Books · Manga

REVIEW: Stories from 311 vol.1 and vol.2

Stories from 311 is a series of anthologies that see manga authors bringing stories of their own or individuals who were affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami into a visual medium, manga.

I still remember what I saw on the news that day and how the it all unfolded.

It’s been 10 years since and the anthologies are a good reminder, giving a more personal insight as to how the disaster has affected residents of the area.

Volume 1

I knew the book from its initial crowdfunding period all the way to seeing the sequel coming to fruition.

It pleases me that I finally finished reading it knowing how long I have been putting it off.

My favourite stories have to be UME and Okazaki Mari’s contribution to the book.

Some of the problems that the affected residents have been

  • Anxiety about the effects of radiation (not to mention the actual levels of radiation)
  • The situation revolving the nuclear plants
  • Lack of information in the Japanese media

The book started out alright but I feel it dropped the ball at about 3/4 way through the book. I noticed the translator is credited but was surprised as it didn’t feel like the work of an individual due to the uneven consistency.

It could have used some adapting or editing as the lettering seems to be overwhelmed by the amount of text it has to include.

One or two stories didn’t really come through due to the translation (at least for me) while some contributions seemed more like an illustrated essay to me than manga – which felt like a missed opportunity.

The sequel is much a stronger book than its predecessor though it remains a worthy volume to read.

Volume 2

I really enjoyed this sequel. Some authors followed up with their original contributions in the which gives us a continuation and update of sorts on the individuals that were in the first book.

The stories are much more solid this time around though I can’t say the same for Shinjo Mayu’s contribution. It was an improvement from the first book, however.

Fave stories include contributions by Ooya Kazumi, Ninomiya Tomoko, Sachimi Riho, UME and Nanaji Nagamu.

There are minor mistakes but nothing glaring. The translation has improved but the translation in the last story has me wondering for a bit.

You can find the two volumes in Japanese and translated into English. There is a novelisation for the first volume in Japanese.

The official website can be found here.

Buy links

Amazon Japan (physical) / Kindle Japan

BookWalker Japan (vol.1) (vol.2) (novelisation of vol.1)

BookWalker Global (English releases) (vol.1) (vol.2)

ebookJapan (vol.1) (vol.2) (novelisation of vol.1)

CDJapan (vol.1) (vol.2) (novelisation of vol.1)

Note: BookWalker links are affiliate links.

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