Single 23-year-old Kazama Masamune... has a kid? During the season of cherry blossoms, his beloved passes away. He happens to meet a little girl outside work and realizes she is his daughter who was raised in secrecy by his lover. The worst spring of his life is transformed into a painful yet vivid time.
My Girl looks like a simple tale of parenthood, but it turned out to be so much more. It’s about responsibility, about the will to let go and confront one's sorrows, about how one adjusts to change, and about what gives fulfillment and happiness in life. It's about how to deal with insecurity, how to believe in oneself, and how to consult others instead of bottling up ones' emotions. It's not only about how to help others, but also how to impose on others when one is in need. It's about the difference between being kind, and being considerate of others' feelings. It’s about being
both a responsible father and a respectable son. The story begins when a distraught guy accepts his daughter, who he never knew he had, after being devastated by the passing of his wife. From that point onwards, complementing the theme of parenthood, My Girl enriches the reading experience with tons of poignant drama and meaningful lessons.
What's a brilliant story without an endearing cast? Thankfully, My Girl delivers, and delivers big time. The main character, Masamune, is an insecure, lovesick, but charming and responsible father. His little angel, Koharu, always looks out for Masamune in the sweetest of ways. Beyond that, there’s Masamune's wise father, Masamune's foul-tempered but earnestly compassionate mother, Masamune's kind landlord, Koharu's rowdy and tsundere playmate Shuu, friends, and more. All serve their roles very well and get their fair share of characterization, often used in a way that brings out the best of their character.
From the characters, it is obvious that My Girl has a powerful vision of humanity: that even in tough situations, in times of unrest and dissatisfaction, or when people are incapable of expressing their true feelings, they are truly beautiful inside.
My Girl hits again and again with the feels train, never relenting until the end. It’ll likely make you tear up multiple times, since My Girl is just so potent at dramatic execution, playing around with emotions like it’s nothing. There's no doubt that My Girl is a drama; one that is filled with moments of sadness and pain. However, it is also the ultimate feel-good. The sad moments are always, without fail, beautiful and heart-warming, and the general portrayal of humanity is one of hope and of earnest optimism. Unlike "Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan" (Our Happy Time), which Sumomo Yumeka simply adapted into manga form, My Girl is her magnum opus. Her original story. Her heart and soul, poured into this work. Thank you, and congratulations. You touched yet another heart from halfway across the world.
Before, you guys start reading my review. I need to say 2 things!
1. My review contains minor spoilers, I tried my best to keep it low as possible to not to ruin the experience for you.
2. I have compared it Usagi drop (if you are not familiar with it) it's somewhat same story, settings and atmosphere.
Plot: Single 23-year-old Kazama Masamune realized, he has a kid. During the season of cherry blossoms, his beloved passes away. He happens to meet a little girl outside work and realizes she is his daughter who was raised in secrecy by his lover.
-This manga is a hidden gem, it really
gave me that complete satisfy feeling which I couldn't get from Usagi drop manga's ending. It's a really beautiful mid short story about a single father. All, I have to say about the story "My Girl" is that, it hits again and again with the feels train, never relenting until the end.
Genres- Drama, Slice of Life, Seinen, Tragedy, Psychological
Story- 10/10 (If I compare it with Usagi drop, I felt like reading a superior version of it. I really didn't like Usagi drop's 2nd half. It was utterly disappointing and Story is done by Sumomo Sensei who did many other notable works too like Kokoro Kikai, Chou ni Naru Hi, Nanairo Sekai)
Art-10/10 ( It is done by the author herself, if you don't know about Sumomo. She did the artwork of Hoshi no Koe and Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan (Our happy hours) too, but unlike these "My girl" is her original story)
Characters-9.5/10 ( I felt like, Kazama's late lover needs more flashbacks and character development, not everything was explained properly. Hence, -0.5 for this, aside from that everything is perfect. All other characters fits into the story naturally)
Overall-9.5/10 ( I loved it, I will replace Usagi drop with "My girl" in my top 10 list. My apologies, I keep comparing it with Usagi drop again and again, but I can't just stop it. "My girl" is everything that Usagi drop failed to deliver in the 2nd half.)
I am writing this review wishing that more people would take interest in reading this manga. The story is very beautiful, realistic, and full of emotions.
The story is episodic and each arc has its story to tell which always conclude perfectly.
The art is very different to your typical manga (in a very likable way) and I think that its very suitable with the flow of the story. I would say the art and the story compliment each other perfectly that I wouldn't know how it would be made better.
The characters were perfect, although you wouldn't see that much growth on the other characters
I am very impressed by the character development of Koharu and Masamune. Koharu's character is mature and compassionate to the feelings of other people. She always try to not give burden to Masamune, afraid that he would also loose him, that is why she isn't able to express her emotions more freely. While Masamune give's his best to to give the emotional support to Koharu while trying to move on with his love to Youko, Koharu's mother.
Enjoyment, I find this very enjoyable to the extent that I would write a review so that other people would also read this and be able to feel this unexplainable happiness and content from reading a My Girl.
At the very least I wish I have the right words to describe how gorgeously made this manga is (maybe i'll leave that to the expert). I definitely recommend this manga especially to those who love the Natsume Yuujinchou feeling. To Ms Sahara Mizu, thank you for creating My Girl and if a manga would be able to understand I hope you know it was " A pleasure to read you".
Sometimes you find your story writing itself, but you’re not a part of it. Why? Because you’ve hit a full stop you couldn’t go past. Instead of moving onto the next chapter to see where life takes you, you linger, struggle, and wrestle against the odds of one part of your life coming to an end. Kazama Masamune has been hovering over that full stop for a while now, and it’s only till he meets his daughter for the first time that he is able to entertain the thought of finally turning the page.
Death is hard to swallow, but the death of a loved
one? There’s no swallowing it really, there’s attempting to distract yourself, to shoo it the back of your mind so you can get through your days. But that’s not really an answer, that’s a slow death of your own, lingering on the lost. Finding new things to focus on in your life, new motivations, new people and places, they’re all key to accepting what has happened, that you need to be a part of what will happen next. You don’t forget, you just forgive yourself for moving on without them. So you think, will this be a story of daughter helping her father move along with life? Not really, because the daughter is old enough to face her own troubles too. My Girl is about how both old and young can feel exactly the same, but also about how people can help each other turn the page, because that’s okay. Because we are not alone in how feel.
I’ve read near enough everything Yumeka Sumomo has to offer by now, and this is by far her strongest work. A story like this could be compared to what most of you may have guessed, Usagi Drop. Yumeka does something rather odd with her stories, although they are based in realistic settings with characters who suffer from real problems, she often challenges them with a certain surreal flair. My Girl tends to venture off the beaten path with regards to this, but still establishes it as very much her crown jewel. Whereas a story like Usagi Drop focuses on day to day life, honing in on the trials and tribulations of parenthood, My Girl is more of a moral adventure. Yumeka puts her character in a difficult situation and asks them, how do you respond? How do people react in a moment like this? It’s through this story telling method that she imparts volumes of simple wisdom upon her readers.
“Before I knew it, I had stopped growing, and the face I saw reflected in the mirror stopped changing.”
This is not something you tell yourself every day, but My Girl allows you some answers to some of the most obvious yet rarely acknowledged perks of growing up. Can you come to terms with who you are? What you look like? Because if you can’t, you need to do something about it. Kazama Masamune does, and so does his lovely daughter, Koharu. Where father provides the unfocused lens of adulthood, the confusion and uncertainty of what his role in life should be, Koharu is the youthful innocence that brings light to the otherwise sombre tone of My Girl. When your days start to unravel, sometimes the perspective of one who has not been influenced by those speeding you to grow up and accept things helps you find the right pace. Likewise, with little understanding of the world, an adult can help you find your place and put your earnest worries at ease.
One of the things that I’ve seemingly picked up as I’ve slowly made my way through Yumeka’s works is that she has a fondness for expression. She is not reliant on background, on atmosphere nor generating mood through the use of surreal occurrences within this story. She focuses on facial features, on letting the character generate words through a sad smile, through a hopeful gaze. When she is not ironing out your emotional wrinkles through her characters dialogue, she is letting your mind relax with some of the simplest moments in life. From a cheerful laugh to sharing a meal with another person. She tells you, these are things you can do. Everyone can, these characters have shown a side of sadness, but through hope and acceptance, they can find happiness in the ordinary events, making them extraordinary.
Koharu and Masamune are like two peas in a pod, and throughout My Girl, they grow together. I hope you enjoy the heartache, the romantic connection lost and found, and the simple joys that having a family can bring.