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Kan Takahama (Monokuro Kinderbook) is an underground artist whose work, as much like jôsei as it is like any conventional manga demographic, deals with age, depression and relationships (generally younger woman-older man, and often unhealthy). Her un-idealized characters and gray, tonal artwork, which appears to be scanned directly from the pencils and computer-painted, have a warmth and depth not often found in manga, even when the action consists mostly of people talking. In the title story, “Awabi,” a troubled young woman collapses drunk in a pool outside an old folks’ home, prompting a moment of lucidity from a senile old man inside, and forming a bond between the woman and the old man’s former mistress. This wry story is followed by several short vignettes—in “My Life with K,” a middle-aged man gets involved in the life of a suicidal young woman, in “Something’s Not Quite Right Story” a young Korean man talks about his depressed manga artist girlfriend, and in “Local Wide Show” Takahama makes up an imaginary tabloid scandal about her own life. There’s also a two-page collaboration with French artist Frédéric Boilet (Yukiko’s Spinach). While none of the other pieces are as substantial as the title story, and some are fairly cryptic, it’s an insightful, if downbeat, collection.
-Jason Thompson, via suvudu.com
Status in Country of Origin
1 Volume (Complete)
Anime Start/End Chapter
December 6th 2015, 12:39pm PST
Serialized In (magazine)
Licensed (in English)
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