Before we begin this review, I would like to thank NetGalley, and Viz Media for the opportunity to review this title. And thank you for taking the time to read it.
It was a tale that no one saw coming, Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Look Back was one of the biggest hits of July 2021. It reached a record 2.5 million reads on the first day, finally, achieving over 4 million reads on the Shonen Jump Plus platform in just two days in Japan.
Aside from the story’s accolades, Look Back is about two girls. The first girl is named Fujino, who was a manga artist for her school’s newspaper, and the other girl, who also was a manga artist, has become a shut-in and is named Kyomoto. While they were different, there was something that brought them together, a love for creating manga. As the story continues, we’re seeing the girls become closer and take on the world through their love of drawing.
It was one of those stories that come once in a generation. I realize it’s an overused phrase, but this time it was different. Look Back offered something that readers and artists can relate to, Friendship and separation, joy and grieving, hope and despair, inspiration and defeat. And finally, the loss of a loved one.
Throughout the story, we’re watching Fujino and Kyomoto pursue their passion for creating manga was nostalgic, exploring various art styles giving the setting and the character’s artwork a unique personality. As I have mentioned before, Fujino and Kyomoto are vastly different, while Kyomoto spent her life shut in her room and sent in manga from home. They inspired each other to draw more and to better themselves. They formed a close partnership that followed them as they grew up.
Fujimoto has always excelled in action and facial features. That was the case in this story. He had a way of making his characters look intense and personable. The best moment of this story was watching these girls drawing in their rooms, even though they are motionless, they are devoted to their craft.
This story also gives another perspective, where Fujino questions what she could do differently about her life if she had a chance to do it all over again. An artist, or a writer, can create an entire story and change a minor detail at the start. Whether it’s to fix an error, edit, or revise their work, some things change, as the months, or years go by. Having the privilege of creating art is the ability to redo or start over, to go back and spend more time on the moments that need them.
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