The lovely people over at Emerald Street have just reviewed Fumio Obata’s Just So Happens. Here’s what they had to say:
The artwork sticks to a small palette of watercolour shades and the varied panel size allows for different perspectives and a fluid change of pace within the story. The street scenes are particularly well observed, but Just So Happens is far more than an exploration of two cities and their cultures. It’s gentle and beautiful and deals well with the subtleties of grief. There are delicate emotional punches: Yumiko repeatedly checks her phone on the way to the airport, hoping for a call saying it was all a mistake. The absurdity of funeral admin is also captured, with impersonal burial catalogues and well-meaning aunts pestering about religious figures. Floating through it all is a dancer from the Japanese Noh tradition, adding an otherworldly sense of spiritual symbolism.
Just So Happens is, more than anything, a careful and humane look at relationships, people and love.
Get yourself a copy of the book here.