Ōoku: The Inner Chambers

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Ōoku: The Inner Chambers
Ooku.JPG
First English edition of Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, as published by Viz Media
大奥
(Ōoku)
Genre Alternate history, Romance
Manga
Written by Fumi Yoshinaga
Published by Hakusensha
English publisher
Demographic Josei
Magazine Melody
Original run September 29, 2005 – ongoing
Volumes 10
Live-action film
Directed by Fuminori Kaneko
Released October 1, 2010 (2010-10-01)
Television drama
Ōoku: Arikoto Iemitsu Hen
Directed by Fuminori Kaneko
Written by Minako Kamiyama
Original run October 2012December 2012
Live-action film
Ōoku: Emonnosuke Tsunayoshi Hen
Directed by Fuminori Kaneko
Written by Minako Kamiyama
Released December 22, 2012 (2012-12-22)
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Ōoku: The Inner Chambers (大奥 Ōoku?) is an ongoing Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Fumi Yoshinaga. The plot follows an alternate history of medieval Japan in which an unknown disease kills most of the male population, leading to a matriarchal society in which the Ōoku becomes a harem of men serving the now female shogun.

The manga has been serialized in Hakusensha's josei magazine Melody since 2005. Hakusensha has released seven tankōbon volumes to date, starting in September 29, 2005. The manga is licensed in North America by Viz Media and in Taiwan by Sharp Point Press. In addition to winning an Excellence Prize at the 2006 Japan Media Arts Festival[1] and a special prize at The Japanese Association of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy's fifth annual Sense of Gender Awards in 2005,[2] the manga was nominated for the first annual Manga Taishō in 2008[3] and three times for the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize[4][5][6] before winning the Grand Prize in April 2009.[7] It was adapted into a live action film in 2010 and it will be adapted into a drama series and another live action film in 2012.[8]

Plot[edit]

In an alternative timeline of feudal Japan, a strange disease that only affects men has caused a massive reduction of male population, thus women have to pick up men's jobs, changing the social structure. Now, after 80 years of the initial outbreak and current man:woman ratio of 1:4, Japan has become completely matriarchal, with women holding important political positions and men being their consort. Only the most powerful woman—head of Tokugawa shogunate—can keep a harem of handsome yet unproductive men, known as "Ooku."

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

No. Original release date Original ISBN English release date English ISBN
1 October 4, 2005[9] ISBN 4592143019 August 18, 2009[10] ISBN 1-4215-2747-2
  • Chapter One
  • Chapter Two
  • Chapter Three
  • Chapter Four
  • End Notes
A young man, Mizuno Yunoshin, from a poor family resolves to give his sister a dowry by joining the inner chambers of the shogun, a seven year old girl, leaving his childhood sweetheart behind to hopefully find a husband. He adjusts to the life of the Ooku with the assistance of Sugishita, including the advances of his superiors there. The shogun dies and a new shogun who is thrifty but who does not know the customs, Yoshimune takes power. Mizuno rises in the ranks to be in the group of men from whom Yoshimune can take a lover. She approves of his simple attire and chooses him to be her first lover, a position that customarily ensures his death. The morning after, he is taken to the woods to be executed, but is spared by Yoshimune, who gives him a new name and some money and tells him where his still-unmarried childhood sweetheart is. Yoshimune meets a Dutch ambassador by dressing in men's clothes and hiding behind a screen. She violates protocol by speaking within his hearing. Later, she discusses with her friend the customs of naming. Yoshimune later dismisses all the young men of the inner chambers, telling them to marry, and arranges for Sugishita to be in the pool of men from whom she can take a lover, and takes him as a personal attendant. Yoshimune seeks out the oldest member of the Ooku, who she suspects may know more about the strange customs, and he gives her a book called "Chronicle of a Dying Day".
2 December 4, 2006[11] ISBN 4592143027 December 15, 2009[12] ISBN 1-4215-2748-0
  • Chapter Five
  • Chapter Six
  • Chapter Seven
  • Chapter Eight
  • Chapter Nine
  • End Notes
3 December 25, 2007[13] ISBN 4592143031 April 20, 2010[14] ISBN 1-4215-2749-9
  • Chapter Ten
  • Chapter Eleven
  • Chapter Twelve
  • Chapter Thirteen
  • Chapter Fourteen
  • End Notes
4 December 24, 2008[15] ISBN 4592143048 August 17, 2010[16] ISBN 1-4215-3169-0
  • Chapter Fifteen
  • Chapter Sixteen
  • Chapter Seventeen
  • Chapter Eighteen
  • End Notes
5 October 5, 2009[17] ISBN 4592143055 December 21, 2010[18] ISBN 1-4215-3669-2
  • Chapter Nineteen
  • Chapter Twenty
  • Chapter Twenty-One
  • Chapter Twenty-Two
  • End Notes
6 August 28, 2010[19] ISBN 9784592143062 July 19, 2011[20] ISBN 1-4215-3961-6
  • Chapter Twenty-Three
  • Chapter Twenty-Four
  • Chapter Twenty-Five
  • Chapter Twenty-Six
  • End Notes
7 June 28, 2011[21] ISBN 9784592143079 July 17, 2012[22] ISBN 1-4215-4220-1
  • Chapter Twenty-Seven
  • Chapter Twenty-Eight
  • Chapter Twenty-Nine
  • Chapter Thirty
  • End Notes
8 September 28, 2012[23] ISBN 9784592143086 September 17, 2013[24] ISBN 1-4215-5482-2
  • Chapter Thirty-One
  • Chapter Thirty-Two
  • Chapter Thirty-Three
  • Chapter Thirty-Four
  • Chapter Thirty-Five
  • End Notes
9 December 3, 2012[25] ISBN 9784592143093 January 21, 2014[26] ISBN 1-4215-5877-7
10 October 28, 2013[27] ISBN 9784592143109 November 18, 2014 [28] ISBN 1-4215-7242-7

Viz has stated the manga is "coming out in Japan at a rate of only one volume per year, with a projected ten volumes."[29] Pancha Diaz, Fumi Yoshinaga's editor at Viz Media, explained that Ōoku was chosen to be "part of the Viz Signature line of manga" because "they’re manga that don’t easily fit into the shojo [for young girls] or shonen [for young boys] projected market, which might appeal to older readers. Books that might interest people who like American comics but avoid manga due to preconceptions. [Viz Media] wanted them to have a different presentation, to look a little different. Lots of manga are meant to be read very quickly, almost like a static cartoon, but these are meant to be savored. That’s why we chose the larger size—to signal that to the audience."[29]

The manga is licensed in French by Kana and in Taiwan by Sharp Point Press.[30][31]

Film[edit]

Fuminori Kaneko is the director of a live-action adaptation of the manga, specifically of the Yoshimune and Mizuno arc.[32] Filming began in the spring of 2010,[33] and the film opened on October 1, 2010.[34] Kazunari Ninomiya played the role of Yuunoshin Mizuno, a new addition to the shogun's harem, and Kou Shibasaki was playing Shogun Yoshimune.[35]

Reception[edit]

It was nominated for the first annual Manga Taishō in 2008.[3] It was nominated for the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize three years in a row from 2007 to 2009 [4][5][6] before it won the Grand Prize in April 2009.[7] Previously, the manga also won an Excellence Prize in the 2006 Japan Media Arts Festival[1] and special prize in The Japanese Association of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy's fifth annual Sense of Gender Awards in 2005.[2] In January 2010, The American Library Association's Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) division listed first volume of VIZ Media version of Ōoku: The Inner Chambers in the 2010 Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens list.[36] The fourth volume of Ōoku: The Inner Chambers was ranked 5th on the Tohan charts between December 23, 2008 and January 5, 2009[37] and ranked 24th on the Tohan charts between January 6 and 12, 2009.[38] The manga won the 2009 James Tiptree Jr. Award, which is awarded to science fiction works which expand or explore one's understanding of gender.[39] In January 2011, the manga won 56th Shogakukan Manga Award in Girls' Category.[40] The seventh volume of the manga sold around 167,000 copies in its debut week and reached No. 1 on the Japan's Oricon weekly comic ranking for the first time in July 2011.[41]

In a review of the first volume, Casey Brienza of Anime News Network stated that "the manga is the perfect marriage of stylistic shortcomings to appropriate subject matter—the beautiful costumes are important players and plot points throughout the story, and the lack of character expression matches a world of intensely ritualized social interaction perfectly. Furthermore, while Yoshinaga isn't know[n] for her gorgeously rendered settings, artistic assistants provide much needed background detail and atmosphere."[42] Holly Ellingwood describes the manga as a "fascinating study of 'what if'", and praises Viz's presentation of the manga.[43] Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane found it difficult to connect with the characters in the first volume.[44] Katherine Dacey criticised the English translation of the manga, finding it awkwardly juxtaposed faux-old-English with modern language, and enjoyed the characterisation of Yoshimune.[45] She found the second volume more engaging than the first, but found the language distracting.[46] Carlo Santos of Anime News Network enjoyed the artwork which shows the period detail, but disliked the lack of character development in the second volume and the English translation.[47]

Leroy Douresseaux wrote that by the sixth volume, the focus of the series was much more on character drama and the political climate than on gender roles.[48]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ōoku". Japan Media Arts Festival. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  2. ^ a b "Gender-SF 2005 SoG Awards: Yoshinaga Fumi". The Japanese Association of Feminist. 
  3. ^ a b "12 Titles Nominated for 1st Ever Manga Taisho Awards (Updated)". Anime News Network. 2008-01-23. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  4. ^ a b "Tezuka Cultural Prize Nominees for Manga Announced". Anime News Network. 2007-04-30. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  5. ^ a b "12th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Nominees Announced". Anime News Network. 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  6. ^ a b "13th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Nominees Announced". Anime News Network. 2009-03-05. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  7. ^ a b "13th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Winners Announced". Anime News Network. 2009-04-19. Retrieved 2009-04-19. 
  8. ^ "Ōoku: The Inner Chambers Manga Gets Live-Action TV Drama, 2nd Film". Anime News Network. 2012-01-16. Retrieved 2012-03-27. 
  9. ^ 大奥 1 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 1". Viz Media. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  11. ^ 大奥 2 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 2". Viz Media. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  13. ^ 大奥 3 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 3". Viz Media. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  15. ^ 大奥 4 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 4". Viz Media. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  17. ^ 大奥 5 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 5". Viz Media. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  19. ^ 大奥 6 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 6". Viz Media. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  21. ^ 大奥 7 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 7". Viz Media. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  23. ^ 大奥 8 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 8". Viz Media. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  25. ^ 大奥 9 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 9". Viz Media. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  27. ^ 大奥 10 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 10". Viz Media. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  29. ^ a b Fitzsimons, Kate (July 20, 2009). "Relationships and Preconceptions: Fumi Yoshinaga’s Ooku". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  30. ^ "Le Pavillon des hommes tome 1" (in French). Kana. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  31. ^ 大奧(01) (in Chinese). Sharp Point Press. Retrieved October 4, 2009. 
  32. ^ "Ōoku: The Inner Chamber Manga Gets Live-Action Film". Anime News Network. 2009-04-09. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  33. ^ よしながふみ「大奥」実写映画化!来春クランクイン (in Japanese). news.livedoor.com. Retrieved 2009-11-03. 
  34. ^ 大奥 (in Japanese). Ohoku. Retrieved 2010-06-11. 
  35. ^ "Arashi's Kazunari Ninomiya, Kou Shibasaki Star in Ōoku Film". Anime News Network. 2010-06-07. Retrieved 2010-06-11. 
  36. ^ "2010 Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens". Yalsa. 2010-01-20. Retrieved 2010-01-26. 
  37. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, December 23-January 5". Anime News Network. 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  38. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, January 6–12". Anime News Network. 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  39. ^ "2009 Winners - James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award Council". James Tiptree, Jr. Award. Archived from the original on 2010-06-19. Retrieved 2010-06-11. 
  40. ^ "56th Shogakukan Manga Award Winners Announced". Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  41. ^ [大奥]最新7巻が初のコミック部門首位 オリコン週間本ランキング. Mycom Journal (in Japanese). Mainichi Communications Inc. July 7, 2011. Retrieved July 8, 2011. 
  42. ^ Brienza, Casey (August 12, 2009). "Ōoku: The Inner Chamber GN 1". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  43. ^ Ellingwood, Holly (2009-08-16). "Ooku: The Inner Chambers Vol. 1 (Advance Review)". activeanime.com. Retrieved 2010-06-11.  Query Wayback Bibalex Wayback WebCite Wikiwix
  44. ^ MacFarlane, Ysabet Reinhardt. "Ōoku: The Inner Chambers v1 Review". Mangalife.com. Retrieved 2010-06-11. [dead link]
  45. ^ Dacey, Katherine (2009-09-15). "Ooku: The Inner Chambers, Vol. 1". The Manga Critic. Retrieved 2010-06-11. 
  46. ^ Dacey, Katherine. "Short Takes: Detroit Metal City, Jormungand, and Ooku: The Inner Chambers". The Manga Critic. Retrieved 2010-06-11. 
  47. ^ Santos, Carlo (2010-06-07). "The Guilded Age - Right Turn Only!!". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2010-06-11. 
  48. ^ Ooku: The Inner Chambers Volume 6

External links[edit]