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Book Title: 大奧 11|
The author of the book: Fumi Yoshinaga
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 514 KB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: April 22nd 2016
ISBN 13: 9789571065700
Loaded: 1239 times
Reader ratings: 6.3
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Since my library system stopped buying volumes in this series a couple years ago, I forgot about this series, but thought of it recently in conjunction with discussions of The Handmaids Tale, and so bought this volume. I am reading this eleventh volume more than TWO YEARS after the tenth volume, so I obviously had to go back and look at reviews of the previous volumes so I could know what is going on.
The story is set in Edo period Japan, and imagines an alternative history where a plague, the red-faced pox, kills off most of the males, and women take over power. One question is, would women rule the world differently, or would they put in similar systems of coercive power. Ooku is a special, highly secret set of chambers that is essentially a male harem, so there's gender reversal, and the rulers are now female, with all that attends to that power dynamic. In the first volume we get to see one young man enter these chambers and we get to see the highly structured social system within, just as we have learned exists in any harem, or maybe any tightly constructed social system, but there are ironies, of course. We also get glimpses of the world that the young man leaves behind, a world where women must assume, thanks to the plague, traditional male roles, and we get to see what effect the scarcity of males has on procreation, marriage, and other aspects of society. Male prostitutes proliferate, for instance. This is not kid comics. It reminds me now of Game of Thrones with its complicated political intrigue, its graphic sexuality, and its graphic violence. The point for Yoshinaga is a close social/cultural examination but she also features a range of sexual orientations, queering the history of the period in a variety of ways.
I love the delicate period artwork and have always disliked the translator’s awkward attempts to convey the period’s language. But in this volume I can see she has improved, it’s not as stilted. Overall it’s a very interesting and complex story which gets better and better, though the first volume is sort of breath-taking. It's Japanese alt-history where we imagine what might have happened with women in power.
The eleventh volume is particularly brutal, featuring psychopath leader Tokugawa Harusada. Shudder. (Stop thinking of her, Dave!). A vaccine exists, can it be given to all males? If it is even feasible, would people want it? We seem to be heading toward an ending, but I see there are at least three more volumes. I highly recommend it for those interested in gender/sexuality politics and history.
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Read information about the authorJapanese: よしなが ふみ
Fumi Yoshinaga (よしなが ふみ Yoshinaga Fumi, born 1971) is a Japanese manga artist known for her shōjo and shōnen-ai works.
Fumi Yoshinaga was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1971. She attended the prestigious Keio University in Tokyo.
In an interview, she said that "I want to show the people who didn't win, whose dreams didn't come true. It is not possible for everybody to get first prize. I want my readers to understand the happiness that people can get from trying hard, going through the process, and getting frustrated."
Little is known about her personal life. She mentions that her favourite operas are those by Mozart in the author's note of Solfege.
She debuted in 1994 with The Moon and the Sandals, serialized in Hanaoto magazine, but was previously a participant in comic markets.
Of Yoshinaga's many works, several have been licensed internationally. She was also selected and exhibited as one of the "Twenty Major Manga artist Who Contributed to the World of Shōjo Manga (World War II to Present)" for Professor Masami Toku's exhibition, "Shōjo Manga: Girl Power!" at CSU-Chico.
Outside of her work with Japanese publishers, she also self-publishes original doujinshi on a regular basis, most notably for Antique Bakery. Yoshinaga has also drawn fan parodies of Slam Dunk, Rose of Versailles, and Legend of Galactic Heroes.
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