Dare ni mo Ienai (誰にも言えない) is a manga that follows the lives and love affairs of three women.
Midori had a traumatic experience when she was young and has not been able to move past it. It does not appear to be an actual trauma per se, but more a situation in which she found herself with a man she could not have – and no other man has really stacked up since. Midori doesn’t make it all that easy, to be honest. She’s a recluse, not outgoing, or friendly…and she doesn’t get along all that well with her sister, Minae.
Minae is, if anything, even *more* tactiturn and ill-tempered than Midori. She’s seeing this total goofball of a guy and is completely in denial about her feelings for him. It’s not until he falls from the 19th story of a building (down to the 18th story) that she realizes that she’d really miss the big lug if he were gone.
The final story follows two women, Meh-chan and Tsugumi, who live together, are lovers, but somehow don’t seem to be doing a good job of communicating. The fact that they work together actually makes it harder, rather than easier, for them to communicate properly. When Meh-chan falls apart at the idea of losing Tsugumi, for one brief moment, their hearts are in synch. But that turns out to be only a brief moment, as Tsugumi does leave to marry a man as her parents want. Meh-chan is able to find a generous thought for her ex, as she gazes on the “Just Married” announcement she’s received.
Shigizawa Kaya’s art was, at first, a little hard for me to parse. Midori and Minae are not twins, but looked so much like one another it took me a moment to realize that they were not the same person, as I had assumed at first glance. Tsugumi was also the same type. The three also shared the same expressions of dissatisfaction and grumpiness which contributed to the problem.
The final story “Ending” – which is the Yuri story – is that old-school, “I love you, but we can’t be together,” story, which really isn’t wearing all that well. To my eyes, at this point, there’s just something pathetic about someone who can walk away from a viable, passionate relationship for some kind of abstract duty. Yes, I know it still happens, but it makes me sad that we’re still stuck in this same space. 20 years from now, I really don’t want to be reading this same story anymore. Right now, I can’t stop myself from thinking that Meh-chan is better off without Tsugumi.
The stories in this collection are not awful, but given the unlikability of the main characters, it was hard to really get involved in them. The best of the three was Minae’s story, and the only character I could really sympathize with was her boyfriend, who seemed like a genuinely fun guy. That’s kind of deathly for a book about three women.
Art – 6
Story – 6
Characters – 5
Yuri – 9 in “Ending”
Service – 4
Overall – 6