One Shot Review: Just Listen to the Song (フツーに聞いてくれ) written by Tatsuki Fujimoto and illustrated by Oto Toda

I've fallen behind on my writing and my reading, so I'm about a month late coming in coming to Just Listen to the Song (Japanese, Futsuu ni Kiitekure, lit. "Listen to Me Normally") written by Chainsaw Man manga-ka Tatsuki Fujimoto and illustrated by Oto Toda. Toda is a former assistant of Fujimoto's who recently released a critically acclaimed short story collection called "To Strip the Flesh" in English.

Coming in at only 20-pages, Listen to the Song is on the shorter end of one-shots, but it is no less impactful. It tells the story of a boy who confesses his love to his classmate by way of uploading a song he wrote for her to an online video sharing site. In an act of teenage cruelty, the girl then shares the video with everyone at their school, in addition to rejecting him.

Before the boy can delete the video, it explodes in popularity. People begin reading all sorts of messages into the video that the boy never intended. Eventually, the video becomes an international sensation. Even the president of the United States comments on it. 

Listen to the Song is a tongue-in-cheek stab at our human obsession with reading way to much into things that were not intended to be that deep. I found the gun culture scene particularly amusing knowing that it came from the author of Chainsaw Man. I couldn't help but wonder if maybe he'd heard our podcast and was trying to tell us that sometimes a Gun Devil is just a Gun Devil. 

In all seriousness though, I'd recommend this one-shot to anyone who is a fan of comics. Especially if that person already subscribes to the Shonen Jump app. The writing and art are very tight. Not a panel is wasted. That is not a compliment that I often pay manga. It honestly made me smile. I look forward to checking out Toda's other work, and I promise to stop sleeping on Fujimoto's one-shots.

P.S., A Brief Rant About Viz's Website

Before I go, I want to point out something I find incredibly annoying and disrespectful about the web design. 

Would it kill them to list the author and artist names, like, anywhere on the website? Especially for relatively new artists like Toda. Should I have to google a 2nd work just to find out who the illustrator of the comic I'm reading on the official website is? Do better, Viz.


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