in that category this year, and every year most likely, as well as more than a few “mature” titles which a friend and I lovingly refer to as “hump comics”; the entire assortment can be seen if you look at the 2012 shojo list on Baka-Updates Manga.
However, I hope I was able to list some of the more diverse titles this year alongside the many intriguing romances that caught my attention.
I know it might seem like I’ve listed every title in existence but really it is just a fraction of what came out this year, kind of amazing really. What titles have you been curious about?