3.355 out of 5 from 55 votes
Tokyo is a bustling metropolis filled with life, catering to both successful businessmen and the down and out alike. From a man who’s shackled to life because of his ailing mother to a tale of a struggling mangaka, humanity’s darker moments are revealed with sadness and shame. Whether it’s the tale of a man and his monkey or the vengeful feelings of a disfigured woman, many dreams and stories are told with insight and empathy.
Life proves again and again that you must accept the cards you are dealt, whether you live in a post-war era or are about to retire. From a woman in a relationship with an American soldier at the end of World War II, to a soon-to-retire man who conspires revenge against his long-time wife, to a man with a fetish for legs and shoes who tries to continue a façade of normality, and beyond, each denizen of Japan will tell their melancholic story of what is important to them.
Two compilations of older gekiga manga by the same author, Yoshihiro Tatsumi. While it's generally cliche to recommend something because it's the same author, Tatsumi's stories tend to be very similar: lots of dark themes, lots of sex, a pretty dismal outlook on society, and lots of unfinished ends (plenty of the stories in both compilations just 'end' without much closure, or flat out don't make sense). If you liked the style or tone of one, you will enjoy the other.
Many farmers, workers and housewives live eventful lives in pre-modern rural Japan. A man's daughter is being taken advantage of each night by a mysterious spirit, a young boy is intrigued by a mistress's daughter, even though his interest is usually met with a closed fist, and an old woman known as Young Bride is taunted by everyone in her village, amongst other tales.
Two gekiga compilations of stories that tend to be short, end abruptly, or end dismally. Plot-wise they aren't similar, but they definitely have a similar vibe and will appeal to the same audience.