Apollo’s Song by Osamu Tezuka, translated by Camellia Nieh [in Bloomsbury Review]
I so love Vertical, the little publishing house that could, that continues to bring us some of the very best translations from Japan. From the godfather of manga himself comes the first English translation of the bittersweet story of a wayward young man, Shogo, whose destructive life is directly related to an abusive bar-hostess mother who casts him aside for an endless parade of johns.
Having no direct experience of love, Shogo reacts with only violence when he sees even a suggestion of bonding between two beings – human or not. Brought to the hospital for electroshock therapy in hopes of “curing” his violent ways before it’s too late, Shogo meets an unnamed deity in his delusional state and is told that forever after, he will suffer loss in love, lifetime after lifetime. From Nazi Germany to a desert island to a faraway future controlled by clones, Shogo loves again and again, only to lose that love one more time.
Published: 2007 (United States)