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Because Goodbyes Are Coming Soon
by G. Zeus on December 10th, 2008, 5:31am

Rating - 9 / 10.0

User rating of this review - N/A out of 5
Story/Plot - 5 out of 5
Characters - 4 out of 5
Drawing Style - 4 out of 5
Enjoyment - 4.5 out of 5
Overall - 5 out of 5

Click here for series information

ďAll this living, killing, and dyingÖ
Do you really need a reason for it?Ē

If there ever was a recipe that would surely doom an anime or manga to obscurity, Because Goodbyes Are Coming Soon is a one-shot that probably made use of it. A mouthful of a title, a story prioritizing substance over style and devoid of common tropes, not so blatant symbolism, no hint of fanservice, and not even a single earth-shattering sword technique; itís a wonder that Yukimura Makoto was able to get this story published. Nevertheless, I believe that this is the best one-shot that Iíve come across so far.

Admittedly, the manga didnít grab my attention at first. For starters, none of the characters could actually brag about good looks (these Shinsengumi aren't your typical pretty boys), and itís easy to ignore the detailed illustrations and the smooth scene transitions because of that. Likewise, the story is delivered in a deceptively simple manner. What occurs in the plot is evident enough but it takes a little more effort and perhaps several readings to understand the significance of these events.

What makes this story stand out is its emphasis on internal conflict rather than external conflict. Our protagonist (Okita Soji) is already an exceptionally skilled swordsman; he can cut down any opponent but he has no cause to live or die for. He has the means to claim victory but finds no meaning in fighting.

This is further highlighted through foil characters.
Spoiler (highlight to view)
The zealous Kondo is eventually captured but his head remains unbowed even at the moment he is executed. In contrast to this, Soji was invincible in combat but eventually succumbs when he is unable to find a reason for living.
This story challenges the conventional notions of invincibility and defeat.

Because Goodbyes Are Coming Soon might not be the best option in terms of entertainment value, but if youíre the type who actually enjoys literature classes, you might want to give this one a shot.
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