365 Days of Manga, Day 193: The Day I Became a Butterfly

 

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THE DAY I BECAME A BUTTERFLY (Chô ni Naru Hi, “The Day I Became a Butterfly”) (???????) • Sumomo Yumeka • DMP (2007) • Taiyoh Tosho (2003) • 1 volume • Yaoi Drama • 16+ (brief mild violence, brief sex)
Sumomo Yumeka’s work is distilled melancholy, with almost no action and no sex, just a faint sense of mono no aware (the transience of things) and bittersweet yearning. (“The past gradually grows ever more beautiful in our memories…and our dreams for the future gradually shrink and are reduced in scale by the weight of passing time.”) The title story involves Uka, a 15-year-old boy dying from a terminal disease, and his love for Mikami, a sullen boy who may have the power to hear death coming, although the supernatural and medical elements are ultimately irrelevant to the story. Uka looks indistinguishable from a girl, and two of the other long stories in this volume, “The Lonely War” and “Blue Cat Tunnel,” are actually boy-girl romances. Some of the stories are touching, but the main appeal of her work is the lovely character artwork, with delicate figures and faces shaded in a late-afternoon light.
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I’m still playing catchup with the manga after a long week(end) of moving and unpacking. I’m currently working on Sunday’s reviews and giveaways, so today’s (Sunday’s) winner is… Brandon L. of New York! Congratulations, Brandon!
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Today’s photo is from Sara. Thanks for showing us your manga! If you’re in Seattle this week, please come by <a href="http://www.sakuracon.org"Sakuracon, where I’ll be doing panels and showing never-before-seen King of RPGs stuff!

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