Moyoco Anno is one of our favorite cartoonists. Her work deals with gender issues in a bleak, take no prisoners way that leaves everyone lying bleeding on the kitchen floor. (She’s also part of what we gather is a fairly rare cartooning couple in Japan: she’s married to Neon Genesis Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno.) Mangaijin reviews her Hataraki Man<, available, if you’re sneaky, via scanlation.

The plot of Hataraki Man is straight-forward, but not simplistic. Hiroko Matsukata is a 28 year old chain-smoking editor and writer at a weekly news magazine. When deadlines loom, she “transforms” into Hataraki (lit. working) Man, a testosterone boosted state that allows her to work at three times her normal pace and with intense focus (so intense that she apparently forgets to eat, sleep, or bathe. I guess the implication here is that men are smelly and self-absorbed.) During a visit for an interview with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hiroko stumbles onto a corruption scandal. With some inside information from the Minister’s mistress/secretary, she launches into Working Man mode to assemble her cover story with the printing deadline only three hours away!

TokyoPop put out a few of Anno’s books for grown-ups books a few years ago, and Del Rey published her subversive shojo SUGAR SUGAR RUNE. Her work is worth seeking out whatever the format.
[Link via Dirk.]


  1. Amusing. Sounds like a metaphor for the cliche/truth that women who succeed in the corporate world have to “man” up to match the aggressiveness of their male co-workers.