On sale date: March 19, 2014
In this manga, acclaimed cartoonist Asano tells a complex, oblique tale about how an tense atmosphere, symbolized by proliferating butterflies, lead schoolchildren to “sacrifice” a fellow student, and how that act impacts various characters across two timelines.
Fantagraphics is proud to welcome the great Inio Asano (Solanin, What a Wonderful World!) to its acclaimed literary manga line. Even as butterflies ominously proliferate in town, the rumor of a mysterious creature lurking in the tunnel behind the school spreads among the children. When the body of Arié Kimura’s mother is found by this tunnel’s entrance, next to apparently human traces, the legend seems to be confirmed. Is the end of the world coming? In order to appease the wrath of the beast, the children decide to offer it a sacrifice: The unfortunate Arié, whom they believe to be the cause of the curse, is shoved into a well that leads to the Nijigahara tunnel — an act that in turns pushes Komatsuzaki, the budding thug who has carried a torch for Arié for a while already, entirely over the edge. But this is only the beginning of the complex, challenging, obliquely told Nijigahara Holograph, which takes place in two separate timelines and involves the suicidal Suzuki; Higure, his stalkerish would-be girlfriend; and their teacher Miss Sakaki, whose heavily bandaged face remains a mystery; and many more — brothers, sisters, parents, co-workers, teachers, aggressors and victims who are all inextricably linked to one another and all will eventually — ten years later — have to live with what they’ve done or suffered through.
“It’s a brilliant piece of psychological horror that is both deeply intimate yet expansive in scope, with a large cast of characters that are sucked into the terror in different ways. The cyclical, abstract story is challenging, but greatly rewards rereading, and it’s easy to get lost in Asano’s intricate art, which does outstanding work realizing the setting that is so important to the plot.” — Oliver Sava - The A.V. Club
“This beautifully drawn but elliptically told story is almost relentless in its depiction of the evil that lurks behind everyday life, but it’s impossible to put down. Fable and film-noir crime mix in a small town where the children believe a beast living in a tunnel is a sign of the end of the world, and adults cope with the aftereffects of a hideous crime. This is a book that rewards repeated readings…” — Brigid Alverson - Robot 6
- Black and white
- 7" × 9.6"