Kasumi Yasuda’s Fool Night has been causing a stir since its debut in November 2020. It scooped up nominations for 2022’s Next Manga Award and last year’s “Best Comic” at the 50th Angoulême International Comics Festival. That’s without mentioning the enthusiastic fan reception. And now, it’s joined the Viz Manga app!
With several volumes already available and more being backfilled, you can get a decent start on this dystopian floral fable. And here’s why you absolutely should:
Horriffically Beautiful Art
Fool Night takes place in a future bereft of daylight. Without sunlight, there are no plants; without plants, there’s no oxygen. To curtail this, people at the end of their lives can volunteer to become “Soulflora.” By having a parasitic plant surgically implanted, the patient can live another two years—over the course of which they will begin to become one of these plants.
While longtime Soulflora are indistinguishable from other plants, newer ones are relatively grotesque. Throughout the manga, you’ll see patients at all stages of the process. It’s grisly, gory, and strangely beautiful—especially when you realize that Soulflora are still conscious and still attempting to talk, but can’t be understood.
A (Sadly) Relatable Story
So, other than an extra two years of life and a desire to keep humanity alive, what would make someone commit to a living hell as a sentient plant? Three words: ten million yen.
Fool Night introduces us to its protagonist, Toshiro Kamiya, in the midst of a life-changing decision. His below-minimum-wage factory job won’t cover his mother’s medication. And without it, she becomes violent. And his attempts to save money for higher education (and a better job) have ended poorly. It’s an unpleasantly relatable situation, and one that leads Kamiya to seek out a floral metamorphosis despite still being healthy. Against all odds and protocols, he’s granted it. But as his two-year clock starts ticking down, something unusual happens: he becomes able to understand the language of Soulflora.
Thus, Fool Night is the story of Kamiya working through the last years of his life as a government employee. Using and honing his newfound ability, he helps people find their loved ones in their Soulflora form. What starts as sensing the feelings of plants around him becomes the ability to converse at length… and in some cases, provide closure.
One thing we learn early on in the manga is that not everyone is hunting for their loved ones for sentimental reasons. Kamiya’s very first case sees him helping a pianist track down her abusive father for revenge. In this dystopian world, many of the dead go on living. And what that means for the ones they leave behind is more complicated than anyone accounted for.
Dive into the dark story of Fool’s Night now on the Viz website!