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Sakuran: Blossoms Wild
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Sakuran: Blossoms Wild

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  196 ratings  ·  39 reviews
In Sakuran, Moyocco Anno lifts the veil on life in the Edo-period pleasure quarter, Yoshiwara. The story follows Kiyoha, sold into a brothel as a child and forced to work as a maid and her rise to prominence as one of the top-ranking courtesans in Yoshiwara. The allure of the "flower and willow world" as it was called by artists in the day is underscored with the very real...more
Paperback, 302 pages
Published July 17th 2012 by Vertical (first published November 6th 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 318)
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May
Watching a rerun of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit was more intriguing than this manga. I get it. Reading about the sexual exploitation of women is a serious subject, no matter what historical period you set it in or what format you choose to tell the story. My biggest problem with this manga lies in its main character, Kiyoha. Yes, she's a survivor. She is also strong-willed, wily to a certain degree and extremely rebellious, especially as a young girl. I should feel more sorry for her bec...more
Seth Hahne
Sakuran: Blossoms Wild by Moyocco Anno
[Introducing Kiyoha: first-time smoker
(comment courtesy of Katie Jett Walls)]


I care about women. And not just because they're mine or I have some familial duty to the ones who are related to me. I care about women because somewhere over the last twenty years, I began to empathize with them. Not all at once probably, but gradually. It came along with being able to empathize with all sorts of people who were not me.

When I was twenty, I didn't get people. At all. I found everyone obnoxious and dul...more
Sean O'Hara
I picked this up without knowing anything about it except it's from Vertical, and Vertical's manga selections are by far the most interesting of all American publishers. When I pulled it out of the box from Amazon, I was struck by two things -- first, it came shrink-wrapped, a sign that it contains content not suitable for children should they find it while browsing the comic section at a bookstore; and second that the cover is really fantastic, with vivid colors and a nice metallic sheen that m...more
Victoria Martin
I wanted to like this book more but it was just too hard to tell what was going on most of the time. All the courtesans pretty much looked the same, so you could only tell them apart based on behaviour, and even then it was only the protagonist who really stood out (I still sometimes had to go back to remind myself what she was wearing, in order to make sure the character I was reading about a few pages later was still her).

I've found with a lot of one-shot manga that they often jump from scene...more
scarlettraces
(There is an 18+ warning on the back of the book. It possibly should have been on the front for those unwarily browsing in bookstores. This one is definitely NSFW.)

I wish, wish, wish Anno-sensei had written more of this story - I wonder if it had run in a josei magazine rather than a seinen one whether it might have been longer. Would also be interesting to see what slant it might have taken - I would have liked to see more of Seiji.

Anyway, what we have rather than what we might have had - Ann...more
Mely
Sep 12, 2013 Mely marked it as read-seq-art
Anno was Okazaki's assistant and protegee before she began her own career; they both have a certain sharp strong line and a focus on girl-on-girl violence and cultural policing. Like Helter Skelter, Sakuran is a single-volume story focused on the career of a strong-minded, vicious-tempered woman who is abusive to the people around her and who yet has some appeal, or at least fascination, because of her ferocious determination to survive. Kiyoha is a prostitute in the Yoshiwara in the Edo era, wh...more
Nameh dah
Y ya era hora de darme el lujo de tener en mis manos un manga de la señora Anno. Y por suerte, la edición acompaña mi elección. Vertical hizo un trabajo precioso, a lo cual solo le podría criticar el empastado (Hubiese quedado mejor con el mismo de Litchi). Pasando de eso, ahora entiendo los diálogos pues, cuando leí la versión en scans, estaba tan mal traducido que me quedaba con casi la mitad del texto sin comprender.

Entrando a la obra, no me podía decepcionar. Sakuran es la historia de una O...more
Julie
Sakuran gives a story that is not told just a whole lot. Lots of people hear about geisha and mistake them for prostitutes, but the truth is the professional courtesans were a different career at the time. This story follows Kiyoha, a courtesan, who is generally angry at the world for her lot in life. That is for being sold into the pleasure quarters of Yoshiwara in Edo (modern-day Tokyo) as a child.

The story is really interesting enough, but the artwork is of the eye-pleasing sort that makes m...more
Clodjee
L'histoire de Sakuran, qui n'est pas sans rappeler Mémoires d'une geisha (le livre d'Arthur Golden porté à l'écran par Rob Mitchell), est assez simple. Comme dans la plupart des manga de Moyoco Anno, Sakuran mets en scène des personnages féminins forts, qui prennent leur travail très au sérieux. Sans être extrêmement original, cette histoire offre tout de même un sujet intéssant qui nous renseigne beaucoup sur l'époque et l'univers des maisons closes d'Edo, l'ancienne Tokyo.

Toutefois, ce qui fai...more
Alex
Nov 28, 2012 Alex rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: manga
Sakuran is a one-shot manga about a woman growing up in a teahouse (read: brothel) in Edo, Japan. It starts in "present" time, then from chapter 2 onward, recounts the life story of Kiyoha, the protagonist. She was orphaned, presumably (the book doesn't get into it), at a young age and dumped at the brothel, where she was made to be a maid for one of the highest-ranking courtesans. Kiyoha hates it there and hates anyone telling her what to do, so she rebels, ending up getting in trouble constant...more
Neha
Sakuran is about a girl who ends up at a brothel. There she is raised and trained to become one of the top courtesans of the house.

The first thing that attracted me to this was the gorgeous cover. It was shiny and very pretty, so I bought a copy. I was immediately blown away by the art. When I read manga, I definitely read it for the art, not just the plot, etc. The style of this novel is fluid and smooth, very lovely.

Off the bat, this is not recommended for children. Strictly 16+ as there is...more
Helena R-D
I had read "Happy Mania" and was familiar with her work. What drew me to this was the adult subject that isn't explored-The Pleasure Quarters of old Japan. Most of the manga that is translated is either too male oriented or simply too childish to read and this is a refreshing change of pace.

The story centers around a young woman sold into a brothel who ends up rising and becoming a very popular courtesan, but her yearning for love is what threatens to bring her down. That is until she becomes j...more
Andrea Peterson
The art is cool and stylish and gorgeous to look at, but... I had a really hard time telling the characters apart. This, combined with a sometimes non-linear storytelling style, made for a difficult reading experience. At least, I think it was non-linear? It started out with the protagonist as an adult and then flashed back to her as a kid to show how she got there, but every now and then there seemed to be scenes with her as an adult again?? Or maybe it was actually a different character??? I d...more
Yeti
I'll admit, there were a few times where I had troubles following the story, but it was honestly really interesting. This is the second manga I've read by Moyocco Anno and I am really loving her style. Insufficient Direction and Sakuran are like night and day, and that's what I love about an author; they're flexible and could write any sort of story.
Sophie
Quick read.

I bought this manga at London Expo ComicCon 2014 because I have loved the film for many years now. Because it is a stand-alone manga, there are things that are explored more in the movie, but overall, the story was intriguing and entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and will definitely re-read it in the future.

The artwork is amazing. Although, at times it was hard to distinguish some of the artists apart, the artwork was glorious, and there were several full-colour pages that were...more
Sarah
I have this faint memory of reading the first volume of Flowers & Bees by Moyoco Anno a couple of years ago. It did not make much of an impression, not because it was bad but probably because I only had the one volume and I tend to forget about a series if I don't read more of it. Sakuran therefore became my official introduction to the work of Moyoco Anno and it has me asking: where are the rest of her work in English? Because this woman, clearly, has skills in art and storytelling and dese...more
LadyCello
Unfortunately, this did not live up to the expectations I had for it. The artwork is ok (though I think the beauty of this book has more to do with Vertical's presentation of it than the artists' original work). The story was difficult to follow, and what I could make of it wasn't all that it was cracked up to be. I can see how Kiyoha became so angry and jaded with the way she grew up, and what she had to put up with in the brothel, and I did feel sorry for her. Maybe it's just my frustration wi...more
Jocilyn
Being an enormous fan of Sugar Sugar Rune, I am pleased to get my hands on a copy of Sakuran. Yet, there really is no comparison. Sakuran reads like a shounen, shoujo and josei manga all in one. As a child, Kiyoha is a feisty uncontrollable minx that can't tolerate the confines of the Yoshiwara. Yet, as she grows into young adulthood, her image and beauty sharpens and courtesan skills take off. The art in Sakuran is a very lovely expose of Edo-era geisha kimono and hair styles that made me swoon...more
Deb
Sakuran by Moyoco Anno from Vertical is a one-shot graphic novel about a headstrong girl who becomes a beautiful, but still willful oiran, or courtesan. It's got a quirky but lovely style of artwork, featuring a heroine who's fascinating and flawed.

it's a different look inside the pleasure quarters of Japan, that captures the rivalries, the customs and the passions of the women who work there, and the men who come to the brothels too.

this is one grown-up graphic novel that's well worth checking...more
Sasha Boersma
The artwork is amazing. The story a bit light.
Katherine
This book appears to want to defy expectations--its characters', its readers', everyone's, as far as I can tell. I'd prefer a more linear telling of this story, and sometimes the characters were hard to tell apart, but I liked it despite its flaws. It's an unflinching look at a type of prostitution that is often too romanticized, and the main character deserves a medal for just surviving until the end of the narrative.
Patrick
I liked the concept of this manga but not the story, even though I was not a big fan of the artwork. The story was not as interesting as some Bunraku plays I've seen, but had some things in common. I couldn't bring myself to care about the main character, and in the end I wasn't too interested in what happened to her. A disappointment.
Aileen Pino


A lovely whirlwind of a tale of love, lust, and historic brothels in Edo's pleasure quarter in Yoshiwara. The art itself is simple but beautiful non the less. Though the story skips about a little too fast within the chapters for my taste, overall a good story of a fiery femme fatale.
A. E. S.
Realistic, gritty portrayal of the glamorous life of an "oiran" or courtesan, in the Floating World of the Pleasure District...Yoshiwara. Women who lived there faced difficult lives filled with heartbreak, betrayal, rivals and the stain of being sold into a life of prostitution.
Martyna
Je ne dis pas que ce manga n'a pas de mérite, mais je peine un peu à en trouver. J'attendais que quelque chose se passe et la découverte promise du monde des courtisanes... bien, il n'y avait pas beaucoup de découverte, en dehors des quelques images pornographiques.
Jon Holt
As my good friend put it, yankii girl meets Edo courtesan. If only the rest of the narrative maintains that after the first ten pages. Otherwise pretty standard story of Yoshiwara love, perhaps better told by Saikaku or Kafu.
amy boese
The art is spectacular and intricate. This is assuredly an adult read, but while the art and situations of the story are firmly in grownup territory, the storytelling is abrupt and less intricate. I love it less than I want to.
Ravenhats
A Tragic view into the lives of a prostitute in feudal Japan. The plot has a interesting, but somewhat ambiguous ending and is less interest (but by no means boring) then the historical information provided.
Bas
Interesting subject matter and a very gutsy ending; but the visuals never manage to be striking and the overall character design is very weak. The story would have benefited from better plotting.
Jen Vaughn
Been on a Moyoco Anno kick recently and this is one of the best graphical novels/manga I've read this year. Ugly stories about pretty people. You'll not regret reading this!
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PNWJETAA Book Club: Sakuran Movie 2 5 Jan 31, 2013 12:35PM  
PNWJETAA Book Club: Sakuran! 3 5 Jan 29, 2013 02:02PM  
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See also: 安野モヨコ

Moyoko Anno (安野 モヨコ) is a Japanese manga artist and a fashion writer, with numerous books published in both categories. Her manga and books have attained considerable popularity among young women in Japan. Though she primarily writes manga of the josei demographic, her most popular series, Sugar Sugar Rune, (serialized in Nakayoshi) is targeted at primary school-aged girls. In a rec...more
More about Moyoco Anno...
Sugar Sugar Rune, Volume 1 Sugar Sugar Rune, Volume 5 Sugar Sugar Rune, Volume 2 Sugar Sugar Rune, Volume 3 Sugar Sugar Rune,Volume 4

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