From reading the title, you would think My Pointless Struggle is a depressing novel about the futility of life. Instead, the writer is like a manga hero staring down a nihilistic villain and screaming, “Who the hell do you think I am!?” Funny, heartwarming, and inspiring, Yohei Kitazato's life-long adventure to find true freedom lit a fire in my soul.
My Pointless Struggle is Yohei Kitazato’s autobiography that chronicles his life from elementary school to present day. Every chapter is a new era in Kitazato's life, and what a life he’s lived. From taking the lead role of “Naked King” too literally as a kid to challenging a boxing world champion as an adult, Kitazato never backs down from a challenge. He’s lived in Chile, founded his own publishing company, and traveled the world. It’s a life most people dream about, and this book shows how he made it happen. Kitazato is a funny, charming guy, and that charm and comedy is all over this book. Despite having a huge ego (he’s a self-declared genius) he always has a self-deprecating joke up his sleeve to add awareness to his past actions. He’d be glad to know he does not come across as (totally) self-interested.
These crazy life experiences and humor would make for an entertaining book. What changes this book from entertaining to meaningful is the inclusion of King. King is Kitazato’s cursing, farting Jiminy Cricket. King materializes whenever Kitazato gives a defeated sigh, a signal he needs some tough love. This may seem harsh, but Kitazato promised King at a very young age to always protect his ego and to give up on giving up. Those defeated sighs mean he’s lying to himself. King is there to give Kitazato a reality check, and remind him that other people’s reality does not have to be his own. King provides many wonderful pep talks, imparting important life lessons that Kitazato needs to learn and for the reader to remember again.
This was the right book at the right time for me. Stuck between home and work for the past year and foreseeable future, it feels like my opportunity to achieve my dreams is slipping away. There are no “Everywhere Doors” that I can open and get to where I want to go. I give defeated sighs daily, my life feeling out of control. It turns out I needed King/Kitazato to smack me in the head and tell me that’s BS. King tells Kizato that you need to be the captain of your own ship. I don’t have mine yet, but Kitazato has pointed me in the right direction.
I should also point out that the book is accompanied by wonderful art by Akio Tanaka. Kitazato has always wanted to be like the heroes he’s read in manga, and these illustrations make that a reality. The illustrations show up only occasionally, but they make a strong impact.
Kitazato has led a unique life and this is literally a story only he could tell. Along his journey, he has gained great wisdom and iparts it with fun creativity. But his journey is not over. In the book, Kizato writes how some events deserve their own novels, and I say write them! If they’re all as good as this book, they’re definitely worth reading.
Throw common sense out the window and get ready to make your dreams come true! Crazy. Stupid. Conceited. Self-declared genius Yohei Kitazato managed to achieve all of his wildest dreams with an unlikely solution: being as egotistical and selfish as possible. This is a story about how one young man won it all—and all he needed was a little help from a King.
Yohei explores a legendary island in South America as middle school student, plays against the greatest Chilean soccer player, fights a pro Muay Thai fighter, and boxes a world boxing champion. He dares to do the impossible! From starting his own business to getting his first book published, nothing stands in Yohei Kitazato’s way!Add to CartLearn More