Clare's Reviews > Abandon the Old in Tokyo

Abandon the Old in Tokyo by Yoshihiro Tatsumi
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's review
Jul 13, 07

Read in July, 2007

I'm a relative newcomer to a lot of comic books and graphic novels so I can't really comment on how this fits in with the whole genre. However, this collection of short stories is really excellent. Perhaps the most eye-opening thing for me was the society portrayed. We tend to think of Japan in it's most modern incarnation but these stories point to a period after the war where Japan was at a very interesting point in terms of deciding it's identity. The stories are extremely elegant - an emotion or narrative thread conjured up within a single frame. A lot of this is due to the beautiful subtlety of the drawings. The fact that they are all in black and white also contributes to a feeling of drabness and sleaziness that brilliantly conveys the underbelly of Japanese society. It's impossible to sum up the narrative of any of these stories without doing them some discredit - they are too subtle and too much is conveyed in the intersection between the drawings and the words. It reminds me slightly of other Japanese novels I have read where as much is summed up by what is not said as by what is. Definitely recommended.
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