Jiro Taniguchi, the mangaka France honoured as a knight, passed away this month at the age of 69. But to ensure his art lives on, the French publisher Rue de Sèvres will publish a posthumous creation. Taniguchi had been working on a project called La Forêt Millénaire (The Millennium Forest) before his death. It was intended specifically for Rue de Sèvres, and planned for simultaneous release in France and Japan, but its release despite his passing was recently confirmed by Anime News Network.
A story of “transmission/handover”, which now seems even more poignant, La Forêt Millénaire centres on a boy and his grandfather. It was supposed to be a three-volume series, but Taniguchi only managed to complete the first volume before he died. Rue de Sèvres have reconsidered the release of the unfinished project, and will publish it this fall with “bonuses” such as other Taniguchi drawings.
We’re glad that Taniguchi’s fans, at least in France and Japan, will still be able to enjoy his last work of art. It seems the best way to honour this artist of ordinary lives, who portrayed their beauty throughout his own life in treasured works like The Times of Botchan.