Monday, August 10, 2009

Kaze Hikaru 14

I'm greatly enjoying the volumes of Kaze Hikaru that Viz is publishing. After all I'm a bit of a sucker for stories in the set in the bakumatsu period (see: The Anime Companion 2 p.8), especially stories about the Shinsengumi.

What was most interesting to me was the supplementary material found at the end of this volume, each volume has a section where the author writes various things related to the story. This time there was a section on women's hairstyles. The thing is in all my years of studying Japanese culture I have never seen so much on Edo Period women's hairstyles in one place. This is an example of the lack of material in English on many aspects of Japanese society. The supplements and notes at many current translations are useful sources of information for the readers but Kaze Hikaru is exceptional.

Kaze Hikaru is a josei manga, even tho' Viz publishes it in their Shojo Beat line. While aimed at young women the tale is very well done and the characters portrayed well. I highly recommend this series for anyone interested in the period and a good tale. However do be aware that male male sexual situations do turn up (nothing explicit shown) and there are trips to the local red light district (again nothing explicit shown).

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