Irodori Comics Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Four Seminal Stories by Isaki Uta,
The Acclaimed Mangaka
(October 5, 2023) Irodori Comics is launching a Kickstarter campaign for a box set featuring four seminal stories by Isaki Uta, the mangaka and creator of the acclaimed manga Is Love The Answer? which was published in the US by Kodansha. Isaki Uta is known for their comics centered about characters navigating their experiences and relationship with their gender and sexual identities. The Kickstarter for the box set Isaki Uta: The Lost & Found Collection, featuring four of their most acclaimed stories, is now live.
Isaki Uta is best known for their short stories Mine-kun is Asexual, Silkscreen, and other stories which have appeared in Éclair: A Girls’ Love Anthology That Resonates in Your Heart and Éclair Blanche. Is Love The Answer? was their first solo work to appear in print in English. Now Irodori Comics presents the Isaki Uta: The Lost & Found Collection box set, featuring four classic doujinshi available both in print (for the first time) and digitally:
- Mine-kun is Asexual
In “Mine-kun is Asexual,” Mine doesn’t like sexual intimacy in a relationship. He can kiss a girl, but it’s not something he wants to do if he can help it. But Murai loves him so much that she’s willing to overlook the fact that she can’t hold his hand; that she can’t cuddle up next to him when they watch movies together; that she can’t fall in love with him the way that she hopes to be loved in return. In the eyes of those around them, is this even a relationship that’s meant to last, or is it a train wreck just waiting to happen?
Leapers—individuals who were born on February 29th that age at a rate four timese slower than that of a normal person and can live for over 300 years. Mio Aono is one of these leapers and like many, experiences all the emotions that come with living beyond the normal, mortal lifespan. This story won an honorable mention in the Monthly Afternoon Magazine Manga Competition and jumpstarted Isaki Uta’s career! Originally published in 2008, this landmark work has been updated and re-released as a doujinshi and localized in English for fans to enjoy.
- Mermaid in the Bottle
Takeru has always felt like another cog in the wheel of corporate society, but things take a strange turn when he and his sister discover a mermaid inside a cosmetic lotion bottle. Memories of childhood; a brother and sister separated in the aftermath of a failed marriage; corporate money disappearing off the ledgers… Mermaid in the Bottle is Isaki Uta’s tour-de-force first foray into self-publishing and features a unique story looking into the bitter-sweet relationship of a brother and sister with a shared, troubled past.
A girl falls in love and devotes herself to them, but they don’t conform to her expectations, perhaps because she looks at them through a blurry curtain. Silkscreen touches on a bittersweet romance between a lesbian and a genderqueer individual, who later comes out as a trans man. Those familiar with Isaki Uta’s previous works like Mermaid In The Bottle, Leaper and Mine-kun is Asexual, will know that the author has a unique style of storytelling that leaves a lot to the reader’s interpretation. Silkscreen is a bittersweet story that briefly explores the concepts of identity, rejection, and acceptance.
“Isaki Uta’s works are gems in the world of Japanese LGBTQ＋ comics,” said Irodori Comics’ translator ITSUKI. “The relationships between characters aren’t cookie cutter and show the rawness and intensity of discovering one’s sexuality and gender identity. It makes queer individuals like myself feel seen and that these kinds of stories are worth telling.”
“I put my heart and soul into drawing these stories, so I hope you enjoy them!” said Isaki Uta.
About Isaki Utai
Isaki Utai is a Japanese manga artist best known for Mine-kun is Asexual, published by Irodori Comics. Their works touch on themes of self-identity and living in a world while “being different”. Isaki Uta is also known for doujin such as Leaper and Silkscreen. For their commercial manga, they have published Is Love The Answer? through manga publisher Kodansha, and other stories in Éclair: A Girls’ Love Anthology That Resonates in Your Heart and Éclair Blanche. Isaki Uta: The Lost & Found Collection is the first English print release of their doujinshi works.
About Irodori Comics
Irodori Comics is a publisher of specialized Japanese manga called “doujinshi”, which are small-volume, short-run, independently-produced works by Japanese manga artists. Irodori Comics works directly with these artists to help localize and publish their works outside of Japan. With over 1,000 works published in English, French, and Chinese, Irodori Comics is trusted by over 300 Japanese manga artists to help make their works available to doujinshi fans the world over