[Volume 1]Aono-kun ni Sawaritai kara Shinitai; awkward love after death and other horrors

{TW: suicide attempt, blood and body horror scenes (trypophobia). Some major-ish spoilers for volume 1 of Aono-kun ni Sawaritai kara Shinitai (not the ending)}

There are countless stories portraying high school love, from the regular drama like Ao haru ride to a more comedic Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, or the more supernatural Kamisama Hajimemashita. Opening up the first pages of Aono-kun ni sawaritai kara shitai, it was exactly the kind of story I was expecting. The cover portraying the awkward yet lovable main character – Yuri-chan – sent the sweet shoujo romance vibe. All her meeting with Aono-kun needed was the sparkles and shiny spheres floating around in the panel’s corners…

The first page in and of itself was a perfect start for this story. Mixing awkward with sweet it quickly sets the tone for the series. Nevertheless, it’s quickly made clear how important this “possible relationship” is for our heroine. She’s not noticed by others and even by some referred to as “student librarian”. Yuri quickly gets interested in Aono-kun and starts wondering about how can she make him notice her. She screams out the confession into his face and seems to be ready for rejection… but Aono accepts it?

If a quick montage has shown anything but to skip over the less important bits, it’s no different here. The story doesn’t dance around the cute couple and quickly announces Aono-kun’s sudden and unfortunate death. At first Yuri is shell-shocked. Crying her eyes away and wishing she was dead she actually pulls out a box cutter when none other than Aono-kun stops her. She rushes to hug him and… passes through effortlessly. Aono returned to Yuri, but as a ghost. Soon enough the twisted comedy of the manga shows itself as well. The scene is set. (However, not without Yuri coming to some very “sound” conclusions).

Another key element of the story is Aono “shifting” into various objects so Yuri can hug him, despite not being able to touch ghosts. Sweet everyday moments such as Yuri talking to Aono pretending to use a phone so as to not seem suspicious… Her happy tears when hugging him to the best of her ability, finally reunited with the boy she loves…

Aono-kun ni Sawaritai kara Shinitai quickly lulls you in with its wacky comedy and sweet moments between the two main characters, as Yuri desperately holds onto Aono in any way she can.

One day Yuri asks whether Aono can possess people or not and when the latter says he’d never do it, she offers to be the test subject. She just wondered, we are not shown Aono’s face, as Yuri laughs it off flustered. Something is clearly off. Will it be another joke fake out? And then-

The author doesn’t leave us stranded in horror land and the scene ends comically, however, it’s not the first nor final scene of body horror in the manga, so beware.

The next few chapters progress as usual with sweet moments between our couple (like Aono-kun helping Yuri sing), but it surprisingly touches on a few important details. For example, the feeling of guilt that one can have when being the only one to see the ghost (Yuri almost dashes to tell her classmate that Aono was the one playing the piano and not her because saying that she was alone felt wrong.) or the fact that people are left behind. One such is Aono’s friend and classmate Fujimoto. Despite his crass speech and harsh words about Aono, in the end Yuri is the one to try to console him. The most interest part about this is that it was her acting out was Aono was trying (but obviously) couldn’t do.

Going to an absent horror fan classmate’s house provides some interesting details about Aono’s ghost position, taboos, and even some answers that Yuri had since the first possesion. It all comes crashing down with the main chilly climax of the volume, as Aono encounters a weird sort of barrier preventing him to go with Yuri into the house. I won’t spoil the ending, but will delightfully add that the volume ends with the pair kissing (not exactly how one would imagine it’d happen in a regular shoujo manga).

Shoujo, shoujo, shoujo… Of course, this sweet albeit weird sometimes and awkward romance could not be anything else, right? Wrong! The sparkly first few pages and the deceptive sweetness was nothing but a cover for the more mellow and bittersweet moments. Classified as horror, romance, comedy and seinen, Aono-kun ni Sawaritai kara Shinitai sits proudly in my reading list.

So, should you really read Aono-kun ni Sawaritai kara Shinitai? Here are some pros and cons:

Pros:

  • cute couple made up of likeable characters
  • the horror moments are paced well and hit hard thanks to the art style changes
  • many possibilities for future developments both for the story as a whole and its characters in Volume 2 (I’m including the side characters as well into this, Yuri’s budding friendship with both the horror super fan Horie and the interesting dynamic and developments of the friendship? with Fujimoto)
  • The whacky comedy that is paced surprisingly well and never goes out of its way to be out there or raunchy

Cons:

  • it can all be super intense scene after scene without space to breathe
  • the bitter sweetness and horror of it all is definitely not for everyone
  • again, legit trypophobia inducing body horror and it gets worse for a bit towards the end of volume 1, so who knows what’s in store

Final verdict: Yes, but beware if you’re trypophobic or wary of other kinds of body horror

All in all, I found this manga to be rather refreshing and a quick read despite its heavy subject matter. I plan on reviewing the other volumes as well and in a bit more depth that this 1st, more introductory post.

One thought on “[Volume 1]Aono-kun ni Sawaritai kara Shinitai; awkward love after death and other horrors

  1. Holy. When you said, opening up it was the story you were expecting, I was expecting it to be something just unconventional but that look pretty extreme with its gory elements. Though it looks like the characters are cute. Seems like something that I’d hilariously enjoy.

    Like

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