Opus – Satoshi Kon Manga Book Review

Posted By yonghow on July 6th, 2013

“Opus” was an ongoing manga by the late Satoshi Kon that was then released in the bi-monthly comic magazine “Comic Guys” from the period of 1995-1996. The magazine was eventually discontinued, and the comic was never completed – almost like a sad reflection of the director’s life.

In a nutshell, Opus’s story revolves around a manga artist that is literally sucked into the world and characters of the very comic he was drawing. This is hardly surprising at all considering Kon Satoshi’s recurring theme of the dream world and its fragile connection to reality.

Published in early 2011, this 2 volume collection of Opus houses all the material previously seen in “Comic Guys”, as well as some unpublished work. The last ten pages or so of volume 2 consists of rough, uncompleted panels by the director.

Style-wise, Kon Satoshi’s art work bears an unmistakable resemblance to Otomo Katsuhiro’s, and that’s simply because he was a former student of Otomo’s. The look of Kon’s female characters are pretty distinctive though, as immortalized by Mima from Perfect Blue.

Given that so little of Satoshi Kon’s art work has been made available in print (also check out his Millenium Actress Art book), this is a pretty rare treat. Highly recommended.

“Opus Volume 1 – Kon Satoshi” manga details :

- Dimensions – 8.2 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
- Softcover, 193 pages
- B&W, in Japanese language

“Opus Volume 2 – Kon Satoshi” manga details :

- Dimensions – 8.2 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
- Softcover, 175 pages
- B&W, in Japanese language

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5 Responses to “Opus – Satoshi Kon Manga Book Review”


This is what I always feel when I come into contact with Japanese directors’ artworks, (especially those with ‘cyberpunkish’ or ‘Blade Runner-ish themes’) but they always got this tension going on in their much compacted artworks…. Rather than being pushing away, more like ‘absorbing’ the viewer into all those panoramas, so as to speak….

I wonder what Dir. Kon had in store for the unpublished works.


Yonghow – I recommend you to pick up Seraphim
This is an uncompleted comic by Kon (art) and Mamoru Oshii (story), published in the 90′s. The chapters were finally collected and published in a book sometime after Kon’s death.

For me this one contains Kon’s best comic panels.


i picked this, Seraphim, and Yume-no-Kaseki up when i was in Japan last. really good stuff, but my favorites are still his World Apartment Horror adaptation with Otomo and Kaikisen (the latter, especially).

for those who don’t read Japanese or haven’t found a scanlation (or just completest jerks like me!), Kaikisen is finally getting an English language release courtesy of Vertical Inc. under the title Tropic Of The Sea. my Japanese language copy is one of my favorite books that i own, and i remember it being hard to find back when he was living, though i don’t know if it got a rerelease back in 2011 with more of his work. i also wonder if the Vertical edition will include the wonderful backup feature, Summer Of Tension (which i might like almost more than Kaikisen itself). either way, depending on how it does, it would be great to see the rest of his work make it to US audiences.


ATOM – Thx for the link and everything…. Though I haven’t looked up any ordering methods, yet, on top of me being just a beginner in Japanese (as well as in characters)^_^

1200 Yen I’m guessing might be around $12 in US bill? ..Cause when I got the Akira Animation Archives during high school (ebay), it was like $60. lol…….


Thanks guys, I’ve seen Seraphim in bookstores before but somehow I’ve missed the Satoshi Kon connection. Will definitely check it out, as well as Kaikisen. :]

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