A review by lostcupofstars
The Last Children of Tokyo by Yōko Tawada

sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


This book was soooo unsatisfying. It felt like the middle section of a novel; there wasn’t enough groundwork laid to really understand what was going on and the ending felt like the turning point you’d usually get when you’re 75% done with a book. 

There were likeable characters, but their voices were drowned out by the heavy nothingness of the text surrounding them. It honestly felt like nothing happened for 85% of this book. There are no chapters and very few breaks in the text which somehow made 138 pages feel a lot closer to 300.

The shift from Yoshiro to Mumei to his teacher was also not something I appreciated because it came far too late and it felt like it had no purpose other than maybe to quell some boredom while writing. Without giving any spoilers, there was an event about 15 pages before the end that opened up a chasm of questions that weren’t just left unanswered but also seemed to just be ignored. The concept was there and I’m a big fan of magical realism, but nothing was explored enough for this to be a book that I’ll think about again.