Look Back is a short, one-shot manga by Tatsuki Fujimoto. Does the writer’s name sound familiar? Yes, You guessed it right. Tatsuki Fujimoto has also written the popular mangas Fire Punch and Chainsaw Man. His new work, Look Back, is equally amazing as his previous works. Fujimoto has a knack for creating amazing one-shots which can go toe to toe with full-length series.
Fujimoto continues to amaze readers with his ability to convey complex emotions and thoughts through a small piece of paper. It amazes me that he isn’t already at the top of the manga game. It seems that Look Back manga is Fujimoto’s way of expressing his own feelings. The story revolves around a fourth-grade Fujino who is a manga artist.
Look Back Manga Story
Look Back starts with the main character Fujino being praised for her short manga shots in her school newspaper. She is apparently the only manga creator in the school newspaper at the time. Later that day Fujino is asked to give up on her spot so that a truant student can come in and make manga even though they can’t come to school.
Fujino remarked that it’s hard for amateurs to illustrate properly. She also wondered how can a person who doesn’t even have the guts to come to school draw manga properly. But upon seeing the new drawings, she and everyone are amazed. Their manga strips are not short stories but rather small displays of amazing art.
This student drives Fujino to become a better artist. She throws away her social life, studies, and everything in front of her to become a better artist. After two years of trying, she gives up. After she graduates her teachers ask her to deliver the diploma of the truant student. She refuses at first, but then she finally agrees.
Once she arrives at the house, she is unable to find the truant student so she slips a little comedy manga strip under the door and gets ready to leave. But immediately the truant student Kyomoto rushes to her and gushes over her saying that she is a big fan. Kyomoto also asks her why she quit manga. Fujino lies and replies that she is working on something new for an upcoming manga award.
Later Fujino goes back to making manga and Kyomoto works with her. They then submit it to the manga competition. Later they go to the store and open the issue of weekly shonen jump and finds out that they won. They continue creating lots of mangas together. Kyomoto gradually becomes more accustomed to real life. Kyomoto eventually expresses her decision to go to art school. Fujino doesn’t want Kyomoto to leave. But eventually, Kyomoto leaves and Fujino goes on to make Shark Kick.
Shortly after this, Kyomoto’s art school is attacked and Kyomoto is then killed. After Kyomoto’s death, Fujino suffers a depressive episode and realizes that she doesn’t like drawing manga. A montage indicates all the times Kyomoto gladly approved all of Fujino’s rough drafts when asked why she bothers. In the end, Fujino goes back to creating Shark Kick to change more lives with her story.
You can head over to Viz’s official website to read the Look back manga.
Look Back Manga Story Explained
Let’s take a closer look at the manga and see what it means. How Fujino indulges deeply in bettering her art and throwing everything away portrays how most manga writers live their lives. It reflects the week-to-week push Mangaka has to make to hit their deadlines. Many don’t even connect with their family during this time. All in pursuit of creating Manga.
Even after her struggles, Fujino has to give up eventually. There is nothing more depressing than chasing something relentlessly and never catching up to your competitors. It’s bound to motivate you more if you have a strong will. However, the slightly saner don’t think that way. We can see that Fujino really cares about the impact she makes on others.
Additionally, the editor says to Kyomoto that she has seven one-shots published by the age of 17. This is interesting because Fujimoto himself had seven one-shots before being serialized. We also see Fujino working on Shark Kick, which is an obvious reference to both Fire Punch and Chainsaw Man.
Once Kyomoto dies, Fujino becomes overcome with guilt because she is aware of the fact that she was the one who motivated Kyomoto to leave her house. We see her going into a depressive state after that. But we know that, without Fujino, Kyomoto would have stayed inside the house forever never growing as a person. Fujino and her manga impacted Kyomoto so much that she actually decided to live a life.
It has been theorized that this story is about Fujimoto and his previous assistant and the circumstances that lead to their separation. This is just a theory, we do not know if it is true or Fujimoto randomly created this manga.
Look Back Manga Popularity
The manga, Look Back, has received praise both internationally and in Japan, most notably from other manga writers in the manga industry, who strongly praised Fujimoto. Over 5 million people have viewed the manga on Shonen Jump +. Although several Japanese fans on Twitter liked the one-shot, they explained it could contribute to spreading mental disorder discrimination. After these comments were made in Japan, Look Back rewrote its story about the murderer.
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