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Good-Bye by Yoshihiro Tatsumi
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This is the second volume by Yoshiro Tatsumi that I've read, in the same series as 'Abandon the Old in Tokyo'. There are similarities and differences between the two collections. Both books deal with everyday Japanese people coping with urban life in postwar Tokyo. They show how Japanese social conventions created crippling existential prisons for people. Tatsumi's protaganists struggle against (and often as not, give in to) an indifferent world. They sweat and suffer guilt, worry and a sense of futility, always alone among crowds. The stories have a backdrop of a slummy, rapidly developing Tokyo. However, this collection of short graphic stories has less of a horror component than its predecessor (with the possible exception of 'Sky Burial'), which in several stories crossed the line from existential horror to actual horror. The mood of Good-Bye' is melancholy while 'Abandon the Old in Tokyo' is downright disturbing. As with the first volume, Adrian Tomine's postscript interview with the author is very interesting. ( )
  questbird | Jun 22, 2014 |
These stories are set in postwar Japan. Tatsumi's style is almost woodcut: stark, heavy, black&white, and bleak. And yet he never looks away, even while the reader at times can hardly bear to look. In "Hell" a nuclear shadow depicts a secret past that is very different from the past it seems at first to represent. And in "Good-Bye" the post-war world, squalid and nightmarishly small, seems to depict a country that has become unmoored, brutally severed from its connections to its own history, unbearable but still without any livable alternative it can embrace. ( )
  macha | May 6, 2009 |
I would imagine, that when these stories were first published in 1971 and 1972 in Japan then the readers would have drawn much more relevance, from Tatsumi’s work, than a modern day Westerner could, that’s not to say one can’t take quite a bit from it, far from it, but like any political/social commentary, knowledge of the subject helps, but experience is everything.

Saying that, I do highly recommend that if you get the opportunity to look through a copy, then I heartily recommend do so.

Read my full review at:
http://www.bartsbookshelf.co.uk/2008/07/30/good-bye-yoshihiro-tatsumi/ ( )
  bart154ce | Aug 6, 2008 |
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An unblinking examination of the aftershocks of war.

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