Jumyou wo Kaitotte Moratta. Ichinen ni Tsuki, Ichimanen de. focuses on a twenty-year-old with little hope for the future. One day, he discovers a shop that buys lifespan, time, and health. This is a story dealing with the consequences of doing so.
Have you ever randomly searched for a manga by scrolling down the top manga list... Well I can tell you that you can find beautiful hidden gems like this. Currently ranked in the top 50s, at first I thought it was overrated like many others. I was wrong. Completely.
This manga is probably one of the best representations on the harsh world we live in. The expectations of people for someone to achieve certain goals. The false hope that "something good" may happen at some point. The realization of the hidden thoughts of the people around you.
Although it is relatively short, this is a very
unique manga, exploring about the value of one's life in real money. Intricately planned, this manga shows how predicting one's life's value can change greatly. The MC has lost everything, friends, money, his hobby... And by selling 30 years of his life he gets 30,000 yen, to spend for 3 months remaining in his life. He has an observer following him around to see how he spends the rest of his last days.
Usually you would expect a protagonist in a story to improve from how he/she was at the start, to learn and realize his/her mistakes. Or something along those lines. But this is different. Our protagonist has already lost all meaning in life. What he expected to be a rich, vibrant future from when he was 10 years old has turned into a complete disaster. With a boring part-time job, no close friends, no money... What does he have left to lose when he gets this chance to sell his lifetime and end it early?
"You've all been told that it's something that can't be replaced, and that it's more valuable than anything. But if a human life were given a monetary value, how much do you think it would be worth?"
This question is basically what the manga is about. It's not whether putting a value is right or not. Rather, it's about how each person would perceive this question depending on what point in your life you're in. It all depends on who you're asking. I think this is the most intriguing part of this work.
Then there is the dramatic change between the protagonist as a 10 year old and a further 10 years later. From someone who has high hopes for his future with his good grades, who looked down on people around him, to a depressed nihilistic man who has lost almost everything, his dream from 10 years ago not even achieved.
Clearly, this person has always hoped that "something good may happen" at some point in his life. Despite his good grades, his way of thinking is identical. So, why hasn't he changed, or in other words, why is his "value of life" so low? Is it really something that depends on "how happy a life it is, how it makes others happy, how many dreams are achieved, how much it contributes to society..."? Another question which is hard to answer.
I really liked the way the MC changed throughout the manga: as he achieves the goals he sets for the remaining time, he realizes that the people he thought were caring for him were either moving on or actually despised him. Then he gets to know more about his observer who seems to be in a similar situation as him. It is pretty ironic, considering that he couldn't achieve anything before he sold his lifetime.
Overall, the development is very good, perfectly paced throughout the manga and every scene has a deep meaning within.
While I read this, I felt as if you could put almost any value to life. I mean, when I first saw this idea, it wasn't detailed enough in terms of how they exactly give a value for one's life. Maybe it's just me but the shop in itself really was a very disturbing existence for me. How could you put a number just by knowing some info about a person's life? I guess that depends on how you see life, whether every moment should be cherished or only certain moments should.
I just can't say how amazing this is... And yet so few people have read it. This is beyond a masterpiece, there's a lot to take in and it really goes in to the basic meaning of life itself. Although for some people this may be boring, with a simple change to make selling life real, the author comes up with this great work. An obvious 10 out of 10.
Tales of simplicity have always pursued a universal theme, trying to evoke sentiments of genuineness and the empathy of the reader. “I sold my life for ten thousand yen per year” ultimately ends with a transparent attempt of capturing a message, but the means it uses to get to this point completely deny any sense of authenticity this might have pretended to transmit.
Youth is a complicated age. Time to make decisions, to face a myriad of risks and to move on, it usually never comes in the way one was expecting it. Overall, what mostly matters is trying. This manga introduces us to a fairly
forgettable male lead who has already surrendered. His whole characterization being made around the fact he is broke and dejected, which is depicted by a constant exhibition of supposedly depressing thoughts and platitudes.
Is in this context where this story makes an extravagant move towards novelty, by introducing a ridiculously contrived premise. What if selling your lifespan was possible? Considering this is the cornerstone of the whole work, the approach it receives is at the very least underwhelming. Instead of placing the focus on whether this is a morally correct decision or not, all the attention is set on the actual monetary value of the main character’s life. He takes it instantly even if both surprised and disappointed at the low amount he is offered (300 000 yen or a bit more than 2 000€). And thus, we are left with our boring main dude, 300K yen and 3 months left of existence.
It is also mentioned that he had two other options. To sell his time, instead of lifespan (others call it working) or his health (money to pay for your own treatment?). This latter option is obviously never mentioned again, and the former is what pushes the story forward. And that is because to make sure our protagonist doesn’t become a threat for society with his considerably shortened lifetime, he is assigned a girl who only him can see, whose mission is to make sure he behaves. And thus, we are left with our boring main dude, 300K yen, 3 months left of existence and a girl he says to hate… But not without admitting she is his type.
There is another girl to this story, sort of a childhood friend, the bonds between them are completely broken yet he fondly remembers a promise they made 10 years ago about marrying each other. As corny as this might sound, it is actually used as a source for some shock value later on, and to further isolate our character into his world of personal nihilism.
Barely anything is worth mentioning about the later revelations and events, as the plot stumbles around and only further concentrates in building the fantasy bond between our two only characters. An example could be his longevity being only worth 30 yen in reality, a fact that is assimilated without barely any concern by the characters and the story itself, since the narrative has exhaustingly established that he is worthless.
The main issue is that is truly hard to trust in a dishonest and arguably offensive failed effort at self-contemplation. Particularly when instead of that all you get is an endless stream of indolence and self-pity. Is our life really only worth a few days of happiness, or aren't we actually supposed to try to address our situation and change things for the better?
What is true happiness? It seems like such a simple question yet no matter how hard I myself tried, I couldn’t answer it truthfully. I could say that it is the feeling I got a week ago when I completed all my finals, yet I would be lying as I barely felt anything. It could be the increase in dopamine in my body after quickly downing 8 shots of vodka, but the last time I did that it just made me want to puke my heart out. In the end, the happiness I experience seems fleeting - almost as if it comes in short bursts
air hitting my face in obscure but fairly predictable times. Unfortunately because of this nature it causes me to be unable to answer the question, but alternatively the nature of this might’ve just made me forget such a question existed at all.
Sorry for getting too personal. This short story/ manga hit me at a time where I felt the lowest - at least enough to make me throw out paragraphs of rambling on a website I haven’t visited in a long time.
“Three days of Happiness” definitely does not belong in the tier of great manga here on myanimelist or any manga list. To do that you really need a deeply structured plotline and a masterfully crafted set of characters each with their own intricate details and its certainly hard do that with a 16+1 chapter manga (15 chapter novel). What it does well on is its emotional impact to the reader, and it does this well. The premise is as blatant as it comes: straight from the title - a man decides to sell his future, all except for 3 months, for 300000 yen. He is then granted an observer to negate the impact if the man becomes desperate and starts to cause trouble - this observer was same young receptionist that helped him make the transaction.
This of course, flows the reader to the question: how much is one’s life worth in cash? Through a short 16 chapters, the story explores themes of depression, happiness, and the value of life itself - how it truly is something hard to measure. The plotline is quite simplistic yet also important in its own way. Our main protagonist is depicted as having lighthearted and casual nature, and seems to almost care naught about his impending death. This type of characterization really gives a sense of how far the man has fallen down in life. These feelings ease up as the story progresses, as the man (followed by the observer) begins on a path , unbeknownst to him, to find his own answer to the question of happiness. Over time, our protagonist and the observer each begin to find out more about themselves, and each other, and a budding relationship grows out of this development.
Technical-wise, the art itself complements the storyline very nicely. It provides a casual and realistic atmosphere that tones down the supernatural aspects of the story for the reader so that they can focus more on the more important themes of the story explained previously. The underlying romance in the story was pivotal in expressing the theme of happiness but it was done in a very subtle and delicate way to stay realistic and easy to understand.
In the end, this manga did not answer the question of true happiness for me, but that was not its intention. “Three days of happiness” aimed at reminding me that such a question existed in the first place, and posed many other questions: What is my life worth currently? How does this value change, if it could change? Is there truly an accurate representation of worth in today’s society? How can we find our true happiness?
All in all, this 16 chapter manga might not be able to affect you as much as it affected me. In fact, you might find it to be a bundle of cheesy and simplistic plot lines, filled with plot-holes, mashed up in a jumble together depending on your own situation or presence of mind. Maybe if I read this a bit earlier or a bit later, I would have a different opinion as well, along with different answers to the questions the manga poses, if i had the motivation to answer them. But the thing is, if 16 chapters can cause me to write a bunch of stuff out of the blue that might not be seen, read entirely, or even visited at all, it might just be a worthwhile quick read for you as well.
tldr : read it for some bittersweet feels my dudes
Is it possible to die satisfied? Surely we will all have doubts, the "I wish I'd done this", as we contemplate all the things we could've done differently had we known how short and unforgiving life truly is. However, if you were given a timestamp, what would you do? How would YOU live out your X amount of days? Doesn't it seem futile? You're going to eventually die anyways, so why even bother? Is there any point to living in the first place?
Such, this is the true mystery of life; we all know we will die
someday, the real mystery lies in what you do until then. Surely the things that come to mind first are the typical: Spend time with family, friends, do outlandish things, see the world, tell people how I feel, and become eternal. But is this what YOU want to do, or what you think other people would tell you to do?
What is a fulfilling life? Is it the six-figure bank account? Is it being famous throughout the world? Being eternal after death, to be remembered as some who did exist? Or is it the interpersonal connections which are more important? Is it to find love? Is it to make friends and restore lost ones?
Then again, how could one define something as subjective as fulfillment? Everyone has a different reason for continuing to exist. As such, we all must ask ourselves, "What do I want?" Such a simple question, but without an equally simple answer. This question is something we sometimes only do realize when we are in those final moments nearing death. These are the fundamental questions that Jumyou wo Kaitotte Moratta. Ichinen ni Tsuki, Ichimanen de tells us to ask ourselves.
I'd like to say it isn't very philosophical because of how purely it represents such complex ideas, but the manga shows how something like fulfillment is something of deep importance. The manga isn't too plot heavy, but places most of the focus on the choices which they make and how we can apply that to our own lives.
The story is very character driven, with many of the main themes and plot points deriving from character interactions. As such, I guess you could say it's not really "deep," so much so as it is thought provoking. IMO something "deep" would be a series like NGE which is packed with layers of symbolism, but i digress.
In the end, this is really just a manga about coming to terms with who you are, and recognizing your worth. By doing so, we can all live more fulfilling lives and "free" from societal standards and subconscious restrictions. It believes heavily in moral introspection, where the bottom line is determining what is important to you, what's with living for, and to what lengths will you go to pursue worth.
This is really good if you like the feeling of having your heart ripped out, or seeing those homeless puppies on those ASPCA commercials, or the ending of Angel Beats. It really isn't too long either, just a short 16 chapters (idky MAL says 18). the dialogue isn't too heavy so yeah. good read :)
(READ THIS PLEASE IF YOU'RE GOING TO READ)
there's an extra chapter called "I say a little prayer" i think it's 8.5 or something, but when you get to it during your first sitting DON'T READ IT UNTIL THE END. It kind of spoils later plot developments and doesn't really correlate with what's happening, but it makes it even better if you read it last. Just a tip from me you don't have to tho lol