Sunday Manga Recommendations: When Life Gives You Lemons.

451  If there´s one reason why I love manga as much as I do, it´s because of the uncanny diversity it has to offer. Seriously.

Yaoi, yuri, hentai involving your older sister or even a frog.  Manga is weird, and I absolutely love it because of that. If there´s a topic that  I just can´t get enough of, it´s the angst genre, especially when it´s about issues like self harm and all that funky stuff. I find it very interesting, and seeing this in pages without colour is always a bit facinating to me.

But manga is still manga, y´know, and because of that, it still tends to be explosive and over the top, hey, I´m not saying it´s bad, I´m just saying that it loses a bit of it´s realism – which personally, I think is the most important factor to consider if we´re writing a story about prostitution and self harm.

Thus comes Keiko Suenobu with her forever popular manga Life, which tells the story of Ayumu, a girl who, after loosing her bestfriend gets bullied by her peers and everything goes downhill from there.

Licensed by Tokypop, Life never made it past it´s ninth volume in the West due to ´shocking content´, I´d take this warning with a grain of salt, honestly, because while Life is definitely graphic, there´s always a sense of hope that everything is going to be alright. I think this is the best part of the manga.

Because yes, the events get proggresively more ridiculous and unrealistic which makes it loose a bit of it´s credibilty and puts a bit of dust on the final, powerful message, but it´s not obnoxious enough for me to not recommend this to you, the reader.

Life is, if anything, interesting and hopeful. It was a good read, and while it may be a bit less impressive than Keiko Suenobu´s other works (Cough, Vitamin.) It has something to say, and left me disgusted, happy and close to crying all in one volume.

452And here´s to Confidential Confessions by the angst queen herself, Reiko Momochi.

Confidential Confessions is exactly everything what Life is while also being exactly the opposite. Confidential Confessions has the same obnoxious-ness Life has, but it has different characters and different situations in every story, which makes it less noticable and a bit more bearable, but this also has a downside.

With almost every Confidential Confessions story (the prostitution pair in the first volume being the only exception) I just couldn´t bring myself to care about the characters, opposed to the characters of Life. Sure the events were undoubtly interesting and I love the manga to pieces, but both these series are flawed in many ways.

Fortunately, they´re also one of their kind, this may not be a viable reason to hold them in a higher regard, but it definitely makes me appreciate them just a bit more.

If you´re feeling funky and what to depress yourself or simply take a peek in the world of prostitution, drugs and bullying, then Life and Confidential Confessions are definitely for you.


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