3.919 out of 5 from 67 votes
Even those that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima couldn't escape its repercussions. Ten years after that fateful day, blast survivors still struggle with lingering radiation exposure and squalid living conditions. During this time, Minami Hirano ignores her worsening physical condition and tries to live her life as best she can, despite being haunted by what she saw and how she reacted during the event. Then, fifty years in the future, the city has been rebuilt and the radiation has subsided, but the ghost of the tragedy still looms in the minds of those that were left behind.
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.
This recommendation especially applies to the first story in each of these books, both of which are about the devastation and after-effects of the nuclear bombing in Hiroshima.
Aside from that, both somberly detail the post-WWII era, refusing to water anything down. Children will undoubtedly find both of these manga very boring and/or incomprehensible.
Ian is a young man from Australia who has never had an easy life; his mother is an alcoholic who can’t stand the sight of him and his father doesn’t give him the time of day. The only person to care about him is his older sister Kylie, but the pair has been separated with only the promise that when Ian fulfils his goal, they will be reunited. One day he meets a writer named Jim who takes an interest in Ian’s troubled life and decides to write a novel about him. With a life that’s far from simple, will his story have a happy ending?
Excellent seinen tragedies that cover a long time period and prefer subtly to melodrama. Town of Evening Calm is about the aftereffects of the Hiroshima bombing, and not simple touches on all sorts of tabboo subjects, so they're both pretty heavy. Characterization is slightly lacking, but both novels are short so it's acceptable.