Young filmmaker Yuta contemplates suicide after his mother’s death, but a chance encounter with a mysterious girl changes his explosive life.
“Goodbye, Eri” is a story created and illustrated by Fujimoto Tatsuki. The book was translated by Amanda Haley, polished and lettered by Snir Aharon
Young filmmaker Yuta contemplates suicide after his mother’s death, but an encounter with a mysterious girl will change his life forever.
“Goodbye, Eri” is a story created and illustrated by Tatsuki Fujimoto. The book was translated by Amanda Haley, polished and lettered by Snir Aharon
In an age where franchises go on forever and never know when they will die, it’s refreshing to read something that feels like the perfect example of a complete package. Imagine reading a story full of love, tragedy, suspense, mystery, fantasy, at least one of which is heartbreaking 100Page. It’s all done without any flashy fight scenes or unbelievably flashy effects. That might sound like an odd description, and I’ll try to make my point without spoiling it. 80 80 is a quiet story that will live up to your expectations and leave you feeling like you’re questioning reality by the time you get to the end.
I’m not talking about the reality of the real world, but the reality and rules of the story itself. 80 80 begins as a very personal story about a boy who loses his mother and how he copes with the situation by filming everything he sees. We never lose the literal and figurative narrative shot from start to finish. The whole story is told from the perspective of Yuta’s film. However, this idea of ”filmmaking” as a narrative device is pushed to extremes. When a writer creates a first draft or a film crew completes an initial cut, it is often longer than the final version due to revisions. You could say that the stories we read or the movies we watch are abridged versions where the writer or director has cut the fat. What if the accumulation and rewards of the story depended on what was deliberately shown and withheld?
Sometimes this can be so cheap it almost feels like the creator is cheating. If the storyteller withholds too much information from the audience, it can destroy immersion. I assume Tatsuki Fujimoto 293 realize how delicate the relationship between creators and viewers is. Fujimoto is not only a talented manga artist, but also a huge movie buff. Showcasing his storytelling skills and making the most of the medium of comics and filmmaking, he sets a shining example for the man’s heart. If that was the intention, then suffice it to say he succeeded
is probably one of the best celebrations of what it means to be a writer and a filmmaker.
Since our main character is a boy who is often photographed, the book has a found-camera feel to it. We see his journey through his lens dealing with grief as a teenager, and how others react and come to terms with difficult situations. However, how many of these feelings are real, and which are part of the movie our protagonist is creating? Without revealing too much, some scenes feel like real reactions to the characters’ situations. But then, the characters turn to the camera, and it makes you realize that’s part of filmmaking. You start to question almost every scene that seems pretentious or confusing. At no point did I find this frustrating. It wasn’t until the very last moment that I realized it didn’t matter whether everything was “real” or fiction within fiction. There is a real sense of sadness throughout.
When I say this book reads like a found film movie, I mean it. 80 80 tells the story using a unique presentation that I haven’t seen other cartoonists emulate before. The book uses orthodox comma style, with only four stretched panels on most pages. Everything seems pretty basic at first glance. At times, these panels appear to be used to depict dialogue between immobile characters in the same space. Yet the way Fujimoto uses this layout to manipulate pacing and anticipation is so remarkable and subtle that you don’t realize it until you’ve finished the book. The story has a cinematic feel to it because it lets the scenes breathe, even after the characters say their exact lines, even if there are a few panels or pages without dialogue.
The story doesn’t have particularly much dialogue, and there are as many pages without dialogue as there are previously loaded pages. When the comic does ditch the four-comma style in favor of a double-page spread, it feels deliberate, like an indie movie that wastes its budget on big scenes after staying conservative throughout. I even like some of the more subtle details, like how some panels overlap the drawing to create a blurry look, like a screenshot of a camera in motion.
It felt like Fujimoto told me he was just showing me what he wanted me to see. Still, all those winks and nudges come with a promise: I’ll eventually walk away with a good feeling. For some, this can be frustrating, maybe even pretentious. But to me, it felt like a genuine conversation with the creator. I may be reading this into too much – it feels like Fujimoto seems to be expressing a love for this kind of manipulation, and how it’s okay to sometimes succumb to illusion and blur the line between fantasy and reality. Because, sometimes, a little fantasy can make real life more interesting. I can’t speak for everyone. But I’m glad to be manipulated in this way because I finally have the chance to walk away with a new favorite to add to my collection. If you haven’t already, 293293 Definitely a must-read and my highest recommendation!