Jun 3, 2010
Tenchio (All reviews)
After I had read Omoide Emanon's description, I was positive that it would be an experience out of the ordinary. Having finished it, it left me with a feeling hard to describe, the closest one being pure awe.

The story starts off on a cruiser en route to the southernmost of Japan. Sitting cuddled in a blanket against the cold outer wall of the ship, an ordinary male high school student soon finds himself in the company of the not-so-ordinary titular character Emanon: a beautiful young woman with long, lustrous hair, a wave of freckles sprinkled across her nose and a memory as massive as the Earth itself.

One thing leads to another and the two end up in the cruiser's diner, where Emanon offers to tell her unbelievable story, having noticed the huge amount of sci-fi books in the student's bag and feeling that he bears a resemblance to someone dear she knew long ago. He happily lends her his ear and becomes subject to an amazing tale; as it happens, Emanon possesses the memory of life itself; it has been passed on from mother to daughter since the first single-cell organism was born in the vast ocean of three billion years ago.

Omoide Emanon consists only of one single volume, but it packs more of a punch than most longer manga I've read. The story is original and mind-boggling, the art consistent in its detailed excellence and Emanon herself is one of the most charismatic and attractive characters I have come across in manga/anime. It rendered me speechless - in a good way.

I can imagine that reading Omoide Emanon is very much like watching the Earth from orbit: to be enveloped in the inescapable knowledge that your own meager existence is but an insignificant, infinitely ephemeral moment in the history of the universe and be taken aback by the awe-inspiring beauty of it all.