Sunday, February 8, 2009

Mori Kouji: An Enigma

As I was wandering around at One Manga looking for something to read, I chanced upon a very interesting title. The manga was named "Holyland", and was written and drawn by Mori Kouji. When I got to the page, the art style caught my attention. I didn't even read the summary, I directly started reading.

The manga pulled me in like a black hole, that's how great the manga is. After reading the scanlated versions, I still couldn't get enough! I browsed through many websites just to know where I can get raws. Yes, I looked for RAWS! I don't even know how to read Kanji, katakana, or hiragana, yet I was looking for the other parts. I was so engulfed by the manga that I didn't get to sleep last night! The scanlation is still ongoing, but the manga has already finished in Japan.

Anyway, after I read (feeling! nitan-aw ra ko sa pictures! hehehe) the raws, I felt compelled to look for other manga that Mori Kouji made. And, low and behold! There's only one other! The title is "Suicide Island" also known as "Jisatsutou". Currently, there are 5 chapters scanlated.

The most interesting part that I found out, while looking him up (through google) was, you can't find any information about Mori (hah! feeling close!). Okay, you can, but only about where he's from, his birthdate, and his works (the two I've mentioned above). Other than those, I've had no luck! It's rare for a mangaka to have no information about him, especially if he has created a great manga like Holyland! I'm still wondering why he isn't even on wikipedia!

Isn't Mori Kouji-sensei a mystery? We don't even know what he looks like. Sure, he's already old, around 39 years old, but we don't even know his hobbies! How come he knows so much about street fighting? Why were the scenes in Holyland so realistic? How did he get the information needed for his manga? Does he like psychological manga and anime as much as I do? Does he have a website that we can log on to? How can we contact him? His publishers don't even put an address on the tankoubon!

Like other manga-ka (manga artist), he should have his own website! I mean, Ai Yazawa-sensei and Tomoko Ninomiya-sensei have websites/blogs, why can't he have one?

I would really like to get to know more about Kouji-sensei because I think he has very inspiring and original manga! I hope he makes other projects soon because the way he tells the story and the way he draws his characters have become inspirations for me.


  1. manga addict!!! hehehe ako, Pinoy Money Talk addict... hahaha!!!

  2. hello, i got the same feeling when reading at holyland, this manga is incredible, it really cautght my attention.After reading the scans, I, too looked for informations about the Mori Kouji and couldn't find anything. I wanted to know if the story comes from his own experience, all the feelings of the characters seems so real...really love this manga(and suicide island)

  3. same here
    his manga is awesome
    he's also got a new one suicide island

  4. I love holyland.. I was searching for drama's with my favourite actors and I stumbled upon the drama of it, Sota Aoyama plays Shin-Chan and because of him I got into it.. I hadn't even finished teh first 10 minutes of the drama and I was already searching the internet for scanlations of the manga.. The manga.. wow, It's so intense and realistic it just sucks you right in! So far only 6 episodes of the drama have been subbed and I really hope they'll hurry with the rest cause it is brilliant. There are only a few slight differences between the manga and teh drama and It is totally worth watching it!

  5. I did the same thing. I've been looking around for info on Ohba Tsugumi and Mori Kouji cuz they've written the mangas I've liked the best so far. Mori Kouji's Holyland, and Ohba Tsugumi's Bakuman. I love Holyland because it seems to veer between a bit of seinen and a battle manga. It's dark, yet intronspective, and the fight scenes are awesome. Sometimes there's a bit of humour, but it's not the idiotic kind that I hate.

    I've been looking for blogs or websites so I can comment on them or send encouraging mail. I like sending authors/writers mail. Some of them actually respond when they like what a reader has written.

  6. @everyone I am so glad and relieved that I'm not the only one who wants to find out more about Mori Kouji-sensei. After all, both Suicide Island and Holyland are really great mangas. I really hope they put up a website about him. He's one of my favorite mangaka ever.

    @starawings thank you for updating me about the live action of Holyland. I didn't even know about it! Just shows how busy I am with school. -_-;;

    @UW Maybe I should do that. I haven't tried it yet, but thanks for telling me that. And I know what you mean about the humour in Holyland. It's very different from other manga. It's funny, but not too much that the mood of the story is gone. As for Ohba-sensei, I've also been a big fan since Death Note. I'm still obsessed with L. lol

  7. Hey! It happened exactly the same for me. Actually the manga that has me most absorbed is Bakuman :P but the name Holyland caught my attention and even if I have a manga list of 100+ series I couldn't help get inot it and finish it overnight. It has a great into it, the feelings it transmits, the fights that gives you an adrenaline rush but are not too large so it gets boring, the story that progresses reallistically instead of the typical status quo. It's a top-notch manga and it's a pity it's not very well-known... I gues it's name doesn't help promoting into Occident... I'm agnostic but I'm not very radical :P and I only looked into it by chance. Holyland gices me a reminiscence of the titles of the films they show here on Easter :P but I suposse it got a better impact in Japan where occidental things are strange and cool the same way japanese things are a hit here :)

    It would be great if the author knew LOTS of people around the world are following him.. not so much about the scanlations perhaps :P


  8. This might seem like a lie, but Holyland changed my life!
    I didn't got beat up like Yuu, but I had the same feeling. I didn't feel much from this world. But then I started reading Holyland and it gave me the hope to find something in matiral arts! I tried many matirial arts but in the end I sticked with boxing. Right now boxing is the most important thing in my life and I am going to my regional youth finals in my country. Its all thanks to Mori Kouji! Does still no one have his Email or Adress for fanpost? I want to thank him so much!