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Barefoot Gen, Vol. 9: Breaking Down Borders…
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Barefoot Gen, Vol. 9: Breaking Down Borders (1984)

by Keiji Nakazawa

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Breaking Down Borders is another volume in the Barefoot Gen series that meanders a bit too far from the original story. Still more characters are introduced and still new storylines are created. I get it, years after the bomb, the format is much more episodic, focusing on how all these various lives and stories have been shaped by the bomb. The heart of the story gets lost in the mix, however. While earlier volumes were heartbreaking, these are more adventure based. Also, for sake of the story, these later volumes forget some of the details established in earlier volumes. For example, in an earlier volume, Ryuta is taken under the tutelage of Gen's former teacher, Mr. Ohta, but that's all forgotten when it's convenient that Ryuta be without education. There are many similar occurrences and that's just sloppy storytelling. These later volumes could've been left out of the series, or condensed, but one cannot read this far into a series and simply abandon it because it grows lackluster. ( )
  chrisblocker | Sep 20, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0867196009, Paperback)

Cartoonist Keiji Nakazawa was seven years old and living in Hiroshima in the early days of August 1945 when the city was destroyed by an atomic bomb dropped by the United States. Starting a few months before that event, his ten-volume saga Barefoot Gen shows life in Japan after years of war and privations, as seen through the eyes of seven-year-old Gen Nakaoka. In Volume Nine, Gen continues to confront one setback after another -- the loss of his home, the death of a friend -- when a chance encounter gives new direction to his life. An impoverished but talented artist takes Gen under his wing and teaches him to paint. Inspired by the artist's assertion that "art has no borders," Gen vows to become an artist himself, and takes a job as apprentice to a local poster painter. Despite merciless bullying from his boss and the older apprentices, Gen perseveres in the pursuit of his new calling.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:31 -0400)

"Cartoonist Keiji Nakazawa was seven years old and living in Hiroshima in the early days of August 1945 when the city was destroyed by an atomic bomb dropped by the United States. Starting a few months before that event, his ten-volume saga Barefoot Gen shows life in Japan after years of war and privations, as seen through the eyes of seven-year-old Gen Nakaoka. In Volume Nine, Gen continues to confront one setback after another -- the loss of his home, the death of a friend -- when a chance encounter gives new direction to his life. An impoverished but talented artist takes Gen under his wing and teaches him to paint. Inspired by the artist's assertion that 'art has no borders, ' Gen vows to become an artist himself, and takes a job as apprentice to a local poster painter. Despite merciless bullying from his boss and the older apprentices, Gen perseveres in the pursuit of his new calling"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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