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Naye's Archive
So why did nobody ever tell me I needed to read Minekura Kazuya's Stigma? Because, really, I did. It made my heart break into tiny little sharp pieces, which might not seem like something anyone would need, but. Oh, I did. Because afterward, the full experience of reading it, was more... Yeah, it's heartbreaking, but there's something in there that makes it all worth it - love. It's really rare to find any piece of fiction that can capture it; the honesty of it - warm and tender and bright. But Stigma does, and it's quite extraordinary.

Never sappy, never sentimental, but painful and beautiful and it is about love, though not any kind of romance-movie, happy-ending, cliché kind of love.

Bleak and hopeful, and if Minekura's style is infinitely interesting in its usual black and white, it's also breathtakingly gorgeous in colour. I don't even want to think about how much analyzing one could do of the meaning of color alone, but it doesn't take an expert to see that it's really powerful stuff. Anyone who reads it will feel that for themselves, and I have some scenes from the manga etched in my memory now, even though I only read it once.

Stigma's only a volume long, a story about a man without a memory or a name, and a boy searching for birds and a blue sky.

The world has seen a war that left wounds in people and the sky - it's always gray, now, always overcast, and there are no birds anymore. They couldn't live in it... But maybe they are still alive somewhere. Where the sky is blue, and after they meet, the man and the boy head off on a journey together to find it. To find themselves. To find something to live for.

It's hard to put words into a story that is so very visual - but also hard to put words to a story where the words themselves are so perfectly well chosen. The language is gorgeous, in a very stark way, and everything fits, fits together to create one of the most achingly sad and beautiful stories I've read.

I was glad to get some distraction from the story itself by my amusement at the cameo of a very familiar couple in the first crowd scene. Gonou and Kanan, anyone?

Stigma isn't licensed, which is a pity. The full color pages really makes it worth owning in physical form... But it's also worth reading, and Obsession have scanlations.


5 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?
xparrot From: xparrot Date: July 3rd, 2006 05:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Huh, you never read it? I swear I rec'ed it to you way back when I read it a couple years ago, always assumed that you had! (actually I thought you owned it? who owns it, then? Well, besides me, I found a copy in Mandarake's when I first got here ^^) Anyway, yah, what you said, beautiful story, beautiful art, lovely all around *nods meaningfully*
ex_naye320 From: ex_naye320 Date: July 4th, 2006 02:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I own it - got it pretty early on here, when I found it for 100 yen (!). I just never got around to reading it, because... I don't know. And then I had nothing to read last night, and I read it, and it was fantastic.

It's just... wow. So good, and painful, and beautiful... wow.
shayera From: shayera Date: July 4th, 2006 02:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Stupid me for never getting around to buying it, then. Heh. *adds to list of must-buy things*
ex_naye320 From: ex_naye320 Date: July 4th, 2006 03:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Seriously, there are no words for how gorgeous it is. It's totally sweet and painful and pretty. And really expensive new (if you can even find it new anymore - didn't see it on Amazon, but I could just have missed it), but I've seen it around for as low as 100 yen; usually goes for around 400... and it's absolutely worth it!
vargen From: vargen Date: July 4th, 2006 10:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh... sounds like a good story. I'll have to download it.
5 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?