Modern Visual Culture

Recommended Works

Abandon the Old in Tokyo


Mangaka: Yoshihiro Tatsumi 辰巳 ヨシヒロ
Born: 10th of Jun, 1935
Original Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly
English Language Publisher:
Published: August 2006
Status: Finished
Number of Volumes: 1
Genre: Slice of Life, Drama
Demographic: seinen

    Second release from Canadian publisher Drawn and Quarterly covering the work of renowned gekiga (underground Japanese comics) creator Yoshihiro Tatsumi.

    This compendium is filled with dark and gloomy tales of the 1970s Toyko underclass - those seemingly left behind in the economic miracle of Showa Japan - as they struggle to make sense of their lives and survive life in the gigantic metropolis. Simple tales of working people that often take on a darkly imaginative allegorical significance, it's hard to believe these tales routinely found their way into mainstream publications, as well as the classic underground magazine Garo.

    Drawn in a straightforward manner that may feel unfamiliar to contemporary manga fans, Tatsumi is never-the-less a master storyteller whose pessimistic world view will be instantly recognizable to anime and manga fans of darker fare, as he himself was often the influence.
    Background & Impact
    Tatsumi's influence on manga cannot be underestimated - more than anyone else, he helped to expand the scope of what manga could be. While mainly known now for his autobiographical tome A Drifting Life, Tatsumi's innovative use of the medium was spread by stories such as the ones in this collection.