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
first let me share the words of the translator from where I read this story:"this is a story about suicide and as such you should thread carefully. this isn't a story about redemption, or happiness, or understanding. it's nothing as blithe as that to this epidemic that plagues so many people. rather, it's about the raw anger and resentment, of fear and longing, of people who leave and also of those who are left behind. it's about the help we seek from others and the guilt that calls. it's about the help we give others, and the resentment that engenders. it's about the wounds that lie deeper still.none of them are blameless in this story, althought they carry varying amounts of sins"(unfortunatly where I read it didn't credit the translator) by the end of this short story i completely share those feelings, its a raw depiction of what suicide leaves and what it takes, where no word or line try to beautify it or be fluffy about it.
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.
I had to take a few deep breaths while reading this because it is a very tough read. Basically it’s about a woman named Shi who discovered her best friend Mariko passed away due to suicide and she wants to ensure she gets her wishes. Mariko had a tough life with her parents such as her father doing absolutely terrible things to her and the fact her mother didn’t protect her. I have to say, the character development with Shi was great like I wish there was more than 3 chapters cause I really wanted to find more about her as a person. I even wanted to find out more about her and Marikos friendship (it seemed like a relationship from what I gather but it might be a misunderstanding). The art was very good as well. The psychological elements really are good at making your heat sink because the story was just super sad! If you or someone you know are affected by the events happening in this manga for real, please please please go to http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html to reach out for help.
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