One line summary: Sono Te wa Atatakai is a one-shot shoujo that isn’t going to reinvent the genre but is still a delightful read.
What is this about:
It’s 1930s Japan. Todo is an expert locksmith nicknamed “God’s Hands” for being able to unlock anything. While walking home from a job, there is a car accident. The driver exits the scene but leaves behind a rattling box. Curiosity gets the best of Todo and he opens the box to discover a girl. Her first words: “Are you my destined person?”
Yes, it’s the “find the mysterious girl, be thrusted immediately into a (potentially dangerous) unknown situation but
decide to help her anyway” anime cliché; except here, the leading lady is twelve years old (it's a one sided love from Rin that turns to more of a brother-sister kind of relationship for Todo so there is no illegal hanky-panky going on here folks!). The story is actually done well in the short span of 52 pages. It doesn’t feel rushed and it’s nice that Tsukaba uses a period of Japan that is not the present day or the age of the samurai. The mystery of why Rin was in the box is
Who is in it?:
There is Todo, our locksmith who lives with the guilt of his past and Rin, the little girl in the little box who just wants to be with her darling Todo.
Todo starts off as a depressed, gruff young man whose only interest is saving money. Soon, his mood starts to change as he lives and interacts with Rin, who is very lighthearted despite everything she has gone through. Todo grows a bit more understanding and his values do change for the better. Rin’s “love” for Todo doesn’t change but she does learn from him the value of a hard day’s work. The characters are interesting enough to carry the story.
Is it pretty?:
Typical shoujo artwork. It’s not gorgeous but it is not horrendous. I must say that the face Rin makes when she is clueless is adorable though.
Would you recommend it?:
Yes. Rin is endearing and the story is executed well. There is nothing earth-shattering about this one-shot but it's something to read when you want a quick dose of sweetness.