We do a fair bit of naval-gazing around these parts. Like many who’ve spent time in the anime fandom, have some base appreciation for Japan, and have spent their lives subsumed by internet subculture, we have a particular fondness for the art produced during the 80s and bubble-era period. From the ‘City Pop Revival’ that might outlive its original inception period to unadulterated worship to the likes of Maison Ikkoku, we love that a lot from then has once again been rediscovered on the international level. Of course, comics were the genesis for much of the aesthetic and the story’s from then that we’re so taken by, and this retrospective on 80s manga heroines by Sanei looks to celebrate the whole shebang.
Just looking at this cover sends us down a memory-lane we didn’t exactly live through! All the heavy hitters are here; You the Rumiko Takashi duo of Urusei Yatsura’s iconic Lum and Maison Ikkoku’s beloved Kyoko Otonashi, Kimagure Orange Road’s Madoka appears in a particularly fashionable get up, multiple Mitsuru Adachi girls, and even Hibari-Kun has made the cut. These 80s Manga heroines are not only near and dear to our hearts, but make up the majority of images used on YouTube future-funk compilations.
At just 1000 yen, this 124 pages retrospective of the best femmes 80s manga has to offer is a steal. Their enduring charm, the delightful retro fashion, and yes their romances that still make us well up when we revisit their confessional moments, Sanei is bringing together some wonderful manga history that’s guaranteed to make you smile. We’re particularly glad to see Hibari front and center with everyone else, as Japan isn’t always guaranteed to handle issues of trans representation with the nuance you would like them to. Plus, we never get tired of Hisashi Eguchi’s art on its face.
The Sanei 80s Manga Heroine collection releases today. More details and purchasing options here.