Technically, ALIVE has nothing to do with Jiraishin, but since this site has come to also be about Jiraishin's wonderful mangaka, Takahashi Tsutomu, then I had to include ALIVE here as well.
ALIVE is a one-off that Takahashi-sensei did in late 1999; it ran in Young Jump magazine, and was then compiled into one volume at the very end of the year. I've read through it several times now, and while I'm not sure I understand it entirely, I really like it. It has all the intensity that Takahashi gives to Jiraishin, the stark and beautiful drawing style he's become so good at, the unique characters, along with a wild story that he couldn't necessarily have delved into within Jiraishin's boundaries.
We follow a young man, Yashiro Tenshuu -- he was in jail for murder, but for some reason was chosen to be taken out and instead placed in some sort of scientific experiment. He shared a large room with a brutish man called Gondou; they were given many luxuries, including plenty of alcohol, yet were never let out of the room. This, coupled with the fact that the room next to them was soon occupied by a lovely young woman who made no effort to hide her body, drove them both to the edge.
It was only then that things started to become apparent; the experiment, whatever it was, started to make sense. They were developing awesome mental abilities, abilities that allowed them to imagine anything they could into a reality.
But giving that sort of amazing power to people who resent you for locking them up in the first place has never been a good idea, and the experiment soon takes a wild turn as Yashiro, Gondou, and the young woman rebel against those that made them what they were.
And Yashiro, seemingly the sanest of them all, shows us how deep his pain is, and the madness that lost him his beloved Misako and sent him to jail in the first place. For him, madness, love and life begin and end with Misako.
ALIVE is a great read, and if you like Jiraishin, I highly recommend you pick it up. The publisher is Shueisha, and the ISBN is 4-08-875840-4. To see some of the lovely artwork, please check out the ALIVE Images page.
In my next life..