Writer and Artist: Keiji Nakazawa
Volume 1 ended with the bomb dropping. Volume 2 begins with Gen and his mother struggling to piece their lives back together on the most basic level. Gen's father, older sister and younger brother were all killed when their house collapsed. Gen's mother went into labor in the midst of the horrible day and there is now a baby sister who will starve if the family can't find food. In the desperate search for sustenance, Gen is confronted with horrors at every turn: skin falling off of burn victims as they wander the streets; others suffering from sudden, mysterious ailments we know in historical hindsight resulted from radiation sickness; corpses everywhere. No fictional post-apocalypse can compare.
The series is difficult reading. Cruelty is a prevalent theme in this second book, on both macro and micro levels. The devastation of nuclear war is clearly so much worse than what I can conceive of intellectually. The high quality of the work would probably be enough to keep me coming back but I also feel a responsibility as a human being to learn from the sins of history.