The Seven Stages of Grieving
Each release of a Yuhki Kamatani title by Akata is becoming a small event for me, this author having “the trick” to make me crack, whether it’s with the moving Soul Shard(s) or the beautiful and poetic Our evanescent hearts. First title without parentheses of the author, Hiraeth made me live an experience where precisely I do not want to put anything in parentheses.
Since her debut, I find that the author really has her universe, her graphic style, her narration and her themes and here, everything is there.. We have his twirling poetic graphic touch that is undeniably moving. We have his exploded narration that takes us on a breathtaking and touching intimate journey. We have poignant and slightly dark themes that jostle us. I’m a fan.
Our evanescent hearts, its previous title, had a somewhat shy start for my taste and had often left me hungry with a feeling of improvisation. Hiraeth, him, took me on board from the first pages with his strange tones where divine Japanese folklore and poignant anguish at the loss of a loved one are mixed. It was striking.
I like dark and intimate themes. I was served here with Mika, our heroine, who cannot bear the disappearance of her best friend and wishes to commit suicide to join her., but she is saved in extremis by a god passing by. This one accompanies another, on the point of death, who undertakes his last journey. Seeing in this duo a path to take to perhaps get closer to the one she is looking for, Mika decides to follow them on their strange journey. Thus was born a surprising trio!
There are Akie Irie and John Tarachine in this adventure, it struck me directly! Indeed, Yuhki Kamatani borrows the wacky and casual side of the first, for the strange trio she directs, in particular Hibino who has the typical look of one of her heroes, but also the more intimate and harsh side of the second that we discovered in Goodnight I love you and who should soon return to us. It’s out of the ordinary but I liked this mix. I was completely carried away by the poignant distress of the heroine in her difficulty, her impossibility even to mourn. I found it moving that she pushed the limits of the understandable in her suicide attempt and even more so in this journey she undertakes with strangers who come to upset her world.
Everything is done so that this strangeness seems natural to us. The folklore of our deities is told to us by the menu and perfectly integrated into the current era in which Mika lives, giving a very spiritual side to the title, very Buddhist. Everything is then an opportunity to meet, to cross the world to better tell us about this difficulty of each one faced with the theme of death. whether to apprehend his own or that of others, accept it or gloomy. We are silent and consenting spectators of this drama which we can only witness and it is poignant. However, the author does not fall into the melody. She strikes a superb balance between humour, relevant reflection on this painful subject, spirituality and humour. It’s a great exercise!
In addition, she stages this with mastery, still offering us compositions of rare poetry. thanks to these twirling metaphors that she now masters perfectly. I particularly liked the symbolism of bindweeda plant that seems to constantly cling to our athletics-loving heroine, nailing her to the ground and tangling her in her feelings, she who cannot manage her grief. It’s a strong image. She also excels with everything related to Japanese spirituality., offering us images of temples and sublime deities, totally exotic for us, and containing a great sweetness. It’s sublime and very dreamlike! The motifs of the umbrella and the volute of smoke which recur regularly take the reader away, he too blown away with them. What magic between those fingers! And yet when it comes to expressing an emotion as down to earth as pain and suffering, it is also there to ravage our hearts, offering particularly impactful pages! I was very touched.