Fugainai boku wa sora o mita
[Cowering, I Saw the Sky]
Shinchōsha (Shinchō Bunko), 2012. 318 pp. ¥550. ISBN 978-4-10-139141-0.
Also published in: Chinese (traditional and simplified characters), Korean and Spanish, Translation underway in: English and Italian
The opening story shows the midwife’s son acting the lead in a series of sexual role-play scenarios scripted by a housewife with a fetish for dressing up as her favorite anime characters. In the second story, the perspective shifts to an otaku housewife who was bullied as a schoolgirl and is now visiting a fertility clinic. The reader gradually comes to realize that this is the same housewife from the first story. In the stories that follow, we are introduced to the daily lives of the young man’s girlfriend, a classmate struggling with poverty, and a coworker in the convenience store where that classmate works part-time who is struggling to come to terms with some unusual sexual proclivities.
As the same events are shown from the perspectives of different characters, discrepancies become apparent between the thoughts of the background characters and the world seen by the protagonist. The clumsy but warm emotions of characters seen only tangentially gradually overlap and reinforce each other.
The main action involves a leak of personal information over the Internet: a suitably shady and contemporary series of events. Despite deep emotional scars, the characters remain passive, almost numb. It is the infectious enthusiasm for life of the midwife mother and her assistant, Mitchan, that saves the day. (SH)
Translation rights inquiries
Shinchōsha Publishing Co., Ltd.
(attn. Kimura Tatsuya, Foreign Rights Section)
71 Yarai-chō, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8711
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