The Box Man follows its protagonists along a scooter trip through a complex landscape that oscillates between a dense city, a countryside simplified to near abstraction, and hybrids of the two; the theme of hybridity permeates throughout. One is unsurprised to encounter a creature that is half elderly man, half crab or a flying frog in this world where our guide apparent is an anthropomorphic, mollusk-like cat. Sakabashira weaves this absurdist tale in a seamless tapestry constructed of elements as seemingly disparate as Japanese folklore, pop culture, and surrealism. Within these panels, it becomes difficult to distinguish between the animate and the inanimate, the real and the imagined, a tension that adds a layer of complexity to this near-wordless psychedelic travelogue.
Imiri Sakabashira (real name Mochizuki Katsuhiro) was born in Shizuoka, Japan in 1964, the same year that Garo, the influential manga anthology in which he would first be published, was founded.