Read Barefoot Gen, Volume One: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima by Keiji Nakazawa Art Spiegelman Project Gen Online


This harrowing story of Hiroshima was one of the original Japanese manga series. New and unabridged, this is an all-new translation of the author's first-person experiences of Hiroshima and its aftermath, is a reminder of the suffering war brings to innocent people. Its emotions and experiences speak to children and adults everywhere. Volume one of this ten-part series detThis harrowing story of Hiroshima was one of the original Japanese manga series. New and unabridged, this is an all-new translation of the author's first-person experiences of Hiroshima and its aftermath, is a reminder of the suffering war brings to innocent people. Its emotions and experiences speak to children and adults everywhere. Volume one of this ten-part series details the events leading up to and immediately following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima....

Title : Barefoot Gen, Volume One: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780867196023
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Barefoot Gen, Volume One: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima Reviews

  • Bruce
    2019-01-23 03:30

    (Detail from a panel of volume two, this is from p. 6 of Barefoot Gen - The Day After)It’s taken me a while since I finished the tenth and final volume of the Barefoot Gen series to write up a thorough review. It’s hard to say why, exactly, (the cause could simply be laziness) though I suspect the power of the subject matter has as much to do with it as anything else. Keiji Nakazawa, Gen’s author, was a 7 year old child living in Hiroshima when the first atomic weapon obliterated the city and nearly everyone in it. Barefoot Gen is his retelling of his own harrowing experiences living through atomic hell and its aftermath.This towering work, which took Nakazawa about 20 years to complete, has been called the Manga Maus, and in fact, this edition comes with a forward/testimonial written by Art Spiegelman himself. There are, however, a few key differences between the two. While both are autobiographical, Spiegelman pivots his narrative around his relationship to his father the Holocaust survivor. His work is literally as retold to him. Gen, on the other hand, is a lightly-fictionalized tale that puts us (with young Gen Nakaoka) directly behind the eyes of an A-bomb survivor in Japan from 1945 through 1953. Where Spiegelman relieves tension by releasing readers into the present day and uses visual metaphor (dogs, cats, mice) as a distancing technique, Nakazawa delivers an unrelenting, first person narrative in more or less realistic fashion.And (save for a 91-page digressive short story about baseball fandom at the start of Volume 8, which is a bit of a head-scratcher), it is unrelenting. I can’t count how many times in reading this 2000+ page opus I found myself blurting, “But wait, it gets EVEN WORSE,” as every social and biological consequence of militarism and nuclear fallout one could possibly imagine inexorably paid out. You want fascist oppression? Ritual suicide? Done. Heat shockwave melting the skin off those exposed? Right there. Watch helplessly as family members are crushed and burned to death in collapsed buildings and torched ruins. Suffer through the drownings of burn victims, maggot infestations at the height of summer, social ostracism, street beatings, revenge killings, malnutrition, starvation, descent into anarchy, gang violence, alcoholism and drug abuse, opportunistic politicians, inner organ fatigue, hemorrhaging, leukemia and other forms of cancer, espionage and predatory bureaucracy, loved ones dying mysteriously like clockwork all around you… oh, yes, and sometimes people lose their hair.What’s so remarkable about all this is how sanguinely the horror is packaged. Nakazawa’s refusal or incapacity to photorealistically portray keloid scarring, broken and ruptured limbs, human and animal waste, and similarly squeamish-shrinking content may undercut some of its visual power and coherence, but it does make this unbelievable story more palatable. As grounded as this series is in historic reality, it would be tragic to turn readers away or allow them to dismiss the material as fantasy. It is perhaps foremost the eyewitness credibility of the content that lends it such importance. On top of that, young Gen Nakaoka is an overwhelmingly positive protagonist. His steadfast refusal never to give up, his consistent moral honesty, and his trickster-like resilience in a mad, mad world motivate perseverance in readers as much as in his fictional friends and family.In this way, Nakazawa also appears to be targeting a younger audience than Spiegelman. In fact, his dialogue can lack sophistication, even be on-the-nose or preachy. Take the following example from page 100 of the first volume:”Dear, I guess we have no choice but to cooperate with the war effort, no matter how wrong we think it is. }Sob…{ I can’t stand it anymore! Being bullied like this and called a traitor…”“It’s despicable… the way the authorities use their power to force people to go to war! They’re deceiving everyone, turning people into human bullets…”That reads to me a bit like classic dubbed chopsocky deadpan: “You and your clan of thieving warlords will now pay for the death of my brother. I will not rest until I have tasted my revenge.”Another typical selection appears at p. 130:”Mr. Kishi, please don’t be too hard on the boys. They aren’t getting enough to eat.”“You musn’t indulge them, Miss Osato. No matter how tough it is on them, we’ve got to raise them to be strong children for the Empire.” Now where is that Darth Vader sound effect when you need it?Yet if this is a work written at something of a fourth-grade reading level, it is no less gripping or significant. In fact, I was moved to let my fourth-grade daughter read it on the strength of one of the prefaces, which mentioned that the series is introduced to Japanese schoolchildren at that age. (She devoured it, loved it, and was willing to talk about it with me.) Moreover, reading this work allowed me to understand more immediately the impact of historic events I had otherwise taken for granted. For example, the onset of the Korean War takes on a chilling aspect in the context of exposed Japanese civilians less than 5 years after the devastation of Hiroshima/Nagasaki/Tokyo. Nakazawa conveys this information through the chain link of a US military installation, thereby shrewdly juxtaposing power and powerlessness.This series is a great read, a must read. It is a terrifying, towering contribution to literature that stands as a warning to humanity of the consequences of aggression, the excesses of brutality, and the painful hubris born of arrogance, ignorance, and intolerance. I have read it. My daughter has read it. My son will read it in a couple of years has read it. I’m so happy we have this in our library.Thumbnail synopsis of each book in the series:* BG1 – chronicles a 7 year old boy’s struggles in Hiroshima, Japan, enduring the hardships of war under Japan’s militaristic regime in 1945 as an Allied invasion looms ever nearer. But the US drops an atomic bomb instead... and immediate hell erupts.* BG2 – “The Day After” (second only to BG7 in narrative brutality; reading these books especially will build character)* BG3 - Gen plays nursemaid to a dying artist shunned by his own family* BG4 - Gen, Tomoko, and Ryuta take refuge with “friends” in Eba; Gen returns to school* BG5 - Ryuta takes on the yakuza as Gen learns his ABCCs* BG6 - Gen intervenes in a few suicide attempts and earns money stripping the city’s remains* BG7 - USGHQ arrests Gen for distributing a first-hand account of the bomb… and worse things happen* BG8 – Gen learns the difference between alcohol and Philopon* BG9 – urban renewal takes Gen’s improvised house and Gen finds an art teacher* BG10 – Gen finds work as a sign painter and falls in love{As of this revision, my daughter has published her own website with friends. Her short, trenchant review of the Gen series can be found here. ...I'm so proud!}

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-02-02 01:28

    If there's one graphic novel that I'd recommend to anyone, even if they hate the manga style with a passion, it would be Barefoot Gen. Also a shocking if not completely horrific and graphic film, this is the story of a young boy caught in the chaos of WWII's Hiroshima, the disaster that leaves him struggling to survive when the people around him are destroyed in an instant. He's resilient, but the terror awaiting him and his family makes for a powerful cautionary tale for any reader. This is only Volume 1 but it's an evocative and frightening story throughout, sharing the legacy of Hiroshima for many years to come.

  • James
    2019-02-09 07:23

    My 6th grade teacher, Ms. Greenwood, had the Barefoot Gen series on a shelf in our classroom. I read all of these there. I now realize what a profoundly anti-war statement it was, leaving these books within the grasp of 12-year-olds--these are graphic novels about the bombing of Hiroshima, from the perspective of a young civilian boy who loses almost his entire family.The books juxtapose cartoons and the trivialities of youth with the singularly gruesome, nightmarish truths of using nuclear weapons on a heavily populated, largely civilian city. All in cartoon, you witness people's flesh melting off like batter; bloated bodies floating in a waterway, bursting; Gen helping to care for an artist who has barely survived, which involves replacing his bandages and cleaning his maggot infested wounds.This book shows you some fucked up stuff. Reading it at that age goes a long way to molding your opinion of nuclear weapons and exposes the idiocy of trying to justify their use under any circumstances or in any context.

  • Anushree
    2019-02-14 08:34

    I am seriously becoming a fierce fan of Graphic Novels lately. This one was recommended by a generous GoodReads friend Pooja, and I will be ever so grateful to her for this. This is my introduction to the world of Japanese Manga and boy, am I blown away!Keiji Nakazawa is a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in Aug'45. Barefoot Gen is his alter ego. He says he imagined his alter ego standing atop a roof, barefoot, raising his voice loud and clear, over and against the destruction his dear city of 4, 00, 000 residents was subjected to.The characters in Barefoot Gen have been inspired by the lives of the people in the life of Nakazawa and the ones around him. Graphic novels bear this eerie ability to assist your imagination exactly to that level, where it sets in motion its own series. Nothing more (unlike movies) and nothing less either. Just the exact right amount. The last 40 pages (and a few of them in between) had me literally howling. I clenched my fists and stretched my fingers and toes, as if it was here, in front of me, right now. I cannot even begin to imagine the amount of effort Nakazawa must have put in re-imagining the whole thing for us. My heart goes out to him and the lakhs of citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, who had to suffer because a few people sitting at the top of a decision machinery could not decide whether to surrender or keep fighting. The war did end, but the lives impacted did not get their fair chance at survival. I highly recommend this one, just as I recommend The Maus, both stories of a holocaust so horrible, that we can never afford to forget. NEVER.

  • Louise
    2019-02-04 06:24

    Life in Hiroshima in the weeks leading up to the atomic bomb is depicted by cartoonist, Keiji Nakazawa. He created the 6 year old Gen as his alter ego to show the experience. The book climaxes with the bomb where Gen’s family experience follows that of the Nakazawa family as the author writes in his forwarding note.The portrait shows a hard life in cruel situation. Hunger is the dominant theme. There is great conformity as people parrot their support for the emperor and the honor of dying for him. As an objector to the war, Gen’s father is branded a traitor and life for the family is even more miserable.There are scenes depicting the trials of everyday life, the attempt to fish, grow wheat, catch locusts, rid oneself of lice and make and sell clogs. At school, love for the emperor is taught.Nalazawa shows how life was no better outside of Hiroshima, in the countryside or in the military itself. The portrait of the indoctrination of the kamikaze pilots is chilling.This is a powerful book.

  • Will L.
    2019-02-02 06:32

    Barefoot Gen is a graphic novel that tells the events of the bombing of Hiroshima. The story is very, very graphic and tells the events in a very emotional story. I'm surprised how deep this story goes on explain the tragedy of the aftermath of Little Boy.

  • Nancy
    2019-02-13 08:40

    This graphic novel has been around a long time, but for some reason I only picked it up a couple of weeks ago. It is a chronicle of a child's life just before the bombing of Hiroshima. Soon after I picked up Barefoot Gen, the 9.0 earthquake and massive tsunami hit Japan, and one of the nuclear power plants was damaged and began to vent radioactivity. Japan relies on nuclear power for a major chunk of its electric power. Nuclear power plays a major role partly because fossil energy sources are scarce in Japan and also are carbon dioxide emitters. Reading Nakazawa's Barefoot Gen during the current catastrophe underscored Japan's love-hate relationship with nuclear power. No country's consciousness could be unchanged by the brutality of WWII (both by Japan and to Japan.) But being the first victims of nuclear war had a profound impact on the Japanese identity.Barefoot Gen is a graphic illustration of daily life toward the end of the war. By then, most people were poor, hungry, and suffering the loss of family members. Some, like Gen's father, were becoming more vocal in opposition to war, and the lives of such people were made even more difficult by accusations of cowardice and treachery against the Emperor. There were acts of love, kindness, and nobility in the midst of privation, but significantly, never from the authorities. Gen and his siblings were subject to a hundred small cruelties by other kids, and also by teachers and authority figures. The kids were cruel in their retaliations as well. These small cruelties became as nothing when the bombs were dropped. There must be a hundred scholarly tomes on Japanese identity, the World War, and the nuclear age. Egads, such heavy going. Barefoot Gen has been criticized as too simplistic and crudely drawn, but it conveys so much, so effortlessly. To me, it seemed to raise the questions: is the Emperor truly divine? Can the Government be trusted? Is anything ever going to be the same?

  • Veronika KaoruSaionji
    2019-02-20 08:24

    Great manga!Not very good art. And this is shonen - and very shonen-like, for young boys, not for adults. But... This is so strong anti-war manga! This is story one family in Hiroshima during war. Father is animilitarist, he is sent briefly into prison and all family suffer because it. They are marked as "traitors". The children are bullied and the oldest, 17-years old Koji, is volunteer into army because it (for sake his family). Father hates him because it. And he then suffers in army. The other boy, Akira, is sent in the country but he is bullied there. He runs but he must return. The main hero Gen, in the 2th grade, his older sister Eiko, in 5th grade, his younger brother Shinji and pregnant mother starve. At the end, Gen gives great battleship (toy) to Shinji and promise that other day after school they will play wit it. But other day his father, Eiko and Shinji are burned alive to the death in the ruins of Hiroshima (burried there).... Gen gives Shinji battleship into his arms during his dying... Mother wants to die, too, but Gen saves her (his father begs him to do it) and she gives birth her younger daugher, Tomoko. This is small hope in the all despair...I cry very much by reading. This is terrible manga! And this is made for children...But, children died in Hiroshima and in the war, too. This is real story...I have no more words for it. Everyone should read it!

  • Tom
    2019-01-29 02:51

    Let's be clear: WWII was awful, and the things that Japanese citizens went through were awful, and then having an atomic bomb dropped on them was also awful. Keiji Nakazawa has crafted a wonderful comic from a horrible series of events, making a dark part of history very accessible for people. This is a very important story and book.My only issue was with the artwork, and it is on my end, not Nakazawa's. The drawings were clear and the pacing was great. I just had trouble getting into the art style itself (it's a very specific, popular style, but one I've just never found interesting on my own). The art, therefore, tended to draw me back out of the story, which subsequently made it harder to take seriously on the page.But! That is a personal thing, and it could be very different for you (I am not subtracting any starts from my review because of that. It is what it is). I suggest you give this a shot, and see what you make of it. If nothing else, you should find the story arresting and a bit haunting. Especially near the end.

  • Berna Labourdette
    2019-02-23 09:30

    mucho se ha escrito sobre la bomba atómica en Japón, hay muchísimo material pero esta maravilla autobiográfica vale realmente la pena. Especialmente por el retrato que hace de los sobrevivientes, la situación de los coreanos que vivían en Japón y como se condujo el gobierno japonés con quienes eran pacifistas (como el padre del protagonista). Se hicieron dos películas de animación: Hadashi no Gen y Hadashi no Gen 2. Muy recomendable, en español se editaron 4 tomos por DeBolsillo.

  • Andre
    2019-02-22 07:36

    1) Deutsche Rezension2) English Review1) Deutsche RezensionDieser Manga war irgendwie enttäuschend für mich.Ich war schon nicht sicher, ob die Einführung von Art Spiegelmann nötig war, ich meine, es ist klar, welche Art von Geschichte das ist, also warum das Thema angehen, dass viele in Deutschland Comics nur als etwas für Kinder sehen? Alle die diesen Band in die Hand nehmen, können aufgrund des Titels sehen worum es geht. Ich denke auch, dass die Einführung nicht hier drin sein sollte, schlicht deswegen weil es den Lesern die eigene Meinung aufzuzwingen scheint und ich bin bei Fiktion gegen so etwas.(view spoiler)[ Denn persönlich kann ich nicht sagen, dass was Gens Vater hier tut Kindesmissbrauch darstellt, unter diesen Umständen würde ich sagen sind seine Reaktionen sehr realistisch. (hide spoiler)]Nun, alles in allem hat dieser Manga bei mir nicht funktioniert. Ein Problem war das manche Szenen eher überdreht komisch waren und den Geschichtsfluss für mich gestört haben. Und für jedes Mal wo der Manga es schaffte den Militarismus und Gruppenzwang der Zeit einzufangen hat es Sachen wie die komischen clownhaften Gesichter von Gen und seinem Bruder oder Szenen wo ein 50-jähriger Lehrer es schafft Gen mit einem Schlag durch den Raum zu befördern. Nicht zu vergessen, dass ich bezweifele dass irgendjemand in der Situation von Gens Vater nicht sicherstellen würde, dass sein Sohn nicht Dinge sagt wie Gen hier in der Schule.Für jede Szene wie den gutgemachten Abschied von Koji und seinem Vater (man weiß warum Koji zur Armee gehen will und warum sein Vater so sehr dagegen ist) oder dem Kamikaze Pilot der es nicht durchziehen will, kriegt man eine andere voller Predigen und erklärenden Mono- und Dialogen welche zu künstlich wirken (und in einigen Fällen nutzlos da die Bilder die Geschichte ehr erzählen) um zu was gut zu sein und nach einer Weile wurden sie nervig.Versteht mich nicht falsch, Ich denke die Beispiele von Missbrauch, Gruppenzwang, Hass, Doppelmoral, Anschuldigungen und Gewalt (ebenso wie das recht selbstsüchtige und nervende Geweine von Gen und seinem Bruder) sind gut genug gehandhabt. Aber dennoch wirken einige Dinge fast komisch. Ich kann nur vermuten dass es sich um eine absichtliche Taktik handelt. Zumindest hoffe ich das.Ich bin mir auch sicher, dass das ständige Weinen eine absichtliche Taktik ist, aber für mich ist es schlicht zu viel und verstärkt die Emotionen nicht sondern schwächt sie. Genauso wie die Menschen hier zu viele Dinge sagen die keiner je sagen würde, so weinen Gens Eltern (und andere) die ganze Zeit wegen allen möglichen Dingen und wenn sie dann plötzlich weinen sagt mir das nicht mehr viel.Persönlich hätte ich es auch vorgezogen wenn die Menschen unmittelbar um Gen etwas weniger schwarz-weiß in dieser Geschichte gewesen wären(view spoiler)[, z.B. wäre es in meinen Augen besser gewesen wenn die Frau des Bürgermeisters Gens Familie das Geld gegeben hätte und nicht das Gen und Shinji es erbettelt hätten indem sie sich als Waisen ausgeben (hide spoiler)].Leider hilft der Zeichenstil auch nicht wenn es darum geht die Emotionen herüber zu bringen(view spoiler)[, wie die zwei Leichen der Engel der alten Frau. Ich weiß dass sie schwer verbrannt sein sollen, aber ihre Gesichter sehen eher aus wie Zeichentrickfiguren die unter Strom stehen (hide spoiler)]. Es kommt nicht zu oft vor, aber es geschieht oft genug um die Geschichte für mich zu stören.Und leider, als die Bombe über der Stadt abgeworfen wird, bekommen wir ständig gesagt was wir sehen und bei mir funktioniert das nicht.(view spoiler)[ Warum musste Gen zu sich selber sagen dass alles dunkel ist? Warum haben sie es nicht einfach so gezeichnet? Und warum musste Gen es uns sagen, dass das Pferd brennt und die Leute wie Monster aussehen? In beiden Fällen sehen wir das genau dann als er es sagt, also warum nicht die Bilder für sich selbst sprechen lassen? (hide spoiler)] Genaugenommen blieb mir eine bestimmte Szene im Kopf welche das Problem welches ich mit dem Gebrauch der Bilder und Dialoge habe verkörpert.(view spoiler)[ Es gab einige wenige Bilder mit einem Lehrer und seiner Klasse welche im Fluss schwimmen während die Stadt brennt: Die Szene wo sie schwimmen, ihre steifen und verbrannten Beine und der Lehrer welche sie singen lässt und als dann alle Schüler ertrinken hätte eine recht gute Szene sein können. Aber als die Schüler sagen dass ihre Beine verbrannt und steif sind ruiniert es das, da sie viel zu schwach gewesen wären um Energie darauf verschwenden zu können. Warum konnten sie nicht schlicht ein paar mehr Bilder benutzen um es uns zu zeigen anstatt zu erzählen? (hide spoiler)]Weiterhin muss ich sagen, dass dieser Manga, wenn er auch die geschichtlichen Grundrisse richtig hat so gibt es doch viele Fehler bei den Details. Zum Beispiel:Einstein war nie Teil des Manhattan Projekts.Die Atombombe wurde nicht gebaut um Japan zu besiegen, sondern weil die Amerikaner befürchteten, die Nazis könnten es zuerst schaffen. Und es ist zumindest diskutabel ob Japan zu besiegen wirklich der Grund für den Einsatz der zwei Bomben war (tatsächlich zeigt der Manga die Amerikaner noch in recht gutem Licht und tut so als ob die Japaner in diesen letzten Tagen alles aus purem Fanatismus taten, nicht auch aufgrund des Verhaltens der amerikanischen Truppen selber).Ich denke der Manga schafft es gut die Selbstmorde der Zivilisten zu zeigen aber wenn auch ein bedeutender Teil der Okinawer im Kampf starb, so würde ich nicht sagen, dass fast die gesamte Bevölkerung getötet wurde.Weder Churchill noch Stalin sind auf der Potsdamerkonferenz gezeigt und genaugenommen werden die Sowjets erst im nächsten Band erwähnt. Und selbst dann sind sie kaum darin (1-2 Bilder wenn's hoch kommt) und daher leicht vergessbar.Ich weiß, dass viele Leute dieses Buch für seinen Realismus und Geschichte preisen, aber für mich funktioniert es nicht. All diese Elemente welche schlicht eigenartig und künstlich in meinen Augen sind, sind schlicht zu viele um sie zu ignorieren.Und ich denke ich weiß warum das so ist:Ich bin zu dieser Geschichte nicht als einer gekommen der kaum etwas über dieses geschichtliche Ereignis weiß, ganz im Gegenteil. Daher weiß ich, dass was hier gezeigt wurde nicht mal die Hälfte der Schrecken sind die damals geschahen und daher gab es für mich praktisch keine Schocks. Und glaubt mir, ich habe Bericht gelesen und Interviews gehört die aus Hiroshima und Nagasaki sind und weit schlimmeres zeigten als was hier dargestellt wurde(view spoiler)[, verbrannte Haut und Glasscherben im Körper sind nichts im Vergleich dazu seine Augen in den Händen zu halten, so verbrannt und deformiert zu sein, dass man nicht mehr menschlich aussah und es ein Wunder ist, dass man sich bewegen kann, Haut die in Fetzen an dir herunter hängt, Leute die sterben weil man ihnen Wasser gab und Körper die in Wassercontainer gestopft sind (hide spoiler)].Das ist vermutlich der Grund weshalb all diese Probleme mit den Mono- und Dialogen, dem Zeichenstil und der Geschichte für mich so hervorstechen.Ich kann diesem Buch ein ok geben aber das war es dann auch schon.2) English ReviewThis manga was kind of disappointing for me.I was already not sure whether the introduction by Art Spiegelmann was necessary, I mean it is clear what sort of story this is, so why address the topic that many in Germany see comics as something purely for children? Anybody picking this up in the first place can tell what it is simply by the title. Also I think the introduction should not be in this simply because it seems to force its opinion on the reader and I am personally against it in works of fictions.(view spoiler)[ You see I personally cannot say that what Gen's father did here is truly child abuse, considered the circumstances I would say his reactions are very realistic. (hide spoiler)]Now, all in all this manga did not work for me. One problem was that some of the scenes were rather overtly comical and that disturbed the reading flow for me. And for every time that the manga manages to catch the militarism and peer pressure of the time they have things like the weirdly clownish faces by Gen and his brother or scenes were even a 50 something teacher manages to punch Gen around the room with one swipe. Not to mention that I doubt anybody in the situation of Gen's father would not make sure that his sons don't say stuff like Gen in such a school like this here.For every scene like the well handled farewell of Koji and his father (you know why Koji wants to join the army and also why his father is so much against it) or the Kamikaze pilot who didn't want to go through with it, you get another one full of preachy and expository mono- and dialogues that seem way too artificial (and in some cases useless as the artwork told the story anyway) to be any good and after a while they became really annoying.Don't get me wrong, I think the examples of abuse, peer pressure, hatred, hypocrisy, accusations and violence (as well as the pretty self-centered actions and annoying crying of Gen and his brother) is handled well enough. But still some things look almost comical. I can only assume that this is a deliberate tactic to give readers a break. At least I hope so.I am also sure that the constant crying is a deliberate tactic, but for me it is simply too much and so doesn't strengthen the emotions but cheapens them. Just like people say so many things here that people would never say, Gen's parents (and others) cry all the time for all sorts of things and so them crying suddenly is not saying much for me anymore.Personally I also would have preferred if the people in Gen's immediate area would have been a bit less black and white in this story(view spoiler)[, e.g. it would have been better in my eyes if the mayor's wife had given Gen's family the money and not Gen and Shinji begging for it posing as orphans (hide spoiler)].Sadly the artwork is not always helping either when it comes to conveying the emotions(view spoiler)[, like the two corpses of the grandchildren of that old lady. I know they are supposed to be severely burned, but their faces look rather like cartoon figures that get electrocuted (hide spoiler)]. It doesn't happen too often, but it happens often enough to disrupt the story for me.And sadly especially when the bomb is dropped on the city we constantly get told what we see and for me that doesn't work.(view spoiler)[ Why did we have to have Gen talk to himself how it is so dark and all? Why didn't they just draw it that way? Also, why did we have to be told by Gen that the horse is burning and the people look like monsters? We see it in both cases at exactly the moment he says it, so why not let the artwork speak for itself? (hide spoiler)] In fact one particular scene stuck in my head because it embodied so well the problem I have with the usage of artwork and dialogue here.(view spoiler)[ There were a few panels with a teacher and his students swimming in the river while the city burns: The scene with them swimming, their stiff and burned legs and the teacher making them sing to keep swimming and then all the students drowning would have been a pretty good scene. But the students stating that their legs are burned and stiff ruins that as they would be far too weak to waste energy for that. Why couldn't they just use a few more panels to show it instead of telling us? (hide spoiler)]Furthermore, I must say that this manga, even when getting the basic history right, is lacking in many terms of historical details. For instance:Einstein wasn't part of the Manhattan Project.The Atomic-bomb wasn't developed for beating Japan, but because the Americans feared the Nazis might develop one first. And it is at least debatable whether beating Japan was really the reason the USA dropped those two bombs on them (in fact the manga portrays the Americans in a tad too favorable light and acts like the Japanese did everything in those last days simply out of pure fanaticism, not also due to the behavior of the American troops themselves).I think the manga does well with showing the suicides of civilians but while a significant percentage of Okinawans got killed in the battle, I would not say that nearly the entire population was killed as the manga states.Neither Churchill nor Stalin are depicted at the Potsdam conference and there is in fact no mentioning whatsoever of the Soviets until the next volume. And even then there are barely in it (1-2 panels at most) and therefore easily forgettable.I know that tons of people praise this book for its realism and story, but for me it doesn't work. All those elements that are plain weird and scream artificial in my mind are just too many to ignore.And I think I know why that is:I did not come to this story knowing barely anything about the actual historical event, quite the contrary. So I know that what is presented here is not even half of the horror that happened back then and so there was practically no shock factor for me. And trust me I have read reports and heard interviews from Hiroshima and Nagasaki that are far worse than what is presented here(view spoiler)[, burned skin and glass shards in the body are nothing compared to holding your eyes in your hand, being so burned and deformed that you don't look human anymore and it’s a mystery how you can even move, skin hanging it tatters down your body, people dying because they have been given water or bodies stuffed into water holders (hide spoiler)].So that is probably why all these problems with the mono- and dialogues, the artwork and story stick out for me so much.I can give this book and ok, but that is really all.

  • Guguk
    2019-02-18 04:37

    Komik ini terasa mengenaskan sekaligus menggugah karena dengan jujur dan berani mengakui, betapa suatu 'negara' (atau kelompok tertentu, entah karena punya duit atau kekuasaan lainnya) dapat menipu dan mencuci otak orang-orangnya sendiri agar bersemangat dalam kebodohan.Itu saja... (untuk jilid 1 dulu ^^)

  • Aravena
    2019-02-08 05:28

    A masterpiece. Simple as that.

  • O.
    2019-01-28 05:35

    It was as good as it was told, this is one of the manga masterpieces everyone knows, it deserves reckoning. Eerily realistic and frank, one of the best comics I've ever read.

  • Kaisu
    2019-02-16 02:34

    Die Zeichnungen mögen überholt und oldschool wirken, aber die Story und deren Darstellung haben es in sich und lassen einen, auch nach 100facher Erzählung der Ereignisse, noch Gänsehaut bekommen.

  • Chris Blocker
    2019-02-04 05:22

    I'm still new to this genre, so I'm not entirely comfortable with all the terms. What exactly is a graphic novel? Comic books aren't considered graphic novels, so where is the line drawn? Barefoot Gen has the look of a daily comic, but feels more like a graphic novel, so what is it? My worry that I'll say something stupid sends me to the Internet searching for answers. Barefoot Gen is manga. I have a lot to learn. What exactly is manga? Japanese comics. I'm still confused as to where the line is drawn. Screw it, I hate lines anyway.Barefoot Gen is a comic-style book-thingy that tells a complete story. It was originally published in Japan in the 1970s. By the 1980s, it had been translated into English and was one of the first manga to be marketed in the United States. (See the Internet made me smarter.) Barefoot Gen is a series of ten books that details the bombing of Hiroshima by one survivor, Keiji Nakazawa. Often the series is referred to as an autobiography, but the author's own introduction contradicts some of the details of the comic, so I think of it more as semi-biographical.I've read books about the bombing of Japan (the fire bombs and the atomic bombings) and I knew of the horrors. I understood there would be limits to what a comic book could illustrate, so I didn't have the highest expectations when it came to realism. I was surprised. True, the comic couldn't capture the destruction, the darkness, the stench, but it really did quite a fine job introducing images that burn into the reader's mind, much more than I imagined was possible anyway.Barefoot Gen (which refers to the first book in the series and not the series itself from this point forward) is an introduction to the Nakaoka family. The book takes place in the middle of 1945 and shows the day-to-day life of the average Japanese civilian during war. Food is sparse. Hope is dying. But the Nakaoka family has it particularly hard because they oppose the war and are branded as traitors. Most of Barefoot Gen illustrates the trials and struggle the family has internally and externally. The bomb doesn't fall until the end, which was a wise choice on the author's part, getting the reader fully acquainted with the family first.This is a really great comic depiction of Hiroshima before and during the atomic bombing. I've already started the second in the series, entitled The Day After. I did have two small complaints about this first book. The first is that there is quite a bit of comic mischief throughout, squabbles that lead to fights which seem to be played for laughs. It reminded me of Looney Toons cartoons. Perhaps this is just the style, but it did distract from the story line and didn't really seem to fit in with the ethics of this pacifist family. The second issue is that the story seems to be anti-Japanese. Perhaps this will be rectified in later volumes when Gen actually meets the occupying forces, but in this first volume, the Nakaoka family seems to blame Japan for all that is happening. A more balanced account is certainly welcome.For those wanting an introduction to nuclear warfare and those who can appreciate a good comic, I recommend Barefoot Gen. (Just know that the contents may haunt you for a while).

  • Mariah
    2019-01-26 08:24

    Wow...what an allusive ending *cough cough Lion king much*. So this short tale of Gen and his life as a young boy in pre radioactive Japan. Seeing all the little trails he has to go through all because his dad openly talks down the war. His emotions are well portrayed because the reader can seen that his emotions change to fit the needs of the situations. It's interesting to see how fast Gen can go from the tyrannical older brother for his little brother Shinji to defensive younger brother for his sister Eiko all the way back to the caring loving son for his mother Kimie. He is very round as a character which in my opinion makes it a better read.The art style in this novel is very classic Japanese style. The black and white with very symbolic imagery really helps keep focus on the content rather than the art in my opinion. This is very helpful since there are so many ethical lessons you can learn from this story... Like how the Japanese people didn't always agree with their government either, Also it helps with the tone since it is so dynamic with all the rising action that is going on If there had to be one color pallet for this story I think that it would have to be a more accented one,or just a pale pallet because the color would subtract from the content of the story... No offense if you love color.Overall, I did really enjoy this story, I learned a lot more about the culture for WWII Japanese that any text could give me, It was also a very cute story to read in general. I do recommend this book for history buffs, or those who enjoy cartoon classic art.

  • Jess
    2019-02-01 07:47

    From Amazon: 'This harrowing story of Hiroshima was one of the original Japanese manga series. New and unabridged, this is an all-new translation of the author's first-person experiences of Hiroshima and its aftermath, is a reminder of the suffering war brings to innocent people. Its emotions and experiences speak to children and adults everywhere. Volume one of this ten-part series details the events leading up to and immediately following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.'I read this book for a Japanese lit/culture class, and it was the first time I had studied the Pacific War (the Pacific Campaign of WWII) from a Japanese perspective. It blew me away. I had no idea how the Japanese were suffering at the hands of their own rulers. America justified dropping the bombs by pointing to this fact (much as we did when invading Iraq). It's a gripping, often gory tale of a young boy surviving during this awful period in our shared history, but it's even more powerful when reminded this isKeiji Nakazawa--the author's--truth, his life, his story.

  • Anandaroop
    2019-02-23 01:39

    this book is not so much an indictment of the bomb, or America's decision to drop it on civilian populations. that would be nothing new, as reams have already been written about it, and by now, we all know that the atom bomb is bad, right? instead, the book is an exploration of civilian society in wartime japan, and how a misplaced sense of patriotism and unquestioning obedience of authority (is anyone else thinking of the folks who are writing in to newspapers demanding that TADA and POTA be reimposed?) can place a society on a suicide course.the book is part autobiographical, and to the foreign reader, also serves as an insight into the japanese family -- the measures gen's father, the doggedly pacifist hero of the book, takes to discipline his errant children would put a boot camp drill sergeant to shame. the end is harrowing, and caused me to lapse into deep, brooding depression for over a week. considering the subject matter, it was the very least it could have done. a must read.

  • Marcos Francisco Muñoz
    2019-02-06 05:41

    Este primero volumen de "Pies descalzos", es un relato dolido y descarnado de los días previos y meses posteriores a la detonación de 'Little boy' sobre la ciudad de Hiroshima en 1945.Seguimos de primera mano a Gen Nakaoka (personificación de Nakazawa, el autor, dentro del manga), encontrándonos con la gris naturaleza del ser humano y lo poco consecuente de sus acciones.Los trazos simples de Nakazawa, narran de manera vívida devastación y el dolor que que se encontró a su paso, pero mostrando a su vez, las pequeñas luces de esperanza que pueblan la experiencia humana.Como documento de una tragedia en este medio narrativo, rivaliza conThe Complete Maus.

  • Lastik
    2019-01-31 05:52

    un manga muy duro pero realista que hará pensar a más de uno como los humanos seguimos repitiendo nuestros errores sin aprender del pasado. A través de pequeñas viñetas muy realistas y duras podemos ver lo que vemos todos los en nuestras televisiones. Una lección del autor que no ha tenido mucha repercusión pero para los que los lean les hará pensar.Más sobre mi opinión en la reseña del blog

  • Karyl
    2019-02-14 06:29

    I am a huge fan of graphic novels, especially those based on real events. Barefoot Gen definitely fits the bill, as it's Nakazawa's fictionalized re-telling of the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima, though it's based upon Nakazawa's own experiences. This first volume deals with the events leading up to the bomb drop and what life was like for the average Japanese during World War II. There was very little food, and citizens were starving. Yet they were being brain-washed into blind obedience to the Emperor as the only way to defeat the American and British "devils." Any extra food was supposed to go to the soldiers, yet it was clear that those higher up in society were not lacking in nutrition while the poor starved. Gen's father was very much against the war, believing that violence was never the answer, and as a result, the family was mocked and ostracized, even beaten at times, thanks to Gen's father's anti-war stance. They were seen as anti-patriotic in this nation of brain-washed conformity.I can see how the art would be a little off-putting to a Western eye. It can be difficult to know where a character is crying in fear or pain since the characters often look like they're sweating profusely, and the faces look much more Western in aspect than one would expect from a Japanese graphic novel. There's also quite a bit of cartoon violence and reactions, with bodies flying up with legs completely splayed. But from everything I've read, it's a very specific type of art, one I'm not qualified to judge. I suppose my only qualm would be how healthy Gen's family looks, since they were supposed to be starving. I believe this should be required reading for everyone. Growing up, there was always the specter of World War III with the Soviets hanging over our head, but since the fall of the Berlin Wall, it had seemed so far-fetched. Now with North Korea ramping up the testing of their missiles, it seems much more likely. This is a book that everyone should read to prevent another disaster like Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The face of actual victims, their flesh melting off their bones, should stay the hands of our leaders and prevent another nuclear attack.

  • Theresa
    2019-01-23 07:39

    As expected, this was incredibly hard to read and had me in tears at multiple points. Not only does it deal with the tragedy of the nuclear bomb, it also shows the life of an ordinary Japanese family in times of war. The struggles they faced are unimaginable from a modern perspective. This would have been harrowing to read about had it been fiction, but this being the author's own life story made it all the more powerful. Certainly would recommend this one, it's absolutely heartbreaking but also shows us how lucky we are to get to live in a time and place of peace, not war. Regardless of what side you are on, there are no winners in a war such as this one.

  • Oğuzhan Alpaslan
    2019-01-31 05:47

    Savaş karşıtı eserlerin en önemlilerinden olabilir bu çizgi roman. Saf gerçeklikle savaşın fakirleşen halk üzerindeki psikolojik etkisi anlatılmak isteneni eksiksiz bir şekilde okuyucuya aktarmış. Sansüre gidilmeden en vahşet dolu anlar gösterilerek okuyucuyu psikolojik çöküntüye uğratan bu çizgi romanı okuyan bir insanın anti-militer bir karakter kazanmadan bu kitabı bitireceğini sanmıyorum. Tamamiyle mükemmel.

  • Mana Mashhadi
    2019-02-05 06:35

    نقل تمام روزمرگی‌ها از زبان یک خانواده‌ی کاملا معمولی قبل از فرود LITTLE BOY.یک گرافیک نوول عالی که حتی امروز مناسب‌تر از پیشه.داستان ظالم و مردم عادی. پادشاه ( رهبری) که خدایی میکنه. بت‌سازی از جنگ و وطن‌پرستی. نژادپرستی، بی‌عدالتی، زندان و ...من فقط قسمت اول رو تا اینجا خوندم، اما مطمئنن ۵؟ تای بقیه رو هم خواهم خواند.

  • Sean
    2019-02-22 04:22

    How often do you finish reading a comic with tears streaming down your face. Even before the horror of the bomb, this is a brutal and bruising tale of prejudice, abuse, repression, and military insanity. Thankfully the humorous antics of Gen and little brother Shinji make it bearable, and even fun at times. A powerful document that everyone should read.

  • Sandrielle Sousa
    2019-02-14 03:40


  • Vishwesh Jirgale
    2019-02-12 06:25

    Way better than movie :)

  • Lars
    2019-02-17 04:24

    Barefoot Gen was a haunting and emotionally powerful book that helped to solidify the events that were happening in Japan before the atomic bomb was dropped, along with the day of. It showed the true suffering of many of the people caused by the corruption in the government, the disgusting effects of the government's propaganda upon the people, and the abominable acts that were performed by both the Japanese and Allied armies. The art style was iconic, and was somewhat cartoonish to me, but it only enhanced some of the terrible things that are portrayed within this book. I would absolutely recommend this book to those who can take the horrible events that really occurred during World War II.The book follows the story of Gen Nakaoka and his family, as they struggle to survive the war that Gen's father believes that Japan will lose. It also goes into the shame, humiliation, and struggles they are forced to suffer because of this belief, with Gen's father telling them to be kind and not hate the Americans and British who are attacking them.The setting is absolutely fitting for the story, as it is the entire basis for the story. The setting of late World War II is the only way to portray the plot, given that it is to inform the reader of things that were actually happening during this time period. The setting enhances the primary conflict of the story, as it is about a family trying to survive through the war while also not giving up on what they believe in. While the story does not exactly have a satisfying resolution, it is only the first in a series of books, so perhaps it will come later on.

  • Esther Meneses
    2019-01-26 05:30