Josée, the Tiger and the Pisces, review: the search for one's place in the world

Josée, the Tiger and the Pisces, review: the search for one's place in the world

Josée, the Tiger and the Pisces, review

Those who have seen the anime adaptation of Josée, the Tiger and the Pisces (you can recover our review) will only find many similarities with the manga, a truly superb work, with sweet and delicate drawings, with which the author succeeds , with great dexterity, to capture the deepest feelings, sometimes hidden in the heart, of the protagonists.

Josée, the Tiger and the Pisces: the work

Josée, the Tiger and the Pisces is a generational work that, starting from the novel, makes its way through three different eras, evolving together with the passage of time but preserving its spirit.

The manga of Josée, the Tiger and the Pisces is the adaptation of the novel original by Seiko Tanabe, winner of the Akutagawa prize, published in Japan in June 1984 in Gekkan Kadokawa magazine. It was also transposed into a film with real actors released in Japanese cinemas and into an animated film brought to Italian cinemas by Anime Factory on 27-28-29 September, nominated as "Best animated film" at the Japan Academy Film Prize, and opened the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and the closing of the Busan International Film Festival. It saw the debut of Kotaro Tamura (director of the Noragami series and assistant director of Wolf Children) as a film director on a screenplay written by Sayaka Kuwamura (Strobe Edge, Drive).

Just in conjunction with the arrival of the anime in Italian theaters, J-POP brings the manga to Italy, published in Japan by Kadokawa Corporation, designed by Nao Emoto, two volumes collected in a collector's box decorated with the wonderful images of Josée and Tsuneo.

“You are cheeky for being a caregiver. Yes, from today you will be my caregiver. "

Josée, the Tiger and Pisces: the confrontation with oneself and with the world

What Seiko Tanabe tells us is a poignant story of friendship that goes beyond differences, destined to change in a love story with warm and sweet tones.

Tsuneo is a 22-year-old college graduate, majoring in marine biology who does many part-time jobs, including one in a dive shop, to raise enough money to be able to attend Mexican university and thus fulfill his childhood dream of closely observing a legendary fish that is found only in that sea and that fascinated him as a child.

Josée is instead a twenty-four-year-old girl confined to a wheelchair from birth. Her real name is Kumiko and Josée is the nickname she uses to introduce herself to Tsuneo. Josée is the protagonist of the book In a month, in a year of the French writer Françoise Sagan, of whom the girl is passionate and it will be this passion of her that will lead her to make friends with a librarian named Kana Kishimoto. But before that, our two young protagonists have yet to get to know each other. Like? Tsuneo saves Josée as the girl loses control of her wheelchair on a dangerous slope.

Josée's grandmother decides to hire the boy as a caregiver for her granddaughter and Tsuneo decides to accept as he needs money. The task, simple at first sight, soon turns out to be more difficult than expected. Josée lives a recluse in the house and only with her fervent imagination can she take flight. She longs for freedom but the outside world seems to be full of dangers and frightening beasts, represented by the image of the Tiger, as her grandmother Chizu used to tell her.

Yet, thanks to Tsuneo, Josée slowly begins to go out from the safe area in which he has lived all his life, discovering that the world, although sometimes frightening, contains a shocking beauty and a thousand possibilities that are just waiting to be grasped. Josée thus begins to feel truly free for the first time in her life.

But meeting other people also means confronting them and she Suddenly feels trapped again. When her grandmother dies everything seems to turn black again and those goals she seemed to have achieved seem so ridiculous that she even gives up on her dream: to become a book illustrator.

When everything seems to be lost, Tsuneo gets involved in an accident and this will definitely change things for both of them. In fact, it is only then that Tsuneo truly understands how much Josée suffered every time she was forced to give up her desires.

“I never understood anything. I didn't know how scary it could be to reach out for what you want. "

Now it's up to Josée to help Tsuneo not to give up on his dream, just as the boy had done with her. She decides to become her wings, her still supporting her because alone it is difficult to overcome difficulties but together you become stronger. Being able to count on another person is the most beautiful thing that can happen in life and this is what Josée and Tsuneo will discover, two guys who complement each other and find in each other the strength necessary to spread their wings and face the world. .

Josée, the Tiger and Pisces: three important symbols

There are three symbols that will always return throughout history, in particular the Tiger and Pisces, metaphors for feelings, dreams and desires of the two protagonists.

First of all this is the first time that the name of the protagonist appears in the title of a work, a sign that wants to send a clear message: Josée represents all the people confined to wheelchairs , is the symbol of change, of a person who decides to face their fears and overcome their limits without being discouraged by what society imposes and believes is right for them. Because she is the architect of her own destiny and of her personal history.

The Tiger is the symbol of what scares the world the most: people, with their judgments but also with their attentions often unwanted. When Josée returns to the zoo to face the tiger symbol of her fear it is the sign that she is ready, she no longer intends to let others find justifications for her.

Pisces are the symbol of the much-desired freedom by Josée but also by Tsuneo. Both volumes open with a magnificent scene of the sea depths, in which Tsuneo swims with his friends. But also Josée, thanks to the power of her imagination, finds herself free to swim among corals and fish.

The manga of Josée, the Tiger and the Pisces tells the adventure of growth, the achievement of the coming of age and independence, all represented by the stupendous drawings of Nao Emoto, deep and rich in details, poetic that, without the need for words, transport us into the world of Josée and his soul. Through this stupendous transposition, the story wants to reflect once again on how society treats disability because, although it has changed over the years and, both in Japan and in our country, they have made progress compared to the historical period in which it is set. the original novel, there are still many other problems, question marks that need to be solved.

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