Apr 15, 2015
deadoptimist (All reviews)
Yeah, this is really a 8-10 material, no attack of fanboys/fangirls here. Unexpected, but true. And no shoujo-ai, seriously.

I think there’re two main topics among the more serious manga – the fear of loneliness vs. fear of opening up and the fight against the world. This falls more in the second category, but from my pov it stands out a lot, because of its total lack of self-indulgence and the down to the ground mood. You won’t tell from the description, but here the peter pan syndrome plays out as it usually does in life – very badly.

As you can see most of the other reviews are very long – that’s because this manga is thematically rich, and the themes are used well. It deals with: painful bonding of people (family love, love, friendship), growing up, poverty, psychology, society, abuse, bullying, death. Not a happy list, eh? This is this kind of story, yet the best part of it is that it is not too long and it is told without too much pathos – I think the story goes overboard only once or twice, and even then not terribly.
Some aspects of the outcome’ll surprise you. Actually you’ll be surprised by some parts of the ride too – there’s a lot of rarely brought up topics. Like dealing with a hikikomori member of family, wish to join the army, physical impairments, self-pity as driving force. Frankly, after completing the story I have some questions left, but the ride was good, I went through catharsis, and the feeling of closure is present.

The art is fine too. Thankfully, it holds the tone well, and there’s no cutesy stuff or chibi-characters. I don’t dig the spiky hair, that are supposed to be “beautiful”, but that’s it. Other than that I have only respect and admiration for the artwork – the flaw of frames, the designs, the backgrounds are nicely done. The art even carries well such complex things as suspense, feeling of vulnerability and alienation.

All in all, it’s a work deserving of bigger attention that I see it getting now. It’s a manga of the Punpun and Aku no Hana breed and level, but with its own distinctive voice and story to tell. Do read it, if you’re interested in a dark, mature, more or less realistic story.