6. A book that makes you sad.
Saikano or Saishū heiki kanojo (最終兵器彼女) which roughly translates to She, the Ultimate Weapon but is also sometimes called My Girlfriend the Ultimate Weapon and also The Last Love Song on this Little Planet. If there’s anything I’m
embarrassinglyfond of, it’s books with long, pretty names (that sometimes unfortunately sound very stupid).
These graphic novels by Shin Takahashi aaaaare really good. Really sad. Basically, it’s a bunch of Japanese high-schoolers just trying to live their lives in a war-zone, and one of them, the narrator, Shuji’s girlfriend Chise (which is a struggle the whole way through the books, this relationship-thing they’re trying to create) is abducted by the government and made into a weapon.
For Japanese anime, it’s not as pervy as it sounds. In fact, the only super pervy bits are actual high-school-boy coming of age which manages to be sweet and funny and sometimes head-desk embarrassing. (Oh God, some of it is painfully embarrassing), but there’s no “oops I fell into your boobs” or anything which is so, so refreshing, because that stuff makes me so uncomfortable just because… unnecessary. SO ANYWAY.
The story focusses on Chise’s fading humanity as the weaponry parts of her begin to take their toll on her body. It shows the devastating effects of war on teenagers who, through all of it, struggle to maintain optimism, and shows love and disappointment and loyalty and intense emotional pain. It has some of the most devastating war scenes I have ever read… it’s really incredible.
It also has this beautiful, vague kind of drawing style that is reminiscent, a little, of Haibane Renmei, and it is explicit both in sexuality and violence, but it never takes away from the story. None of it is gratuitious. Also, it’s only 7 books long, unlike some UNNECESSARILY LONG SERIES THAT COST YOU THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS TO OWN, I’M LOOKING AT YOU INUYASHA AND DRAGON BALL Z
Tomoyasu Hotei Appreciation Post
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