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Thomas no Shinzou  
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The setting: A boys’ boarding school in Germany, sometime in the latter 20th Century. Fourteen year-old Thomas Werner falls from a lonely pedestrian overpass to his death immediately after sending a single, brief letter to a schoolmate:

To Juli, one last time
This is my love
This is the sound of my heart
Surely you must understand


Related Series
11-gatsu no Gymnasium (Alternate Story)
Houmonsha (Prequel)

Associated Names
天使心 (HAGIO Moto)
Heart of Thomas
Le cœur de Thomas (French)
Mitsukuni no Musume
The Heart of Thomas
Thoma no Shinzou
Thomas no Shinzō
Thomas' Heart
Touma no Shinzou

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.3 c.By the Lake by ? (1824d ago)
v.3 c.Part 7 (end) by ? (1824d ago)
v.3 c.Part 6 by ? (1865d ago)
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
3 Volumes (Tankoubon - Complete)
2 Volumes (Moto Hagio Perfect Selection - Complete)
1 Volume (Hardcover edition - Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 8.5 / 10.0 (118 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.13 / 10.0
 42% (50 votes)
 18% (21 votes)
 17% (20 votes)
 8% (9 votes)
 6% (7 votes)
 3% (4 votes)
 2% (2 votes)
 2% (2 votes)
 1% (1 votes)
 2% (2 votes)

Last Updated
November 23rd 2014, 11:53am PST

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Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Sho-Comi (Shougakukan)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Fantagraphics (1 Omnibus - Complete)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #966 increased(+254)
Monthly Pos #2244 increased(+103)
3 Month Pos #2906 increased(+207)
6 Month Pos #3426 increased(+99)

List Stats
On 107 reading lists
On 258 wish lists
On 262 completed lists
On 15 unfinished lists
On 174 custom lists

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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Love it   
Rating: N/A
by Tenko72
October 30th, 2013, 9:08pm
I thoroughly enjoyed this manga. I actually liked all the biblical and literary references it made. I also liked how it wasn't "naughty" like pretty much all the recent manga I can find with gay characters are.

What I disliked was how the boys behaved. I've never met any boys -- heck, any human beings, actually -- that act quite like the people in this manga do. It made them incredibly hard to relate to. Also, the setting is really unusual. It's set in a Catholic school, so I'd expect someone to care that boys were acting "gay", but no one does. That's not realistic at all. I'm not sure how to feel about it, though. On the one hand, yes, it does make it seem less lifelike and if the manga's goal was to show how life can be, it failed. On the other, it's actually nice to read about a world where people can love eachother and not be judged for it.

Also, this is just a pet peeve, but the protagonist has an unusual name and we never get to learn how it's pronounced. In desperation, I looked his name up on Google... But all I got were people with the same question I did! How do I pronounce Juli's full name? Apparently, I'll never know.
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Well-written and perceptive...   
Rating: 6.8 / 10.0
by calstine
February 15th, 2011, 2:08am
...but I hesitate to call it a masterpiece. However, this is simply a personal bias of mine, since I could never bring myself to understand or appreciate angst-filled coming-of-age stories; perhaps due my own teenage years being quite peaceful and blissfully free of melodrama.

The best thing about Thomas no Shinzou is the chaste and pure quality of the boys' love towards each other. As time goes by, it is becoming difficult, if not impossible, for a reader of softcore BL such as myself to find a manga that satisfies her. The shounen-ai of today tread so close to yaoi territory that is makes me extremely squeamish. Being the very first manga of its genre, this story is as platonic as you could possibly hope for.

Another wonderful thing is the conclusion, which I liked very much due to its down-to-earth quality. It lacks the contrived 'perfect happy ending' that modern-day BL mangaka cannot bring themselves to avoid.

Still, I disagree that the characters are realistic. Perhaps my 20 years have not been sufficient to give me the experience necessary for making a proper judgment, but I find it highly doubtful that anyone would react to the death of their love interest the way Juli did. I also find Eric's behaviour difficult to understand - though it is slightly more believable than Juli's. Maybe the students of a Catholic all-boys school from the 19th or early 20th century would have behaved in this fashion, but I don't think that very likely.
In my eyes, Oscar was the shining light of this manga. He has a personality that is at times cold and cruel, at others, kind and caring. His relationship with both Juli and Eric was touching and believable; his unrequited feelings for Juli did not ruin his character in the slightest. It would have been wonderful if he had received more attention instead of forever being in the position of supporting character.

Since I am neither Christian nor Catholic, I also found it difficult to comprehend - or even notice - the Biblical references being made. I feel that this may have diminished my enjoyment a great deal, and it must have been the same for Hagio Moto's readers in Japan.

Thomas no Shinzou is skilfully-written, untainted by the annoying sexual tension that dominates the shounen-ai manga of today, and ends on a far more realistic note than most other manga I've read. If you are a fan of the classics and can bring yourself to accept that teenage boys (of any era) are capable of the kind of sensitivity and pure-heartedness generally associated with the young heroes of olden-day fairy tales, this manga is a must-read.

... Last updated on March 3rd, 2011, 12:27pm
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Truly beautiful   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by akari_mizunashi
February 12th, 2011, 10:23pm
Thomas no Shinzou was, by any record anyone can find, the first shounen-ai serial manga. Every BL ever published grew out of its legacy. But what a world of difference there is between this fiercely emotional work and the yaoi readers know today.

What really strikes me about Thomas no Shinzou is how literary it is, in a very European sense of the word. There are allusions to Goethe and Hesse and Rilke and the Bible. It's hard to imagine that Hagio's audience of Japanese teenage girls understood most of the references, but they really elevate the piece. Not that the piece needs the allusions to be literary - not at all. It's its elegance and psychological depth and, ultimately, Hagio's talent that raises this series to a level most novelists can only wish for.
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maybe I'm the odd one out, but...   
Rating: 3.0 / 10.0
by lilliful
February 10th, 2011, 12:15pm
I didn't appreciate this manga at all. I'm an avid reader of both shounen-ai and yaoi, but to me, this manga was unusually religious. The story really isn't about love so much as about the agony of perceived damnation and possible salvation. The main character Juli has a traumatic event in his past that he can't get over which we know was related to physical abuse from early on in the manga, but apparently that wasn't the issue at all -- the issue is that he feels he is damned and can't believe in god anymore. So, this manga is really about how love (I'm not sure if anything in this manga was romantic love rather than platonic love) can restore faith in god. Personally, I just felt like the ending was a let-down, and preachy. If you're into a seriously religious work (as opposed to something like Vassalord, which is standard religious crack) then I think you'll like this. If you find religion lulzy, you probably won't be able to take this manga seriously.
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Shounen-ai at its very finest   
Rating: N/A
by beloved828
December 19th, 2009, 6:34pm
"Heart of Thomas" is believed by many to be the first shounen-ai manga, and while that may or may not be true, it certainly is the finest example of shounen-ai that I've ever found. The art may be stylized and some may say dated, but it's lovely and it fits with the ethereal and timeless nature of the story. The story embodies the idea of a love strong enough to cause pain, a love that's common to those on the verge of adulthood. It also deals with the sense of self, and how painful it can be to come to terms with who we are. I absolutely love this manga, and I'm extremely grateful to the anonymous scanlation team responsible for bringing it to the English-reading community. It would be incredible to see this story licensed so that I could own it in my own language.

... Last updated on December 19th, 2009, 6:35pm
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