Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Manga Reads: Old Boy by Garon Tsuchiya / Nobuaki Minegishi

This eight-volume manga series starts with a bang, keeps it all convincing until Volume 8, where several revelations make the plot almost inedible. As a saving grace, the story concludes on an unexpected ominous tone.

A man is locked up in a room for ten years and then, as inexplicably, released. The only thing he can think of now is revenge and the question - Who the hell did this to him and why? Determined to get his retribution barehanded, our man straddles around bustling Tokyo looking for clues. Bit by bit, even as his detection begins to pay off, the nemesis shows himself, leading to a tense, psychological encounter that ends with a death. If you are looking for a genre, this is a manga of suspense. Certainly worth a read for its story and illustrations; this is good/great stuff if not classic.

More on manga
A work of manga has illustrations and dialogues that resemble detailed storyboards. Having originated in Japan during the 1950's, manga has now spread to the English reading world. As per the traditional Japanese manga book format, usually replicated in English editions, a manga is read from the back page, right to left.

A sword slash could extend to pages, the detailing adds a movie-still atmosphere to the drawings, sinking us deeper into the stories. Thus a singular story of manga extends into volumes, seldom do they end in a single book. Action-adventure is a popular genre, though you will get romance, comedy, science fiction and murder mysteries too. Violence and sex are recurring features in most manga works, thus many manga book covers carry the PARENTAL ADVISORY tag for EXPLICIT CONTENT.

The Old Boy manga inspired the 2003 South Korean film of the same name. The 2006 Hindi film Zinda, starring Sanjay Dutt and John Abraham was inspired by the 2003 film rather than the book.

(Article by Snehith Kumbla) 

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