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No Longer Human, part 2

Overview

Furuya's adaptation of No Longer Human takes place nearly seventy years after Dazai's original. Set in modern day Tokyo, Dazai's tale details the life of a young man originally from a well-off family from Japan's far north. Yozo Oba is a troubled soul incapable of revealing his true self to others. A weak constitution and the lingering trauma from some abuse administered by a relative forces him to uphold a facade of hollow jocularity since high school. The series is composed of three parts, referred to in the ...
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Overview

Furuya's adaptation of No Longer Human takes place nearly seventy years after Dazai's original. Set in modern day Tokyo, Dazai's tale details the life of a young man originally from a well-off family from Japan's far north. Yozo Oba is a troubled soul incapable of revealing his true self to others. A weak constitution and the lingering trauma from some abuse administered by a relative forces him to uphold a facade of hollow jocularity since high school. The series is composed of three parts, referred to in the novel as "memorandums," which chronicle the life of Oba from his teens to late twenties. The comic is narrated by the artist, Furuya himself playing the role originally held by the author Dazai, who makes appearances at the start of each volume. In many ways, it could be said that Furuya has traveled a path that may be similar to Dazai's. Maybe that is what led these two together after 100 years.

In the second volume, comic artist Usamaru Furuya has become obsessed over Oba's behavior. Noticing how tormented this young man must have been, he begins to question whether he should continue reading these memoirs. He fears he may see his own future going down the same path. But, despite his fears he reads on now smitten with Oba and the cast of fre-nemies around him.

Oba's Second Memorandum focuses on his college days. Increasingly paranoid about keeping up appearances he begins to neglect his studies and his ambitions of becoming an artist are now a thing of the past. He is spending money left and right. And soon finds himself in a destructive cycle of drinking and self-loathing. Spurred on by a fellow aspiring artist, he begins to take advantage of his family spending money like water to maintain his bad habits.

So when the money well dries up, he tries to escape life entirely; fearing that his family and in turn the world has abandoned him. But his charms continue to linger. From here he begins to take advantage of his unique personality to live off the one-sided love of the women around him. Whether it be the experienced bar owner or the or the single-parent comics editor, Oba's heart never truly opens up but if these women give him another chance on life, he is willing to take it as long as their own personal expectations do not overwhelm him.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"What made the original No Longer Human so great — and what has been carried forward into this version — is not just the fact that it has such an impact, but that it uses its impact to connect to things that haven’t diminished with the passage of time...We are moved most profoundly by tragedy not because pain is more worthy of art than joy, but because it’s loss (and, perhaps, the salvation and redemption that can come afterwards) that inspires use to reflect and understand far more deeply than simply winning... Great art, no matter how much sadness it encompasses, is exhilarating because it showcases people working at the top of their game." - Genji Press 

"Never have I read a manga which made me understand and feel what it meant to be no longer human...For a first volume, [No Longer Human, part 1] was beautiful and I loved it dearly to feel the need to write this. And how I wished it had garnered enough attention in Japan for it to merit some kind of award because personally, I felt Furuya deserved it...If darkness made me understand the other side of humanity, then I don’t mind sinking deeper." - Otaku Champloo

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935654223
  • Publisher: Vertical, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/6/2011
  • Series: No Longer Human Series
  • Pages: 194
  • Sales rank: 548,347
  • Age range: 16 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.06 (w) x 6.98 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Tokyo native Usamaru Furuya is considered one of the brightest artists in modern manga today. Upon graduating from Tama University for the Arts Furuya turned his attention to the world of comics making his debut in 1994 in the legendary magazine AX. Since then he has gone on to draw sixteen titles including the Lychee Light Club, Short Cuts and Genkaku Picasso. A Guest of Honor at the 2010 Toronto Comics Art Festival, Furuya is now captivating an international audience for his striking designs and his emotionally charged works.
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