The Joys of Afternoon and Kuroda Iou

Recently I found out that Kuroda Iou, creator of Sexy Voice and Robo as well as one of my favorite manga artists, has a new series entitled Atarashii Asa (New Morning) in one of my favorite magazines, Monthly Afternoon. Afternoon was home to Genshiken, and is where Kio Shimoku’s current series about a teenage mom Jigopuri, as well as Mysterious Girlfriend X, are running. Suffice it to say, at this point I am almost, almost tempted to consistently buy Monthly Afternoon even though I understand how much the costs tend to add up after a while.

This got me thinking about why I like Kuroda’s artwork, as it’s a wild style unlike most other artists in the anime and manga industries. If you look at my previous Sexy Voice and Robo review, you can get a good idea of what his drawings entail. He’s detailed but not meticulously so, and his brush usage leans away from the “cleaner” style that is so popular with so many people. Often times his drawings and panels aren’t completely coherent, but I feel like these “mistakes” are part of what make his style so unique. I call them mistakes only in the sense that in the end he did not decide to redraw something so that the thickness of the lines made a little more sense or the proportions of a character’s fingers were more realistic, but ultimately it was a decision, and it’s these decisions of which I am fond.

I’ve mentioned before that his style is pretty much what I wish I had, and it really has to do with conveying a sense of energy that goes beyond “accuracy.” Accuracy has its place in that world, but it is not at the forefront, much to the dismay of people who scrutinize single frames from Naruto episodes. While I don’t think my own style will ever be JUST LIKE his, it’s good to know that he’s still in Japan producing works that hopefully will get brought over to America at some point.

Oh and I found out Jigopuri’s first volume should be out, but that’s it’s not listed on Kinokuniya’s website. Maybe it takes a while for new series to get over there.