Here’s another one Junji Ito manga fan review that I am plastering on your TL! This is not gory one unlike his previous ones, so easy for non horror fans too. If I have to introduce his work to friends and see the range of emotions the author of macabre stories deals with, then this will be it; Gentle Goodbye.
Junji Ito’s Gentle Goodbye covers wide range of emotions of sadness and the process of healing.
Goodbyes are hard. Especially when you lose someone to death. Closure can be attended, but it’s a solitary journey. And when you close the chapter you have to realize that it starts and ends only with you. You are left to your own coping mechanism, which is why Gentle Goodbye seems more like a fairy tale than a horror one. In the story, there is a chance of getting closure.
The unique plot revolves around a young woman who marries into a family that practices a strange ritual to bring afterimage, a ghost like image of the deceased to say goodbye to in the many years to come. They linger in the house for 20 years before fading away. The premise is ripe for angst ridden tale but it is a bittersweet one on grief, loss and the process of how we move on.
Gentle Goodbye is not an out and out haunting story but a tale that stays with you long after the ending and will take you into an introspective mode. I found the characters realistic and the twist heartbreaking but bitter sweet nonetheless as it takes on a subject that rarely makes for compelling work or more precisely makes me give it a reading or a watch. It raises questions on how long is too long to grieve and gives no answer because just like closure, the process of ending a chapter depends on you.
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