Moto Hagio collection, Takako Shimura’s “Wandering Son”

This was supposed to be an Anime News Network exclusive, with all the bells and whistles, but Amazon.com moves in mysterious ways. It listed the titles a whole month early (here and here), so the cat’s out of the bag. Although a well-choreographed roll-out would have been nice, I for one am relieved, because, as my co-conspirator Dirk Deppey put it, “Fours years is a hell of a long time to keep a secret.

I’m too busy with the actual project to go into much detail here, so I’ll leave that to others. Suffice it to say, this is a dream project for me. If I hadn’t encountered Hagio’s The Heart of Thomas (1974) at the tender age of 21-ish, I would never have ended up on this peculiar career path. But choosing stories from Hagio’s massive body of work objectively was difficult. Obviously, I have my own favorites, but I wanted a selection that a broad swath of Hagio aficionados would consider “representative” of her four-decade career. To this end, I resorted to shamelessly deceptive means, and so I must apologize to and thank the members of the Moto Hagio Community over on Mixi for tricking them into offering recommendations for a “hypothetical” English-language primer intended to introduce anglophone readers to Hagio’s work.

Here are the stories that made the final cut:

  • “Bianca” (1970, 16 pages)
  • “Girl on Porch with Puppy” (1971, 12 pages)
  • “Autumn Journey” (1971, 24 pages)
  • “Marié, Ten Years Later” (1977, 16 pages)
  • “A Drunken Dream” (1980, 21 pages)
  • “Hanshin” (1984, 16 pages)
  • “Angel Mimic” (1984, 50 pages)
  • “Iguana Girl” (1991, 50 pages)
  • “The Child Who Comes Home” (1998, 24 pages)
  • “The Willow Tree” (2007, 20 pages)

The volume will contain other goodies, as well, and since it’s from Fantagraphics, you know the book will be drop-dead gorgeous and boast the finest production values. We still have a huge amount of work to do before getting the book to the shelves, but I do have this lovely cover to show you.

Wandering Son is another dream project that I am ecstatic to be working on, but I’ll write about that one in more detail as the release date approaches. Let me just say that fans of Anne of Green Gables or The Rose of Versailles should get some special thrills from it, with every succeeding thrill “thrillier than the last.” And it, too, has a lovely cover.


The official Fantagraphics announcement can be seen here.

  1. Sheila’s avatar

    Wow i’m dying to see this collection come to life, I’ve been reading Wandering Son and is lovely, i will buy it for sure.

  2. Erin’s avatar

    This is wonderful news, and I look forward to buying both titles when they come out. Thank you!

  3. Michelle Smith’s avatar

    I am so exceedingly happy about this news. Not just because I wanted Wandering Son to be licensed very much, or to see Moto Hagio’s work in English, but because I know they’re in such good hands. To read that it’s your dream project, too, is the icing on the cake! :)

  4. Emi’s avatar

    I’m ridiculously excited about this project! I have been longing for titles like these to be released here for a very long time. Thank you so much!

  5. Anna’s avatar

    I’m very much looking forward to this new manga line.

  6. Eri’s avatar

    Oh my God! Im so happy, i hope this announcement will be the beginning of more titles from Moto Hagio.

  7. Tina’s avatar

    Look at you! All ‘important-publisher’ type! :)

    I’m very happy for you, it’s great to see your working with material you love.

  8. Melinda Beasi’s avatar

    I’ve been obsessed with this news since its announcement yesterday afternoon. Thank you for helping to bring works like this to the English-speaking market. Our gratitude is endless.

  9. Estara’s avatar

    Whenever they come out, you’ve got my money ^^. Good luck and lots of health in your endeavour.

  10. eupheminism’s avatar

    It’s official. I’m madly in love with you, Mr. Thorn.

  11. Clarissa’s avatar

    Yes, I’ve been squeeing since yesterday, too. I’m looking forward to both of these, although I wasn’t familiar with Wandering Son until I heard about it on the Yuri ML. Excellent news.

  12. hoodedzippy’s avatar

    You have made my day! This is such wonderful news. My sister and I still have our copies of Four Shojo Stories that we treasure deeply…I can’t wait to tell her about this upcoming Hagio-sensei collection…thanks, Matt!!

  13. AlexM.’s avatar

    I’m very exited to hear about these releases, I’ve been looking to get into Moto Hagio’s work and I was disappointed to see that what little was available in english was out of print and hard to find it’s great to hear there will soon be more of her manga easily available.
    As for Wandering Son, as I’ve followed this title it has become one of my favorite manga and has resonated with me emotionally in a way that few works have.
    I am overjoyed to see these excellent works are being released by such a great company and that the translations are in more than capable hands, I look forward to purchasing them.
    thanks.

  14. ridiculus’s avatar

    Fantastic news!

    Why are there no more licensed manga from Comic Beam in America, that’s the question? I understand the logic of the publishers, but what is odd is the shortage of demand. The magazine is a chest of treasures – I am reading Imuri just now, and can’t believe what the rest of the world is missing.

  15. alice’s avatar

    I am so happy to see Wandering Son picked up for release in the US. Do you have any insight into how frequent the releases are going to be?

  16. Nathan’s avatar

    I had recently borrowed my friend’s nine volumes of “Wandering Son”, his own translations scirbbled around the panels for me, and breezed through them in a weekend. I absolutely cannot wait for this release and glad to see the enthusiasm you have for it too. :)

    And I’m also excited to be introduced to Moto Hagio now. :)

  17. Jen’s avatar

    Late to reply, but congratulations! I’m so excited that these titles are coming over, and that you’re playing such a large part in it. I feel like I’ve benefited so much already from your work in discovering talent, adapting works for English readers, and writing thought-provoking essays about writing, translation and adaptation. (I am also a huge fan of est em!)

    Will you also be attending Comic Con this year? If so, I hope you’ll host or be a part of a panel or Q&A! I’d love to attend. :)

  18. John’s avatar

    Comment comes a bit late but I’m ecstatic that Wandering Sons is getting published. Hopefully it won’t be discontinued (I’m unfamiliar with the company’s practices) because I’d hate to have an unfinished series sitting on my bookshelf but mostly because it is one of my favourite series.

    Very happy the translation is in good hands it makes me confident in my (future) purchase.

  19. DanielBT’s avatar

    Good to finally see some Moto Hagio recognization at last. I wrote my thoughts of appreciation here:
    http://sundaycomicsdebt.blogspot.com/2010/03/moto-hagio-finally.html

    For those of you interested, I also put up a few pages from the They Were Eleven sequel on the old Scans Daily site;
    http://sundaycomicsdebt.blogspot.com/2010/03/eleven-sequel.html

  20. kumako’s avatar

    koo… can’t wait for the wandering son

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