358; 12022 H.E.
I just finished the two volumes of Ryuko by Eldo Yoshimizu. Before going in-depth into why this might be one of my all-time favorite crime fiction stories (and stylish mangas), I have to say,
It is violently brilliant.
A confession must be made — I have never heard of Ryuko or Eldo Yoshimizu before. Knowing that I adore Kill Bill, my close friend saw the Ryuko collection at Barnes & Noble and recommended it. Now, I feel like I have been missing out on scratching the itch that had me bothered for years.
On the surface, Ryuko is a Japanese crime epic, full of international intrigue, complex relationships, and an explosion of what I consider to be one of the most unique and soul-trembling art styles I have had the pleasure of witnessing. As a comment says on the back of the book,
“Ryuko is a raw blast of babes, bullets, and blood!”
— SYFY WIRE
What I adore, Ryuko is all that and much more. From my reading it, I picked up a solid story of a mother-father-daughter relationship, the Cardinal Sin of father killing, and an exploration of morality between them.
Throughout the read, Mr. Yoshimizu masterfully switches between fast and wild scenes; every page is a mini-work of art to serene moments where the world seems to have stopped. Still, I want every frame and page drawn in full scale on a wall somewhere in my apartment.
Here are some pages retrieved from Eldo Yoshimizu’s official Twitter,
I do not know what it is about the style and class, but whenever I go and re-read the pages, I feel as if my brain is being hacked in real time. The composure of all the elements, combined with the story of complicated betrayal and forgiveness, cast a spell. They put me in a trance, where I am lost in the world of Ryuko.
One of the critical advantages that Mr. Yoshimizu employed is how the plot stays unapologetically no-nonsense from beginning till the end. None of the characters, plotlines, twists, and knobs overstay their welcome. On the contrary, I want more, yet I immediately realize I need to restrain myself for my own good.
Some works leave you empty, and some leave you frustrated, hungry, or feeling like you took a dive into a dumpster. However, this one — Ryuko leaves a sweet yet pleasantly bitter aftertaste. It is a sign that it was clean and knew what it was, what it had to be; finally, most of all — it did exactly that. Anton Chekhov famously said,
“Brevity is the sister of talent.”
Going off of that, I do not wish to overstay my welcome either or mull over the same thoughts repeatedly. If any of the above intrigues you, go and find Ryuko in your local bookstores or grab the whole boxed set (all two volumes) at Barnes & Noble. Here is the bundle they can get you (with cards!)
Absolutely go and check out Eldo Yoshimizu’s website and his YouTube channel. Speaking of his YouTube channel, he uploaded an animated, jazzy soundtrack accompanied video (what I think is a trailer) with excerpts from Ryuko. I will link the video below with some extra art pieces taken from Mr. Yoshimizu’s website and Twitter.
Eldo Yoshimizu reserves all rights, so please go to his platforms for more.
Update: Mr. Yoshimizu read this review and commented on it!
Merry Christmas! 🎄❤️