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Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Vol. 1 (Ōoku: The Inner Chambers / 大奥 #1)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  1,630 ratings  ·  185 reviews
In Edo period Japan, a strange new disease called the Red Pox has begun to prey on the country's men. Within eighty years of the first outbreak, the male population has fallen by seventy-five percent. Women have taken on all the roles traditionally granted to men, even that of the Shogun. The men, precious providers of life, are carefully protected. And the most beautiful ...more
Paperback, 203 pages
Published August 18th 2009 by VIZ Media LLC (first published 2005)
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Seth Hahne
Ōoku: The Inner Chamberss by Fumi Yoshinaga

It all began in seventh grade, as I perused my Nintendo newsletter and discovered that in Japan they had an NES called the Famicon and that the Japanese were able to enjoy new releases sometimes years before we were able to in America. Then, in tenth grade, I discovered Marvel's publication of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira. And then Akira, the cinematic adaptation. And then I saw pretty much every film Akira Kurosawa ever made. Then I read Shogun. Then I saw Princess Mononoke in theaters. Then everyth
Aisyah (*≧▽≦)ノ
The best political, edo, (reverse) harem manga (complete with beautiful graphics) I've ever read! Currently I'm up to speed until the 7th volume and still waiting for the good people of internet to update the later chapters of the 8th volume. The story is intricate and have a lot of twists and turns with various people plotting their way to gain powerful alliances, governmental position and ultimately control the (current) shogun who's occupying the throne. My fav character is most definitely th ...more
Zen Cho
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I've taken a couple stabs at reading Y: The Last Man since I have a few friends who are really into it and I think it is based on an interesting concept, but I feel like the writing in it is not that great and kind of borders on weird sexism, so I've never been able to buckle down and plow through the series. Ooku deals with a similar concept, a severe plague kills off the majority of men in feudal Japan, but is so, so brilliantly written and amazing. This is one of the best written comic series ...more
Bleh. This sounded like a cool idea at first, but it wasn't my thing at all. Very boring, the "formal" writing quickly became tiring and I didn't care for any of the characters. I gave up on it somewhere halfway through it.
Amy Thorne
You don't need my review. There are tons of very competent and well written reviews raving about this comic. And with good reason. It is extraordinarly fascinating. For those unfamiliar: a plague has wiped out something like 80% of the male population in Japan; all positions of authority, from heads of household right up to the shogun are now filled by women. A whole new spin on sexual politics, now. Men are obviously valuable--first and foremost, at a mechanical level, for reproduction. But als ...more
Akemi G
I have read the Japanese original down to Vol. 11, and also read the English translations that are out so far. Although I don't usually rate/review manga/comics/graphic novels, I'm making this an exception -- it's worth to be an exception.

* The premise of the story: 5 stars
It's a kind of sic-fi set in Edo period (early 1600s ~) Japan. A fatal infectious disease that affects only young men sweeps the country, reducing the male population to a quarter of the female's. How can this affect the soci
David Schaafsma
I read this because Faith Hicks said it was great and because I thought the idea of it bore some resemblance to Brian Vaughn's Y: The Last Man. It's not a unique subject, I Am Legend also deals with this topic (and adds zombies…). In this story, set in the Edo period in Japan, a plague has destroyed something like 75% of the male population. Some of those (elite) males continue to be housed in Ooku, a special, highly secret set of chambers which is essentially a male harem… so there's gender rev ...more
Kari Ramirez
At first glance this is very similar to Y: The Last Man and while I did enjoy those, Ōoku is telling a story much more intriguing to me. I think maybe because it is written by a female we're missing those moments of annoying sexism that were pretty prevalent in Y: The Last Man. Also, in Y the decimation of the male population is much more present. Here, we're 80 years past the first case in a time when some people don't even remember when there were just as many men as women. So we're focused le ...more
Excellent alternate-history of Japan as a country where the male population has been cut down to 1/2 of the female population. Women do all the work and hold nearly all the significant roles...except for the powerful men of the Ooku, or inner chamber (think 'male harem').

This is not 'just another gender-reversal story'--it's thoroughly set in early 1800s Japan (with plenty of historical and cultural detail) and the intrigue has some originality to it (though one can't escape the 'jealous rival'
Carla Speed
This is so much better than you think it will be. Don't just read this one-- the dexterity of the author's alternate-history becomes more apparent as time goes on. She is not creating a random even in Japanese feudal history and then allowing things to take their narrative course, she is keeping her story within the bounds of historical fact.

Gender-swapping seems all shiny and new in this treatment, rather than the scraggly, white-bearded trope that it is. OOKU is a genuine attempt to create a
Edward Rathke
Interesting worldbuilding.

Shogunate Japan had a disease that wiped out most men, leaving a 4:1 gender ratio. Because men are so rare, they're a prized and protected commodity.

It's funny and intriguing, since Japan is such a masculine and patriarchal place. Lots of traditions and customs get gender flipped which is all kinds of fun and awesome.

Not sure if I'll keep reading these though. I enjoyed it, but I feel as if I get what it's doing and I'm not wholly convinced it's going to do anything bey
I'm slowly entering the manga mindset again and this was pretty cool. An interesting take on speculative fiction and gender roles. Although it took me some time to get into, I'm completely in love with how it turned out. Four stars because I want there to be the possibility of improvement for the next in the series.
I'm a huge fan of Fumi Yoshinaga's character-rich manga, so I felt like a real chump for not realizing sooner this seemingly omnipresent series was by her. (On the plus side, that means I know have nine translated volumes to tear into.)

A fantastic twist on historical manga, Ōoku The Inner Chamber presents an alternate history where the majority of Japanese men died off in a plague such that women are the workers and rulers of Edo Period Japan, and the few men that remain are courtesans, prostitu
In an alternate Japan, everything is run entirely by women, after many of the men succumb to a disease that affects only males. Men have become highly prized commodities and only the highest-ranking women hope to find husbands. Other women must bargain for a man’s “seed” so that they can continue their family lines. Time passes and soon few people remember what things were like before the epidemic. The only clues are some curious practices that persist – hinting that gender roles were once rever ...more
While this had an interesting premise, I kept finding myself disppointed with the execution. Even with the male population reduced by 70%, nothing was really different besides having a female shogun. So much of the patriarchal structures are still so dominant, and I have a hard time believing that after 80 years of decreasing male population and female ascendancy things would be so much the same.

I did, however, laugh hysterically when a character said, "Get thee to the dojo." Hahahahahahahahahah
I read Fumi Yoshinagas yaoi manga and I liked them. When I learn, that there is non yaoi work as well I had to read it. I was caught by the unique setting and tender story of love in the environment,where the traditional male and female roles are swapped. Tokugawa Japan was plagued with strange disease caller red pox, which was killing males and soon male was rare in all female society. Females slipped in to the male roles and males were kept for breeding purposes. Little jewels in a way. Ooku i ...more
Mein erster Manga, meine zweite Graphic Novel. :-)

Die Geschichte spielt im alten Japan. Nach einer Epidemie, der vor allem Männer zum Opfer gefallen sind, haben sich die traditionellen Strukturen sehr verändert. Männer sind nun zu kostbar, um hart zu arbeiten und werden in haremsartigen

Mizuno möchte nicht in seinem Dorf versauern und hofft, in den Harem des Shoguns, eine Frau, die bei Besuchen ausländischer Gesandter hinter einem Vorhang sitzt und durch eine tiefere Stimme den Anschein erweckt,
The only thing wrong with this manga is that the translators used the terrible forsooth-style of English to translate the formal Japanese. I am sure there was a better way.

But the book itself -- well, Yoshinaga does something so amazing, in (view spoiler)
Evida Suntoyo
Gender role is a highly discussed and in my point very vague subject. Unlike other feminist issues that are widely studied i.e. Women’s health, birth control and infant health, violence against women, etc. Gender role is not as black and white. A lot of gender issues that was touched in this manga is a bit on the obscure side, obscure meaning it is subject to reader’s tradition and views of sexuality.

At the end of the day there is a lot of moral issue to be reflected in the manga, I appreciate t
Apr 23, 2010 Rosa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Rosa by: Nola
Shelves: manga, 2010
What a phenomenal concpet. In Edo era Japan, men have died off to only a quarter of their numbers. Women now do everything that men did, including run the country. The flip of society just makes for a really interesting story. I am definitely sorry that Yunoshin will not be returning as a main character and I really loved Nobu, she is a very fair and interesting ruler. I can't wait to see how the next one is.

Actual coherent thought: I really like how this fictional society works, with women being valued the same way men are in our society and men being viewed as the lesser sex. I don't like it because misandry (although misandry is pretty great lolz), I like it because
Kasey Jane
This re-imagining of the Edo period's rigid formalism is brutal and haunting. Yoshinaga evokes a Japan that never was, but somehow still feels like one of the country's hushed secrets. There's a reason this was a James Tiptree Jr. award winner.

(view spoiler)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
the gift
very interesting series, very japanese take on the loss of men in historical era, due to some disease striking only young men. makes me think of last man, but i like more the manga art of this series…

by now i have read seven volumes of this series gradually less and less interesting…
"Well, that's the news from Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are heirs of the Shogun."
Have you read "Y: The Last Man"? Did you wish that, instead of taking place in "contemporary" times, it took place in feudal Japan? Well then, do I have the manga for you!

But seriously, the already nigh-inscrutable social mores of feudal Japan are now totally topsy-turvy after a virus makes men only 1/4 of the population (and from this volume, it's hinted that this is only occurring in Japan, which is also intriguing). The author does a very good job developing a new social order based on the pr
Re-read this today (11/1/13) after reading it back in 2010. Now the library has the series so I can finally see what happens next!
Aug 24, 2015 Deb rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: manga
An alt-universe of Edo era Japan. A plague ravishes the male population, leaving the women to work and rule the land while men are cherished for their seed. In a world of role-reversal there is intrigue, romance, plays for power and position, sex, violence and humor. Definitely for mature audiences and not a comic book for the kiddies.
The art work is lovely. I would love to touch the beautiful kimonos and robes that the author has created. The sense of time, place and emotion is felt in almost
I didn't think I'd enjoy this because I thought it would be more male-oriented. When I learned that it was an alternate historical fiction, however, I wanted to check it out. It was worth reading.

Most men have died out due to a disease, and those that are left need protection. Women take over formerly male roles, and it is unfortunate how little that changes in terms of traditions, which are still strictly observed in spite of new leadership. By the book's end, the newest Shogun starts changing
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Josei and Seinen ...: Ōoku: The Inner Chambers Discussion 1 7 Jun 01, 2013 10:09AM  
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Other Books in the Series

Ōoku: The Inner Chambers / 大奥 (10 books)
  • Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Vol. 2 (Ōoku: The Inner Chambers / 大奥, #2)
  • Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Vol. 3 (Ōoku: The Inner Chambers / 大奥, #3)
  • Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 4 (Ōoku: The Inner Chambers / 大奥, #4)
  • Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 5 (Ōoku: The Inner Chambers / 大奥, #5)
  • Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 6 (Ōoku: The Inner Chambers / 大奥, #6)
  • Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 7 (Ōoku: The Inner Chambers / 大奥, #7)
  • Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 8 (Ōoku: The Inner Chambers / 大奥, #8)
  • Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 9 (Ōoku: The Inner Chambers / 大奥, #9)
  • Ōoku: The Inner Chambers Volume 10 (Ōoku: The Inner Chambers / 大奥, #10)
Antique Bakery, Vol. 1 Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Vol. 2 (Ōoku: The Inner Chambers / 大奥, #2) Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Vol. 3 (Ōoku: The Inner Chambers / 大奥, #3) Antique Bakery, Volume 2 Antique Bakery, Volume 3

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