ES: Eternal Sabbath 1Posted: April 16, 2011
Fuyumi Soryo – Del Rey – 2006 – 8 volumes
The series I want to read by Fuyumi Soryo is Mars. That’s long out of print, and an out-of-print series that’s 15 volumes long is difficult to acquire used on the internet. I’ve been waiting for volumes to come into work, but while I’m waiting to complete my set there, I decided to give another series she’d done a try.
Wow. I don’t even like stories about psychics. If Mars is anything like this, but with topics I like (and I’ll admit that falls into the narrow range of demons and/or high school romance), it will be the best thing ever, and I will kick myself for having not picked it up sooner. For now though, all the volumes of ES are still available, and I have every intention of getting them and reading the whole thing ASAP.
The first chapter reads like a short story. We are introduced to ES, and his unique powers as a “mind hacker.” I almost set the book down for good when that was revealed on the third page, but it’s not nearly as cheesy as it sounds. ES can read people’s thoughts and introduce what he likes there. As a demonstration, we see that he stays for free at hotels and gets free clothes when he simply erases the thoughts of payment out of the minds of the clerks. He can sit down and dine with a group of people and make them think that he’s an old friend. And, more interestingly, he play-acts the part of an absent son and helps a younger son exorcise his demons of guilt and regret. We see some elaborate illusions and symbology at play. The metaphors could be heavy-handed, but the visuals are just so striking, and the art so well-done, that these scenes where ES is getting into the minds of the bullies and murders are… just so amazing and abstract. It’s powerful stuff, they really knocked my socks off.
The first chapter takes up a third of the book. After that, what appears to be the plot of the series starts. ES takes an identity with an older couple, whose memories he reformats to take the place of their dead son. But the story shifts over to a young neuroscientist named Dr. Kujyo. She’s investigating the phantom pains that ES left the bullies with in the first story, who believe their bodies are covered with severe burns despite the fact that they are not. Kujyo’s curiousity is piqued, and her investigations eventually lead her back to ES himself. His mind games don’t work on her, but he tortures her a little bit nonetheless. She’s in a bad position, since she knows what he’s capable of, but nobody will believe her since ES can reformat their memories to make whatever he wants true and make her crazy.
It’s a truly interesting and unique plot so far, and the artwork and characters are so far up to the tasks. This could derail very quickly if what appears to be a secret society of espers comes into the picture, and I have my doubts, but… I know for a fact that Fuyumi Soryo is a really great mangaka, and this first volume really blew me away with its bizarre and twisted mind games. I mostly wrote this review to get it out of the way so that I could read the next volume, and I just ordered two more. I am very, very excited.