Lost Lad London Volume 1 Review • Anime UK News

Note: Won the 25th Japan Media Art Festival New Face Award for Manga in 2022.

It’s Christmas in London, but university student Al Adley has no plans to return to his adoptive parents for the holidays. It’s not that they don’t get along, it’s just that he tries his best to live an independent life. But instead of enjoying some quiet time alone in the apartment he shares with fellow student Callum, he is horrified to find a bloodied knife in his jacket pocket. While he wonders how and why he got there, there is a knock on the front door. He is a police detective. The Mayor of London was found stabbed to death on an underground train – and Al was one of the passengers on the same train. But when Al tells Detective about the knife, Detective Ellis jumps to conclusions and doesn’t arrest him on the spot. But as more tragic and unexplained events unfold near Al, there’s only one conclusion the detective can draw. “It’s no accident that you got dragged into this,” he tells Al. “Which means there’s a reason somewhere in your life why you were targeted.”

A murder mystery manga in which the mayor of London is found stabbed to death on a subway? Readers in the UK (especially Londoners) will read this twice, especially if we remember who the penultimate mayor of London is! How familiar, we wonder, can the manga artist be with life in London today? Well, Shima Shinya must be very well known as their manga is full of little authentic details that will win over even the most skeptical British readers – so we can just relax and enjoy the story. The very distinctive and atypical (even non-manga?) art style that Shima Shinya uses is another bonus, giving a unique feel and look to this intriguing tale of murder and deception that is more like gritty TV drama than the usual . the London cliches of travelers often used in other mangas. Fortunately there is no glimpse of Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus or Buckingham Palace, just the occasional reference to, say, supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco, which betray real local knowledge. And the mention of the murder of MP Jo Cox gives an obscure relevance to the story that will help allay any lingering concerns among British readers about the authenticity of Shima Shinya’s research. It must also be said that this manga shows all the signs of a tight plot, so every little detail or seemingly careless comment is worth paying attention to mentally – although it’s done with such a light and deft touch by the manga artist that you perhaps only the implied meaning on a second or third reading.

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It is mainly the characters that convince the reader and lead the reader to the dark mystery at the heart of the manga. First, the weary cop: Detective Inspector Ellis is approaching retirement age; currently injured and on crutches, he seems prone to accidents, as if he hadn’t paid due attention to his own safety or well-being. Student Al is a quiet, unassuming young man of South Asian descent who is clearly close to his adoptive parents because when he asks for information about his birth mother, they want to share his name so he can go get her. † But much of the fun of reading this murder mystery comes from the interactions between Inspector Ellis and Al, as the sinister web that weaves around Al and implicates him as the killer slowly tightens. Ellis’ instincts are still strong, even as his battered body (he’s terribly prone to accidents) fails him – and we get a glimpse of him being haunted by a case that has gone wrong in his life, with tragic effects. Of course, everything that has been shown to us so far may turn out to be smoke and mirrors – and in the next or third and final part, the manga artist may have a few tricks to play with the reader. , with unexpected revelations.

The translation for lost boy london is by Eleanor Ruth Summers and conveys the dialogue (which has a certain dry humor in several exchanges) in a compelling way. The beautiful paperback edition of Yen Press (with a striking cover design) has six full-color pages in the front and a two-page trailer for Book 2 at the end.

lost boy london will appeal to all readers who enjoy a tense, meandering murder mystery with an art style more akin to a western graphic novel (suitable for a story set in 21st century London?) and endearing characters. Part 2 will be out in August 2022 – and I can’t wait to see what Shima Shinya has in store as the plot thickens!

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