Otherworld Barbara

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Otherworld Barbara
Barbara Ikai Vol 1 Cover.jpg
Cover of the first volume of Otherworld Barbara featuring Kirya Kitakata
(Barubara Ikai)
Genre Science fiction
Written by Moto Hagio
Published by Shogakukan
English publisher
Demographic Josei
Magazine Flowers
Original run September 2002August 2005
Volumes 4
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Otherworld Barbara (バルバラ異界, Barubara Ikai) is a science fiction manga by Moto Hagio. It is set in a near-future Japan, and begins with a girl, Jyujo Aoba, who has been in a coma since she was nine years old, who was discovered next to her parents' bodies, with their hearts inside her stomach.[1] To discover why she killed her parents, a specialist enters her coma dreams and finds that Jyujo is dreaming about and simultaneously creating the future.[2] Otherworld Barbara was serialised in Shogakukan's Flowers between September 2002 and August 2005 and is collected in 4 volumes. Otherworld Barbara won the 2006 Nihon SF Taisho Award,[3] and was the first manga in 23 years to have won this award.[4] It is published in Traditional Chinese by Sharp Point Press.[5] The series is licensed for release in the United States by Fantagraphics Books.[6]


Hagio "wanted to do something about meat" when she created the story for Otherworld Barbara, and felt that the story "turned out kind of gross".[7] Thorn felt that Hagio also used her interest in the right and left brain, and the origin of language. She read Noam Chomsky's Noam Chomsky on The Generative Enterprise, A discussion with Riny Hyybregts and Henk van Riemsdijk., Vilayanur S. Ramachandran's Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind, and Andrew B. Newberg's Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief.[8]

Volume list[edit]

No.Release date ISBN
01 26 June 2003[9]ISBN 4-09-167041-5
  • 01. "The World Revolves Around Me" (世界の中心であるわたし)
  • 02. "Sleeping Beauty Nestles in Sleeping Blood and Roses" (眠り姫は眠る血とバラの中)
  • 03. "No Sword Dancing in the Park" (公園で剣舞を舞ってはならない)
  • 04. "His Name Is Despair; Her Name Is Hope" (彼の名は絶望 彼女の名は希望)
  • 05. "Whatever Became of Ezra?" (エズラはどこへ消えた?)
  • 06. "See You in Roppongi" (六本木で会いましょう)
02 26 March 2004[10]ISBN 4-09-167042-3
  • 07. "I Used to Carry You on My Shoulders" (きみに肩車してあげた)
  • 08. "I'm in the Fridge. Bon Appétit!" (冷蔵庫の中のわたしを食べて)
  • 09. "We Were Swimming in the Martian Sea" (火星の海で泳いでいた)
  • 10. "Welcome Home, Daddy" (お父さんお帰りなさい)
  • 11. "All Born October First" (お誕生日は同じ10月1日)
  • 12. "The Kasasagi Bakery in Higashi-Ikebukuro" (東池袋カササギのパン屋)
03 20 December 2004[11]ISBN 4-09-167043-1
  • 13. "The Long, Long Genome Story" (長い長い遺伝子(ゲノム)の物語)
  • 14. "There Are Things Even Grown-ups Don't Know" (大人にだってわからない)
  • 15. "The Long Way 'Round to Engaru" (遠軽への遠い道)
  • 16. "And We Shall Become One" (ひとつになりましょう)
  • 17. "Nobody Knows Your Name" (誰もあなたの名前を知らない)
  • 18. "A First Time for Everything" (はじめてのことだから)
04 26 September 2005[12]ISBN 4-09-167044-X
  • 19. "I Have Always Loved You" (ずっとあなたを愛していた)
  • 20. "A Message from the Dead" (死者からのメッセージ)
  • 21. "The Fall of Barbara" (バルバラ崩壊)
  • 22. "Hana-Koganei Hikobae Day Care Center" (花小金井ヒコバエ保育園)
  • 23. "Give Me My Kiriya Back" (ぼくのキリヤをかえしてくれ)
  • 24. "From a Distant Yesterday to a Distant Tomorrow" (遠い昨日から遠い明日へ)


Paste Magazine praised Hagio's sense of pacing.[13]


  1. ^ Thorn, Matt (2005). "The Moto Hagio Interview conducted by Matt Thorn (Part One of Four)". The Comics Journal. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  2. ^ "Moto Hagio Focus Panel - San Diego Comic-Con 2010". Anime News Network. 2010-07-23. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  3. ^ "list" (in Japanese). SFWJ. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  4. ^ "Iguana Girl Turns Manga Legend" (PDF). Japanese Book News Vol. 63. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  5. ^ 無標題文件 (in Chinese). Sharp Point Press. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  6. ^ "Moto Hagio's Otherworld Barbara Manga Listed From Fantagraphics". Anime News Network. 27 October 2015. Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  7. ^ Thorn, Matt (2005). "The Moto Hagio Interview conducted by Matt Thorn (Part Four of Four)". The Comics Journal. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  8. ^ Thorn, Matt (2005-10-28). "Opinion: 'Otherworld barbara'". Japan Times. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  9. ^ 小学館:コミック 『バルバラ異界 1』 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. 2003-06-26. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  10. ^ 小学館:コミック 『バルバラ異界 2』 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. 2004-03-26. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  11. ^ 小学館:コミック 『バルバラ異界 3』 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. 2004-12-20. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  12. ^ 小学館:コミック 『バルバラ異界 4』 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. 2005-09-26. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  13. ^ https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/08/otherworld-barbara-vol-1-sticks-with-you-like-a-dr.html

External links[edit]