By CHRISTIAN CHAPPAROSA
Tatsuki Fujimoto is a manga author with a great rise in recent years. He started his career making one-shots and has a series ongoing currently. His works stand out so much, as he takes things with simple concepts and plots, to then twist and turn, subverting the expectations of readers both new and experienced within the medium.
After recently reading a majority of his works, being his many one-shots and two manga series, he never misses. Easily the most versatile author out there. I completely believe he can make any kind of story in any genre and come out with a masterpiece, or at the very least be something incredibly enjoyable.
I find the plots in each of his manga to be not only interesting, but also carry some themes I can jive with. “Just Listen to The Song,” has the premise of a teenage boy confessing his feelings to a girl through a song he uploaded on the internet, but catching some unwanted attention. As an indirect summary, I’d relate it to the phrase, “It’s not that deep.” Or another one of his one-shots, “Sasaki Catches the Bullet,” dedicated to hyperbolically telling you the power of belief.
It doesn’t stop within his storytelling, the art he creates is phenomenal. In his series, “Fire Punch,” the action sequences feel daunting, crisp, clear, and delightfully fun. Some are also extremely creative as well. I also feel that the premise of why his art is so amazing isn’t about having precise and clean linework, or putting meticulous details within each page, it’s the innate ability to have an idea formed and executing it beautifully.
When it comes to his most popular series, both in terms of the manga and anime community, “Chainsawman.” A dark shounen that really catches your attention. Due to the series having been done by weekly release, the rougher edges of the art adds a gritty aesthetic, and in a way enhances your immersion, not being your typical everyday manga.
More in regards to “Fire Punch,” I feel that this manga has waved itself over the threshold, between normality and complete pedal to the metal absurdity. It truly is nothing like anything I’ve ever read before. Interesting environment and story forming this conglomerate that calls itself a manga.
What you also see a lot out of Fujimoto’s works is how he writes his characters. They’re defined within their stories, and despite their comical nature, do feel very human. Examples being his one-shots like “Look Back” depicting a story of two artists, “Love is Blind,” a man that won’t let even God stop him from confessing his love, and his most recent, “Goodbye, Eri,” a truly captivating experience, a manga I resonate with deeply.
“Goodbye, Eri” captures the premise of a boy using his phone to record his mother’s remain time before she inevitably passes from her illness, and after her death meets a girl on a rooftop for which he was going to commit suicide on. Being one of the many people confused on their first read of the story, it was a little jarring, but after many re-reads, it has become my favorite of Fujimoto’s works. How he is able to flesh out his characters so well in such a short amount of time truly astonishes me.
Tatsuki Fujimoto is a staple within the manga community, not ever really knowing what he’d do next. The praises and compliments about his unmatched creativity you hear about is not something you should overlook. And within the recent years of massive popularity, I wouldn’t blame him if he ever showed massive amounts of hubris.