Lenni Reviews: “Downfall” by Inio Asano

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is 18+

Kaoru Fukazawa has just finished his manga series and hit it big. With his fans and publisher begging for his next work, he finds himself unable to create anything. With no ideas and running out of time and money, Fukazawa quickly runs out of anyone who has faith in him, least of all himself.

This is an intensely depressing tale of a man who attained big success and feels that even if he lives up to it, he will still never feel like he loves his work. While well drawn, Fukazawa is not a likable main character. He’s a miserable creature who I’m not even sure I want to succeed. You’re not so much rooting for him as watching in morbid fascination as the conclusion nears. Not a fun read but an interesting story. 3.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “A Girl on the Shore” by Inio Asano

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*This book is rated 18+

Ok, first off: this manga is pretty damn graphic and I am SO squicked out by that given that these are high school kids.

Sato has a crush on Misaki; the class playboy. When he offers to hang out with her, Misaki uses her and tosses her aside. Obviously hurt, Sato hooks up with Isobe; who actually likes her. Isobe offers himself up to her so use him so they have a purely sexual relationship but the longer it goes on, the more serious and complicated it becomes.

This is a pretty nihilistic book about kids trying to learn who they are in a sleepy town where nothing much really happens. They meander and float through life just like floating on a sea current and not having any plan where to go. It is absolutely a downer and can get gross in some parts but… OMFG they are so young and the graphic nature of this made me REALLY uncomfortable. I know the legal age in Japan is different (thirteen) but ew, ew, EW! I could have gone along in life quite happily without this burned into my eyes. I give this a 3 out of 5 and please pass the Brain Bleach.

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