Summaries written & edited for HTML by Mandisa Washington.
In writing these summaries, I can hopefully expose a few more people to the beautiful and complex stories of Tomoko Katoh. Since she is a relatively new manga-ka, and virtually unknown in the U.S., I'm presenting here two very different examples of her work.
The first, "Himitsu no Kaidou-ke", is a fantasy comedy, featuring an elementary schoolgirl with a demon for a brother. Every little brother is a demon, right? That may be, but in this case, the boy actually is a runaway demon from Hell, who is trying to escape his noble responsibilities. The kids bicker a fair amount, but there is some interesting drama generated by the demons sent to Earth to retrieve the errant demon-lordling. The series is short, only four (4) volumes long, and there is also a parody volume ("Omake no Kaidou-ke") which serves as a sort of epilogue.
The second series, "Tenjou no Ai, Chijou no Koi", is a historical drama, set in late 19th-century Austria. The "love" of the title refers to a relationship between two young men: Alfred, a naive orphan who would be a priest, and Rudolf, the cynical heir to the royal Hapsburg dynasty. While following this pair from boyhood through adulthood, the story also draws from the turbulent backdrop of pre-World War I Europe to add revolutionary fervor and espionage thrills. As far as I know, this series is currently running in Melody magazine, and has yielded eleven (11) volumes to date.
A note on names in Tenjou-Chijou: This story was written using Japanese katakana names for pre-WWI Central European places and people. I have had a difficult time translating those names to their anglicized German equivalents. In most cases, I have included my best guess here, but as I continue to find more historical reference material I will correct any misspellings.