CALLING YOU: KIMI NI SHIKA KIKOENAI (Kimi ni Shika Kikoenai Calling You, “I Can’t Hear Anyone But You: Calling You”) (??????????–CALLING YOU) • Otsuichi (story), Setsuri Tsuzuki (art) • Tokyopop (2007) • Kadokawa Shoten (2003) • 1 volume • Shôjo Drama • 13+ (brief language, brief violence, adult themes)
A manga adaptation of two of the three short stories in the Otsuichi collection of the same name. In the title story, two lonely high-schoolers who have never met discover that they can communicate with each other through imaginary cell phones in their minds. In “Kiz/Kids” (a play on kizu, the Japanese word for “wound”), an abused high schooler meets Asato, another abused boy who has the power to transfer injuries to and from other people. These angsty stories of loneliness are competently written, although self-sacrificing Asato is a bit of a stock character. The art is an appropriately emo shojo style, focusing on pretty androgynous faces with tousled hair, similar to Kaori Yuki, but occasionally neglecting figures and backgrounds.
Today’s winner is Justin W. of California. Congratulations, Justin! I’ll be sending you some manga ASAP!