A worker assigned to the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant (designated "1-F") in the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami wrote and drew this memoir, depicting his part in the dangerous and unprecedented cleanup effort. This frank depiction is a unique, firsthand look inside the consequences and long road back from the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
STORY The subtitle may be A Worker's Graphic Account of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, but they meant 'graphic' in the graphic novel sense, not graphic in the violent or shocking sense. The biggest surprise to the story may actually be how low key it is. There are undoubtedly dangers to working at the Fukushima reactor site, but the place is hardly a nuclear hellscape and rigorous safety standards mean only the most flagrantly careless will be affected by radiation. If mangaka Kazuto Tatsuta has any beef with anyone in his memoir, it's with media outlets who constantly sensationalize the Fukushima clean-up to push their agenda or simply sell newspapers. He admits others might want a more politically adamant manga, but all he felt confident offering were his own observations to counter shoddy journalism. ART The art is quite detailed when drawing locations and facilities, although people are a little more basic. Layouts are simple, straightforward, and easy to follow. Kazuto Tatsuta may be a worker with the Fukushima clean-up operation, but he's also had a number of professional manga gigs so Ichi-F doesn't look amateur. CHARACTERS Kazuto Tatsuta isn't actually the author's real name, in fact the names of all the characters involved are changed to protect privacy. Otherwise, it seems pointless to analyze characters in an autobiographical manga. OVERALL Ichi-F will be interesting to anyone with an interest in the Fukushima disaster.
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