Shizuka is an introverted girl, dealing with schoolwork, boys, and a medical condition that begins to turn her invisible! She finds support with Mamoru, a boy who is falling for Shizuka despite her condition, and with Keiko, a woman who suffers from this illness and has finally turned completely invisible. The mysterious disease that the teens struggle with becomes a metaphor in the ordinary lives of the students in their classes, as they try to work their way through their friendships and romances.
The world, whether real or fictional, is hardly innocent. So innocence in any form is often refreshing. This series, in many ways, is that sweet breath of fresh air.
Not quite to the level of clichéd but definitely not original in characters, it none-the-less lends you several "Awww," moments as well as intriguing, possibly inspiring moments of clarity and a unique perspective of life itself that you can carry with you.
Without (immediately) spoiling the story, I think it would be best to say that the plot itself, of a character struggling with the dramas of growing up, finding their own innate sense of themselves,
purpose, and self-confidence, are not unique to this story.
Neither is the theme of a girl struggling to overcome a disease something special to this manga, but with that said, a new type of spin, that is, invisibility, makes this disease an interesting switch-up from the norm.
Reminding you of my original point that innocence and kindness is always nice to find, especially in relate-able characters as our main character here definitely is, I can say with certainty that you will find yourself pulled into her little world because of that same innocence.
The main character is shy, struggling with the feelings she has for her naive, kind best friend who supports her fumblingly but wholeheartedly alongside another friend, a popular and outgoing girl who is also, though not without fault or lacking in some character aspects, a genuinely nice person.
She's also fighting against her naturally low self-esteem in the fact that she not only feels invisible as so many people do in life, but is actually, truly, invisible part of the time.
How do you overcome such a handicap, when all that you want to do in your life is be seen as an actress and half of your life you're partially to fully transparent?
How do you raise your head high, knowing people can't see it?
How do you know someone loves you even when they can''t always see you?
This shy, introverted, generic girl with a touching attitude, loving personality and frightening disease is the heroine that leads you through a quiet journey of self-discovery, fumbling blindly through love, and fighting to be seen in the way she wants to be seen.
(mostly end spoilers)
You will fall partially in love with her, because for as normal and, therefore, relate-able she is, she has an admirable innate strength that comes to play and makes you like her and enjoy the calm, happy serenity of this story even more.
Another intriguing aspect of this story is the subtle dark, hopeless undertone that it indubitably possesses. It's not uncommon to find undertones of angst or of dark, cynical nature in stories, but that's not what you find here. Really, what it is is that underlying tone that often accompanies life growing up when it's not going well, and you're almost contemplating drastic measures you'd never normally take.
In other words, as light and mainly uplifting as this story is, there's a genuine, darker tone that reminds you of what a real tragedy it would be to become truly invisible, to grow up with such a horrifying handicap. In that way, this story is realistic and grim, beautiful, a slice of life.
And yet, for much of the story, you wouldn't even notice the darker underlying message because of the overall calm air and earnest artwork, story, characters, that this undoubtedly possesses. It's one of the most earnest, simple, truly-meant story-lines you could find for such genres, and in that it is finally unique. Worth remembering.
With mild humour and mild drama mainly focusing on discovering yourself and what you want to do, figuring out how to untangle your web of feelings, which iis an irreplaceable, frustrating part of growing up - if you enjoy these sorts of themes and feel like struggling to locate these books, as they are aggravatingly hard to find in book-stores anywhere. . . If you and feel like a refreshing bout of kindness is just what you need in your next manga-series pursuit, I would most definitely suggest that you read 'Translucent'.