Abandon the Old in Tokyo

December 14, 2006

Yoshihiro Tatsumi – Drawn & Quarterly – 2006 – 1 volume

I love these graphic novels from Drawn and Quarterly.  I wish they came out more than once a year, but that’s how long it takes to wrap my brain around these volumes.  I do sincerely hope they keep putting out many more year’s worth of the work of Yoshihiro Tatsumi.

So this one was a little less graphic than the last one as far as… gross stuff goes.  The last one had a lot to do with unwanted pregnancy and/or children.  This one not so much.  A lot of the stories in the last one were also about the poorest of the poor, and while that theme is maintained here, I felt like the people in this one were slightly better off.  Some of the stories here were a little more heartbreaking, too.  The one that got to me the most was the one about the guy who finally found himself a girlfriend and lived with his monkey.  Though it has the ironic twist of fate like all Tatsumi’s stories, this one was particularly sad because there were many facets to his life that were shattered… plus it showed how well-off he was at the beginning, too, which isn’t a typical move.

This really is a depressing read, though.  It’s extremely good in that it… I don’t want to say it’s true to life, but yes, it’s good at portraying the normal everyday and what goes wrong with it.  Though it’s less prevalent here, I still really like the mute main character too.  Kind of puts you in their shoes a bit more since you’re forced to imagine what they’re thinking instead of being explicitly told.

There’s a bit more of a variety of story in this volume, too.  One of them even goes outside the city, though it was definitely my least favorite.  These are also much more developed, it seems, than the stories in the first volume.  Maybe I’m just imagining things, but it does seem like there’s more of them.