No Longer Human, Vol. 3
written by Usamaru Furuya
Just so you know, when I first saw this book, I wasn’t sure whether to pick it up and read or run like mad and not look back.
When we last left Yozo Oba, he had just fallen in love with a young girl named Yoshino. Now, one year later, they are married and living happily. Yozo’s serial is going great, now getting a reprint, and possibly looking at a future anime release. He could not be happier – he’s clean, sober (mostly) and his relationships are going smoothly with minimal friction.
However, the world of men is cruel, and the vices of men have just been biding their time to afflict Yozo. On the day of the Sumida River fireworks, he’s all set to watch the fireworks with his wife and best friend, but Yoshino is nowhere to be found. He checks in the house, only to find his own editor raping her. That is where Yozo’s stairway to Heaven turns back into the original downward spiral he was on in the previous volume.
Throughout the rest of the book, Yozo continues to suffer emotionally, particularly when he comes to the realization of why he did nothing when his editor was sexually assaulting his wife in her own home.
Things only get more disappointing for the reader as they are forced to watch Yozo make mistake after mistake with his body, his mind and his life in general. How does he end up in the end? Well, I’d rather not remember the image, because it is sad and devastatingly depressing beyond belief. The image itself may haunt my dreams for years to come.
Do I regret reading this one? Honestly, I’m not sure.
This book highlights some of the worst things that can go wrong in a young man’s life before he even reaches the age of 30. Regardless, Usamaru Furuya did an amazing job re-creating Osamu Dazai’s novel with such vivid detail and powerful imagery. Plus, the cover art is chillingly enticing, maybe even a little controversial, but that is, of course, only one man’s opinion. Vertical has published it for American audiences so splendidly that I cannot help but tip my hat to them…if only I had one.