A popular manga artist, Junko Mizuno ( 水野純子 Mizuno Junko in her original Japanese) has a distinctive style that usually features diminutive naked & nubile female characters with innocent wide-eyes. Although there is a lot of innocence in her work, it is usually sexual with emphasis on sexual organs and the human body. As such, the art of Junko Mizuno has often been classed as Gothic Kawaii
and Kawaii Noir
('kawaii' being the Japanese word for 'cute'). Her first work was a self-published (douhinshi) story called MINA Animal DX
which she sold in 1996. To date, it has not officially been translated into English.
Some of Junko Mizuno's stories have been translated and published in English. Pure Trance
told a complex original story about a group of nurses and the corrupted dominatrix director of a hospital. It was published by Last Gasp
in 2005, some 7 years after it's original publication. Viz Communications
later published three separate stories that were each based on traditional children's tales, but darkly distorted to fit into Junko Mizuno's unique sexualised yet innocent vision. Cinderalla
was based on Cinderella, Princess Mermaid
was based on the Little Mermaid, while Hansel & Gretel
was loosely based on it's eponymous characters. All of which are still available for purchase. Much more elusive are the out-of-print publication, Hell Babies
and Collector File 002.
It appears that she is aware of her growing popularity in Western English speaking countries. This has lead to the inclusion of an original Junko Mizuno story in Marvel's Strange Tales
#1. The story features Spider-Man
& Mary Jane
moving to a town populated by humanoid arachnid people, who could perform the same super-human feats as Spider-Man. In an interview with Marvel.com
, she claimed that she wanted to use those two characters because she likes to draw spiders & red-headed girls. She admitted that she had never read any Marvel comics previously, as she had grown up with magical & fantasy shoujo manga (girl's comics in Japan). However, she added that she had thoroughly enjoyed reading through the many biographies of many of Marvel's more complicated characters. Upcoming Projects
More recently, there was the publication of FLARE
from Editions Treville
. There is also the up-coming original manga of Little Fluffy Gigolo PELU
; a tale of an alien who encounters pop-singers, body swapping teenagers and underwear sniffing villains. It is a three volume long series, which is due for publication later in 2009.
The popularity of Junko Mizuno's artwork has led to many different pieces of merchandise being based on her designs. There have been several vinyl figures, and a deal with designer label Fornarina
led to Junko Mizuno's work being available on clothing. Her work has also included (but is not exclusive to) a limited edition My Little Pony
, Skateboards, and even a range of condoms.
Television viewers in the United Kingdom
would have been able to see Junko Mizuno's designs being used in the programme Japanorama
. Hosted by the BBC presenter Jonathan Ross, the show was a rough guide to popular culture in Japan. In between segments and articles were animated links featuring Junko Mizuno's art. She gave an interview for the show, and provided a company logo for Hotsauce TV
who produced the programme.