Review: No Longer Human by Ito & Dazai

Plagued by a maddening anxiety, the terrible disconnect between his own concept of happiness and the joy of the rest of the world, Yozo Oba plays the clown in his dissolute life, holding up a mask for those around him as he spirals ever downward, locked arm-in-arm with death.

Though it doesn't position itself as such, I would still love to describe No Longer Human as a moral tale of some sorts. The work here lays bare some of the less-trodden (at least in fiction) paths on the nature of human interaction - with the world and within ourselves.

Not many fictional works espoused the demerits of self-subjugation and false humility. No Longer Human, through its protagonist, lays bare the downfall of raising other people's opinions above yours, not following your own intuition, and the societal hypocrisy that surrounds politics and culture.

The art, drawn by the famous mangaka, Junji Ito, is suited to the themes. It is easy to see why he is regarded worldwide as one of the masters of the horror genre.


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