Monkey Man

Monkey Man

by Takuji Ichikawa

Translated by Lisa and Daniel Lilley
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A world on the brink of disaster where children with new attitudes are awakening – some with strange new abilities. In Monkey Man, Takuji Ichikawa, one of Japan’s most imaginative, bestselling and unusual authors, pointedly challenges readers to consider how we can change the inevitable course of history and save the human race from itself.

Yuri, a 17-year-old girl, is starting in a new high school where she hopes to re-commence a normal student life. But when she witnesses an unusual classmate, Tengo, get struck by a car and walk away unscathed, she decides to reveal her secrets.

What makes Yuri special has, however, not gone unnoticed by The Complex, a shadowy organisation that has been hunting her and will not stop until they discover the source of her powers. She will need the help of Tengo and his gifted misfit friends to escape The Complex’s control and help realise the destiny of generation Alpha.

In Monkey Man, translated by Lisa and Daniel Lilley, Ichikawa creates a page-turning story about the children of tomorrow who will be called on to heal the world from spiritual and environmental decay.


‘A well-paced speculative thriller set in a not unrecognisable future, great characters and well thought out premise makes this a really enjoyable…Now looking forward to getting more books in this series and reading more by Takuji Ichikawa.’

Big Bearded Bookseller

‘fantasy tale…grounded in contemporary concerns about environmental degradation, excessive corporate power and alienated youth…a writer who clearly understands the zeitgeist.’

Japan Forward

‘Takuji Ichikawa’s world isn’t the future: the dystopia is now… a story about fighting for what’s worth protecting… Monkey Man has something classic YA dystopian novels like Feed or The Hunger Games don’t: hope.’

Asian Review of Books

‘In under 80 pages, this short story manages to create an entire world in so very few pages. With such a uniquely beautiful writing style, this story blends a world of science with poetry and philosophy to create something stunning.’

B.S. Casey

‘As modern fairy tale, Monkey Man is a solid work of fiction, with Ichikawa presenting a good little story.’

The Complete Review

‘pulses with energy and positivity, and we need more, much more of that in the world… a gripping mix of the fantastical and the everyday’

Metropolis Japan

‘a short but exciting read, with the young people up against powerful forces… Works like this, as well as being good reads, are vital in reminding us to try to take back control of our lives every day – if we all did that…’

Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings

‘The power of his storytelling is due to the candour of the feelings expressed. As if, confusing reality, somewhat magically, is what makes literature compelling giving it the power to delight and please.’

Le Monde

Monkey Man offers us a glimmer of hope in a very dark dystopian world.’

Alex Pearl, author of Sleeping with the Blackbirds and The Chair Man

‘I felt it in my heart, and it shook my soul.’

Kiyoshi Kodama, actor and former presenter of a popular Japanese television book review programme, commenting on Be With You

‘Reading this sent me into a trance. I discovered what love really is from this book.’

Ryoko Hirosue, Japanese actress best known outside Japan for her roles in Departures and Wasabi, commenting on Love’s Photographs

  • Takuji Ichikawa
    About Takuji Ichikawa:
    Takuji Ichikawa is an author who ignores traditional boundaries, and is impossible to pigeonhole; whose positive fantastical narratives touch the soul through storytelling that not only 'transforms and heals', but also sells in the millions.

    A full list of the author's publications can be downloaded here as a PDF file.