Book: Apollo’s Song
Author: Osamu Tezuka
Published: 2007 (Vertical, Inc.)
Oh, Tezuka. You prolific epic slightly sexist genius of myth and life. Holy crap.
See, Shogo is this kid who’s only seen love acted out as transactions between his whore mom and her series of johns (“uncles” described succinctly and distinctly by one facial feature a piece). So he gets all bitter and goes off on all the happily paired animals he encounters, kills them, gets put in a prison where his therapy throws him in front of a goddess who declares that since he’s intent on destroying love he’s doomed to fall in love with the same lady over and over again throughout the whole reincarnations of his existence.
Did you read that? All of the reincarnations. ALL of them. Nazi Germany? Yep. Plane-wrecked on an island? Yeah. Training as a marathon running? Future overrun by synthetic replicate superhumans? One or two others that I won’t mention to avoid spoiling things? Cardboard David Tennant says “OH YES.”
This thing read faster than the TARDIS, and also through time and space. I got the feeling that if I ruffled through the pages with my fingertip it would jump to life like an animation, complete with shifting camera angles and gradual close-ups.
It’s immersive and dramatic and devastating and doesn’t cop out at the end! Cardboard David Tennant is glaring at me to keep me from revealing anything (I know I seem sporadic about this, but general rule I follow because it’s my blog and I can is I’ll spoil the hell out of anything I don’t care about other people reading), but I won’t make him mad by saying that Shogo does learn his lesson.
Go find out how he does it. He’s kind of a dick, and he switches from gleefully nihilistic to dramatically and tragically romantic at a switch of the universe’s whim, but that means he goes through a character journey and a whole lot of bullets and sketched nudity like no other.