Since I read this one-shot, his title, “Hanshin”, keeps appearing in my mind. I heard some readers of this short saying: “The title is a bit strange... This may be a metaphor, but it may mislead certain readers”. It’s true, the japanese word “Hanshin” (半神) means demigod/half-god in english and its definition is: ”The term demigod is commonly used to describe mythological figures whose one parent was a god and whose other parent was human; as such, demigods are half human, half gods”, Hanshin isn’t supernatural nor tell us about a demigod tale. However, I do have my own personal interpretation: Our twins Yudy and
Yucy are the personification of one demigod. Yucy is compared to a angel in the highest state of pure, becoming the half-god part. Yudy, ugly, ambitious and naturally capable of wishing bad things or having mixed feelings is the human part. That way, these two contrasting girls attached at the hip are a exposed semigod with the human's and god's parts separated in each one, where Yudy is the perfect beautiful angel and Yucy the ugly face of a human.
Story: Have you ever heard the phrase: "Love and hate go hand in hand"? That's what Hanshin is about, it tells us how a person can love and hate another at the same time. Connected twins, you become a shadow when you have such a perfect sister. She's pretty and pure, on the other hand you're ugly because she uses your nutrients to survive and you even have to take care of her. Doesn't that make you angry? Does she deserve to live? I don't deserve to live? "Where does one girl begin and the other end?" She was a part of me? What am I now? Quoting a The Hives song, "You became what you hate or you hate what you become?".
Art: Published in the 80s, the art style is the classic old school shoujo. The eyes and hair shine to create an angelic face, the facial expressions are more dramatic and, classified as psychological, some panels are based on character's close-up looks while showing their thoughts. One thing I admire in this style is how the secondary characters react in the story, some of them are really rude with the main character (same goes to Iguana no Musume, how the mother says hurtful things to the daughter) and they are always smiling despite their own words. When I’m reading a 80s manga, I never trust a character, since they always are more deep or have dirty personalities, I love how a truly happy face can be a mask hiding a demon's face (Gilbert from Kaze to Ki No Uta is a good example) and old school art style is the best at hiding it with those pure eyes.
Overall: Judging the time, the number of pages and the author's talent, I must say: This is a masterpiece. There are just a few one-shots I truly like out there and even less with creepy, but at the same time interesting stories. In a provoking way, Hanshin tell us about life and how you can turn into another person, a reflex (in this case, a real "clone") of your own secret desires.
Quote: "I loved you more profoundly than love. I hated you deeply than I could bear."
15 solid pages of psychological brilliance. Short, provoking and sophisticated.
This story is basically about a case of conjoined twins, but unlike the normal kind where both grow healthily, this manga gives us a cold hard stare on looks vs ability. Discrimination ensues, but eventually a twist occurs and an interesting ending happens.
Art was alright, this doesn't seem like Japanese art, rather it's nearer to western.
Well, since this manga is so short, read it yourself :D. The first 9 pages are a gallery of the mangaka.
P.S.: A slight complaint about the manga's title. Demi-god is a bit strange... well this may be a metaphor but it
may mislead certain readers. This manga is definitely not a supernatural, fantasy or sci-fi one. It's very close to human nature.
Edit: Changed score from 9 to 8. Realised that it's a bit too short to be a complete brilliant story.
Since I am part of a twin myself, this spoke to me very deeply. Even though my sister and I aren't connected physically, we have always been together when we were little and I can relate to the shadow that fell over Judy while taking care of Jucy.
This story is amazing in art style, story line and honesty. The story is short, but captures one's attention immediately for Judy's struggles are portrayed straight from the beginning which sucks you into the story and makes you sympathize. Truly a story worth one's time, even if it only took me 10 minutes to finish it still lingers
in my mind.