Yoshioka Hitoshi

Tagged: Author

(1960-    ) Japanese novelist closely associated with the visual media, whose vast output and populist panderings often occlude his deeper efforts at Satire and more mature experiments in Recursive SF. Dropping out of Waseda University partway through a literature degree, he worked part-time at the Anime company Studio Hard, and made his professional debut novelizing the non-sf film Kōtarō Makaritōru ["Kōtarō Breakthrough"] (1984), itself based on a Manga by Tatsuya Hiruta. Subsequent Ties included books based on several Jackie Chan films before moving into sf; he oddly shares a "co-author" credit on the Japanese novelizations of The Terminator (1984) and Explorers (1985), implying that these were free adaptations of American authors' work rather than true translations.

His most enduring creation is the series Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko ["The Most Irresponsible Man in the Universe"], beginning with Musekinin Kanchō Tylor ["Irresponsible Captain Tylor"] (1989). Loosely conceived as a pastiche of the non-sf business comedy film Crazy Sakusen: Kudabare! Musekinin ["Crazy Battle: Go to Hell, Slacker!"] (1963), the Tylor books place an incompetent procrastinator in command of a Spaceship, engaged in a war against the teenage alien empress Azaling XVI, in an extended Parody of the Clichés of Military SF that eventually sees the protagonist appointed admiral and president. In the second book, a Time Travel story that takes Tylor back to the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, Yoshioka points to the resonances between Far Future sf and the concerns of early-twentieth-century Japanese propaganda, as found in the works of Shunrō Oshikawa. An anime television adaptation followed, Musekinin Kanchō Tylor (1993, trans Neil Nadelman as Irresponsible Captain Tylor, circa 1997 US). The story later scattered into numerous sub-serials, many with punning references to other works of sf, such as Tsumetai Sankaku Kansū ["The Cold Triangular Equations"] (1997) (> Tom Godwin). Including the spin-off Cloud sequence, set in the same universe, this tongue-in-cheek Future History has occupied Yoshioka for more than twenty years.

Even though Yoshioka's work is usually glib and light-hearted, and largely part of the pulpy, forgettable world either inspired by or directly tied to manga and anime for teenagers, many of his stories push at the limits of the sub-genre. Tekkan Kyohei ["Iron-Armour Giant-Soldiers"] (1990-1991) is a Mecha farce initially framed as a tale of global Disaster, which is later revealed to have been engineered by a galactic real-estate speculator seeking to drive down the value of the Earth. Yoshioka displays a particular fascination for the mechanics of the media, best demonstrated in Idol Bōeitai Hummingbird (1993-1994) ["Idol Defence Force Hummingbird"] which posits a Near Future scenario in which the Japanese government privatizes the military, leaving the defence of the realm in the hands of a family of teenage pop stars with colour-coded jets. The five celebrity sisters of the Toriishi family are conceived in homage to the Tracy brothers of Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds (1965-1966, released as Chikyū Bōeitai Thunderbird ["Earth Defence Force Thunderbird"] 1966 Japan), and prefigure to some extent the melancholy protagonists of Hiroshi Mori's Sky Crawlers (2008). There was also an anime version, Idol Bōeitai Hummingbird (1993 trans Jonathan Clements as Hummingbirds, 1995 UK). Similar satires can be found in Valhalla Connection (2005), in which a hapless marketing man, dispatched to sell alcohol in a fundamentalist Islamic republic, falls in with a group of Valkyries who have arrived to herald the End of the World.

Yōseiki Suikoden ["Enchanted Generation Water Margin"] rewrites the Chinese medieval classic Shuihu Zhuan ["The Water Margin"] in a future Ruined Earth setting; the anime version Yōseiki Suikoden (1993; vt Suikoden Demon Century, 1998 US) appears to have been translated by a company unaware of the literary references. Genpei Makyō re-imagines Japan's medieval civil war as a conflict involving magic and zombie armies; there are several similar fantasy rewrites in Yoshioka's Checklist. Charlotte League is a series of school mysteries featuring a relative of Sherlock Holmes. Emblem wa Aoi offers a satirical view of how life might be in a Parallel-World Japan that had never thrown of the rule of the Shogunate in 1868.

Some of Yoshioka's best work is Recursive SF, displaying a broad knowledge of the history the genre in both Japan and elsewhere. His standalone works include Shin Shōwa Yūgekitai ["New Shōwa Commandos"] (1989), a Sequel by Other Hands to Shinsaku Hirata's Shōwa Yūgekitai (1934 Shōnen Kurabu), in which the original's Japanese soldiers in Manchuria must contend with an attack by aliens; notable in part because it predates the similar concerns of Masaki Yamada's more serious and successful Kishin Heidan (1990-1994). Kaze to Tomo ni Saru ze yo ["Going with the Wind"] (1995) puts Rhett Butler, the roguish gun-runner from Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind (1936), into Japan's civil war of 1868 (see also Steamboy [2004]). Yoshioka revisited the period with Kasei no Hijikata Toshizō ["Toshizō Hijikata of Mars"], which, as the title implies, reimagines the Barsoom series of Edgar Rice Burroughs with an infamous Japanese revolutionary taking the place of John Carter, transported to Mars at the moment when he is supposed to have died in the Battle of Hakodate (1869). Yoshioka followed this with Kinsei no Z-hata ["Z-Signal on Venus"] (2004), in which another figure from Japan's imperialist era is catapulted into an sf setting, which both resonates and conflicts with the attitudes of the early twentieth century (> Steampunk). He made his influences crystal clear in the subsequent Nangun Kihei Taii John Carter ["Southern Cavalry Captain John Carter"] (2005) a prequel by other hands, telling the story of Carter before Barsoom. Combined with several World War Two novels and the non-sf Roger's Roughnecks, which spans the Cold War, much of Yoshioka's work might eventually be reframed as a fantastic Alternate History of the long twentieth century. [JonC]

Hitoshi Yoshioka

born Kasaoka, Okayama, Japan: 16 July 1960

died

works (selected)

series

Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko

  • Musekinin Kanchō Tylor ["Irresponsible Captain Tylor"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1989) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko: pb/Kazuhiko Tsuzuki]
  • Meiji Ichidai Musekinin Otoko ["An Irresponsible Man in the Meiji Era"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1989) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko: pb/Kazuhiko Tsuzuki]
  • Wang no Gyakushū ["Wang Strikes Back"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1989) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko: pb/Kazuhiko Tsuzuki]
  • Musekinin Gensui Tylor ["Irresponsible Admiral Tylor"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1989) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko: pb/Kazuhiko Tsuzuki]
  • Azaling 16-sai ["Azaling Sweet XVI"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1989) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko: pb/Kazuhiko Tsuzuki]
  • Gaiden: Ginga no Musekinin Jidai ["Side Story: The Galaxy's Irresponsible Age"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1989) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko: pb/Kazuhiko Tsuzuki]
  • Tylor Taigyakuten ["Tylor's Sudden Reversal"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1990) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko: pb/Kazuhiko Tsuzuki]
  • Musekinin Daitōryō Tylor ["Irresponsible President Tylor"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1990) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko: pb/Kazuhiko Tsuzuki]
  • Gaiden: Ōzora no Samurai Kojirō Sakai Shippū Kūsenroku ["Side Story: Great Sky Samurai Kojirō Sakai Hurricane Space Battle Record"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1990) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko: pb/Kazuhiko Tsuzuki]
  • Eien Nare Musekinin Otoko ["Requiem for an Irresponsible Man"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1991) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko: pb/Kazuhiko Tsuzuki]
  • Gaiden: Aki Shishi ["Side Story: Red Lion"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1992) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko: pb/]
  • Gaiden: Kentō Wakusei Horoshiri no Hanran ["Side Story: Uprising on the Winter Planet Horoshiri"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1993) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko: pb/]
  • Ankoku Taiyō Komachi ["Belle of the Black Sun"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1993) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Kids": pb/]
  • Why? no Arashi ["The Storm of Why?"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1994) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Kids": pb/]
  • Moete Kisala ["Burning Kisala"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1995) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Kids": pb/]
  • Shisen Annaijin ["Guide to Times Past"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1995) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Kids": pb/]
  • Ginga Yometori Monogatari ["Tale of Galactic Nuptials"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1995) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Kids": pb/]
  • Katori-kun Tanma (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1995) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Kids": pb/]
  • Kimi no Na wa Machiko ["Your Name is Machiko"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1995) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Quartet": pb/]
  • Gaiden: Watashi ga Na wa Yamamoto ["Side Story: My Name is Yamamoto"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1996) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko: pb/]
  • Tenshi Shikkaku ["No Longer Angelic"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1996) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Quartet": pb/]
  • Kessen Bara-iro Seiun ["Decisive Battle in the Rose-coloured Nebula"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1996) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Quartet": pb/]
  • Jakyō Senmetsu ["Heresy Destroyed"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1996) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Quartet": pb/]
  • Ginga Sanshō ["Galactic Hymn"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1996) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Quartet": pb/]
  • Bōryaku Trianguru ["Triangroup Strategy"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1997) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Sankokushi": pb/]
  • Tsumetai Sankaku Kansū ["The Cold Triangular Equations"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1997) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Sankokushi": pb/]
  • En no Tricoleur ["The Burning Tricoleur"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1997) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Sankokushi": pb/]
  • Kiseki no Trinity ["The Miraculous Trinity"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1997) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Sankokushi": pb/]
  • Sanbiki no Kaishingeki ["The Three Chargers"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1997) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Sankokushi": pb/]
  • Sanba Tori Tōjō ["Enter the Three Birds"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1998) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Sankokushi": pb/]
  • Mitsu no Crown ["The Three Crowns"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1998) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Sankokushi": pb/]
  • Shiren no Sanban Shōbu ["The Tribulations of the Third Bout"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1998) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Sankokushi": pb/]
  • Third Big Bang (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1998) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Sankokushi": pb/]
  • Kageyake! Tristar ["Shine On, Tristar!"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1998) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko "Sankokushi": pb/]
  • Finus Denkosekka ["Finus Petrified Lightning"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1999) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin "Mokushiroku": pb/]
  • to hurt (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1999) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin "Mokushiroku": pb/]
  • Double Prince (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1999) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin "Mokushiroku": pb/]
  • Katte wa Ikenai ["That Won't Do"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1999) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin "Mokushiroku": pb/]
  • Onshū no Kanata ni ["Beyond Love and Hate"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 2000) [Uchū-ichi Musekinin "Mokushiroku": pb/]
  • Musukenin Sanjūshi ["Irresponsible Three Musketeers"] (Tokyo: Enterbrain, 2000) [in two volumes: Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko: pb/Kannon Yoshizaki]
  • Nyūtai-hen ["Enlistment"] (Tokyo: Enterbrain, 2000) [Shin Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko: pb/]
  • Funtō-hen ["Struggle"] (Tokyo: Enterbrain, 2001) [Shin Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko: pb/]
  • Kaikō-hen ["Chance Meeting"] (Tokyo: Enterbrain, 2001) [Shin Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko: pb/]
  • Ryoshū-hen ["Captive"] (Tokyo: Enterbrain, 2001) [Shin Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko: pb/]
  • Fukkatsu-hen ["Resurrection"] (Tokyo: Enterbrain, 2001) [Shin Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko: pb/]
  • Gaisen-hen ["Triumph"] (Tokyo: Enterbrain, 2002) [Shin Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko: pb/]
  • Kashoku-hen ["Radiant"] (Tokyo: Enterbrain, 2002) [Musukenin Teitoku Tylor: pb/]
  • Shittsui-hen ["Decline and Fall"] (Tokyo: Enterbrain, 2002) [Musukenin Teitoku Tylor: pb/]
  • Hangyaku-hen ["Insurrection"] (Tokyo: Enterbrain, 2003) [Musukenin Teitoku Tylor: pb/]
  • Kikan-hen ["Repatriation"] (Tokyo: Enterbrain, 2003) [Musukenin Teitoku Tylor: pb/]
  • Shishi to Washi e no Lullaby ["Lullaby of Lion and Eagle"] (Tokyo: Enterbrain, 2009) [Shin Uchū-ichi Musekinin Otoko Remix: pb/]

Idol Bōeitai Hummingbird

  • Hummingbird Debut (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1993) [Idol Bōeitai Hummingbird: pb/]
  • Hummingbird Rokugo ["Hummingbird Six"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1994) [Idol Bōeitai Hummingbird: pb/]

Yōseiki Suikoden

  • Masei Kōrin ["Advent of the Magic World"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1990) [Yōseiki Suikoden: pb/]
  • Masei Shundō ["Writhing of the Magic World"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1990) [Yōseiki Suikoden: pb/]
  • Masei Ranbu ["Wild Dance of the Magic World"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1990) [Yōseiki Suikoden: pb/]
  • Masei Hōkō ["Wandering of the Magic World"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1991) [Yōseiki Suikoden: pb/]
  • Masei Amaka ["Soaring of the Magic World"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1991) [Yōseiki Suikoden: pb/]
  • Masei Hōkō ["Wandering of the Magic World"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1991) [Yōseiki Suikoden: pb/]
  • Maka Ryōran ["A Profusion of Magic Flowers"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1992) [Yōseiki Suikoden: pb/]
  • Gaiden: Ibun Sanyō Yoikoden ["Side Story: Strange Tale of the Drunken Tiger of Sanyō"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1992) [Yōseiki Suikoden: pb/]
  • Kaito Bokuten ["A Rare Bird Takes Flight"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1993) [Yōseiki Suikoden: pb/]
  • Shippū Yushō ["A Stormwind Stikes the Treetops"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1993) [Yōseiki Suikoden: pb/]
  • Yōgetsu Zanshō ["An Afterglow of a Phantom Moon"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1993) [Yōseiki Suikoden: pb/]
  • Ma-Ō Kōtan ["Nativity of a Demon King"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1994) [Yōseiki Suikoden: pb/]
  • Mato Shinkan ["Tremors in the Demon City"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1994) [Yōseiki Suikoden: pb/]
  • Mako Chōryō ["Demon Pirates Rampant"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1994) [Yōseiki Suikoden: pb/]
  • Makū Kōkō ["The Dazzling Magic Palace"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1995) [Yōseiki Suikoden: pb/]
  • Masei Shūketsu ["Gathering of the Demon Worlds"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1995) [Yōseiki Suikoden: pb/]

Yunami Senki

  • Yunami Senki 1 ["Yunami War Chronicle 1"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1991) [Yunami Senki: pb/]
  • Yunami Senki 2 ["Yunami War Chronicle 2"] (Tokyo: Fujimi Shobō, 1992) [Yunami Senki: pb/]

Genpei Makyō

  • Kōmashō Kenzan ["Meeting the Devil-Conquering General"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1991) [Genpei Makyō: pb/]
  • Yōshū Genmakyan ["Illusory Heroine of the Phantom Land"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1992) [Genpei Makyō: pb/]
  • Kamakura Moeyu ["Kamakura in Flames"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1992) [Genpei Makyō: pb/]
  • Kaikō Maōkū ["Chance Meeting in the Demon Palace"] (Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1992) [Genpei Makyō: pb/]

Roger's Roughnecks

Secopoli

Cloud

  • Unkai no Tōbōsha ["Fugitives in the Sea of Clouds"] (Tokyo: Enterbrain, 2003) [Cloud: pb/]
  • Unkai no Seifukuō ["Conquering King of the Sea of Clouds"] (Tokyo: Enterbrain, 2003) [Cloud: pb/]
  • Unkai no Kyūseisha ["Messiah of the Sea of Clouds"] (Tokyo: Enterbrain, 2004) [Cloud: pb/]

Charlotte League

  • Manekareta Kotori ["The Invited Hatchling"] (Tokyo: Enterbrain, 2005) [Charlotte League: pb/Robin Kishiwada]
  • Tsuki no Yoru no Kawahori to Tobe ["Fly with a Bat on a Moonlight Night"] (Tokyo: Enterbrain, 2005) [Charlotte League: pb/Robin Kishiwada]
  • Walpurgis no Mori de ["In the Forest of Walpurgis"] (Tokyo: Enterbrain, 2005) [Charlotte League: pb/Robin Kishiwada]

Emblem wa Aoi

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