look back manga
look back manga

Look Back Manga: How Long is Look Back Manga?

Designed and created by Tatsuki Fujimoto, Look Back is a one-shot webcomic from Japan. As of July 2021, it could be found in issues of Shueisha’s Shonen Jum.

Look Back Manga Plot

Young Ayumu Fujino, a student at an elementary school, has a knack for drawing manga and has even had her work published in the school newspaper. After being praised for her talents, Fujino faces competition from a fellow student named Kyomoto, who starts publishing her own manga alongside Fujino’s but quickly proves herself to be the better artist. Because of her anger, Fujino isolates herself from her loved ones while she obsesses over finding a way to prove Kyomoto wrong about her artistic abilities.

Despite his best efforts, Fujino is unable to meet Kyomoto’s expectations and eventually gives up drawing. Fujino is responsible for bringing Kyomoto’s middle school graduation to her because Kyomoto is an agoraphobic truant who never left her residence. Fujino enters Kyomoto’s house and finds piles of sketchbooks.

She finds a scrap of paper and, angry with Kyomoto, draws a yonkoma mocking her, which accidentally makes its way into Kyomoto’s chamber. Kyomoto emerges from her room to greet Fujino, admitting that she is a devoted admirer who has been reading her manga in the school newspaper for quite some time. Fujino, feeling immensely delighted by Kyomoto’s unabashed adoration, picks up the pencil once more and says she hopes to enter manga contests.

The two eventually start working together on manga, submitting several acclaimed one-shots. Fujino is promised she will be serialised when she is a teenager, but Kyomoto chooses not to follow suit since she wants to pursue art education formally instead. Without her, Fujino keeps working on her manga Shark Kick, which eventually becomes famous enough to be adapted into an anime.

look back manga

One day, Fujino hears of a mass murder at an art school and learns that Kyomoto was one of the victims. Fujino visits Kyomoto’s home, overcome with sorrow that she may have contributed to Kyomoto’s untimely demise by encouraging her to pursue an artistic career, and tears up the yonkoma she created years earlier.

A piece of paper finds its way into Kyomoto’s room and, it seems, instantly transports him back to the day he first meets the man who will change his life forever.

Kyomoto is too terrified by the scrap to depart her room, preventing her from meeting Fujino. Despite this, she decides that she wants to pursue art as a career and enrols in art school. She is nearly slain by the mass murderer, but is spared by Fujino, who apprehends the would-be killer. The two catch up as Fujino is placed into an ambulance for injuries, and Fujino offers to make manga with Kyomoto.

Returning home, Kyomoto paints a yonkoma depicting Fujino defending her from the murderer. Fujino in the present day sees the manga after a gust of wind blows it out of her room and into her line of sight. Fujino enters Kyomoto’s room, shocked by the manga, and discovers an open window and multiple copies of Shark Kick, proving that despite their fight, Kyomoto still looked up to her.

Fujino, still down on her luck, swears off art for good, but then she remembers the times her manga brought Kyomoto joy. Fujino goes back to her job drawing comics, taping Kyomoto’s Sonoma above her desk as a reminder of why she keeps going in the face of what must seem like an endless cycle of frustration.

Look Back Manga Release

On July 19, 2021, Shueisha released Look Back, a 143-page one-shot web manga written and illustrated by Tatsuki Fujimoto, on their Shonen Jump+ online platform. On September 3, 2021, Shueisha released a collection collecting all of the chapters.

Viz Media and Shueisha’s Manga Plus website released the chapter online in English. The manga’s licencing by Viz Media was announced in February 2022, and the volume is scheduled for release on September 20, 2022.

On August 2, 2021, it was announced that changes were made after publication to a scene in which a man suffering a “paranoid episode” enters an art school with an axe and claims plagiarism from a pupil. There were parallels drawn between this incident and the arson attack against Kyoto Animation in March of this year, according to several readers. There were also worries that stigmatising the mental illness would result from the portrayal of a schizophrenic guy as a mass murderer.

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