Beautiful people are loved and revered. They have everything they desire right at their fingertips... Even if that beauty is a complete illusion.
Before Kasane's mother died, she was given a special tube of lipstick from her mother. She was told that if times ever got really really hard, she should wear the lipstick and kiss whatever she really desires.
I first thought that this manga would be a trashy, edgy, romantic tragedy. Well, I was right about it being edgy. Let's begin the review.
Kasane is a very strange and twisted manga. There are a lot of disturbing themes in this, mostly involving women. It's no Goblin Slayer, but since apparently no work of art is allowed to make anyone feel even mildly disturbed these days, I still must warn you in advance.
The story was a lot better than I expected. It's a bit slow in the first volume, leading you to believe that it's going to be a repetitive 'steal this girl's face
for a while, steal a different girl's face for a while, rinse and repeat' for all fourteen volumes of the manga. However, once you get into the second volume and onward, things start becoming a real rollercoaster ride.
There's also plenty of twists and turns. I'd be surprised if I found out that story was improvised, because it holds up pretty well. Well, not to say there aren't flaws at all. Of course, there's the tiny flaw that a lot of bystanders wouldn't realize something when Kasane would switch faces with a blonde woman, and from their perspectives, that person would show up with black hair. That alone would probably be enough for a hypercritical person to tear this manga apart (since it's unheard of for an actor to possibly dye their hair), but to me, it's a small bump on a very well-paved road.
The characters are all as deranged as one would expect. With this being a psychological thriller, we naturally get to see deep into the way that the various people in this manga think. The various plays that are performed also complement one character or another at any given point in the story. Warning, though, this is one of those types of stories where everyone is morally incorrect in some way. If you don't like that kind of stuff, a la Rising of the Shield Hero, then I recommend you shy away from this manga now.
However, I think the art is where the manga is sufficiently brought to life. It doesn't look too impressive at first glance. But when actually reading the manga itself, I was glued to it. Somehow, the mangaka is able to skillfully portray humankind's stereotypical form of beauty, and at the same time twist that beauty into some demonic expressions (not to say that the ugly people don't have some of those moments as well). The panel work is also really well done to invoke as much emotion as possible.
Overall, Kasane ended up being a very, very good read. Although it's no Urasawa Naoki manga, it's still a solid thriller. I kind of hope it might get a TV anime someday; it would be an EASY two-cour adaptation. But at the same time, maybe letting the anime community see this with how GS and Shield Hero have been doing might not be a good idea... Well, regardless as to if that ever happens, this manga will still be a moving performance!
Kasane is the story of a girl who born with extraordinary ugliness. Normally, it's so hard someone to be this ugly, but I think this is exatcly the point. Even if we're not ugly as Kasane, we still struggle with same worries, fears and lack of self-confidence as Kasane. Kasane is just a metaphor, she is the peak point of the human ugliness.
Is beauty a gift or a curse? Does changing our face, changes our personality? How much further you can go to gain a place in society? How much further you can go to make you accept
yourself? Kasane wanted to be an actor, because she couldn't stand herself. Isn't it the same story for everyone?
Kasane is a chaos. A tragedy. Every chapter you struggle more corruption, helplessnes and humiliation. Sometimes you rise up, but it is just a illusion that Kasane created, actually you're at the bottom of the sea and you sink continously. And I love it.
Story doesn't repeat itself and it's really hard for a manga like Kasane -especially when it has 126 chapters-, but every chapter I wanted to read more and it never disappointed me. I only find the last chapters sloppy, It could've end better, or it could've been more... slow? Some characters had great potential (like Nobuhiko) and I would really like to see story focused them more often instead of Kasane and her mother. Also I often think that why Kasane just didn't have plastic surgery, afterall, she had great money from acting.
Also I love the theatre references. This couldn't be better, and I will say it everywhere lol
Kasane isn't the most well-drawed manga I've ever seen, but I've never seen a manga which shows characters expressions, body signals and feelings better than this. Kasane is mainly about theatre and acting so it's a very important point in the art. The theatre scenes were so amazing that I can't express my feelings towards them. It felt like watching a real play. Female characters look alike sometimes but it didn't bother me much because with just looking at their expressions, you can feel their true colors and this is only a thing Matsuura Daruma could make.
Characters were so real. Nobody was just white or black. Everyone was just human. Everyone was struggling with oneself and had their bad and good sides. Yeah, lots of manga may be had these characters but Kasane's difference was how it felt so natural and humane. It wasn't like "Oh I'm a bad guy but I had good sides", everyone was equally bad and good. Also some characters like Nogiku were really unique and interesting. Every one of them had a great backstory.
Well, I read it in... maybe two days? It never bored me (the acting side of the story -lol- had a great effect on this I believe, I'm a sucker for drama stuff). I would read it with same enjoyment if this manga were going to continue for like 200 chapters.
It had flaws, story could've been better in some places but screw it. Kasane made me feel so many things that I didn't for years and had a great affect on me. So it's a masterpiece for me. At least give it a try, even if you don't like it as I do, I'm sure you will enjoy it truly.
When I read the first chapter, I wasn't expecting much.
A character who is as dark as she is dangerous, who I sympathize with, but actions can't condone, with amazing art and maybe one or two interesting plot points.
Instead I read about characters who are different and layered, all beautifully drawn with a macabre tone. The main character really is dark, yet you cheer her on, as her view of things makes you wonder about your own life, and what could be with another face.
The Art is amazing, a bit dark and unconventional maybe, fitting the story.
Although some moments in the story make you go "Huh?"
they get solved, or aren't solved intentionally, in order to make you think a bit more. I really enjoyed this manga, as its theme fits the question:"What if I had a prettier face? What if I am held back by my face?"
The manga ended on a great note too.
Face-swap, that thing was a hot meme on our world some time ago. It was funny, right? However, a face-swap for Kasane meant everything to her. It gives her opportunities. It can change her life.
You already read the summary. A girl with a bad, terrible, monstrous face wants to be an actress just like her gorgeous mother. The story is filled with a huge mystery right from the beginning and the authors expertly pull the strings together and mended them into one hell of a twist of fate. There are no plot holes, but I think a few questions are answered with force. Especially the
ending. Well, it is still awesome, it fits the theme of the manga. It's beautiful yet pity, like Kasane herself.
Since this is a manga about acting, the author must draw all sort of expressions in order for us to grasp the feel what Kasane did. How godly her performance is as described and drawn at this manga. I, personally, totally love it. The author drew perfectly the detail of every expression needed, especially the anger and hatred when Kasane became her true self. Though there are sometimes that you may not notice which character is which since some characters resemble one another.
Wow, you gotta love Kasane and the other characters, their hatred is burning like a furnace, which is very good for a manga like this. Though, they may need more quirks. I think they are stiff in term of uniqueness. If the author left me with a page with only speech bubbles, I will probably lost the track. Wait, did I say that sometimes I have difficulty to differentiate a character faces with another? I think I did.
To sum it up, Kasane is a manga that you will love if you want to read about tragedy and mystery unfolds regarding a girl with monstrous face trying to rewrite her fate. You will not disappointed, it's just that good.