Graphic Novel Review: Mujirushi: The Sign of Dreams by Naoki Urasawa

Mujirushi: The Sign of Dreams by Naoki Urasawa. Viz, 2020. 9781974715237. 264pp.  MUJIRUSHI © 2018 Naoki URASAWA/N WOOD STUDIO

Kasumi’s dad is broke and in trouble with the Japanese tax authorities. His only assets: a bunch of masks of the face of a ridiculous American President that he made in his factory. Hopeless, he finds a message that falls from a crow’s foot and follows it to the France Enlightenment Institute. There he meets its buck-toothed, pretentious director who tells him stories and makes him an offer: in the Louvre, if he can “borrow” Vermeer’s The Lacemaker, his financial troubles will be over. Thus begins an unlikely “heist” that, by its end, involves a French firefighter and his singing granny.

This was a book originally published by Futuropolis in French as one of its Louvre Editions. (All feature the museum in some way.) I’ve read most of them that have been translated into English (I believe all of the rest were published by NBM), and though I really liked a few of the others, this is by far my favorite.

Worth noting: Viz also just published Sneeze, a collection of eight short stories by Urasawa, who is one of Japan’s most famous manga creators. If you’ve never read anything by him, these two books are great places to start. (For my money, the best story in Sneeze is the slapstick-filled tale of two mice trying to steal a piece of cake from a kitchen counter.)


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