What is Aquarian Age?
In 1999, Broccoli launched a massive Collectible Card Game called "Aquarian Age". The company recruited a host of talented artists to create the cards, featuring beautiful women and girls. The game met with great success, and a marketing explosion followed.
What is Juvenile Orion?
In 2001, a new kind of expansion set was released, called "Orion no Shounen". Instead of gorgeous women, these cards were of attractive male characters. The set centered around five primary boys, designed by mangaka Gokurakuin Sakurako. Within a year, two new series of Juvenile Orion cards were released, with more on the horizon.
The amazing art continues to be a major draw for the Aquarian Age series, bringing in even more famous artists. Even if CCGs aren't your gaming-style of choice (I know it isn't mine), picking up a pack is worth the investment.
Following the card game, a manga series (running in Stencil magazine) and a radio drama have been created. All are fun. ^_^
The manga has been translated into English and released in America by AnimeGamers. Thanks very much to their editor Yamashita-sensei for the heads-up. Hooray!
Who are the artists?
Gokurakuin Sakurako has created Boy's Love (shounen-ai) manga for many years. A dark, possessive theme stretches through most of her work, and is too intense for young audiences. Her angular yet simple style is highly recognizable, and she was an excellent choice for the set. Selected works include Boku no Suki na Sensei, Turbulence, and Night Walkers.
Some of the ladies of Biblos have made cards for the later expansions, and their art is always a stand-out. Mangaka include Koide Mieko, Monchi Kaori, Koujima Naduki, and CJ Michalski.
Azumi Tohru offers some of the most beautiful cards; she is well-known for her gorgeous doujinshi for series such as Yuu Yuu Hakushou and Final Fantasy.
Karinouchi Narumi of Vampire Princess Miyu fame offers cards for both Aquarian Age and Juvenile Orion, as does Koge-Donbo (DiGi Charat, Pita-ten).
Kotobuki Tsukasa (anime designer for Saber Marionette J and the Lamune series), Mikimoto Haruhiko (Macross), and the men of Studio Gonzo (Nadesico, Gatekeepers) also contribute.