Manga – BOKU WA MARI NO NAKA (Oshimi Shuuzou)

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Check the new manga from the author of ‘Aku No Hana’.

You may know Oshimi Shuuzou and his (so far) best-selling series ‘Aku No Hana‘ (and maybe the terrible anime adaptation it got this last spring…)

Professional mangaka since 2001, it took him almost a decade to know a commercial break-through with this SM flavored high-school love story. Since then, his old works are being reprinted and widely distributed and I have to say some of his short stories are well worth your time and money. In particular, ‘Sweet Poolside‘ and ‘Shinochan wa jibun no namae ga ienai‘.

Both of these one-shots have the usual Oshimi realistic drawing style and shady atmosphere that you have experienced in Aku No Hana. There is no explicitly sexual contents per say but he manages to build a strong sexual tension throughout his stories (even over a relatively short format).

He translates perfectly the inner struggles and complexity of the teenage years even through the tiniest details.

Oshimi’s style is more about subtlety than straight-forward  eroticism. More psychological than physical. And therefore way more disturbing and ‘arousing’ (if you know what I mean).

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Except for these few older short works, Oshimi Shuuzou is already working on another series in parallel to Aku No Hana. It is called ‘Boku Wa Mari No Naka’ (‘I am into Mari’) and the second volume has just been published.

I have decided to introduce you to this new manga today because the second volume is confirming what the first one let catch just a glimpse : Boku Wa Mari No Naka is a very good read.

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With a slightly different approach from his previous works (the main character is not a teenager but a grown-up, the whole story is based on a supernatural event…), Oshimi Shuuzou explores once again the same themes with virtuosity : the teenage turmoil and anxiety, the discovery of sexuality, people feeling bad about their bodies, feeling like a misfit…

Hypersensitive, confused and alive, Oshimi’s characters are regular teenagers facing their own problems while growing up.

I won’t spoil the story at all (I know how frustrating it can be) but I can assure you that the mangaka really masters the cliffhanger. On a different note, I think his drawing got even better (or maybe his assistant is working harder? hehe), making you flip the page with pleasure.

This is a very recommended read for any of you who is getting bored with the usual moe stuff. I know there are some scan-trads available already so look for them, you won’t be disappointed!

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