Shonen Jump's new manga mystery delves into the Rashomon Effect
A new Shonen Jump manga is using Rashomon's famous storytelling style to tell a story against an unreliable narrator.
Warning: Contains SPOILERS for The Ichinose Family's Deadly Sins #1
In an unexpected storyline for the new comic, Shonen Jump's The Inchinose Family's Deadly Sins eschews the usual soft series introduction and jumps straight into a giant Rashamon-esque mystery where readers are asked to make their way through several different but equally believable statements Come to understand the truth, without knowing which statement to believe. It's an interesting tweak to the manga's debut model, and bodes well for the title's longevity.
The death crime of the Ichinose family of Taishan 5 begins with a huge mystery. Three generations of the Ichinose family were enjoying a family vacation trip when a car accident caused the car to flip over and fall into the surrounding forest. The whole family suffered minor injuries, but all ended up with amnesia. Initially, they try to jog memories by making up stories about events they think they may have witnessed. While this approach develops a deep shared history; it ultimately fails to help their memory. They thought they were a family and left the hospital, only to find that their relationship was much more sinister when they returned "home" and the car accident was the culprit The culmination of any crime they committed.
The beauty of the story is that the real or imagined memories of the six members of the Ichinose family, the different stories they tell, and the conclusions they draw may all be true. Without any other external evidence of what really happened, and with no knowledge of the family dynamics, readers have no way of determining why the accident happened, even if each member believed their account to be true. This phenomenon is known as the Rashomon effect, and it's based on Akira Kurosawa's 1950 film "Rashomon." In the film, several witnesses testify about the recent murder of a samurai and the attack on his wife. Testimony was wildly varied, leading judges and viewers to question how justice can be established when truth cannot be ascertained.
Which Ichinose Family Member Is Telling The Truth?
Ichinose's use of the Rashomon Effect works because it adheres to the fundamentals of the phenomenon. First, there are multiple layers of conflict. The overall view of the Ichinose family, the relationship between members, the cause of the accident, etc., the momentary conflicts caused the family to lose their memories. Second, there are multiple An unreliable narrator whose stories cannot be fully trusted. Every member of the manga's main cast has had a plausible story so far, but readers are left to judge for themselves which one, if any, is true. Finally, there is the ambiguity of the story itself. Right now, readers aren't sure who they should believe in and support, and who they should oppose. While the writers lead readers to believe in Tsubasa, since his background and motivations are unclear, he could be the real villain.
All in all, the use of the Rashomon effect in The Ichinose Family's Great Crime is an excellent creative choice by the author Tarzan 5, and also in line with the author's preference for dark and tragic stories. It creates the tension, interest, and engagement that make up a great story without relying on the traditional debut comic tropes that might initially hold readers interested, but often enough to exempt the title from Shonen Jump's strict standards. Readers can only hope that the death penalty of the Ichinose family stays in Shonen Jump.
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