Photo by Abbey Steinman
I’ve never read a story where my eyes struggled moving onto the next page because I couldn’t stop admiring- well, more like devouring, the page in front of me until I read yours. I can’t get enough of the story and artwork, nor do I want to. I fear the day where I have to read the last chapter because the adventure I was having will be over. I can’t stand that thought becoming true.
I didn’t expect to read a coming of age story about two girls who meet on the same train to Tokyo to be so enthralling. Let alone them moving into the same apartment together- suite 707 to be exact- and live like a dream. Plus, the two main characters are opposites in aesthetics as Hachi’s a super girly girl while Nana’s a hard core punk rock chic. It’s safe to say this story took over my life from the start!
I may not be a rockstar with several piercings on each side of my ears (although I wish I was), but I can still play bass and guitar. Maybe I can’t play like Shin, Ren, or Tamaki, but I worship the god-like instrument just as much as they do, but that’s beside the point.
Your characters are relatable to the core. Besides all characters having such exquisite taste in fashion like wearing Vivienne Westwood, cheetah print fur coats, ripped fishnets, and oversized leather jackets, they’re just as human as I am. Even though they’re 2D characters on a piece of paper or on the big screen, my heart still aches for them hopelessly. Each volume, each chapter, each page, to each panel, I crave to see what the story has to bring next. Witnessing how these characters will solve their internal and external conflicts always has me on my toes.
There are characters who are rebels, hopeless romantics, manipulators, divas, and even victims of trauma! It’s as if Nana is the whole package. Here I was escaping reality reading Nana passionately singing her on top of the dining room table. It’s as if she was performing a concert, but only for three people to see. She was having the time of her life. Then all of a sudden, I’m reading Hachi’s next heartbreak and how it even affected her friendships. Of course, I can’t run away for too long because these stories become more relatable than I expected. Not only that, it makes me think about myself. That’s what a story’s supposed to do.
I guess this was a sign of some sort. Within each new subplot, I find myself becoming more invested even if it’s nothing major. I won’t say too much because I fear spoiling it for the next person, but sometimes I feel “A Little Pain” after each chapter because it all feels too real. (“A Little Pain” is a song by Trapnest, and they’re the “rival” band in the series. I definitely recommend it if you need to pour your heart out!)
Perhaps you were my soulmate in waiting. Now just happens to be the right time we cross paths. Your story hit me hardest. I’m still in denial about turning 20, yet when I read you I don’t feel as terrified as I was before. The characters are close to my age, so it gives me a common ground to rely on. I’m reassured that things will turn out alright as long as I feel alive, make the most of everything I can, and have those that matter to me by my side.
Even if things get messy, you proved to me that tomorrow is another day for a new beginning. In order to fix the mess you’re in, you have to acknowledge the situation and strive to change it. While as easy as that sounds, in retrospect it’s also terrifying! No one wants to do that. Well, at least I know I have a hard time when it comes to that. Nonetheless, you inspire me to change that! That’s how I know I read something good.
Lines like, “[He’s] idolizing me, that’s why he fell in love with me,” and “We are all farsighted. We give importance to those things that are far from us, while neglecting the things that are close to us… only to realize their value later when they are out of reach again,” perfectly captures the moments and emotions one experiences when coming of age. It gets you in your feels!
So, when I open a new crisp volume, I’m bound to leave a spine mark with intense creases. That’s my trademark. It shows I couldn’t put you down, and that I’ve finished you in one sitting. I can’t read just one chapter and feel satisfied. Those cliffhangers really get to me! I always need to indulge more because, like I said earlier, I can’t get enough of it.
This was the first story in a long time where I’ve become emotionally attached to multiple characters and don’t want to let go (and I become passionate easily). I know I could re-read you later on, but the emotions I experienced reading you for the first time won’t ever be felt again. Living through your story has a lot of value, especially for the first time, and I wish it wouldn’t be taken away.
You continuously break my heart, piece it back together, and then break it again; however, I’m okay with that. When Nana and Hachi’s story comes to its sudden end, I’ll only aspire to continue living through them (as unhealthy as it seems). I have my reasons. I want to be like Nana because she’s able to put herself first and allow herself to be vulnerable. I also crave to be like Hachi because I aspire to express my gratitude to those around me before it’s too late. But, what I found most important of all was, “No matter how much, or how often people hurt each other, loving someone is never a waste.” It’s thanks to you, Nana, for being able to teach me small details about youth to help make mine a little bit better.