Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Little New York, by Waki Yamato

Little New York Vol. 8Little New York Vol. 8 by Waki Yamato
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had no really much idea of what to expect from this manga, except that I knew the mangaka from before (from Hakara-san ga toru).
Similarly to the other manga I read, the protagonist is an "odd" girl, odd considering the epoch and Japan, which encounters her true love and plenty of obstacles on the way.
Partially, the two stories do not differ too much from each other. The protagonist, as Benio in Hakara-san ga toru, is a strong and not conventional feminine character. In particular, Shino has been grown as a boy from her father and has to learn her way to be feminine.
This is also the trademark for oddity and that gives the chance to open an eye on the changes that Japan is going through, when it finally open its doors to the Western world, in particular USA.
What I thought was very interesting of the manga, except for the nice but possibly a bit trivial story, was the possibility to understand this specific historical period of Japan and how controversial certain things that we nowadays give for granted were back then.
The influences and progresses carried on by the Americans are seen as positive by the author, although she doesn't hide the fact that in reality things didn't run smooth at all for several reasons.
A part from the historical background, if the female protagonist is a interesting character, her "true love", is a bit too dull and belonging to some "typical" romantic and idealized stereotype. However, the other characters (both male and females) that become key figures in the plot, have a much more interesting deepnees and provide also a touch of humour there and then.
On top of this, I find the drawings very beautiful, probably because they are typical from the 70s (although this manga was published at the end of the 80s), as Waki Yamato's style is.
As summary, I strongly recommend this manga for whoever is interested in reading an historical romantic story, with a tears-enriched ending.

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