225

The latest addition to my website is Chiya Fujino‘s ルート225 [Route 225]. This tells the story of a teenage girl, Eriko Tanaka, and her brother, Daigo. One day, Daigo is late back from school and their mother is worried, as he had been previously arrested for stealing a bicycle. She sends Eriko to look for him and, to her surprise, she finds him in a children’s playground. They set off for home but the route home seems to have changed. When the main road they have to cross turns out to be a river, they get very worried. They get even more worried when they bump into a girl Daigo’s age, with whom Daigo was at school. Daigo drags Eriko away and tells her that the girl died a some while ago of pneumonia. They do eventually get home but their parents are not there and do not reappear the next day. However, when Daigo phones them from his school, the mother replies and urges him to come home. There are other minor changes, in addition to the dead girl (who seems to be very alive and attending the same school as Eriko). They try and recreate what they did and try to find a reason for the changes but nothing seems to work. Fujino tells a very good story which, though quasi-sci-fi, is certainly not real sci-fi, with time warps and black holes and the like. Indeed, the brother-sister relationship seems as much part of the story as the changes in reality. Sadly, neither this book nor any other of Fujino’s books has been translated into English.