Ooba Youzou is a troubled soul incapable of revealing his true self to others. A weak constitution and the lingering trauma from some abuse administered by a relative forces him to uphold a facade of hollow jocularity since high school.
There are very few manga which leave me speechless fortunately No Longer Human ranks as one of those and as my favourite manga. There have been cases for example Berserk, Gantz and 20th Century Boys but even they pale in comparison to the genius of Osamu Dazai.
It describes the tale of a nilhistic man who finds it difficult to show himself to others thus puts on a facade. It is a story about his life and how is gets to where he is and what occurs on the way.
Based on Ozamu Dazai's famous novel, it hits home and makes you empathise with a sex crazed
sociopath. After reading this I guarantee that melancholy will overwhelm you and that you will be glad to have read it.
I would continue trying to persuade you to read this but I shall let you decide as I promise you that you won't regret picking up the 3 volumes.
*NOTE: this is only a review for the manga, not the novel or anything else
While I do admit, this manga is not that bad, but the fact that it attempts to be so "edgy," and so dark on purpose boggles my mind and made me think twice about giving a better score than this. I am not going to go to much depth, but the protagonist pretty much ends up in one of the worst situations possible, and that is a huge turn off for me. Why do that? Really? I am not going to spoil the ending either, but it is such a forced
bad ending instead of making it even a neutral or good ending. In the end, if you like "edgy and dark stuff," this manga is for you. If not, you might not end up that interested in it.
No Longer Human is a tale of despair. It is not heartwarming. There is not a happy ending. It is about the slow descent of a man who breaks and falls. Usamara Furuya updates Osamu Dazai’s novel for modern audiences and does an excellent job in the process. In the afterword of the final volume, Furuya claims that he was not able to truly capture the despair of the original, but I feel as though he has, at the very least, come quite close.
The art is fairly typical for a manga of this sort, though I feel as though Furuya’s talents shine the best as
we escape into the head of Yozo Oba, the main character. The clean line style of the rest of the manga is replaced with smudged darkness, doing much to portray Oba’s state of mind. I was also quite pleased with Furuya’s depiction of nudity and sex. Even in situations that are at least somewhat pornographic, every woman is drawn to an appropriate and realistic scale. This, I feel, helped me take the book seriously; had Furuya chosen to depict women as impossibly curvaceous and busty it would have taken away from much of the point of the manga.
The story is intriguing, to say the least. No Longer Human is about a man who does not know what he is, and this is depicted and far better than many things I have seen dealing with the same topic. The book gets very dark, possibly even triggering to people with problems involving rape or suicide, but it is handled frankly, without glamorizing or focusing on the acts beyond what is necessary. These are obviously major plot points and as such are brought up fairly often, but in a very “real” way. I read the Vertical Inc translation and was never taken out of the story by strange syntax or awkward translations. In fact, I finish all three volumes in about an hour and a half, with no breaks between.
No Longer Human is a story that sucks you in and keeps you in, all the while provoking oneself to ask what it means to be human. It is something of a cautionary tale, ending with a sense of urgency that one must in some way find oneself to avoid falling. This is a book I would recommend, but not if you are looking for a light or happy tale.
For more of my reviews, go to tuesdaysdusk.tumblr.com/tagged/review