Himawari-san Manga, Volume 7 (ひまわりさん)

November 10th, 2016

hws7To all my readers here at Okazu, and especially to all of you who have been with me for years, my sincere thanks and love. We’re going to need each other in days to come. I will do my best to provide entertainment and thoughtful commentary and a welcoming community. Please feel free to vent in the comments today.Hate speech and insults will be immediately and harshly dealt with. Expressions of mutual support are welcome. Stay respectful of each other and I’ll just consider it an open forum. 

In the meantime, as thin excuse to escape reality, I would like to briefly discuss Himawari-san, Volume 7.  One might be surprised to see this story, which was never about anything in particular, to be still in progress. Unusually, as it reaches Volume 7, it appears to be about something after all. This story is about the humanizing of Himawari-san, “An introverted young girl and her older brother have their lives radically altered by a bookshop owner and a professional writer, respectively.” 

In this volume we see both Matsuri and Himawari-san from the outside and we can see that they, almost despite themselves, have been really good for one another. And we can see that they are coming to that same conclusion. 

Ratings:

Art – 9
Story – 7
Characters – 8
Yuri – 2 (I’m starting to think Himawari-san and Yuu might be a good couple, too)
Service – 1

Overall  – 8

These past two days have reminded me starkly  of the importance – the lifeline – books were to me as a young person. As an adult, they’ve become more of a pleasure, but as a child and a teen, they were the single thing that kept me sane and out of trouble. I’m going to start working on my Gift List shortly, and hope that we can offer some solace and lifelines through manga in the days to come. Feel free to make suggestions in the comments as well.

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5 Responses

  1. Melissa M. says:

    Stay safe, everyone. We’re scared in Canada too – sandwiched between America and Russia and feeling very powerless to protect ourselves, let alone anyone else. I’ve got people I love in the States, friends and family, most of them LGBTQ+ or non-white or both, and I think we’re all having trouble sleeping at night. I keep telling myself that there are still good people, and they’re all still there. Everything that was good in the world last week is still there today. There’s still hope, and love, and a reason to go on. Love to everyone – we’ll all get through this together.

  2. Mariko says:

    I barely slept the night of the election. I felt physically ill and mental dispair. Eventually I slugged some cough medicine to sleep and managed to get a couple of hours punctuated by terrible dreams. As the horrid texts came in from my awful family I felt utterly alone in a way that I hadn’t since my post-college depression (which happened to coincide with W’s reelection, but…)

    The next day I didn’t eat at all. Even if food sounded good the curdle in my stomach would have rejected it. I cried. I could not distract myself – I took no joy in anything. Manga, games, TV… it all seemed frivolous and pointless. I wrote hundreds, maybe thousands of words of retort in an email to my family that I will likely never send, just to purge myself of them.

    Bless the serendipity of me having a work conference coincide with these past couple of days. Normally I work from home and can get very socially isolated. But just the act of having a business dinner, going through the networking rituals and talking about ordinary work stuff all day and seeing that the engine of existence churns on has helped. And more importantly, bless my wife, the optimist, who has stepped in as the rock for this mess when I could not, as I normally do.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do not think anything about the next four years will be easy. Whenever I think about what we face the knot returns to my gut. I know that the country four years from now will have changed in ways that hurt many, many people. And that when the ludicrous promises of Trump fail to manifest, or fail to deliver the riches that so many deluded people clearly believe they will see, his silver-tongued lies will deflect their ire anywhere but his shoulders.

    I am afraid for my friends who, without the ACA, will suffer, and potentially die. I am afraid of escalating violence as those with ugly souls take this result as permission to release their hatred. Who say they are tired of “political correctness” as code for “I want to feel ok about mistreating others that I irrationally dislike.”

    As I said, I am not an optimist. I could not be the one to rally the troops and coordinate our resistance. But thanks again to my wife, I’m ready to hitch on. We have committed to each other to focus on the good we can put out in the world. To rise from our comfort and complacency and help others more than ever.

    I am a “straight,” white, middle-class man, and I felt this way. I cannot even fathom the emotions of the truly vulnerable people in this country and what they will face. I have heard that a movement is building based on similar fears and troubles falling out from the Brexit vote – allies wearing a safety pin on their clothes as an indication that they will stand up for others and that scared people who see it know they aren’t alone. I don’t know if it will get traction or make a difference (again, pessimist) but as a tiny first step in a long journey, it’s something I suppose.

    Thank you, Erica, for this community and platform. I hope that someday soon manga is fun again and we can all enjoy dissecting the finer points of silly fictional relationships. As Melissa said, stay safe, hug somebody, and let’s figure out how to sail all of us through the fog together.

  3. Krystal says:

    The “truly vulnerable” have been dealing with this stuff for decades. We’re going to be just fine. We’re going to do our best to keep ourselves and the people we love safe and healthy.

    Two years to the mid-term cycle, another two until next. Do not be passive or cynical or bitter. Be active, go after the world you want.

    Thanks for being an ally.

  4. Red says:

    Take heart and keep fighting! We are always with you guys and love you.

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