While there weren't a whole lot of josei manga published in 2008, thanks to the arrival of Luv-Luv Press, there were many more choices for grown up graphic novels for young women.
And sure enough, when the votes were tallied in January 2008, the clear winner was Object of Desire from Luv-Luv Press / Aurora Publishing.
WINNER: Object of Desire
In the title story featured in this collection of erotic short stories, Kako is pretty and popular with the guys, but after a while, she grows weary of men who promise her romance, but just want her for her body. Then her college classmate Mizoguchi surprises her by asking her to go out, and bluntly says that he just wants to have sex with her. Kako is disarmed by his candor, but will she fall for a guy who only wants a bedroom companion?
2nd place: Maka-Maka
Jun and Nene are best friends, and sometimes they're more than just friends. Sure, they have boyfriends, but these two free-spirited twenty-something single girls love nothing more than to cuddle, flirt and make out with each other. It's not exactly like being "girlfriends" -- it's more "maka-maka," or "friends with benefits."
Slated for an American movie remake starring Jennifer Garner in 2009, Be With You is a love story about Takumi, a widower who mourns for his recently deceased wife. Meanwhile, his young son Yuji waits for his mother Mio to fulfill her promise to return to them on a rainy day. Sure enough, a young woman who resembles Mio comes into their lives, but the odd thing is that she doesn't seem to remember her son nor her husband.
3rd place (tie): Vassalord
Johnny Rayflow is an impossibly handsome, rich and carefree playboy who just happens to be a vampire. Charly Chrishunds is a globe-trotting cybernetic vampire slayer who works for the Vatican. When these two get together, the bullets, knives and bombs fly, but the melee usually ends with these two making out.
4th place: Voices of Love
In the first of several short stories included in Voices of Love, a young teacher is annoyed by the loud music and love making noises coming from her next door neighbor. When she discovers that her neighbor is one of her students, she's flustered -- but things get pretty steamy when her Casanova neighbor starts setting his sights on scoring "extra-credit" points with her.
5th place: Masque of the Red Death
Based on Edgar Allen Poe's short story, Wendy Pini's Masque of the Red Death gives this gothic tale a sci-fi, erotic twist. The "prince" is Anton, a mysterious and wealthy young man who is seeking the secret to eternal life. But when Anton invites an array of the rich, powerful and famous to his home for an extravagant birthday party, he discovers that he has opened a Pandora's box of passion, jealousy and betrayal.
Art school is like college except... just a little crazier. Just ask starving students Takemoto, Mayama Yamada, Hagu and Morita: five artists, designers and architects in training who juggle getting their projects done on time, despite the distractions of their love triangles and occasional bouts of artists' block.
6th place (tie): Seduction More Beautiful Than Love
Daoun is a pretty young high school teacher who finds that keeping control of her classroom is extra difficult when one of her students makes a pass at her. Ryumin, her student seems wise in the ways of love -- or at least is confident and intriguing enough to keep Dauon wondering why she can't stop thinking about him.
7th place: Hotel Africa
"Hotel Africa" is a Utah rooming house run by a young widow, her half-black son and her feisty mother. The house becomes the setting for a series of melodramatic short stories about love, loss and longing told by Elvis, the now grown son who's living in the city.
8th place: Make Love and Peace
Ayame and Koichi are passionately in love with each other, but sometimes, Koichi's job as a policeman gets in the way of their relationship. When duty calls, Koichi is often called to respond immediately, even while he's in the middle of his dates with Ayame. As she tries to be a good girlfriend, Ayame does her best to understand, but sometimes her impulsive attempts to help Koichi with his police work puts her in harm's way.