Book review: Disappearence Diary

August 7, 2009

Title: Disappearence Diary
Author: Hideo Azuma
Pages: 194

Disappearence Diary is a manga (a type of Japanese comic) that tells the true story of Hideo Azuma’s disappearences from his home. Azuma is a manga artist who could never handle the stress of drawing unique, interesting and high-quality comics week after week. When the stress got too much he just walked away from his life and became a bum.

While the story is essentially one of cowardice its value lies in the fact that it has a positive outlook: the art is deliberately made as far from reality as possible and Azuma focuses on the funny parts of his life as a bum.

Azuma eventually returned to his wife after the police picked him up but he ran away several times after that too, eventually landing up in the alcoholic ward of a hospital.

This would have been an excellent graphic novel if Azuma had given some sort of explanation before each chapter like “This was my 3rd time running away, I moved to a different town”. That would have made the story much more lucid.

Also, Azuma spends way too much time babbling on and on about his work like “I did Hideo’s fairytale collection in Manga Action Special Edition”. I found the details of his work to be too much to bear and skipped over 2-3 pages.

Overall, its an interesting graphic novel. Not very lucid but still quite good.

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