Love & Capitalism
By Kyoko Okazaki
Paperback, approx. 256 pages, 5.75 x 8.25 inches
U.S.$16.95 / CAN$17.95
Yumiko moonlights as a call girl because her day job doesn't pay enough to feed her pet, Croc. Haru, an aspiring writer who has nothing to say, sleeps with a woman his mother's age not just for the money but to work on his "powers of observation". So when Yumi's step-mom turns out to be Haru's sugar-mommy, it is time for shenanigans. A little bit of drinking, a little bit of blackmail and a visit with Croc is enough to change lives and maybe add some color to a comfortable but bland life.
Published at the zenith of the Bubble era, women’s comics legend Kyoko Okazaki’s representative work captures, like no other graphic novel, the spirit of its times, when a nation lost something for good amidst the prosperity that made her the envy of the world. While the Bubble burst, that cynicism — and pink — have endured to this day.
Kyoko Okazaki, born December 13, 1963, is considered by many as one of the mothers of josei (women's) comics. Renowned for her minimalist designs and tendency to cover controversial themes, Okazaki cut her teeth in the world adult comics in 1980's.
While studying at Atomi University, Okazaki made her debut in Cartoon Burikko
, an experimental adult comic anthology primarily aimed at men. Okazaki would then turn her focus to women's issues. Focusing on the issues of contemporary young women, Okazaki never shied away from street culture, high fashion and drug use in her narratives. She would then take on her first a long-running series called Tokyo Girls Bravo
; a rare comic to be published in a fashion magazine. Okazaki has been in retirement since the end of the last century as she recovers from a life-threatening traffic accident.
A Comics Alliance Best of 2013 Selection
"Okazaki keeps pushing the sex envelope with Haru and Yumi (re)act, culminating with Yumi discovering that her period’s started early. Haru’s just finished his better-than-Anne-of-Green-Gables-or-Little-Women novel, and Yumi is worried that her bleeding will temp Croc to try and eat her. Yet still they have visceral and explicit sex (“like a hotdog covered in ketchup). The moment doesn’t come across particularly gross or intimate. It’s just hilarious... It’s Haru’s white fluids and Yumi’s red fluids blending together. It’s Pink.”
—The Beguiling Books and Art
"I think Kyoko Okazaki is vicious in style — influential too, as the comparatively restrained quality of her visuals at this early stage can be tracked pretty cleanly down to later superstars like Ai Yazawa or ex-assistant Moyoko Anno — but she is not inhumane.”
—The Comics Journal
"I’ve read a lot of manga this year, and I’ve read a good number of top-notch titles as part of that. Yet even when I was just a third of the way through pink
, it already surpassed anything else I’ve read this year. I think a lot of this has to do with the simple fact that it was utterly unlike anything else I’ve read this year thus far, as well as being fairly unlike anything else I’ve read of manga at all before – while some of the elements call to mind Hataraki Man
or Erica Sakurazawa’s works, other things are wholly their own thing, like the fact that our heroine works as a prostitute in addition to being an Office Lady because she would otherwise have difficulty feeding her pet crocodile.”
and Helter Skelter
, I can easily say that I’m a fan of Okazaki’s works.”
—Picks by the Glick
"Numerous times while reading, I found myself thinking, had Pink
been written by anyone other than Kyoko Okazaki, how it would have differed from the charming story that I was so pleased to read.”
—For Me, In Full Bloom