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Kasane (MATSUURA Daruma)  
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Description
Kasane's face is so hideous, you couldn't bear to look twice at her—and her ugliness has forced her to walk a harsh path in life. But her mother left her something: a tube of lipstick. The power of this lipstick will change everything about her downtrodden life.

Note: Nominated for the 8th Manga Taishou Award.

Type
Manga

Related Series
N/A

Associated Names
累 ──かさね──

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.3 c.26 by Whatever & Snoozing Scans over 3 years ago
v.3 c.25 by Whatever & Snoozing Scans over 3 years ago
v.3 c.24 by Whatever & Snoozing Scans over 3 years ago
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Status
in Country of Origin
14 Volumes (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?
No

Anime Start/End Chapter
N/A

User Reviews
N/A

Forum

User Rating
Average: 8.4 / 10.0 (179 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.12 / 10.0
10
 
 33%
9+
 
 20%
8+
 
 19%
7+
 
 15%
6+
 
 7%
5+
 
 2%
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Last Updated
May 17th 2020, 4:36pm PST


Genre

Categories

Category Recommendations

Recommendations

Author(s)

Artist(s)

Year
2013

Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Evening (Kodansha)

Licensed (in English)
Yes

English Publisher
Kodansha USA (14 Volumes - Complete; digital)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #590 increased(+118)
Monthly Pos #1031 increased(+432)
3 Month Pos #2021 increased(+234)
6 Month Pos #2217 increased(+232)
Year Pos #2491 decreased(-735)

List Stats
On 917 reading lists
On 510 wish lists
On 156 completed lists
On 41 unfinished lists
On 263 custom lists

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over 3 years ago

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User Comments  [ Order by usefulness ]
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Great, but quite a bit of wasted potential  
by Sykar
October 28th, 2019, 6:40am
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
This is the first manga I ever felt the need to write a review for, because I am so torn about it. On one hand, this could have potentially been a masterpiece, or close to, which I would rate 9/10 or even 10/10 but there are three major flaws which hold it back in my opinion. First though I would like to shower it with much deserved praise though the main focus will be my aforementioned critiques. Warning, from this point on major spoilers are ahead, so if you have not read the series yet I advise you to do so.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Never before have I seen a manga which treats the subject of ugliness so seriously, in contrast to almost every other manga, or western comics, where ugly characters are either villains or nothing more than comedic relief, with very few exceptions. The main characters, while written hyperbolic to varying degree, were believable enough that I came to feel attacked to them, especially Kasane Fuchi herself, probably because there are more similarities between her and me than I would care to admit. I am a man by the way who rarely indulges in such form of manga, preferring titles like Berserk, Monster, etc. over this but I like to think that I am open to a lot of genres and like to surprise myself from time to time by breaking the mold. On a final note, a common trope in most manga is that the supposedly ugly character is secretly good looking but uses bad hair style/glasses/clothes/insert contrived reason which makes them look a lot worse than they really are.
Moving on, the manga does not just treat ugliness seriously but portraits quite brutally how it can cause rejection and hardship through the overall believable portrayal of the protagonist Kasane Fuchi herself. The manga portraits her ugliness primarily through a distorted large mouth with bad teeth and a huge visibly stitched scar extending it even further on one side. She hides most of her face behind a thick mass of bangs though when facial expressions are needed one eye or both are shown through them. She is at her core a kind and caring soul with a burning passion for acting for which she exhibits a lot of talent. Sadly her gentle self is buried under almost impenetrable layers of self loathing, spite and obsession for beauty because she is very unattractive physically. She is highly self-conscious about her appearance to the point of having an exceedingly negatively distorted self image. In a weird way though I found her to be beautiful the more the story progressed, especially after her final appearance on stage. During the course of her life she suffered a lot of terrible treatment and utter rejection which she received from a large portion of society, and the people she trusted the most. As a result from that Kasane became so immensely warped and twisted that it lead her to commit terrible deeds in her obsessive pursuit of beauty in order to find a place where she feels that she can belong and escape the oppressive feeling of self-loathing, worthlessness, inferiority, and of jealousy towards the beautiful. While she does achieve her goal to stay in the spotlight just like her mother, who was a famous actress herself, as a tremendously talented actress with borrowed beauty, it does ultimately not lead her to happiness. Worse, because she is a very kind soul she is regularly tormented by what she has done, in particular what she did to Nina.
I enjoyed most of the supporting cast, which does a really good job at contrasting Kasane Fuchi, almost as much as Kasane herself and appreciated the good art of the manga. In fact Kasane has become one of my favorite protagonist and is probably my favorite female protagonist for now, though that changes from time to time. Furthermore I enjoyed the overarching plot and themes found therein and found the plot to be for the most part cohesive and basically no real plot holes except for one in the ending, well that one has in fact multiple.

This manga's biggest weakness is without a doubt the ending. It came so abrupt and in such a baffling, stupid manner that I have to assume that the author was either pressured into ending the manga or had grown tired of writing it. The most infuriating part about it is the fact that the manga tries to sell us on the idea that Kasane's punishment is "just" or "well deserved Karma", which could not be further from the truth considering what she went through even considering the terrible acts she has committed.
Even worse Kasane's fate does not make a lick of sense. The lipstick's power up to this point was swapping two physical attributes, the face and the voice, between the two participants for up to 12 hours or until a second time it was used. There was never an instance of it working differently. We are shown a claim divulged from a myth proclaiming that there could be a permanent change, but it was never shown, merely hinted at. Though even if we accept that it is possible, by the logic of the manga Kasane still should have been dead while the mother continues to live now in Kasane's body. What happened was not a physical swap but a swap of the soul. What is worse at this point the lipstick should have ceased to play any role whatsoever. Kasane did not want to use it, in fact even when it was offered to her freely by her sister Nogiku she flat out refused to accept it. At this point she had overcome her trauma and her feelings of inferiority, self loathing and jealousy towards beautiful people in a fabulous display of her incredible craftsmanship in her final play with her own face. She received roaring applause contrary to her expectations, which where complete and utter rejection by the audience. This was finally a moment of real character development, whereas before she was running in circles chasing after happiness through beauty, never truly achieving it.
Not even a page later though it gets completely and utterly ruined by one of the worst ass pulls I have ever had the displeasure of witnessing in a manga through that idiotic scene with Nina's mother enacting murderous revenge on Kasane. This cannot be stressed enough, one moment you shed tears of joy for Kasane finally, after a long and hard struggle, to conquer through hard work and tears her greatest weakness, finding acceptance by society, coming to terms with her appearance and the next moment you think "what the bloody hell is this nonsense". or at least I did. To top it all off she got away with murder and aggravated assault. How? How the bloody hell did she get away with it and sat in that tiny hut in the middle of nowhere? Even if one would bring up the "mental illness" card after such an act she should have been locked up in a cell in an asylum. There is no way that you would get away with such horrific acts in a country like Japan and avoid any form of imprisonment.
The very last chapter is not even worth talking about, it was clearly an afterthought, nothing more, way below the quality of any other chapter.
Since I mentioned Nina's mother I would like to elaborate further on her to introduce what I consider the second major flaw of the series. Specifically the forced drama, something I have a strong dislike for, of her being suspicious of Kasane Fuchi who is pretending to be Nina not being her daughter with the old cliche of mothers know better, which is so hilariously far from the truth that it is sad to see that this cliche is perpetuated so often in all forms of media. The better course of action would have been after Kasane's faux pas, which arose the suspicion of Nina's mother, to let Kasane show that she is such an incredible actress that she can even dispel even the suspicions of a worried mother. Not only would that had cut down the needless melodrama but opened up better possibilities in the future. Like Kasane and her having a proper conversation instead of a straight moronic revenge murder with a nonsensical twist.
Lastly there is Kasane's first "victim", the main instigator of Kasane's bullying Nishikawa who was the first who got her face stolen by Kasane. This ordeal ultimately leads Nishikawa to fall from a roof to her death. Again we get pointless melodrama. This could have just as easily and with less melodrama still achieved and with a similar outcome but with Nishikawa alive. This would have left the option open to reintroduce her as an adult as a counter to Nigoku and Igarashi. Kasane has wronged those two terribly, though Nigoku also wronged Kasane very much, but Nishikawa had wronged Kasane so much more that it could have been a great and interesting interaction between those four young women. Instead we get more forced melodrama, for which I have an intense dislike, for the sake of drama, it hardly serves the plot or the character. Ultimately this was a lot of wasted potential here by just letting Nishikawa fall from the roof. This manga desperately needed a way to address the many terrible wrongs committed against Kasane instead of primarily and almost exclusively deal with Kasane's sins. None of the other major characters can provide some reflection of the wrongs committed by individuals, and society as a whole, against Kasane as much as Nishikawa, except maybe Habuta Kingo, though he was just as much misguided as malicious whereas Nishikawa was just malicious, not even granting Kasane the one victory she got over her by foiling her sinister plan to brutally embarrass Kasane on stage in front of the entire school. Instead Kasane was the best performer of them all and the audience started to acknowledge her greatness until Nishikawa got so jealeous that she instigated Kasane to be forcefully removed from the stage via a ruse. That drove Kasane into so much despair and self-loathing that she craved Nishikawas face, stealing it from her and finishing the performance. It was so well set up but marred quite a lot by Nishikwa's accidental fall, wasting quite a bit of potential conflict for later for the sake of badly forced drama which was entirely unneeded.


The ending alone shaves of a good chunk, an entire point, from a perfect ten, yes I consider it to be that bad and I am not even asking for a happy ending, just not such rushed, hamfisted and contrived throwaway ending. The other two major points and a few minor grievances shave another off.
Just over the course of about half a day I came up with at least one idea for each weakness to rectify at least somewhat which might have enhanced the narration, or at least alleviate the few bad parts to some degree.

I warmly recommend reading this manga, even people who are not a fan of the genre should at least give the first few chapters a try, but spare yourself the headache of reading the ending. I advise you to read only up to chapter 125, when Kasane is about to leave the theater after giving a kiss of appreciation, and maybe forgiveness, to Habuta Kingo. Everything that comes afterwards is so terrible that I can only shake my head at people who proclaim it to be "perfect".

... Last updated on October 28th, 2019, 11:08am
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The ending was too cruel...  
by MangaGhost
July 25th, 2019, 4:20pm
Rating: 7.5 / 10.0
This started out excellent and then it became weaker when the sister was introduced. The story was becoming more conventional. However, it actually managed to rebound some later and get better, which was impressive, but then it ended by basically dumping on characters that while not perfect could also be considered victims.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
I'd be ok with her dying, but the punishment at the end seemed excessive. Also many of the characters were victims of abuse and one of the characters basically ending up with an abuser seemed too much to me by the author. So one abuser gets a pass and maybe gets a relationship with a girl, but another character who has guilt and regrets instead gets lifelong punishment and misery? It feels too arbitrary. I'm ok with a no happy ending, but again this seemed unnecessarily cruel for some of the characters.


This was the author's debut work and I think its still pretty good even with my complaints. I will keep an eye out for anything else they produce. Overall, the story started as a 10 for me then down to a 7 back up up to an 8 as it rebounded, but the last 2 chapters dropped it down to a 7.5 for me.

... Last updated on July 25th, 2019, 4:33pm
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Efffing Perfect for Me 10/10  
by WShin
March 1st, 2019, 12:03am
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
Kasane is such a pure soul and the entire narrative and the threads that the casts weave and tangle each other up in...it's sumptuous and dastardly and you'll find yourself horrified, intrigued, enthralled, dismayed, anguished, and entirely moved.

It's beautiful, read it now. I'm in the camp of the ending really fits the full melodrama feel of this, but the whole atmosphere through the ride feels so poignant, the pacing never slows nor drops, and goes full Rambo from page 1 and amps up the stakes from there. Characters transform, undergo adversity and change into something completely unexpected and quite thrilling not to know what happens next.

Melodrama done right and done resoundingly well. I hope the author writes more with these emotions that she clearly is able to pull from the readers themselves due to the relatable insecurities of the main chracter around the concept of beauty and how it's idolized in our society.
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The ending..  
by poncow5
February 10th, 2019, 11:37am
Rating: N/A
It's great, but the ending Ruined it all.
Nontheless you should read it.
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It's good  
by jackblk
February 10th, 2019, 9:11am
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
But the ending does not fit the whole manga pace. I don't know, maybe i don't like it. But it really feels like the ending should be something else...
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Ruined by the end  
by ms_nobody
January 30th, 2019, 8:41pm
Rating: N/A
Kasane was near perfect until the very last two chapters.
I'm not going to spoil the end, but there was hardly any build up for what had happened and also
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
both the girls fall in love with textbook abusers. One of the relationships made sense while the other felt rushed at the end since he literally split her face with a knife
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Give it a try  
by EnviouslySane
May 6th, 2015, 2:07am
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
A monster-like girl who has a magical lip gloss that can change her face with whoever she kisses with.
The mc is really pitiful, most people shun her cause of her looks and it feels so heart wrenching to see her being treated so badly. The main idea in Kasane, to me, is basically "Looks are everything". One may beg to differ but for the mc, looks are what that is separating the world fom her. Luckily she has the lip gloss from her mother which Wola! makes her change her face with the person she kisses with. As I followed the mc in her journey, it really sets me thinking if looks are important in our current society.
The manga in english has only been translated to chapter 10, but chinese scans are up to chapter 48.
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Captivating Perfection  
by hippie.rocks
January 24th, 2014, 9:18pm
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
Everything about this story - from its incredibly artwork to its captivating tale - hooked me from the first page. The story follows Kasane, an monstrously ugly girl with a growing desire to act, much like her beautiful dead mother. While we see her try to follow her mother's footsteps, she is constantly bullied by her classmates. From her torment, the story resonates the duality of the monster vs humanity. Often times, the most beautiful people become the monster, yet Kasane loses her humanity in her pursuit towards becoming a beautiful actress like her mother.
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Interesting  
by Sorcha
January 23rd, 2014, 10:32am
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
The story follows Kasane, the daughter of a legendary actress whose often get bullied because of her ugly face. Depressed by the bullying, she remember her mother's words 'When you were all alone, and it was really really hard for you, take the red lipstick and after putting it on, reach for the thing you desire and kiss it'. And thus Kasane gain the ability to steal someone else's face. Think of face swab here, not body swab.

As for the previous comment that said that the MC is only 'anime ugly', I have to disagree. Why? because for the 6 chapter that has been translated so far, none of its has actually shown us Kasane's true face. It is, however, drawn to give the impression of an ugly, undesirable face. No ' she's actually pretty cute if she dress her self up' cliche here. I have to agree that the artwork is impressive though.
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Heart Wrenching  
by DarrisonSaber
January 6th, 2014, 1:12pm
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
Pros and cons list (tl;dr people, this is for you)
+ Sympathetic main character
- Main character is portrayed ugliness, not really ugly ugly (i guess it doesnt really come off since it's manga; she's anime ugly which is not ugly at all :\ )
+ Awesome artwork!


So far this is what I got out of it after 5 chapters, maybe it will change in the future, maybe not. But if I had the choice to recommend it to a friend, I no question would.

... Last updated on January 6th, 2014, 1:13pm
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