Emanon Volume 1: Memories of Emanon Review: Sequel Please

Life changing events happen when you least suspect it. Even if it’s just taking a ferry home, something on that ferry will change your life whether you want it or night. That’s one of the themes in the manga “Emanon Volume 1: Memories of Emanon,” based on the novel by Shinji Kajio with art by Kenji Tsuruta and it’s a spiritual journey.   In 1967 Japan, a young college student is on his way home on a long ferry ride when he meets a mysterious “hippie chick” who only identifies herself as “Emanon” (“No Name” spelled backward.) He finds out she’s actually billions of years old and has all of her memories.

So is this woman telling the truth or she is just twisting a tale? The story is one of the best in a long time. The conversations between Emanon and the young man are interesting, especially the Emanon’s life. What works perfectly is that the writing does a great job of making the reader question whether or not Emanon is telling the truth. That’s the strength of the storytelling: Emanon is such a fine storyteller that you’re not sure if she’s lying or not. Of course, most people will be put off by this story. It’s a super simple story and it may appear like it’s about Emanon but it’s really about the young man.   

The artwork is also great. Tsuruta was able to create characters that both look amazing but also keeping with the whole real-world aesthetic. In both the black and white and color panels, Emanon looks absolutely amazing. While few and far between, Tsuruta manages to get the backgrounds right. The prime example is the ferry and how crowded and tight it looks. You feel claustrophobic just by looking at it. “Emanon Volume 1: Memories of Emanon” has both a great story and great art even if some people will dismiss the premise. The writing keeps the reader guessing and there are plenty of surprises abound which will make the reader want to read the sequels.

About Rocco Sansone 733 Articles
Rocco Sansone is a “man of many interests.” These include anime/manga, video games, tabletop RPGs, YA literature, 19th century literature, the New York Rangers, and history. Among the things and places he would like to see before he dies are Japan, half of Europe, and the New York Rangers win another Stanley Cup.

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