In this collection of short stories, Takeda explores love and humanity in some non-traditional ways. In the first story, a young princess is captired and blindfolded and forced to sign treaties or make other deals that syphon away her power. the only person who shows her kindness during her captivity is a man with no pinky. During the three months of captivity, she can feel herself falling in love. In another story, a woman comes face to face with her stalker and has an honest conversation with him while they wait for the police. Another story with a historical setting focused on an emperor on his wedding night where he became entangled with an empress-assassin, and how they both found happiness in the end. In another story, explorers think they've found a "treasure" in the jungle, but it's a delicious new fruit instead of gold. But not understanding the native language costs them dearly. A short interlude piece spanning only a few pages focused on a vending machine and the apocalypse. In yet another story, a wife who is dying of cancer makes a difficult choice for her husband so that he might live on easier without her once she's gone.
Takeda is a truly talented illustrator who can produce some really masterful details and character designs. The illustrations for the period pieces were full of painstaking details. But some of the stories were a little off-putting. Personally, I was put-off by the second story about the woman who "came around" to her stalker, and there's an implication that they at least made out before the cops arrived. This is a really dangerous behavior to normalize for audiences for the sake of a storyline. The last story, with the husband and wife dealing with a terminal illness, made me audibly gasp while reading it. To have these two stories in the same collection is a bit of a disservice since there is some powerful illustration and writing going on with a dangerous story mixed in that makes this one that I wouldn't recommend purchasing for young readers.
Sara's Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Adult
Publisher: Yen Press
Publication Date: November 21, 2023
ISBN: 9781975376871 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Suitability: Adult, Manga, Romance, Story Collection, Yen Press
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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