I am Shingo: summary and presentation of the work of Kazuo Umezu

I am Shingo: summary and presentation of the work of Kazuo Umezu
I am Shingo (Watashi wa Shingo) is one of the most famous comic series of the horror mangaka Kazuo Umezu, known amicably as Kazuo Umezz. He is one of the most important authors of both the genre and the entire current editorial era. Thanks to works such as Orochi and Aula adrift, but also Io Sono Shingo himself, he acted as a school and forerunner for many works of the horror genre and of the Science Fiction genre.

In 2018 the manga won the illustrious prize to the patrimony assigned by the Festival international de la banda dessinée d'Angoulême, becoming to all intents and purposes the world heritage of comics.

Read also: I am Shingo, the review of the first volume!

Io Sono Shingo: main features of the work and the author

The aforementioned series that began in 1982 and ended in 1986, in reality, is not really horror, but one of the few works of Umezu belonging to the Science Fiction genre. Io Sono Shingo then arrives in Italy thanks to Edizioni Star Comics which, after having seen a great growth in the popularity of mangaka in our country, thanks to its particular media representation in the Eastern world and its being incredibly bizarre and eccentric, has thought well of publish one of his most important and famous works.

Umezu has always been famous for using a unique and inimitable stylistic trait, characterized by the incredible exaltation of human expression. If this was initially only a fundamental feature of the horror genre, in I Am Shingo it is within a more real and everyday setting. More intimate topics such as love and melancholy are treated, but it is done through the growth and development of a latest generation work robot.

The robot, curiosity, and love

The robot is the central focus of a story set in 1982, starring Satoru , a cute and clumsy student in the elementary school. It's basically a kid as rebellious and eccentric (a kind of representation in the allegorical key of the author Kazuo Umezu) with a great passion for technology and anything that is even vaguely futuristic. One day the boy's life is completely changed when the factory where he worked in his father arrives, suddenly, a mysterious and particular mechanical robot.

He is enraptured, especially when the observes as he performs the duties also complex, with a margin of error to practically zero. During a trip organized by the school in his father's factory, the small Satoru is also the knowledge of Marine , a girl that immediately makes inroads in the heart of the boy. The centre of their knowledge and will own the robots and the desire for knowledge, strong in both, that will allow them to grow and join in on learning the mechanics of the new instrument .

The robot (initially called Monroe, and then Shingo), since the first few volumes, as if to represent the narrator of the story . Explains how he manages to learn the reality that surrounds him, through the meeting of Satoru and Marine which, in turn, seek to strengthen their knowledge due to the common interest that is present inside the factory. Their strong curiosity, enhanced by the classical feel of the butterflies in the stomach date from the first crush, gives birth to new sentiments, new ways of communicating among themselves and with the unknown technology.

the importance of The family in modern society

there are, however, problems and obstacles imposed by their families . This is another major theme of I Am Shingo because the family is the centrality of the life of two boys who, day after day, they move to the suburbs, giving priority to other interests. Certainly Umezu wants to put a criticism so much on the consumer society and the capitalist, which continues to give a lot of importance to the figure of the father (in particular, that of Satoru), which, however, is portrayed as a man uncouth, and which places a great deal of interest solely to the work.

the father, with an ego disproportionate, when he sees his central figure as a parent begin to falter because of Monroe, starts to hate with all his might, the exact day in which he decided to do so to enter into his assembly line. A day that has seen the dismissal of many workers no longer needed in the workforce, and the technological optimization could be made to repeat continuously. This is also one of the many accusations and analysis on modernity conducted by the masterpiece of Kazuo Umezu.

the humanization of The robot and the robotization of human beings

In reality, what shows Umezu in his I Am Shingo is the slow, but powerful, and is currently unstoppable process put in place by globalization . The robot tries to be human, with the human trying to overcome his mental and physical limits trying to match the machine. This contrast shows itself mainly in the narrative of the work, which depicts and describes the above concept with a duality very ambiguous .

The style of the author is so precise and realistic as to seem ominous, however, is so detailed and delicate to fly the player in a flurry of feelings ranging from astonishment to anger and from sadness to happiness. The whole is even more mystified by the fact that the protagonists are essentially two children, and by the presence of a particular robot that performs the role of narrator.

The world of I Am Shingo appears almost fairy-tale, far from the wickedness and harshness of adults . In spite of everything are equally treated important topics such as the exploitation of workers, technological development, the sense of responsibility and above all love, albeit between two boys of a primary school.

Every theme, even the most raw, is argued with the greatest delicacy by the author without ever having fear of it, but at the same time, never overdo it. The reader finds himself reliving a society in constant evolution like the man-machine relationship and the relationship of love between the two young protagonists.

The work was written in 4 years and includes 10 volumes (the version brought by Edizioni Star Comics see 7). Since the first release in 1982 was considered as a milestone of the culture, tradition and mythology of the japanese . Small note: if the first volume might seem a little futuristic, it is from the second volume onwards that the story begins to follow the branch of science fiction.

The love relationship between the two boys becomes more and more strong, unexpectedly true in spite of the age and the robot, in the meantime, gaining more and more awareness of himself and also changed the name Shingo, represents the good and the bad of the lives of the young lovers. There remains, therefore, that you begin to immerse yourself within a story that will captivate you and you will page after page.

you Want to start reading I Am Shingo? Here is the purchase page Amazon of the first volume.

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