Fujino is a fourth grader who draws a manga strip for the school newspaper. Her art makes her the star of the class, but one day she’s told that Kyomoto, a student who refuses to come to school, would also like to submit a manga for the paper…
Having read Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Goodbye, Eri, I thought I’d be slightly more prepared for the emotional rollercoaster that is Look Back, but I was completely wrong. Perhaps due to its main theme being the creation of art and the bonds that stem from it, I could relate more to the protagonist of this story. Its message and the emotion poured into it left me thinking about it for the rest of the day.
In my opinion, Fujimoto’s feelings are conveyed more clearly and explicitly through this realistic narrative that contrasts with the unconventionality of his best-known work. One only has to read the two main character’s names, Fujino and Kyomoto, to understand that this self-contained story is perhaps more personal and autobiographic. In addition, there are plot points that seem to be inspired by the events that transpired during the Kyoto Animation arson attack of 2019. This makes me wonder whether the author intended to express some of his feelings regarding this incident in Look Back.
Of course, the art that Fujimoto puts out continues to amaze me. Backgrounds full of details and characters full of personality. Small panels that seem to be cramped within a page give way to larger ones, to then culminate in a two-page silent display of emotion. In short, a masterpiece that has strengthened my belief that Tatsuki Fujimoto is a storytelling genius and will be known as one of the greatest mangaka of our time.