Raven is reviewing Truancy by Isamu Fukui this week. Here is the official blurb:
In an alternate world, in a nameless totalitarian city, the autocratic Mayor rules the school system with an iron fist, with the help of his Educators. Fighting against the Mayor and his repressive Educators is a group of former students called the Truancy, whose goal is to take down the system by any means possible—at any cost.I'm only about three or four chapters into Truancy, by Isamu Fukui, but I can already see why this book has the potential to become a cult classic among young people, especially high school students. In a city run by oppressive Educators, students struggle to keep their heads above water while dealing with teachers whose primary goal is to trample them down. It reminds me of my own schooldays!
Against this backdrop, fifteen-year-old Tack is just trying to survive. His days are filled with sadistic teachers, unrelenting schoolwork, and indifferent parents. Things start to look up when he meets Umasi, a mysterious boy who runs a lemonade stand in an uninhabited district.
Then someone close to Tack gets killed in the crossfire between the Educators and the Truants, and Tack swears vengeance. To achieve his purpose, he abandons his old life and joins the Truancy. There, he confronts Zyid, an enigmatic leader with his own plans for Tack. But Tack soon finds himself torn between his desire for vengeance and his growing sympathy for the Truants….
Actually, I'm not joking. The book has the ring of truth. Of course, the situation in the book is exaggerated, but it feels very real. Anyone who's had bad experiences in school will be able to relate to this story. I'm sure it helps that it was written by someone in the educational system (Fukui is in high school). I'm just wondering whether his teachers have blacklisted him.
Fukui has stated that part of his goal in writing this book was to show that violence isn't the answer. Well, currently some of the characters are pretty convinced that violence is the answer, so I'm interested to see how Fukui twists the story and proves them wrong. Initially the book seems as if it could be a standard "rebels fighting oppressor" story set in an education-centered world (the rebels are young people appropriately known as the Truancy), but I don't think it's going to be standard. We'll see.