Downfall by Inio Asano - A Review

inio asano

Inio Asano has a reputation for tackling emotionally complicated subjects. His latest manga, Downfall, is no exception. This is a book that examines the notion of dreams and passion in relation to work.

There is no shortage of advice exhorting us to follow our dreams and be whatever we want to be. Such encourage us to follow our passion and bet on ourselves to fulfil our dreams. But what if our bed of dreams becomes a trap. What happens after trading time, relationships, and flesh for our passion but found hollowness at the end of it all.

Downfall is a story about Kaoru Fukazawa, a mangaka who achieves his dream of becoming a professional. He publishes a well-known series to critical acclaim but finds the idiosyncrasies of the publishing world driving him into depression.

Fukazawa's work, which has been his emotional driver and stability, continues to suffer as his anxieties slowly drive him to loneliness and self-loathing. This makes him lash out at his wife and work assistants as they continue to retreat from the person he is becoming.

This is a book that raises questions about what ultimately matters. It explores the concept of freedom, choice, success, fame and their true worth. Downfall teaches us that no matter what we choose to do, what career we fall into, what ultimately matters are the close relationships we forge and our the level of appreciation to those who have helped us on our way.

The narration is disjointed in parts.

Inio Asano's fans will lap up this offering. I suspect new readers won't mind Downfall as an introduction to his work. There are sexual depictions in the book and thus inappropriate for children.

Many thanks to Viz Media for a review copy.


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