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Satoshi Kon's: Opus Paperback – December 9, 2014
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About the Author
Satoshi Kon was an anime director and mangaka from Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan. He was well-known for his work on Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, and Paprika. Sadly, Kon passed away on August 24, 2010, after losing his battle with pancreatic cancer, he is remembered by all who loved his works.
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Opus is very similar to Kon's anime work that came out around the same time (Perfect Blue, Millenium Actress; there's even a reference at one point in Opus to the author's work on Katsuhiro Otomo's Memories). The plot is full of portal-to-another-world metafiction and centered on its own sense of being self-referencing. You can at times feel that the protagonist is Kon himself, and though Opus is less preachy than Paranoia Agent, the story does reach the same level of intelligence. The message is clear, and at no point do you feel that you are reading an author's early work (in fact, this was Kon's last long manga). It's gripping, it's unusual in the way it tells its story, and because of the story, the art is required to be careful in its development (the world's perspective, the backgrounds, are deliberate, and need to be for the story to work).
I'm glad someone took the time to reprint Kon's written work, and for those who like a tight, clear story instead of fifty volumes of manga, this is exactly what you should consider purchasing.
Book itself was just a wee bit damaged when it arrived at my door, but nothing serious. Edges of the paperback were a bit mangled and there appeared to be an indentation from a pen on the cover when viewed from the side. If I were buying this book in stores, I probably would not have chosen this copy. However, you get what you get online!
I especially love the last 2 chapters of this manga. They are unfinished and show what a work in progress manga is like. It's very special to get to see them.
Metafiction has been around forever. Gogol used it in "The Nose" and Dead Souls. We've all seen blends of animation with real life. Walt Disney's "Alice" shorts are an example from nearly 100 years ago, as is the 1980s pop video for the song "Take on Me" by A-Ha. Still, there's something fresh and new about this manga. Resonance, the manga the author falls into, isn't terribly well developed, and the cancellation of Comic Guy's, which serialized the story, along with Kon's death mean that there isn't a definitive ending for the story. Still, I liked it. ****1/4
Most recent customer reviews
You simply don't see the quality of artwork like this in modern manga anymore, but his work...Read more