I know what you all are thinking – Alex hasn’t been updating his blog lately, so he probably forgot about some of his ongoing series of articles. Well, dear reader, I am happy to prove you wrong this week with an update to my Rescue Me! series, where, for the new reader, I talk about some of my favorite and incomplete manga series published by now defunct publishers. I try to explain the reasons I liked the series and the reasons why I think the series should be rescued (and sometimes even suggest what publisher might benefit from licensing the series). This week, I am taking a look at a really low-key shojo slice-of-life series, The Stellar Six of Gingacho (Kirameki Gingachou Shoutengai, キラメキ☆銀河町商店街).
For anyone interested in looking at older entries in the series, here are the links!
1. Stolen Hearts
2. The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko
3. The Stellar Six of Gingacho
4. Skyblue Shore
5. Happy Café
6. Argentis Apothecarium
7. The Lapis Lazuli Crown
The Stellar Six of Gingacho is a shojo manga series from author Yuuki Fujimoto, and it ran for a total of 10 volumes published in Hakusensha‘s Hana to Yume. It was part of Tokyopop‘s last wave of releases and licenses before Stu closed up shop and took the business out behind the woodshed. They managed to print two of the ten volumes en masse, and the third volume is somewhat of a manga rarity – copies do exist, but finding them is somewhat of a difficult proposition.
The series follows the lives of six friends whose parents all work at the Gingacho Street Market; each of the characters is a unique piece of a giant friendship puzzle. All together, they conquer their fears and the problems of the Street Market in their own way. As the group moves into middle school, they start to drift apart, but Mike (pronounced “Mee-kay”) is bound and determined to keep the group together. Mike is the lead of the series, and she is a food obsessed, emotional girl who is a lot of fun to read. Each of the other five street market kids is also really fun to read, and each has their own little quirks.
Other shojo “group of friends” manga certainly exists, but I have yet to come across a series that does it as well as The Stellar Six of Gingacho. It is a fun romp that still manages to capture a healthy dose of mono no aware and not be too dramatic about it. The Stellar Six of Gingacho is a great “growing up” story, and it’s a definite comfort manga – nothing too deep, but it certainly evokes a feeling of peace and contentment.
I would certainly love to continue reading this series, and I am certain a publisher like Yen Press would benefit from having this series in its stable. If no one bites to do a physical print run, I could certainly see JManga bring this to their digital storefront. It is a fun series that needs to find a new home.