Reiji is trapped in his small town life. His brother is a shut-in who constantly berates their mother; his grandmother is suffering from dementia and is the main reason his mother is so tired; and his mom sets him up with a construction job for after high school, effectively killing any aspirations he had of leaving. One night, while out buying food, Reiji realizes that the shop clerk is actually Nagi Aoe, a famous idol singer from a band he enjoys escaping to. She asks him for a tour around town, which he gives her on the back of his bike. At one point, while stopped in a bridge overlooking the town's river, she asks Reiji if he’ll enter a suicide pact with her, similarly to the heroes in a tragic story based on the town. They wind up back at her house where she takes his virginity. Afterwards, Reiji can’t stop thinking about her, her wish to die, and whether he would be better off dead as well.
The sadness and despair from Reiji is palpable and gets more tragic the more we see and feel how trapped he is. Nagi’s situation is a much slower burn, taking almost the whole book to reveal why she feels the need to commit suicide. The pacing and character development for Reiji and Nagi is done very well, as my heart is broken for the both of them at the end of the book. This is obviously a story for mature readers, as the two discuss suicide a lot, have sex, and Nagi shows up naked repeatedly in Reiji’s head.
Sara's Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Adult
This review was made possible with a digital reader copy from the publisher through Net Galley.
Publisher: VIZ Media
Publication Date: April 25, 2023
ISBN: 9781974736683 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Grief, Family, Mental Health, Romance, VIZ Media
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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