This manga version of novelist Osamu Dazai’s masterpiece NO LONGER HUMAN–the #2 bestselling novel of all time in Japan–tells the story of Yozo Oba, a young man growing up in Japan in the immediate aftermath of World War II, who finds himself caught between the disintegration of the traditions of his aristocratic provincial family and the impact of the new postwar world.
Oba is tormented by a failure to find any value in himself or in human relationships, despite being surrounded by women who love him. He creates the persona of a buffoon who mocks himself while entertaining others. But inside he is tortured, and as he moves from childhood to adulthood he becomes addicted to sex and alcohol. Largely autobiographical, No Longer Human explores Dazai’s own sense of failure and alienation which drove him to self-destruct with alcohol and numerous suicide attempts.
Osamu Dazai (1909–1948) is Japan’s second most popular novelist (after Soseki), and his works are seeing a huge surge in popularity among young people worldwide thanks to the success of the recent manga, anime and film series Bungo Stray Dogs, whose protagonist, a detective called Osamu Dazai, has similar character traits to Yozo Oba. Fans of manga and anime are turning to the original No Longer Human novel, whose themes of alienation from society and an inability to reconcile social appearances with inner self–told with great wit, irony and pathos–strike a deep chord among readers today.