Kanae Minato has created a frenzied, unreliable narrative with Confessions. More than anything, it smacks of anime that I have definitely seen – the crazy plot kind of follows an anime line. What I mean by this is that though there are some aspects of the narrative that are realistic, there are too many things that are increasingly insane that could not, in any fashion, be considered real.
A middle school teacher, Yuko Moriguchi, decides to take it upon herself to figure out who has killed her four-year-old daughter. She does not believe that the apparent drowning was any kind of accident. She describes two students as the perpetrators and at the end of her holding the class hostage with this rant, tells them that she had put her boyfriend’s AIDS virus infected blood into the perpetrator’s milk. And then she leaves.
You would think that that would have been the whole book. But that is just the first chapter. The scale gets more and more tremendous in the aftermath, where kids are bullied, more killings occur and a bomb is detonated. It has produced a lot of head-shaking from this gaijin. The fact that no one in this novel has decided to go to the police baffles me. Moriguchi says at the beginning that most killers of the middle school age are not properly dealt with – their names are not mentioned and often their crime is not dealt with accordingly. Thus, she decides to take revenge herself.
All of the characters in this are reprehensible in some way. There really isn’t anyone in this novel that is appealing or I feel as if they are justified in their actions. At first, one might think that Moriguchi is justified in exacting her revenge but it just seems rather insane. Infecting their milk with the AIDS virus? Seriously? Wow. I think it would have been better if she just pointed them out and said how horrible they are and sicked the class on them. But I suppose we need the kids themselves to feel uncomfortable with their bodies – more than any kind of bullying could do. But I just cannot see how this is at all not punishable.
I’ll say that it stays with you for a while. Definitely hope that I do not encounter any students like these. I also thank goodness that I do not have to be there for my students as much as teachers are expected to be here. Incredible.