The author of GOSICK and the author of Variante present you with a 2-volume masterpiece. (This review has very little spoilers. Feel free to read through.) Go on an emotional roller-coaster. Yamada Nagisa is a junior high student who is a realist and wants to join the military as soon as possible. A transfer student, Umino Mokuzu (literally translates to scrap of seaweed) declares herself as a mermaid, and if she cannot find a friend before the storm she would turn into foam. The two develop an odd friendship, with the sweet candy bullets of the liar Mokuzu and the bullets of reality Nagisa wishes to shoot. Nagisa lives in poverty trying to support her brother, and gets angry thinking Mokuzu is a little rich city kid. Nagisa initially hates Mokuzu and her candy bullets, but then she realized that Mokuzu is even more unfortunate than she is… Genre: Drama, Psychological, School, with a mix of mystery My score: 10 out of 10 (Masterpiece)
I can’t believe my eyes. Sakuraba Kazuki is the author. I’ve never thought she would write such a dark and thematic story. Compared to Gosick, this is on another level. Seriously. The manga is about two teenager’s struggle in life. You’ll get a bittersweet feeling while reading, and trust me, you’ll go into the abyss with them. The manga is adapted from a novel of the same name, and the feel is kinda like reading a storybook. The difference is you have to pay attention to every single sentence to be able to grasp the whole story. I love the metaphoric idea of “Bullets” in this story. (I won’t say anything here. See it for yourself!) The story picks up topics that are pretty dark, and presents it in a very good way without going overboard. Family abuse, Stockholm syndrome, dealing with a Hikkikomori family member, trying to support the family, finding true safety, dealing with lies, painful bonds, abuse, bullying, discovering the truth about love, and the tragedy of growing up… All of this is waiting for you in Satougashi no Dangan wa Uchinukenai: A Lollipop or a Bullet
I loved Sugimoto Iqura’s art from Variante. (Which you should also read if you’re a fan of monster stuff. It’s 19 chapters long.) People say they wish the cover was in colour, but I disagree. Black and white is the best way to portray the intensity and darkness of the story. The illustrations are very well done, and it conveys the depressing and suspenseful feeling of the story very well. The art keeps its tone, no chibis or cute emotions, just dark, serious, everyday life. Sugimoto Iqura is just the perfect person for this kind of story.
Slow-paced and depressing… But realistic and very well told story. A must-read for any manga fan. This manga turned down many readers because of various reasons (like not having a summary on the cover, for example) but if you’d spend a small amount of your time reading, you’ll find a hidden gem.
There is a riddle in the story I’d like to share. I shared it with my friends before and none of them can answer. A warning though, this has a very dangerous answer. There was a married man who died in an incident. At his funeral his wife met one of his colleagues. The wife and the colleague quickly developed a mutual attraction. Later that night the deceased man’s son was killed. The murderer turned out to be the wife. She suddenly murdered her child. Why did she do it? This manga is licensed in Thailand in 2010 and is very difficult to find. If you do manage to get a copy, you’ll find the most heart-wrenching story far more tear-jerking than Titanic. Thank you again for your time.