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Utsubora - The Story of a Novelist (Utsubora - The Story of a Novelist #1-2)

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  277 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Young author Aki Fujino appeared poised tomaking it big in the world of publishing. Her debut title UTSUBORA was being pitched about to a number of editors and at least one person felt it was set to propel her into stardom. However, before she could ever have her book published, the young woman was found dead. Some believe it was a suicide, but those close to her feel ther ...more
Paperback, 460 pages
Published June 18th 2013 by Vertical (first published May 7th 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 810)
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Seth T.
Aug 19, 2013 Seth T. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Utsubora by Asumiko Nakamura

I'm a huge fan of Haruki Murakami. He may be my Favourite Author—if not, he's definitely part of a select handful of Favourite Authors. I haven't read all of his works but I have read eleven of them, some of them multiple times. When I was reading Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (for the second time) alongside my wife (her first time), we were so taken with the book that we named our as-yet-unborn daughter St. Wind-Up Bird (while she awaited a proper name) as mark of our affection for the novel and, conv
Jul 06, 2013 Kenny rated it it was amazing
Elegaic, beautiful study in why writers write wrapped in a murder mystery entwined in a romantic drama set in a zen- like gallery of visual sequential poems and pauses.
Michael Scott
Feb 15, 2016 Michael Scott rated it did not like it
I bought Utsubora in the Kinokuniya Tokyo library. I guess it was a typical impulse buy: the book looked interesting, it was placed on the special display table for selected manga, and its synopsis said something about a novelist. It also said "18+" on the cover, so I figured it must be a book less for adolescents and more for mature readers. I suddenly felt pandered to and thus immensely gratified to be able to buy it on the spot. Also, given how many words I'm spending on describing this impul ...more
Feb 08, 2016 Zizeloni rated it liked it
3.5 stars
The story is actually (for the most part) pretty common.
But she managed to make it atmospheric and intriguing.
I like the beginning and the end, but it kind of lost me in the middle.
(plus I had a headache today, that didn't help!)
Stewart Tame
Nov 09, 2015 Stewart Tame rated it really liked it
I wavered quite a bit on whether this should get three or four stars--I don't do half stars. I figure three is average, a decent book, but nothing special. Four is above average, probably something I'd reread at least a few times. I finally went with four. So the book opens with a suicide. A woman seemingly jumps from the roof of a skyscraper. Author Shun Mizorogi is called to identify the body as his number is stored in her phone's memory. Dark things are hinted at. There's another woman who's ...more
Mar 05, 2014 Chibineko rated it really liked it
This one took me a while to get through, partially because of school but also because it's kind of like Shrek and onions: it has layers. You can read through this in a rather quick and fast manner and still greatly enjoy the story for its beautiful artwork and story, but you'll miss out on a lot. I still don't know that I really caught everything the story was trying to tell me the first go round, so this is definitely one to pick up repeatedly and re-read.

The whole layers and symbolism in the
Maria Ella
"That misaligned dual viewpoint is what allows for a three-dimensional field of vision. That you have two points of view - subjective and objective. It's through sustaining the misaligned pair in tandem that our world becomes real."

Delivered via Royal Mail (view spoiler), this one-volume manga by Asumiko Nakamura explores the visions of a writer being tangled in a crime. One has to be challenged in a non-linear writing style, in its gothic strokes of
Feb 15, 2015 Sophie rated it really liked it
The art is gorgeous and accompanies a fascinating story that can't be grasped at first glance. I really want to read it in the original, though, since the translation reads rather odd at a lot of times. And don't get me started on the lettering.. I guess it's because I read translations so rarely these days that that sort of thing becomes more obvious.

I really want to read even more by Nakamura-sensei though. And there needs to be more by here available in English.
Hoàng Nguyễn
Jun 12, 2015 Hoàng Nguyễn rated it it was amazing
Today, in my Japanese class, I was lent the most astounding graphic novel I've ever come to read in my life up until now. Even though I'm a fan of Asumiko Nakamura for quite a long time and this book was her usual motif but she still got me. After all these years I thought I totally knew her tricks but no, I did not. In fact, I knew nothing at all.

The beautiful yet angsty world she lures her readers into, just to shuts the door completely. Locks us with a very bittersweet ending.

If you were born
Ehsan Sharei
Nov 26, 2015 Ehsan Sharei rated it really liked it
A perfect artwork with a story which has an appealing complexity. There is much more happening than what we actually read and see in the book. I struggled a lot with it to classify the events and human acts.
Full review to come.
Jan 08, 2016 Emi rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-manga
I have translated Nakamura's works before, although not professionally, and hence am familiar with her actual writing style. Hers is not writing that is easy to decipher but even an amateur like me was able to do her work justice. Thus, I cannot believe that Utsubora was released without some very needed editing. The translation is horribly awkward in some places and while Nakamura loves her run on sentences, there are ways to make them sound much more natural. I think the translation really doe ...more
Apr 02, 2016 Ashly rated it liked it
Shelves: manga
I have very torn thoughts on this one. It was definitely not scary (which is how it had been billed to me), but it was deep in a way that requires further pondering and may ultimately change my thoughts over time.

As it is now, I am left with a bitter taste in my mouth, as most of the characters were despicable, grotesque, and otherwise deplorable, and I was truly perturbed by many of their interactions. I guess what I'm saying is that it's the sort of story that makes you feel like you need to t
Kitty Holmes
Apr 10, 2016 Kitty Holmes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[Reseña global 2/2]

Utsubora es un manga muy interesante, que no se limita a contarnos una investigación policíaca sino que plantea temas muy sugerentes abiertos a la interpretación (al menos yo divagué durante horas sobre ellos). Y su dibujo es sencillamente espectacular.

Si os gustan las historias de misterio y, ante todo, las psicológicas, os recomiendo y mucho que le deis una oportunidad.

Reseña completa: http://elesconditedelaspalabrasperdid...
Kerstyn M.
Sep 30, 2013 Kerstyn M. rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
"Still, does living really require anything to put a scale against itself? We simply live. We live because we're alive. Me, I'm good with that."

Wow. So I'll be up front here and admit that I've never reviewed a graphic novel before, so in that respect I feel like I might not even know how to begin to construct a really full review of this book, and all of it's complex contents. I have to say, however, that whether I did know much about reviewing comics or not, starting this off would be incred
Aug 10, 2013 Ruth rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga, 2013-reads
From the very first pages (if not the cover itself) it is clear that Nakamura Asumiko's is going to be a dark descent into the human psyche. We begin with the view of a young woman plummeting to her death from the top of a building, and what follows explains, at least in part, how it all came to such an end for her.

There is a lot of positive things to say about Utsubora. For being an omnibus release, it is a very quick read. Nakamura is able to weave together a variety of characters and scenes t
Joe Parrish
Jul 23, 2013 Joe Parrish rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story, a manga for adults that delivers on all levels, beautiful art, a wonder and interesting story, sex, death, mystery how can you go wrong. It was the eyes on the cover that first got me wanting to know more. I had never heard of Asumiko Nakamura before and I looked up everything I could find on this book. When I looked into her the only thing I was not interested in was the Boy love stories she tells, not because of the content but it is just not interesting to me but now if it ...more
Sean O'Hara
Jul 01, 2013 Sean O'Hara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, manga, josei
Why is it that lame T&A series like Mayo Chiki and Kanokan get licensed by the dozen while artistic and literary manga like this rarely ever make it stateside, and usually go out of print before you even know they're on store shelves? Seriously, the characters in this are more complex, and the story more mature than most novels.

The story centers on Shun Mizorogi, an author once lauded as a literary genius but who's been coasting on his reputation for many years now. But his newest work, Utsu
Oct 14, 2013 D rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
I'm a big fan of Nakamura Asumiko's. I first saw her work in the Tokyopop editions of the Gothic & Lolita Bible and was hooked from the first panel. It's probably one of my goals in life to read everything she has ever written, which is pretty hard going because Utsubora is actually the first of her works to be published in English and my Japanese isn't exactly up to par. In fact, I first saw sample pages in the original Japanese online, and I basically had no idea what happened because well ...more
Cody Billings
Oct 07, 2013 Cody Billings rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga-i-own
To an author, to write is to live. What happens if you can no longer write? What then, is life?

When I first came across this book, I knew nothing about it nor its author, Asumiko Nakamura. The cover art alone intrigued me enough to want to pick it up, and I’m glad I did. The art on the inside was off-putting to me at first because because the characters, especially the male ones, looked like typical Yaoi or Shonen Ai character designs. Which means that they may be shown to sometimes have unusu
Aug 03, 2013 Charliesabers rated it really liked it
A dark, dense and provocative story. It follows the trails of famous novelist Shun Mizunogi who plagiarises his latest work from Aki, a fan he met a a few times, and the slow vortex of chaos that ensues after she commits suicide. Being one of the two apparent connections the girl had, the other being her twin sister Sakura, he becomes part of the tangled web for lies, sex and death caused both by this incident and his actions.

The book is for mature readers. There is explicit sexual content (thou
Andrea Peterson
Oct 02, 2013 Andrea Peterson rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
This is a fairly thick book — the size of one of those three-volumes-in-one omnibus manga. And yet I read it pretty much in one sitting. It was certainly riveting, if a bit weird and confusing. I'm still not entirely clear on several things. (view spoiler) ...more
Feb 02, 2016 J.D. rated it liked it
Interesting, dreamy in its approach -- it told many bits of the story from many angles all at once. I didn't expect it to be so sexually graphic, but it may be because of that lack of expectation that I was disappointed. I thought it would be more cerebral and less dreamy, though I did find it thought provoking -- which I enjoyed. It felt a little disorganized at times, though I think that's why it had an air of realism in a strange way -- life isn't organized, after all. 2 1/2 stars, I put 3 be ...more
May 03, 2014 Samantha rated it liked it
not sure if i liked it or really liked it...... i'd give it a 3.5 stars out of 5
it was very different, and ehhhhhh it was so confusing with all the layering and symbolism i don't think reading it at 2 in the morning was a good idea because i believe i missed out on a lot of ~secrets~ hidden within the book

Tuesday Dolan
Mar 14, 2016 Tuesday Dolan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga
Mysterious and engaging with many twists and turns. A thriller that kept me wanting more. Beautiful art and atmosphere that suits the black and white art. A future that I would not like to have as an aspiring author. DO NOT RECOMMEND READING ON AN AIRPLANE SITTING NEXT TO MOTHER!
Mar 10, 2015 Ruqiyah rated it really liked it
Gorgeous, creepy, elegant. Kinda uncomfortable sex scenes, but they're meant to be uncomfortable, so eh. Cleverly put together, so you do have the opportunity to keep up and keep a hold on all the plot threads, though it is extremely easy to fall behind.
Daniella Mabaya
Dec 29, 2014 Daniella Mabaya rated it it was amazing
This graphic novel bring the curiosity every human must experience before leaving this world. The artist and author offers an aesthetic view on love, lust, life and murder. The end takes us on an angry and satisfying point that make us have different emotions and push us to fall in love with certain characters.
Emilia P
Sep 23, 2014 Emilia P rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-books
Wait...this was erotic manga? Ok. That's fine.
It was a weird, spiraling study on writer's block, essentially. Beautifully drawn, mysterious ladies, sad sad dudes. Does this signal a complete descent into manga-dom for me? Perhaps. Perhaps.
Jan 14, 2016 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Kinda hard to follow but an interesting story. Would make for a good movie.
Apr 09, 2015 cris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-bookshelf, comics
3,5. Muy intrigante, tiene un punto noir que me ha sorprendido.
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Name (in native language) : 中村明日美子

Zodiac : Capricorn

Blood type : O

Born in 1979, Asumiko Nakamura is one of Japan's hidden gems. The artist has penned more than 15 titles since 2002 and has reached critical acclaim for her sensitive protrayals of romantic narratives featuring a wide range of characters - men and women, young and old.

Nakamura has worked in a range of genres for an equally broad rang
More about Asumiko Nakamura...

Other Books in the Series

Utsubora - The Story of a Novelist (2 books)
  • ウツボラ 1
  • Utsubora #2

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