Thursday, January 5, 2012

Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths by Shigeru Mizuki

Shigeru Mizuki says that 90% of his historical manga is based on his own experiences in the Imperial Army in the South Pacific during World War II. His artwork contrasts cartoonish figures of people against very realistic background drawings of Papua New Guinea's tropical setting. It is a moving account of what happened to the troops who survived after their commanding officer ordered them to die in battle in a suicide mission. From the blurb on the cover: "Mizuki deftly addresses and critiques the moral depravity of war."

Readalikes: Alan's War by Emmanuel Guibert for another graphic novel about the senselessness of war from a soldier's point of view; The Color of Earth by Kim Dong Hwa for its similar art style; and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami for the storyline (among several) that is about a Japanese soldier's experiences in Manchuria.

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