Nov 9, 2021
Marine Blue no Kaze ni Dakarete is the first consistent time-to-develop work by Ai Yazawa, the shojo and josei manga author who would create the most shocking, controversial and heartbreaking works of those genres. The plot perfectly represents the warm and intense summer emotions of first love and early aspirations to maturity through a beachy story focused on the rush of summer vacation and the passion of surf as a social component.
Story (8/10): Yazawa is my favourite mangaka of all time and in these early works we can see more pure and carefree stories that presents highschool teenagers and their family atmosphere, that always hide
hidden truths and exciting bonds. In this story, Tachibana discovers her wishes in life by meeting again the love of her childhood and the pains that he had to go through to make everyone happy. She is forced to decide how to face these problems once again while discovering the feelings of her close cousin Ippei. All those problemes are not dealed only by love issues but because of the personal decisions of each character to know whether to follow their childhood dream or leave it alone as a summer hobby. That causes the characters to make important decisions about their life and mature as they relate to each other which makes the progression of the plots very satisfying.
Characters (9/10): Tachibana may not seem very different from the typical prototype of the shôjo protagonist, but it is far from the passivity and candor that it presents in the first instance. She is an impulsive character who puts the search for her dreams before routine and conformity but at the same time is self-conscious because she feels guilty for the damage that her actions can do. Arikawa is the model athlete who seems perfect but who gives off that image as a result of his daily work and because he hides his private life from what he shows in surfing. Ippei, on the other hand, is the most complex character, being the funny man of the group who hides his problems with jokes without being able to express his true feelings for wanting the best for his loved ones. All this is just one example of the majesty with which Yazawa always treats her characters, always looking like perfect and closed models of personality but hiding many layers.
Drawing (8/10): Marine Blue's drawing is simple but effective. Above other works by the author, this one stands out for the brilliance that can be seen in the emotions on the faces of the characters as they are young protagonists with passionate emotions. The backgrounds are always almost non-existent and with very few details, but due to the setting of the story, the small gradients of the sand and the sea and the breeze that pass through the characters are enough to mark everything that is needed. Yazawa has always had great inspiration from the world of fashion, so it is very interesting to pay special attention to the design of even the minor characters since they are enough to explain their stories: lolita-inspired students with innocent personalities, youth urban bands that they have a gray past, youthful-looking adults due to abandoned dreams...
I really think it's the perfect manga to read on a sunny summer day alongside an eighties city-pop playlist. It is not a story that requires a lot of commitment because it is very short and comfortable to read while generating a great attachment to the characters and their relationships. Personally, it has managed to remind me of skin-deep teenage times in which we suffered a lot from stupid things but deep down we were very happy sharing that journey towards personal growth.
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