Sneeze: Naoki Urasawa Short Stories

If there is one mangaka that I want to know about, it’s Naoki Urasawa. I am still not the largest manga reader because I haven’t sold my soul and opened my wallet for tons and tons of manga volumes. The lack of money ad space plays a part here. A thing that is sad considering that there are great things out that that aren’t available in anime form. I’m lucky enough to watch Naoki Urasawa’s Monster in anime form and that’s almost perfect. I can’t imagine what Pluto, 20th Century Boys, or who knows what else are like. Maybe one day.

Sneeze is a collection of eight disjointed Naoki Urasawa short stories. They come in different lengths, tell different sorts of stories, and have different sorts of art styles. Collections like this are ways to dig deeper into a creator’s mind. What kind of stories they think about on their free time, what sorts of things they like, and so many other things from their free thoughts that they just want to draw. What do we learn from Naoki Urasawa from these stories? A lot actually. It’s pretty cool.

I feel like I know a few people like this.

Four of these stories are centered on grounding the super natural. The focus isn’t the super natural aspects themselves, but how people are effected by them. One part featured a person that can kill just by looking at someone for an extended amount of time. That ability was used in a criminal under world for someone’s gains. There is also a reporter that runs into a fortune teller, a weeb that visits Japan to see a monster attack and learns morality and humanity, and the wife of a super hero and the super hero arguing before he fights in the name of heroism. Ordinary things from super natural elements.

Naoki Urasawa also really likes western music. I’m not kidding you about this. One short story formed from him just google searching women and guitars. Another features him either going to or picturing himself going to Woodstock, watching the last Beatles live performance, and naming other things. He really likes the work of Bob Dylan and so do some of the characters and old men he draws in some short stories. It’s kind of cool because you know he loves something when he writes a chapter or two of manga about it. This is pure thought from the creator, after all.

That being said, this manga is titled Sneeze and that is what it is. A series of short stories of different varieties in on package and in different qualities. Even different art styles and panel usages. This is quite a unique package in that way. Some of these pieces are things that seem to have a point. Other pieces are there just to be there and don’t have a major point at all. I like reading it myself, which is why I am going to give it a good. Still, it’s hard to recommend because of the mixed nature of this manga volume. If you are a Naoki Urasawa fan though, easy recommend. No question about it.

If this sounds interesting to you, Sneeze is available for Pre-Order right now and comes out on October 20th. Click this link to find your path to do it.


      1. He certainly is. I would also like to read 20th Century Boys which I heard is quite epic despite having weird moments. Master Keaton wasn’t as good as Monster, but at least it had a creative premise.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Crazy, but I’m getting more and more drawn into the world of manga. A disturbing development, especially for my wallet😂😂
    That said, I absolutely loved Monster by him (if there is one Manga I highly recommend it’s that one) , and this really sounds very interesting. So guess I’m adding/buying another one…too bad for my wallet, but eh he’s got no say in this. Great post Scott!😃

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My solution to the space problem has been digital manga. I used to hate digital manga because it was absolutely atrocious on an old-school Kindle, but the pages are actually the perfect size for reading on my iPad mini, so I’ve really come to love it. Unfortunately I’m running into a different kind of “space problem” now because my iPad is older and only has 16 GB of storage (80% of which is taken up just by iOS and FGO), but at least I don’t have to dust the bookshelves.

    Never read Urasawa, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well… Pluto is actually slated to become an anime I believe sometime next year if I’m not mistaken? So hopefully you’ll be able to enjoy that series soon!

    If there’s one thing I’ve always like about Urazawa-Sensei is that he doesn’t hide his love for music. I loved all the easter eggs in 20th Century boys when I read it (although I have yet to finish it). So to see that he gets to explore that even more in his short works is really fun too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can attest to how manga collecting takes all your money and space! 😉

    I haven’t read a ton of Naoki Urasawa’s works, just 20th Century Boys and a bit of Pluto, but I admire his skill and this collection sounds like it’s a fun mix of different stories. The story about the super hero and his wife sound particularly intriguing to me.

    Liked by 1 person

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