I’ve lived a life full of shame.
No Longer Human
By Usamaru Furuya
Based on the novel by Osamu Dazai
Graphic Novel / Manga
978-1-935654-19-3, 176 pages
U.S.$10.95 / CAN$11.95
Part 1: 978-1-935654-19-3 Buy.
Part 2: 978-1-935654-22-3 Buy.
Part 3: 978-1-935654-22-3 Buy.
A decadent novelist’s autobiographical masterpiece, a perennial bestseller in Japan with fans all over the world, retold by a maverick manga author!
In the first such attempt, the drawings within are not “flipped”—a left-to-right version was prepared simultaneously by the
artist with Western translations in mind. Meet Yozo Oba, a youth who believes survival means clowning.
After graduating from Tama University of the Arts, Tokyo native Usamaru Furuya turned his attention
to the world of comics. Since his debut in 1994, he has gone on to draw sixteen titles. First translated into English in
the nineties before the onset of the manga boom, he won an expectant cult following in the United States that is being
rewarded only today with a new spate of localizations.
Osamu Dazai (1909-48) is the alias of Shuji Tsushima, one of the leading Japanese novelists of the twentieth century. After dropping out of Tokyo
Imperial University, attempting a double suicide, and facing arrest for involvement with the then-illegal Japanese Communist Party, he was nearly
disowned by his well-to-do family. While his early short stories won him acclaim, it was his postwar novels The Setting Sun and No Longer Human
that catapulted him to stardom and cemented his literary status for posterity. He killed himself by drowning in the Tamagawa Canal, not far from
Furuya’s current residence.
“Everything is with purpose. There is not a wasted line of dialogue, the artwork provides subtext and details that enrich and enhance the story,
and it is all done masterfully. No Longer Human is another home run winner from Vertical Inc., but one that I actually will find myself
re-reading continuously for many years to come. Masterpiece! Grade: A+/A.”
“The heights of emotion and passion are depicted with charcoal-tinted beauty… It is a deeply personal story brought to life by the pen of one
of manga’s greats. From the very start it’s clear that we’re going to witness a bright, if extremely closed off young man go from
riches to rags both materially and emotionally, but it’s the methods by which he does so that keep the pages turning.”
“What made the original No Longer Human so great—and what has been carried forward into this version—is not just the fact that
it has such an impact, but that it uses its impact to connect to things that haven't diminished with the passage of time… Great art, no matter
how much sadness it encompasses, is exhilarating because it showcases people working at the top of their game.”
“Never have I read a manga which made me understand and feel what it meant to be no longer human… For a first volume, [No Longer Human,
part 1] was beautiful and I loved it dearly to feel the need to write this. And how I wished it had garnered enough attention in Japan for it
to merit some kind of award because personally, I felt Furuya deserved it… If darkness made me understand the other side of humanity, then I
don’t mind sinking deeper.”
“No Longer Human was a great read. Usamaru Furuya’s stylish and simultaneously unembellished artwork works seamlessly with the
story… The poignancy of volume one’s last words lingers with me even now, leaving me eager to see what places both of mind and body
we’ll experience in volume two.”
“[No Longer Human] is essentially one long downward spiral for the character, but it’s not joyless as there’s hints of what
his plans for the future are after he hits rock bottom at the end of this first volume… The overall storytelling is enough for me to
recommend it to those looking for something different in the manga and comics diet.”
—Glick’s Comics Picks
“Very successful… I really liked following Oba through this journey. No Longer Human is a thoughtful, sexy read, and it’s
illustrated absolutely beautifully. I can’t imagine that Dazai wouldn’t be extremely proud of Furuya’s adaptation of his work.”
“It’s excellent, with Furuya creating a disturbing mood of suffocation and pretense… No one is going to have their psyche magically
fixed by a pen here. As with most of Furuya’s works, No Longer Human isn’t for everyone… For those looking for a
psychological thriller with intellectual overtones, give this a try.”
—A Case Suitable for Treatment
“Vertical has a strong track record for licensing thoughtful, provocative titles, and No Longer Human is no exception… It is very
well written, and the art is crisp and full of the emotion that Yozo lacks. The fact that I read this in one sitting and was so caught up in the
experiences of a character I did not like speaks volumes for Furuya’s skills.”
—Manga Maniac Cafe