top of page

C4P: Steph P Bianchini-Shades of Unrequited Love. Broken hearts and amour de loin in Japanese manga

Luna's fourth Call for Papers, Ties That Bind: Love in Fantasy and Science Fiction will be released on Saturday the 1st of August. Here is a chance to discover the 11 brilliant papers you will find in the book.

Today, we would like to introduce you to Steph P Bianchini (Italy), Academic and social scientist based in Scotland.

Presenting the paper: "Shades of Unrequited Love. Broken hearts and amour de loin in Japanese manga and anime"


The trope of unrequited love in its many declinations has crossed centuries, literatures and genres; it is therefore not surprising to find it well represented in the Japanese manga and anime popular culture. Unrequired love with demonic traits is at the very centre of Devilman [デビルマン], one of the most iconic manga /anime ever (both in its original manga version 1970s by Go Nagai and more recently as the Netflix reboot Devilman Crybaby), which offers also an example of queer love surprisingly modern for the times of its original creation. This subtrope would remain in the manga tradition to resurface with similar relationship traits but more complex dynamics and even darker tones in another (still ongoing) manga/anime blockbuster of the 1990s: Kentaro Miura’s Berserk [ ベルセルク], to which the last section of this study is devoted. Different in content and tones but otherwise related is Riyoko Ikeda’s most notable creation, the historical manga /anime Versailles no Bara [ベルサイユのばら], also known as Lady Oscar or La Rose de Versailles. One of the bestselling shojo manga of all time, Versailles no Bara is tragic love Japanese-style at its purest definition, which has made generations of fans, young and adult, cry. It also reflects, in its featured relationships, aspects of the troubadours’ amour de loin, where the sentiment of love becomes an impossible dream worth dying for. Steph P. Bianchini is an Italian academic based in the UK. Steph is an Associate Professor and a member of the Royal Historical Society and worked over the last ten years on projects in social sciences, international relations, and humanities. They blog about sciences, speculative fiction, and history at and edit the ezine "Frozen Wavelets" ( speculative flash fiction and poetry.

As a fiction writer, Steph is a member of SFWA and HWA, writing under the byline Russell Hemmell. Their short stories and poetry have appeared in 100+ publications, including Aurealis, Cast of Wonders, Flame Tree Press, The Grievous Angel, and others. For Luna Press Publishing: A Shadow Within: Evil in SFF (2019).

Ties That Bind: Love in Fantasy and Science Fiction

is now in pre-order!



bottom of page