From the master Jiro Taniguchi himself comes the greatest and most gripping high altitude stories you will find.
I love Taniguchi's work, the detailed background, soft flow of the reading, the calm moments. His work is poetic and outstandingly beautiful.
For summit of the Gods, it was the first time I was reading a story of his that had a faster pace, lots of action and suspense. And as always he does it brilliantly.
Story: It's about alpinism, it's about the mountains, the cold, the solitude and being one with a hostile environment.
I knew not the slightest thing about mountain climbing and I still LOVED discovering the passion of these men who are ready to die for their love of the sport.
Plot --> a photographer for an outdoor adventure type of magazine, Fukamachi stumbles in a shop on a camera that could have belonged to Mallory. Mallory attempted the ascension of the Everest summit in 1927 but disappeared with his colleague Irving and no one knows if they actually made it to the top or not (if so they would have been the first ones on record).
While he's investigating Fukamachi finds out he's a lot more interested in finding out about the man who found the camera Habu Joji and piecing up his past.
We follow the investigation of Fukamachi on both the origins of the camera, how it was found and the mysterious Habu who's been hiding in Nepal for many years. In the alpinism world, he used to be a prodigie, capable of climbing many dangerous summits with ease but he disappeared one day without leaving a trace.
I never imagined a story on the mountains would be so addicting. But it's so well put together, the tension, the emotion, the hard work it takes to carefully, one step after the over claim a difficult summit. It takes courage, it takes instinct and incredible mental strength. Habu Joji is absolutely fascinating with his love for climbing, like nothing else matters. You look at mountain climbing with new eyes after this series. People die every year practicing their passion and the emotion really transpires in the series. I loved this story to bits, I would even give it an 11 out of 10.
Art: it's Jiro Taniguchi. Expect only the best. The backgrounds in Nepal and in the mountains really were my favorite but everything is stunning. Only fault I can find is a lack of diverse facial expressions but that's also his style of having mostly stern characters.
Characters: I gave it only 8/10 because although they were all amazing, some weren't really necessary to the plot. And again, it's sad that there isn't a more diverse ray of facial expressions. I loved the complexity of Habu Joji's personality and all he's been through. Fukamachi was for the longest time just and observer, I couldn't really relate too but he has a lot of development.
Enjoyment: Can't you tell? I loved it. Only thing is, I find Taniguchi's works to be a little mentally taxing, it sucks you into the story so much that sometimes it's a bit overwhelming and I often had to take breaks to read something lighter.
But it's well worth the read because it's epic and amazing. I have never felt so gripped by a manga series before, it pulls you in until you're completely obsessed by it. It took me a while to get over this amazing story.
If there's one thing you should know it that you should read it. It's my favorite manga and I have found no other like it. Taniguchi is a genius and the writer Baku Yumemakura knows how to write an extremely compelling story.
I love this manga. read more