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)
GenreScience fiction
Written byMoto Hagio
Published byShogakukan
English publisher
Original runSeptember 2002August 2005
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]