Yuri Manga: GUNJO, Volume 3 (羣青下)

June 20th, 2012

The third and final volume of GUNJO (羣青 下) is no easier to read than the previous two volumes. In fact, there are several moments that still manage to shock and appall, even with all we’ve been through.

“What would you kill for?” The brunette, Megane-san, asks the blonde’s, Sensei’s, sister-in-law, and she in turn asks her husband. It is a question that is buried deep in the heart of this volume.

Things we thought we knew, turn out to be not true, and the depth of the despair of Megane-san’s life only becomes truly apparent when she’s all but shed her last layer of emotional armor. Still, it is in moments where kindness manages to be felt for a mere moment, that brutality is the most harsh, and in the middle of the most intense violence when gentleness can be felt most clearly.

One of the questions asked back when I reviewed the first or second volume was – how much time has passed? I can answer that now – it’s been about a week, going on two.

As I read this story, probably about halfway through what would become the second volume, I conceived a wish – a hope. It was an insane hope, because there was nothing at all in the story that lead me to think it could ever come true. I desired, most of all, to see the two characters – the beaten, abused, unloved woman, and the woman who killed for her – smile. It was a ridiculous wish that could never happen.

The final half of this final book is the literary equivalent of lancing an infected wound to get the infection out. There’s really no other way to describe it. Page after page of confession, admission, digression, discussion finally brings the two characters through the last of their despair to the inevitable end of their story.

GUNJO is over and I have nothing left to say about it. It’s been wonderful, it’s been painful, it’s been sublime.

In the end, there’s only one question left for you to ask – Did they ever smile? You’ll have to read it and find out.

Ratings:

Overall – 10

Once again, I want to thank Nakamura Ching-sensei for creating this extraordinary story. 

Without question, GUNJO is the best manga I have ever read, and it encroaches deeply on the “best book I have ever read” list.

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9 Responses

  1. Mara says:

    Due to my inferior Japanese there is one thing that is bugging me about the very end of GUNJO, that I must ask a question about.

    However this will definitely include spoilers. Is this okay or should I use another place for this question like the mailing list?

  2. @Mara – why don’t you email me. I’ll respond if I can. If I cannot, why not write Nakamura-sensei?

  3. Mara says:

    @Erica Friedman – Gotcha, will do so.

    Sad though that all the people who where confronted or met by the two main characters the sempai from their high school is only briefly seen in the present. Of all the people B&B could get into a shouting match with I thought that one was due.

  4. @Mara – Possibly, but it’s not really a story about retribution. ^_^

  5. Anonymous says:

    It really was a wild and emotional ride for these two, I have yet to finish my third volume as I only read certain parts a day to add more build-up. I only hope that it’s a satisfying ending

  6. Anonymous says:

    can someone tells me where can i buy or find this manga translated? If not, the links where i can buy the orinal version. thanks!

    (Unfortunately, my japanese is really bad… but i’ll try to understand if there is only a japanese version of it… BECAUSE IT’S SOOOO GOOD!)

  7. @Anonymous – At this time, GUNJO is only available in Japanese. If you click the picture, you’ll be taken to the entry for the book on Amazon JP.

  8. Shelostcontrol says:

    Im dying to read the last volume but i cant get it anywhere. .. its been so long since i want it

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