Although it’s only June, I’m predicting that Moyoco Anno’s Sakuran is going to be one of the most interesting manga of the year. It’s a bit like the novel Memoirs of a Geisha, with gorgeous Edo-era settings and costumes and a streak of cruelty amid the beauty, only the main character (whose name changes several times) is not a geisha; she is a prostitute. The book was the basis for the movie of the same name.
Sakuran is a bit of a challenge for those who don’t read a lot of manga, because the story is very compressed. However, the fascinating subject matter and Anno’s jerky, expressive art should make up for that. Comics Alliance has a generous preview, and that’s a good opportunity to go see for yourself.