Melody
ISBN-13: 9789571352558
Publisher: Reading Times
Published: October 2010
176 pgs
Illustrator: Marumi Kimura
Translator: Huang Bi Jun
Source: Personal Library



Shocked and speechless. These what sum up my reactions towards this manga after I finished reading in one sitting last evening.

If you were a teacher, what would you do if you found out that the murderer(s) of your child happens to be one of your students? Would you let their fate to be decided by the law, or would you seek revenge yourself? Between ethics and justice, which would you choose?

The story begins with teacher Yuko Moriguchi giving a farewell speech to her class of junior high students on her last day of employment. She talks to them about life and how one should value their life before she move on to her personal history, as she began to disclose how much it has deeply affected her after the death of her 4-year-old daughter. Truth be told, Yuko's purpose of sharing her personal account is not to gain sympathy from her students, for she already has a plan mapped out for two students in the class whom she believed have murdered her daughter. She has successfully planted the seed of fear to these two students by confessing that she had contaminated their milk with HIV virus. At this point, you might be wondering why those two students managed to get away from the crime scot-free. It is because they are under age 14 and they are protected by the law.

If you think she has seeked her revenge right there and put an end to the story, then you are in for a surprise for what happened thereafter I could only describe as explosive and mind-boggling. The story goes on to explore the minds behind these two students, Shuya and Naoki, and how they came about the plan of murdering Yuko's daughter. Reading about their agendas sent chills down my spine, but what most astounded me is finding out about their yearnings and how one circumstances have led to another is beyond my comprehension.

"以憎恨来报复憎恨是没有用的。有一天他们一定会知错的。相信他们,你才有办法重生啊!"
(Translated: There is no use in seeking revenge. One day they would know their mistakes. Believe in them, and you will be able to find and live your life.)

There was one passage (as above) which I liked, as it reminds me of a famous quote by Mohandas Gandhi - "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind." But of course Confession is not only a story about revenge, but a psychological one which makes us to think and take a deeper look into humanity and the social problems we face today. Confession has been made into a film and it has been selected as the Japanese entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards. I hope there will be an English edition of this story next. And as for this manga edition, I can only say that Marumi Kimura has totally left me in awe of her work.

7 Responses
  1. Julia Says:

    OH MY! This seem interesting! It made me think how horrible it is that such a young ages can do something like this. I really want to know the outcome ending of the book :) Great review!


  2. v Says:

    wow, seems like such a powerful and shocking story.


  3. Violet Says:

    Thats me above, I pressed enter way too early :)


  4. Trish Says:

    Holy cow this sounds intense! I have to admit, though, I'm a little intimdated of manga...haven't read any yet.


  5. Iliana Says:

    Great review Melody! This does sound like one of those books that just grabs you. I hope the translation comes out soon - I think I might like to check it out.


  6. bermudaonion Says:

    I'd like to say that I'd let the authorities handle things, but I don't know. This one sounds like it would make you think.


  7. Toro Says:

    This manga is based on a bestselling and prize winning mystery novel with the same title, by Kanae Minato, novel was turned into a movie, which was a big hit in Japan back in 2010.

    This movie, Confessions, has also been nominated in the foreign film category of the Academy Awards 2011.