Toshiya Higashimoto, Theseus’ Ship

Original Title: テセウスの船 (10 volumes, 2017-2019)

How do (young) people do with manga series? As the release of each episode is spaced out across months and years, do they really remember all details from the previous episodes? Or do they go back and reread? Or do they wait until the series is completed to launch into the adventure? My son is an avid manga reader, but I’m just an occasional one, and I feel slightly frustrated when I can’t move to the next manga volume. Or is it part of the experience?

Ship of Theseus is a manga for adults, not because of its sexual content, but because of psychological violence and occasional graphic one. It deals with the repercussions of a terrible crime in a small rural village in Japan in 1989, 20 people have been poisoned at a school fair, among which many kids. The local policeman is arrested and condemned for the crime, even if he never ceased to proclaim his innocence from death row. The family of the policeman was shunned and went on to bear heavy consequences for the crime.

Twenty five years later, the policeman’s son, who was born while his father was already in prison, feels compelled to return to the village where it all started. But a weird mist sets, and the young man finds himself in 1989, just months before the crime.

The young man gets the chance to meet this father he never knew, to investigate and try to prevent the crime from ever happening. But as he meddles with the past, events start to change and his own destiny is impacted.

This series is 10 volumes long. I read volumes 1 to 3 in 2019, and then I donated the books as I didn’t particularly want to keep them at home (it’s very dark). Then a few months ago I noticed that my local library has them up to volume 7. But I couldn’t remember the complex web of suspicions and lies among the villagers and the subtle modifications of the past / present/ future, so I started over and had to wait in line to read the volumes in order. And now that’s I’m done with number 7, my patience has to stretch out to the max until I’ll get numbers 8 to 10 (but even sure if they’re all out yet in French, the librarian has no idea). What’s a girl to do?

The only sure thing is that Toshiya Higashimoto has me hooked, line and sinker. The story is so clever that I half expected it to be changed in subtle details when I returned the second time. If I need to wait several months again, will I return to the beginning once more?

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