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House of 1000 Manga - Nijigahara Holograph




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RAmmsoldat



Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 1261
Location: North wales coast
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:07 pm Reply with quote
This book is hot on my wishlist. After Solanin and Goodnight PunPun Id have put this on my to buy list on Asanos name alone.
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angieness



Joined: 08 Aug 2004
Posts: 162
Location: Columbus, OH
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:43 pm Reply with quote
It's pretty great! I need to reread it because on the first read through it can take a little time to adapt to the jumping between timelines.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 4195
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:44 pm Reply with quote
After that review, I want to read it, but also scared that I won't understand it, and it will be a waste of money.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2551
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:04 pm Reply with quote
Damn sounded really good, until supernatural element got into it, not my cup of tea : (
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One-Eye



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 2147
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:13 pm Reply with quote
This article really piqued my interest and I just added this title to my wishlist.
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Bonham



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 392
Location: Queens, New York
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:38 pm Reply with quote
Great article, Jason. It is really easy to make comparisons to David Lynch, almost like a cliche, but the fragmentation and dreamlike nature of the narrative almost demands it. Mulholland Dr. is probably the closest comparison in terms of a fragmented cast with shifting times and locations, with maybe Lost Highway fitting more in tone.

I think what does separate it from Lynch, though, is how its narrative subjectivity stems from more than one viewpoint. With Lynch it's usually the protagonist's distorted identity that creates the confusion. With Nijigahara Holograph, you have a multitude of external conflicts being inflicted upon each of the characters. With Lynch it's about seeing a character internalize and contend with their environment and themselves, where NH has us viewing these characters' intentions, actions and histories like a witness testimony or a history book.

It's been a few years since I've read it, so I don't recall a lot of specific details, but I felt there were a few moments of relief (I'm thinking of Nerumi and Amahiko sharing something of a sweet moment, despite the latter's disinterest and dour disposition, and possibly the ending). It's an ugly book, but not as (annoyingly) one-note and depressing as Goodnight Punpun.

meiam wrote:
Damn sounded really good, until supernatural element got into it, not my cup of tea : (

I would agree with Jason:

Jason Thompson wrote:
Some reviewers feel that the supernatural elements are irrelevant and the story would work just as well without them. While there's some validity to that argument, it's not like Asano tries to turn this into a giant robot manga: the surreal elements emerge smoothly out of the realistic ones, just like in (here comes everyone's favorite Nijigahara comparison again) a David Lynch movie.

The supernatural elements come out of the myths—as if in a child's fairy tale—that the characters have created themselves and cannot escape from. Much like their lives, as if that's not an obvious enough metaphor...

If you're not wanting any supernatural elements at all, I understand, but they are just shoe-horned in as a gimmick or dumb plot twist—they're constantly in the background, gradually being drawn out, but never overtaking the more "human" element of the story.

And to TarsTarkas, I wouldn't say it's hard to "understand." There are a lot of unclear plot points that you may or may not get after a reading or two, but its main narrative—and strength of its characterization—is understandable enough to draw in readers. It's honestly one of the best manga I've ever read, and is definitely an exciting license. Getting more people to check it out can only encourage companies to try their hand at more offbeat/alternative titles.
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Player No. 3



Joined: 21 Jan 2010
Posts: 209
Location: San Antonio, Texas
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:34 pm Reply with quote
I picked it up at my local B&N last week. Loved it to death, in particular how the narrative kind of "folds in" - if you will - on itself; it refuses to lay itself out linearly. Sure, you can parse out a direct timeline, but eventually it will loop back in on itself.

The supernatural elements never felt out of place. Never campy. Never unwanted. In fact, they're vital to the atmosphere of the book.
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katscradle



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 469
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:01 pm Reply with quote
After reading Nijigahara Holograph I can understand why people are so impressed with Inio Asano. Some of his other works have never truly drawn me in. But, this one with its brutal horror and despair got to me. I had to stop reading partway through for a little bit because I started crying. Fiction seldom evokes a reaction like that from me. It's such a book of concentrated evils and sins both large and small in the story of people living in a little town. And the supernatural aspects are so important really, because tragedy and seeming senselessness don't fit in some ordinary, everyday, explainable box.

I'm very glad Fantagraphics brought this over. I haven't read manga with stories quite so ugly or surreal besides some gekiga from the 60s and 70s.
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melmouth



Joined: 19 May 2012
Posts: 146
PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:04 am Reply with quote
I happen to have just read it. And once again I found that it's fun to be mystified, most especially when the mystery is not some contrived crime scenario, but an expressionistic story that just might hide some actual truth about our confusing and often rather awful lives.


But one thing I discovered is don't read this one when you're tired. The events and symbols are too convoluted for that.
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El-ahrairah



Joined: 09 May 2013
Posts: 21
PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:41 pm Reply with quote
This sounds like just the kind of thing I'd enjoy, thanks for sharing! Smile
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irishninja



Joined: 15 Jun 2005
Posts: 344
Location: Seattle-ish
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:39 pm Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:
After that review, I want to read it, but also scared that I won't understand it, and it will be a waste of money.


Your local library might carry it. I'm about to check mine. Smile
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