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Conjoined twins Yudy and Yucy are as different as possible. Older Yudy is intelligent but ugly, as her nutrients are used up by her beautiful but simpleminded sister Yucy. Loving and hating so deeply, where does one girl begin and the other end?
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Gosh, what a story. I don't even know where to begin. For such a short oneshot, this story has so much in it and it was delivered with such skill by the mangaka. I am falling more and more in love with the stories by Hagio Moto. Yes, the art is old, but I personally love old school shoujo art.
This story covered so many aspects of what it is to be human, while depicting it through the eyes of one conjoined twin.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Of course there's love and hate, but also inferiority and superiority (on one hand Yudy feels uglier and is overshadowed by her sister as a result, on the other, she's the one with the brains and the ability to perform in society), independence and dependence (she always wanted independence from her sister but once she got it, she lost her 'wholeness', on the other side, Yucy was completely dependent on Yudy so much so that both physically and possibly metaphorically, she couldn't live without Yudy.), understanding and naivety (Yudy understood so much more of the world than her sister and as a result was unable to see her true feelings for her sister until after she was gone, while Yucy seemed obliviously naive and loved to smile but in the end was able to recognize her sister and cry, possibly knowing she was going to die, possibly knowing her sister would live, and leaving me with the question of how much was she truly naive and how much did she possibly understand without the ability to relay that to anybody else.), normalcy (what is normal? To have a normal life - look like a girl should, have a boyfriend, etc. but then she felt like one half of herself was missing because that's how she was born, that is 'normal'), transference (seeing herself lying there instead of Yucy and wondering if maybe that was her dying instead), and of course loss (years later and she is still grieving because she truly loved her sister).
I know very few storytellers who could relay so much in such a short time and pull me in to the feelings of the main character while telling that story. Seriously, what a beautifully tragic story about what it is to live.
Since I read this one-shot, his title, “Hanshin”, keeps appearing in my mind. I heard some readers of this short saying: “The title is a bit strange... This may be a metaphor, but it may mislead certain readers”. It’s true, the japanese word “Hanshin” (半神) means demigod/half-god in english and its definition is: ”The term demigod is commonly used to describe mythological figures whose one parent was a god and whose other parent was human; as such, demigods are half human, half gods”, Hanshin isn’t supernatural nor tell us about a demigod tale. However, I do have my own personal interpretation: Our twins Yudy and Yucy are the personification of one demigod. Yucy is compared to a angel in the highest state of pure, becoming the half-god part. Yudy, ugly, ambitious and naturally capable of wishing bad things or having mixed feelings is the human part. That way, these two contrasting girls attached at the hip are a exposed semigod with the human's and god's parts separated in each one, where Yudy is the perfect beautiful angel and Yucy the ugly face of a human.
Story: Have you ever heard the phrase: "Love and hate go hand in hand"? That's what Hanshin is about, it tells us how a person can love and hate another at the same time. Connected twins, you become a shadow when you have such a perfect sister. She's pretty and pure, on the other hand you're ugly because she uses your nutrients to survive and you even have to take care of her. Doesn't that make you angry? Does she deserve to live? I don't deserve to live? "Where does one girl begin and the other end?" She was a part of me? What am I now? Quoting a The Hives song, "You became what you hate or you hate what you become?".
Art: Published in the 80s, the art style is the classic old school shoujo. The eyes and hair shine to create an angelic face, the facial expressions are more dramatic and, classified as psychological, some panels are based on character's close-up looks while showing their thoughts. One thing I admire in this style is how the secondary characters react in the story, some of them are really rude with the main character (same goes to Iguana no Musume, how the mother says hurtful things to the daughter) and they are always smiling despite their own words. When I’m reading a 80s manga, I never trust a character, since they always are more deep or have dirty personalities, I love how a truly happy face can be a mask hiding a demon's face (Gilbert from Kaze to Ki No Uta is a good example) and old school art style is the best at hiding it with those pure eyes.
Overall: Judging the time, the number of pages and the author's talent, I must say: This is a masterpiece. There are just a few one-shots I truly like out there and even less with creepy, but at the same time interesting stories. In a provoking way, Hanshin tell us about life and how you can turn into another person, a reflex (in this case, a real "clone") of your own secret desires.
Quote: "I loved you more profoundly than love. I hated you deeply than I could bear."
quick and worth reading
it was an extremely fast read, and i liked it. it doesn't leave you all too much connected to the characters, but it's just enough to tell a story and take you through a situation you'd not think often of.
i think the length was just right to express what the author wanted to express, and i'd definitely recommend it if you're looking for something different and have a couple minutes!
I have to say... I hate Yucy. I hate her, for I can imagine myself in Yudy's position. ARG those dead weights! Those good for nothing, ugly, dumb, plain useless. But what do they get? Attention, love, everything, while those capable are to blame. Now now, I'm not a kid looking for love, I'm just saying I don't mind if they leave me alone, just leave me completely alone.
With that said, probably for the same reason, I cannot sympathize nor understand the emotions in this manga. It might strike someone else as bitter sweet or stuff, to me it was just shallow. Too short perhaps? Maybe if it was longer I would have better emerged myself inside. But as for now, it made great use for venting my frustration. Certainly feels good to have found something to hate.
... Last updated on May 8th, 2012, 5:17am
I have to say, I was pulled in because I thought the description looked so odd,, so I had to see what the manga was about; and it was spectacular! Really this quick one shot is the perfect fodder for interesting discussions. I don't think I've ever been as pleasantry surprised by a manga before ^w^. Its short but meaningful I'd defiantly suggest taking a look.
This story is just amazing. The plot, the characters, everything was well though out and it just worked. Everybody should read this, it may be an oldie, but it's something that shouldn't be missed.
It was a gorgeous oneshot. There is definitely a reason there is no rating lower than 6. The art wasn't perfect but it portrayed the emotions so wonderfully, the plot was just perfect, so heartbreaking. This is one of those manga where there is one single moment that sticks with you for years. I read this four years, ago, and I still remember the part that hit me the most, which was... (
Spoiler (highlight to view)
Which was when Yucy got a fever but looked even more beautiful, while it was Yudy that got the rash.
Seriously, I can't even describe how much this manga is worth reading.
... Last updated on June 22nd, 2010, 6:26am
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