Review: Looking Back, Vol. 1

Tatsuki Fujimoto is best known for his smash hit manga series chainsaw value, whose anime adaptation is likewise set to debut in the fall of 2022 lineup. In addition to that mainstream success, they have also released a one-shot manga called see backside — And needless to say, this is a significant departure from his other work.

see backsideThe story revolves around two girls named Fujino and Kyomoto. Fujino is self-confident, while Kyomoto is a monk who distances himself from the world. What brings the two together is their own love of drawing manga, and the two form a close friendship while working on a manga series together. Then there are some obscure time-travel tragedies involved. You know, (not) typical manga shenanigans.

RELATED: Chainsaw Man’s chaotic new trailer reveals cast, theme song details

right outside the gate, see backside Introduces the reader to an art style that is well done and minimal in nature. This gives it an indie-film vibe or the kind of visuals that are more in an independent American comic than a traditional manga. see backsideThe overall feel and tone of it is closer to a slice-of-life film, with fast pace and pages upon pages where dialogue is not spoken and the visuals tell the full story. While this is a refreshing change of pace, it is also a double-edged sword.

While the story moves at a fast pace and thus allows for a quick read, this is also where its weaknesses are most apparent. Remember that obscure time travel plot device that was mentioned? Without going into spoiler territory, the use of symbolic time travel seems more of an afterthought, a slap-dash and haphazard plot device that just feels pointless. It’s all too early which is a shame, as it would have allowed for some really exciting ways of telling the story.

Keep in mind that this is not inherently a bad thing; Had Fujimoto changed the time travel element could have been better explored with a more powerful emotional punch see backside In a series instead of a 144-page one-shot.

RELATED: Chainsaw Man TV anime broadcast begins October 11

Aside from some storytelling missteps, see backside is a poignant exploration of the power of friendship and how event (or fate) can lead to either ruin or success in the case of the main lead. see backside It also touches on some heavy themes such as depression, self-doubt, social anxiety and violence. Anyone who is the creative type will know the anger of feeling like they’re “just not good enough” or “I can never go pro.” see backside That little voice in the creative man’s head is an excellent test harder than any critic.

all together, see backside is a worthy read that emphasizes Tatsuki Fujimoto’s story, proving that he is more than a manga writer who creates ultra-violent stories about men with chainsaws for heads. While it’s not the best slice-of-life manga, it’s great and should be checked out by anyone who wants to read a well-crafted coming-of-age story.

Author Tatsuki Fujimoto

Publisher: Viz Media

Price: $12.99

Release date: September 20, 2022


Most Popular