When it comes to vintage and nostalgic shoujo manga (aka the very 70’s stuff!), I feel my reading list, however long it might be, could barely be completed without touching base on the works of OOYA Chiki. I am writing this post, also in courtesy of Passing-fancy who has kindly sent me a free copy of Carousel by OOYA Chiki (大矢ちき). So guys, upon reading this, if you fancy buying a copy but somehow got put off by amazon jp’s ridiculous shipping rates, here comes your alternative option! :))))
Early this year, there was a series of shoujo manga exhibitions being held in Japan to mark the significance of those featured masterpieces as well as their creators, including OOYA Chiki.
Some Japanese manga critics, such as YONEZAWA Yoshihiro (米沢嘉博) has claimed OOYA Chiki’s works to be highly influential as they introduced a new wave of “mannerism” and exotic fashion styles in shoujo manga in the early 70’s. Though I personally found it unconvincing, YONEZAWA further suggests that the influence of OOYA’s signature styles in male characters was so prominant that it could even be seen in other magakas’ works, such as YAMAHISHI Ryoko’s Yuri Mironov (the male protogonist) in Arabesque!
Albeit being most active in her mangaka career in the 70’s, OOYA produced only a limited number of short pieces which were (mainly) serialised in Ribon magazine, such as Ojamasan Ryuryu (おじゃまさんリュリュ) in 1974 and Yukiwarisou (雪割草), 1975.
Lucky for her fans and potential readers, all her works that were once released in Ribon more than 30 years ago have now been recollected and republished in the following three titles:
Ojamasan Ryuryu (おじゃまさんリュリュ), bunko edition, 2007
Candy and Chocolate Bonbon (キャンディとチョコボンボン), bunko edition, 2007
Carousel (回転木馬), tankobon edition, 2011
Amongst all, my personal favourites have to be Yukiwarisou (雪割草) (feat. in Candy and Chocolate Bonbon, see above) and Carousel (回転木馬), both tragic and showed a great sense of ambivalence and sadness beautifully.
If there is a saying that goes along the line of “live your life fully and let your passion burns”, Priscilla, the terminally ill heroine of Yukiwarisou, shows exactly how her passion and her love for skating, or on the other hand her fear of death, slowly burns her life away after she met Rex Guido, a gifted skater. Yukiwarisou is short but maturelly written (thus my surprise that it was serialised in Ribon)…. it is simply great stuff!
In contrast to Yukiwarisou, Carousel takes on a “slightly” more melodramatic theme: incest (or a possible incest…)!
I guess since Carousel was a longer series (being 4 chapters “long” instead of one!) which gave the characters perfect opportunites to showcase their very exergerrated forms of expressions anyhow, like:
…..and the examples go on and on.
Alas~ it’s soo-ohhh-70’s! 🙂
But seriously, what I like about Carousel is that fact that it is short but gripping; the story has so much to offer in less than 150 pages, not to mention the unexpected twist in the end which easily makes Carousel outshines other similar incestous-theme based pieces.
For more info:
– Blogger hoshinohitomi has given a great summary on Carousel – Google’s got the link 😉
– Search “youtube”, “おおやちき” and “雪割草” together, which should bring you to a Japanese video about Yukiwarisou…