Mermaid Prince, review: the melancholy and joy of growing up

Mermaid Prince, review: the melancholy and joy of growing up

Mermaid Prince, review

J-POP brings Mermaid Prince to Italy, a single volume consisting of three stories, all written and drawn by Kaori Ozaki, famous for her delicate line and her drawings that know how to speak to the reader's heart. Three profound and sincere stories those contained in this volume that manage to thrill with their poetry and their infinite sweetness.

Mermaid Prince - J-POP, review If you enter the underwater cave you may come across a mermaid. In case you can see it, any wish will be fulfilled. On that promontory there is a small cave. We call it the Mermaid's Cave. Even if it is a known thing, every now and then it still happens that someone enters the cave because they believe the rumors that if they wait for the dark, they will be able to meet the siren.

Mermaid Prince: three deep stories that speak to the heart

As mentioned before, this manga contains three different stories, but similar to each other, for the meaning they contain.

To read the story that gives the manga its name (I would have preferred it to be at the beginning) we have to wait for the end. The first story we come across is called Ametsukigahara, it is split into two parts and focuses on a girl named Akari who seems to have nothing to keep her attached to this world apart from her best friend Fumika her. Ametsukigahara is the name of the stop at which they would like to get off, skipping school, but which in the end they never had the courage to do.| ); }

Mermaid Prince - J-POP, review It is significant that the first thing the girl decides to do is just get off at that stop, alone, to find out where she can go. Akari does everything to erase the melancholy she feels in her heart like bathing in a bathing suit in a river or even sleeping with Kaji, whom she met a year later, when she is no longer with Fumika. Because they both need to lick their wounds and erase their melancholy, until Akari makes a decision and finally realizes what she wants from her life.

The second story is titled Snow Day and explores a very important theme, which is social exclusion through a pinch of the supernatural, which makes the plot even more magical. The protagonist is a librarian, who has no qualms about approaching two homeless people who have found refuge inside the building while the snow falls outside. She picks up the baby and reads him a story. A simple gesture but also of great human value. Still, are these two people really homeless or are they hiding a secret? A few days later the two disappear and two wild boars are found, an adult and a puppy now orphaned. Time passes and when the first flowers begin to bloom the puppy decides to go back to the librarian, to thank her…

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In the third story that gives the title to the manga, the writer once again proposes, as happened for the first, the theme of adolescence , with its insecurities and the pain of growing up. The protagonists are Matori, a cheerful and carefree girl and Mugi, a melancholy boy who is also angry about moving to Okinawa for his sister's wedding. Matori is in love with Mugi, she is next to him and she would do anything for him, but the boy struggles to adapt, she wants to escape, until she finds something that attracts her interest. This is a widespread legend among the locals: if you make your wish to a mermaid, it will come true. It seems that Kotaro, her sister's husband and even Mugi's grandmother have seen her. It will be the disappearance of Kotaro, the search for the phantom siren that will bring the two boys closer together, who will share their respective frailties and insecurities of growth, of feeling alone and misunderstood by the rest of the world.

Mermaid Prince - J-POP, review Once again we are given a perfect picture of what it means to grow up, to be at an age in which we are no longer children but not even adults, in which we begin to face the first responsibilities and we clash with the roughness of the world. And when we are alone it can all seem just too much, especially when we lose sight of our points of reference. But when we have another person next to us with whom to share our fears and frailties, things improve and we can see the light even in the dark.

The graphic style

Kaori Ozaki uses not only words, but also drawings to excite and convey the messages of the story. The characters are transparent and are able to convey the emotions they feel at a given moment: anxiety, fear but also joy and relief. The mangaka uses the unspoken in a brilliant way, that is, invites us to observe the details contained in the tables, clean, without too many frills or details (the right one in short), for example the footprints of man on the snow in the second story, to tell but without giving too much away. In this way you create a poetic narrative, full of suspense and a thousand and more different emotions.

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