[Original note: A collection of short stories by the author of Mon Seul. Some of the stories may be disturbing so viewer discretion is advised.]
A collection of short, bittersweet love stories, including several incestuous ones.
1). Until the Ice Melts and Turns to Blood. The Karaoke staff call her "the lonely girl." She rents a room all night and won't go home. Why? And what can Nogami say to help her?
2). Suicide Note. Two charming girls, Michi and Rina, decide to end their lives this day. As the day ends we slowly discover why: both the horror--and the hope.
3). White. It happened once, years ago... Now it's all Minako can think about. She yearns to do it again. But how does her brother feel...?
4). Yellow. She just wants her brother to look at her--really look at her as a girl, not just a sister.
5). Blue. They were finally reunited after their parents divorced. She can't resist her feelings for him anymore. But will she lose everything for one night of bliss?
6). Prohibition. A walk together. A stolen kiss. Tears.
7). Moon River. A young man studies and studies while being afraid of his own problems of failing. Until he meets a girl with a specific problem of her own by the river...
8). Bitter Cakes. Miho meets with her friend Natsuki, who is blind. Natsuki trusts her other senses--and herself. But Miho trusts no one--yet perhaps trusts her eyes a little too much...
9). Love Horizon. A girl sees her high school crush by chance, but something is very different about him.
10). The Day It Rained. A short political piece regarding a young man, and a doll.
11). No Count. A young girl finds out that her first kiss was with her oniichan.
Well, lemme lay out one important thingy first, before doing anything else. I'm rather biased towards tragedies. I think sadness is quite the beautiful expression (yes, I'm nuts, stay there on the other side of the screen please), but I still consider myself pretty dulled off towards anything tragic. So when anything actually manages to squeeze out that emotion from me, I take it as a pretty intense sign. And this...well yeah, let's cut to the chase already. I'll try my best to write this as neutrally as possible.
However, before reading the series, do remember to think of the discretion advice. The manga deals with
sensitive subjects and contain sexual undertones, so although I'm not forbidding you from anything, have this in consideration, because I disbelieve this book's for everyone.
Or should I say "stories". Eleven chapters, each spanning one short tale of tragedy, often regarding some rather difficult love situations. A primary topic of interest is incest, in several various forms - parent-child and sibling-sibling, consensual and discordant. But the collection also include various other items, including a story about transgenderism and a somewhat surreal tale about falling dolls.
There's little depth in the "raw story", so to say, as these focus largely on characters and development of those. And by "largely" I mean "at least 80%", so there's no quality loss there, really.
And, please don't let the "tragedy" tag scare you off - many of the stories manage to compromise into a somewhat more happy ending than you would expect.
Very distinguished...I might even say "cute", with thick lines and easy on the details, making many characters look similar to each other. I don't see the manga suffering from any character mix-ups though, since the stories are so short, anyway. And as the stories weigh heavily on the actual telling material and not so much on the artwork, I mostly see the artwork as a kind of bonus to the stories. I have absolutely no complaints regarding the artwork, but it can always be polished and improved; hence why I'm not giving out a larger score.
The last chapter is done in a different style, with thinner lines and more character traits - for what reason, I dunno, really. :-J
The strongest point of the manga. I was almost tempted to raise it to "11/10"...seriously though, that's dumb. Let's try keeping it relatively sane here.
The characters "are" this manga, essentially. Their personality, their judgments, and most of all their issues and tribulations that shine through in every one of the comics. And most of them seem to have very valuable trains of thoughts - they analyze their situation carefully from different angles, producing wider trains of thought than I would ever expect from someone their age (yes, in addition to being nuts, I'm a darn people pessimist as well), giving me the impression that this Kizuki character (the manga author) does some deep thinking as well. Pouring this deep thinking into words is a beautiful skill, and I score such skills highly.
...um. "Enjoyment" isn't what I would call it, but sure, the emotional response to this manga was quite high. I find myself going overly ecstatic to read/watch stuff that touches deep inside me and leaves an imprint lasting for several days afterwards. Then again, it entirely depends on the particular flavor of the imprint - there are shows that I sometimes regret seeing, due to the sour taste they left in my mouth. Finding the balance between sour tragedy and yet sweet joyfulness is a tricky line to walk sometimes - I feel that Kizuki does this very well.
My first, automatic action was to slap a "10" across this manga and leave it at that. With such a valuable manga, however, I afterwards felt the need to weigh the pros and cons and regulate the score a bit. But yes, this book will probably not be for all - first consider the combination of "tragedy" and "incest". If you're cool with both a' these subjects, I shall warmly recommend this manga to you.
...wow, what a stale thing I just wrote. :-P Must remember to add some lingual flavor to the next one...
Well just finished chapter 1: Until the ice melts and turns to blood, well this manga was on my "on-hold" list for quite some time because I thought that this would be some form of horror manga. Don't know where I got the idea, maybe because of the first chapter's name. Guess I'm too sensitive to the word "blood".
I would give the story a 8 because the author didn't feed you all the information, instead he allow you to explore on your own, hmmmmm...
The art is an 8 too, not the worst but one of the best around.