夏と花火と私の死体 ~ Summer, Fireworks and My Corpse

It is a lush and beautiful summer in a secluded village, somewhere in the Japanese mountains. It’s a time of nostalgia, of summer festivals, fireworks and friends. This is the time when the main character of Otsuichi’s short story dies.
Her two best friends are crushed about her death, which they blame on themselves and try their best to hide that fact from the adults of the village. It becomes a thrilling race against the odds of being found out and being punished beyond what a child should experience. All that time the story is narrated by the spirit of the main character, hovering around her friends, hoping they succeed in breaking free from that terrible fate.
The bottomless gorge on the outskirts of the village might be their only hope, but little do they know that they are playing right into the hands of a much bigger menace which is haunting the mountains.

It is an interesting mix between mystery thriller and horror by author Otsuichi, who became most famous for his thriller GOTH which was also adapted into a manga and a movie. Like most of his stories this one also deals with people who exist outside of normal society and have to hide their otherness. All the while they are seeking for help and salvation only to be cast into an even greater abyss during the stories run.

While this might sound mighty big, most of the time the plot is rather trivial and it is more about the one factor that is creating such a big rift between everyday life and horror. In this case it is the act of two children, desperately trying to hide a crime they think they have commited. As a characterstudy it is nice, but in the end it shares the problem with many other shortstories, that you keep asking for more but there is not that much.
I would really like to read a longer story by him, because many passages seemed to hint at a greater picture in his mind that he did not have time (or interest) to draw. Pointless driveling on too many details might drive me equally mad, but it’s at least satisfying when there is some meat to the plot-structure. In the end the story appears to be a little underdeveloped in certain parts and tends to ponder on some others for too long, so I can’t really recommend this story unless you’re a real Otsuichi Fan who has to read everything by him.

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~ by seizonsha on 2010/12/16.

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