ShoPro releases Japanese version of ‘Les Cites obscures’

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions Co. (ShoPro) has released a Japanese language version of a popular Belgian graphic novel.

The release of “Les Cites obscures.” is the latest of ShoPro’s expanding line of foreign comics and graphic novels translated into Japanese.

Known as “Obscure Cities” in English, the legendary comic series is written by Benoit Peeters and illustrated by Francois Schuiten.

Schuiten has won worldwide acclaim for his drawing skills on a par with other top artists such as Moebius and Enki Bilal.

Schuiten’s illustrations feature delicate lines and elaborately calculated compositions. It has been said that he is beaten by none when it comes to drawing structures and cities.

“Les Cites obscures” is one of Schuiten’s major works.

Set in the mysterious city-state of a world slightly different from ours, the sci-fi comic series tells stories of bizarre events and incidents.
There have been 12 official and 12 spinoff stories in the series, published in more than 10 languages across the world.

It will be the first time for the graphic novel series to be published in Japanese. The Japanese edition will include three of the most heralded stories in the series: “La fievre d’Urbicande” (Fever in Urbicand), “La Tour” (The Tower) and “L’ Enfant Penchee” (The Leaning Child).

Translated by Shinichi Furunaga and Masato Hara, the 400-page book costs 4,200 yen ($54).

ShoPro has been beefing up its efforts to publish foreign comics that are attracting increasing attention in Japan.

In September this year, ShoPro published “Pinocchio” by Winshluss, who co-directed the critically acclaimed animated film “Persepolis” under his real name Vincent Paronnaud. In July, it released Spanish artist Paco Roca’s “Wrinkles.”

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