In the latest English-language release from one of the most influential manga creators of all time, Tokio is a “dream pilot,” a detective who enters criminals’ dreams to discover their motives. While investigating Aoba, who killed her parents and ate their hearts when she was nine, he discovers a phantom island named Barbara. Then there’s a mysterious and missing geneticist, an eccentric clergyman, a grieving grandmother granted temporary youth, a psychologist killed by a freak tornado … Hagio offers a sci-fi explanation for these seemingly random paranormal elements, and makes it all matter with believable characters in complex and subtle relationships. Fantagraphics Books is proud to present the first volume (of two) of Moto Hagio’s Otherworld Barbara, which won the “Nebula Award of Japan” (Nihon SF Taishō Award) in 2006.
“Moto Hagio is a legend in Japan, but her work has been surprisingly difficult to find in English translation. Publishers seem to feel her sci-fi-tinged girls’ comics and sensual homosexual romances would be a hard sell in America. But thanks to the tireless advocacy of translator, manga scholar, and Hagio fan Matt Thorn, Fantagraphics has released a compilation of single-issue stories, one series, and now this twisty tale of a scientist who enters a young girl’s dreams to solve a crime. Pick up a copy to whet your appetite for (hopefully) more Hagio books to come.” — Book Riot
“Dreamy, complex (but not incomprehensible) and eerie ... [Otherworld Barbara] is the kind of book that could hook an occasional manga reader into the world of Japanese comics for good.” — Paste Magazine
“[Hagio] weaves a humane pathos through a compelling sci-fi world of dreams and mystery.” — The A.V. Club
“ … a gripping, supernaturally infused sci-fi thriller. There is a lot going on in this story, but all of the threads are woven together skillfully, holding the reader in suspense as each layer is added … Hagio, one of the mothers of shojo and josei manga, is very much on her game … making this complex, exciting story a dream to read.” — Booklist
“Science fiction, fantasy, mystery, thriller, horror, romance, and drama seamlessly combine into a story that obviously has it all. … Otherworld Barbara is clearly a unique work that avoids simple comparison, but if Christopher Nolan were ever to direct a Haruki Murakami novel the result might be something in the realm of this extraordinary comic.” — The Quietus
“Reading Otherworld Barbara is a refreshing reminder of the kinds of emotional depth found in works aimed at adults. Mixed with the crystal-clear visual storytelling of Moto Hagio, reading this is like exploring unknown territory of manga possibilities that somehow seems strangely familiar, like lives you could have lived, or like a dream.” — Otaku USA Magazine
“The soft, gorgeous art belies the story’s heavier themes which explore strained parental relationships, and the psychological effects of dreams on the human psyche, for better or worse.” — Publishers Weekly