My Broken Mariko

Vol: 1; Ch: 4
4.26 out of 5 from 131 votes
Rank #2,223
My Broken Mariko

When Shiino, an onery office clerk, learns of the apparent suicide of her friend Mariko, it feels like her heart is ripped in two. The pair had a strong relationship during high school, as Shiina was the only one that knew the terrible truth of Mariko's home life, and of the scars and bruises that marked her friend's body. They may have been both powerless to stop the abuse, but they were empowered by their bond with one another. In her grief, Shiino becomes convinced that the only way to save her friend, at least this once, is to steal Mariko's ashes from her parent's apartment, and run.

Extra story: YISKA

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I have a couple loved ones who are suicidal or otherwise self-harming, though thankfully I have yet to experience any of them killing themselves (and I hope that's something I never will have to experience). I appreciated how the story showed the dependency of Mariko and how, even though Shiino loves fem, fe still sometimes felt it was a pain dealing with fem. The two of them seemed to have a codependent relationship--which obviously isn't healthy, but this manga isn't exactly attempting to portray "healthy." The story portrays Shiino grieving while taking Mariko's ashes to a beach which fe had always wanted to visit. Fe reads some letters and remembers some moments from their past. Their bonds. But mainly, the abuse that Mariko constantly suffered and feir emotional brokenness (not exactly happy memories). Some other encounters occur along the way, but the present-day drama is pretty minimal. I was very much feeling this artwork. It can have some absolutely gorgeous and intensely emotional faces, some dynamic angles and perspectives (including some minor fisheye lens moments), and some excellent choices on framing and stuff. I liked the smoke and hair and the grasses and stuff. It's a melange of cleaner images, grittier detailed images, and square-lined cartoonish images. It'll go from a serious look and then just suddenly launch into comically exaggerated shots. Every panel felt like it was optimized for both comedic and dramatic effect.

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