Review for Chi no Wadachi Vol.1-Vol.3

Review for Chi no Wadachi Vol.1-Vol.3

Chi no Wadachi, Volume 1, Baby, Woman, White Shirts, Mental Health, Manga, Tension, Drama, Unsettling, Shuuzou OshimiA mother and son relationship, mental health, and a big unsettling unease feeling as one reads this manga. It definitely pulls you in despite the fact you may also just want to run.

I wanted to just read one volume of this one… in the end I read 3 of them. While quite unsettling/making me uneasy, I just had to know more. I couldn’t stop reading. I wanted to see what was next. How far would the mom go?

I just have to mention that I quite love the covers to this book. Seeing Sei and his mom together, seemingly happy. Seeing him grow up.

I wrote a short-ish review for each volume. I guess I could have also just posted them separately, but then my schedule would just further explode on my blog. 😛 I am writing this on the 17th and at the moment the earliest moment I can post this is today, the 24th.. that says enough about my full schedule.

Volume 1: Star rating, 4 starsNormally I don’t check Goodreads’ recommendations on the right side (I have seen some hilarious bad ones), but this one looked interesting, plus the title of the manga also made me curious. This was an intriguing, weird, wtf is wrong here first volume. It is about a boy named Sei and his mother. In the beginning things seem pretty OK, things are quite slow and calm. Just a teen boy who is trying to get through school, have some good times with friends, maybe date that cute girl. He gets teased a bit because of how his mom is, he is called a mother’s boy. We see his home situation and right from the bat something just felt off for me with the mom. As the story continues we see how the mom is acting a bit weird around her teen son and that is she is quite protective (though just skip quite and go right to protective). She seems to try to keep him at home as much as she can. Sometimes when she asks him things her smile doesn’t reach her eyes. I was bracing myself for something horrific to happen, I just had a bad feeling. And that camping/hiking trip, well all the red flags went up there, and that ending, holy hell.
The art was at times good, but at other times not my cup of tea.
All in all, though I just need to read the next volume. This is a manga that, despite the slowness, has something entrancing about it, something that just makes you want to keep reading. What is up with the mom, what happened? What more will she do? Will Sei be safe? I just NEED TO KNOW.

 

chi no Wadachi, Volume 2, Woman, Child, Reading, Book, Manga, Mental Health, Shuuzou Oshimi, UnsettlingVolume 2: Star rating, 3.5 starsOK, things just got even more messed up and screwed. The first chapters are mostly about what happened in the forest, how Shigeru is doing (seems someone is getting away with it), and there is the slow threat of something, lurking. Really, this manga is just so unsettling and creepy despite that there isn’t always something happening. The mom definitely isn’t right in her head (wonder what happened to her that she is like this now) and we see just how bad it goes as Sei has a friend, a girl, over at his home. The one who he likes and who likes him (come on it was obvious). Oh boy, I was just screaming at the girl to pick her stuff and move far far away. I just had such bad feelings about that. And once, again, just like the previous volume we get a totally WTF this is NOT GOOD/OK ending.
Also, given that she often gives him the same choices about food, I wonder if it is really about food or about keeping control on him. Making sure he picks the right choice.
I also wonder about dad. How much does he know? Does he know that something isn’t right with his wife and how she treats their son? If yes, why isn’t he helping out? Why is he keeping up the pretence.
The art definitely got a bit weird at times and not my cup of tea. However, I do feel the art fits the story pretty great. Conflicting, I know.
Another volume down, and I just need more!

 

Chi no Wadachi, Volume 3, Boy, Kimono, Woman, Pearl Necklace, Boy, Manga, Mental Health, Unsettling,Volume 3: Star rating, 3.5 stars: OOKKKKKK, welp this was one intense volume and that mom definitely needs some help given all that we have seen in this volume. Clearly something happened when Sei was born given the conversation in one of the chapters. On the one hand I feel sorry for the mom, on the other hand I am telling everyone to just freaking run run and run. What I said about the dad in the previous volume, it doesn’t seem like he knew his wife was doing this badly.
And poor Sei, who has regressed back to stuttering and not being able to talk without making weird faces and forcing it all out. My heart just broke for him. The whole Shigeru event, what mom did after the girl left, and all the other little things, and that big thing in the last chapter, he is just broken. I wonder if anyone can help him. Maybe the girl who likes him as she worries and knows that mom probably did something. Then again, I wouldn’t try to get near the mom… she is so volatile. Her thoughts go from wanting to die to murder to coddling and protection to happy and teehee. She sees Sei at times without him being there (as seen in aftermaths of the conversation as she was petting an invisible child).
Poor Shigeru btw, my heart broke for him and the family.
The art was once again not always to my cup of tea but definitely added to the creepy and uneasy atmosphere. Especially that last chapter was well done.
OK, I am taking a break from this. Yes, I would love to read on. I really do, but I don’t want to race through the series in one go. Plus, I definitely need something cute and fluffy now after reading this disturbing story.

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