Henshin no News is a collection of one shot stories that explore human relationships and loneliness. It is an extremely experimental slice of life manga that comes to life due to Miyazaki’s unusual art style and expert storytelling in a relatively small package.
Like most manga in the slice of life genre, many of the situations that the characters deal with are relatively mundane, but there is this element of the fantastical that removes the stories and the characters from reality. At times bordering on being absurd, Miyazaki weaves magical realism into her narrative smoothly and doesn’t compromise the central theme of relationships.
Each story has a
character facing some form of a crisis and meditates on humanity’s propensity for loneliness and isolation. What is truly magnificent about this manga however is the way that humor is used to cut the tension, giving the collection an overall dreamy feel. The last story in particular was fantastic for referencing manga legend Osamu Tezuka and it had me smiling from ear to ear.
While a little off beat, Henshin no News is a hidden gem and I’ve never read anything quite like it. It subverted my expectations with every story and managed to make me feel both extremely sad for each character while also making me laugh. It is a breath of fresh air and managed to be both serious and lighthearted at the same time.