From Publishers Weekly
Given that Taniguchi is the creator of and artist for many accomplished works of nouvelle manga such as The Walking Man
and Ice Wanderer
, this mystery manga falls short. The rather uninventive story line finds mountaineer Shiga traveling to Tokyo to find his friend's 15-year-old daughter, who has gone missing. Taniguchi, whose usual work reflects a fascination and great respect for nature and the overwhelming feelings that it can conjure, feels out of step with this book. The project excels in the mountain scenes and flashbacks, but flattens out in the flashy lights of Tokyo. Like Shiga, Taniguchi seems to feel out of place with the big city, outside of and uncomfortable with its rhythms. Very much a product of its time (Quest
was first published in Japan in 1999), Taniguchi treats compensated dating (a practice of older men giving younger women gifts in exchange for companionship or sex, common in Japan in the 1990s) with a heavy hand. He also implements larger-than-life scenarios that, while staples in manga, feel clumsy in his hand. Taniguchi's art is ever beautiful, but like the storytelling here, it simply doesn't grip the reader the way his other works do. (Dec.)
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About the Author
Jiro Taniguchi was born 1947 in Tottori, Japan. He trained in the 60's and debuted in 1971 in 'Young Comic'. During the 70's he worked with author Natsuo Sekikawa before launching into their massive work 'The times of Botchan' in the 80's. The 90's saw many solo works including the prize winning 'A Distant Neighborhood'. The new millenium saw Taniguchi's epic adaptation of Baku Yumemakura's novel 'The Summit of the Gods' into a 1500 page manga. He continues to live and work in Japan.