Boku Dake ga Inai Machi and NoitaminA? I think I just plotzed.
There are certain anime announcements that just leave me with a silly grin for hours, and this is one of them. It’s not quite Otoyomegatari or Sangatsu no Lion (or a full Rurouni Kenshin reboot – hey, may as well dream big), but it’s pretty close.
I’d actually been thinking of doing a post on Sanbe Kei’s seinen manga for a while (I even considered blogging it, but I just don’t have the heart to take up another manga with irregular translations). I picked it up after having one of the covers catch my eye at Maruzen, and I’ve been hooked ever since. It’s smart, funny, ruthless, and beautifully plotted, and has an exceptionally distinctive art style.
Boku Dake ga Inai Machi is the story of a young Hokkaido man named Fujinuma Satoru, a struggling manga artist in his late 20’s who makes ends meet delivering pizzas. The series starts out interestingly enough that it could be engaging strictly as a story of ennui among Fujinuma’s generation in modern Japan, but the twist is soon revealed and things really explode – he has a supernatural ability that forces him to get involved in the tragedies of others (I advise you not to read the synopses that are way more specific – you should really read it yourself and be surprised).
As for the anime, it’s going to air on the NoitaminA block in Winter 2016. A-1 Pictures is producing, with Ito Tomohiko (Gin no Saji, Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin) directing. Kishimoto Taku is adapting, and he’s proved highly adept at doing so not just with Silver Spoon, but Usagi Drop and Haikyuu!!. The manga has only five volumes currently, but this is obviously not going to be a complete adaptation – we’re likely looking at one cour – since Sanbe-sensei has given no indication whatsoever that he’s anywhere close to the endgame.
Should you read the manga, or wait? That’s always a tough call (you’ll be reading it after the anime ends anyway), but if you do, I think you’ll agree with me that in addition to being an outstanding series (it’s already been nominated both for the Tezuka Cultural Prize and the Manga Taishou), Boku Dake ga Inai Machi is an exceptionally telegenic manga that seems perfectly suited for anime. It’s great to see NoitaminA once again producing the sort of edgy, mature material that would struggle to get an airing anywhere else – whether it marks the beginning of a renaissance or a last gasp I don’t know, but either way I’m thrilled this gem is going to become an anime.