Moto Hagio Party, Handley update

First, a brief update on the Christopher Handley case. A source who prefers to remain anonymous tells me that Handley’s sentencing is scheduled for August 18, though “the pre-trial probation officer said it might take longer to get their report done.”

And now some fun news, for a change.

On June 11, I had the enormous privilege of attending a party in Tokyo celebrating Moto Hagio’s 40th year as a professional manga artist. I’m guessing there were maybe 200 people at the main reception, maybe 60 or so at the post-party-party, and about 30 at the post-post-party-party.

The main reception was held at the Tokyo Kaikan. The hosts of the party included such luminaries as Galaxy Express 999 creator Leiji Matsumoto, Tomorrow’s Joe creator Tetsuya Chiba, and science fiction author Baku Yumemakura. One of the highlights for me was a performance by biwa musician Gessui Kuroda. Setting to music lyrics written by Hagio for her fantasy classic Gin no sankaku (“The Silver Triangle”), Gessui delivered a powerful and otherwordly performance that gave me goosebumps.

This was probably one of the few formal receptions I’ve ever attended that I can say I truly enjoyed. This sort of thing tends to (naturally) be attended almost exclusively by people involved in the manga industry, but at this party there were people from a dazzling variety of fields: theater (director Hideki Noda was there); science-fiction author Mari Kotani (who I hadn’t seen in ages!); film; music; fine art; et cetera.

I got to see some people I hadn’t seen in a long time (such as erotic manga artist Milk Morizono), and got to meet some people I’d never met before, such as: Patalliro! creator Mineo Maya (and his lovely wife and daughter); pioneering shoujo manga art Miyako Maki; sci-fi manga artist Reiko Shimizu; and Hagio’s three charming nieces, Ikue, Satomi, and Naoko. My friend and fellow shoujo manga critic Yukari Fujimoto was there, decked out in an original Comme des Garçon T-shirt that was a collaboration between Hagio and John Galliano.

You could feel the love and admiration for Hagio in the crowd (not to mention the quality of the company she keeps), and I felt honored to be included in their numbers. It was truly a night to remember. My biggest regret is that I learned later that Nodame Cantabile creator Tomoko Ninomiya was also there, yet I missed the opportunity to meet her! She was there with her baby son. (And she came down with appendicitis the next day, which means Nodame is once again on hold!)

Now let’s see if I can convince WordPress to let me add some images.

The formalities

The formalities

Gessui Kuroda

Gessui Kuroda playing The Silver Triangle on a biwa

Miyako Maki

Me with shoujo manga legend Miyako Maki

The star of the show

The star of the show

Note the tiara!

Note the tiara!

Me with Mineo Maya

Me with Mineo Maya

Yukari Fujimoto, Mineo Maya, his daughter, Reiko Shimizu, and Maya's wife

Yukari Fujimoto, Mineo Maya, his daughter, Reiko Shimizu, and Mayas wife

Me with the Hagio nieces, Ikue, Naoko, and Satomi

Me with the Hagio nieces, Ikue, Naoko, and Satomi

Me and Hagio

Me and Hagio

Me with Chiho Saito

Me with Chiho Saito

  1. Clarissa’s avatar

    Wow, what an amazing group of artists and writers!

  2. Estara’s avatar

    So nifty! I hope you have made many new friends and contacts and firmed your connections with the old ones…. so we may hear more about them here, heh ^^

  3. nele’s avatar

    Amazing. I wish I’d been there, but I’d have had no idea what to do in front of so many insanely talented individuals except goggle and stammer :)

  4. Matt’s avatar

    I mentioned only a handful of the people who were there. I didn’t goggle and stammer, but I wish I’d been a bit more aggressive about introducing myself to people (not to mention getting autographs, though I did get autographs from Maya, Maki, and Saito).

    I just took a quick look at your site, Nele. One of my former students is a successful boys’ love manga artist, and also one of the most popular creators of Severus/James doujinshi around. She is absolutely obsessed with Severus! I’m sure she was very, very pleased with his role in the final volume. (^_^) If you’d like, I can introduce you to her, though she speaks very little English, as far as I know.

  5. David’s avatar

    It’s shameful that none of her work is being released in English. We’ve still got a long way to go in the world of classic manga, though things are getting a little better every year. Maybe we’ll see more classic shojo soon…

  6. Matt’s avatar

    Don’t give up hope, David. Something may be waiting just around the corner.

  7. Erika’s avatar

    “It’s shameful that none of her work is being released in English.!
    And what about A,A’ and They were eleven?

    I want someone licenced Thomas no shinzo or at least the novel, Poe no ichizoku and Juichigatsu no gymnasium!!

  8. Matt’s avatar

    I agree, Erika. Except about the novel! I haven’t read it, but what a terrible idea: making a novel (set in Japan) out of one of the greatest comics ever created! I can’t believe Hagio-sensei agreed to it, particularly after “Summer Vacation 1999″ (which Hagio-sensei *hated*).

  9. June’s avatar

    The sentencing is scheduled for January 25th.

  10. Matt’s avatar

    Thanks, June! I don’t know how my Google Alerts managed to miss that.


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