[Guest Review by DemacianSentry] Walk Wit Me by Hiroki Ugawa

walk with me yuri manga

 

Walk Wit Me is a harrowing tale of how the lives passed down to children, from those who are responsible for giving them life, sometimes do nothing to actually allow them to have a fuller, richer life. So they find it better to do so themselves.

Author: Hiroki Ugawa
Length: 2 Chapters
Status: Completed
Scanlation Group: Yuri Project
Genre: Drama, Yuri
Read Online

 

Story: 9.5/10

During the late 1950’s, in a slowly dying coalmine town, at the foot of a mountain, somewhere remote within the United States, two girls struggling to grasp the purpose that their parents have given them, find greater purpose in one another. From an encounter in their early childhood to the setting of the story itself, they spend every possible moment together they can find. Surrounded by stubborn townsfolk that continue to believe in the old glory of the mine when it was young, their lives are shadows of those very same people that raised them. What’s worse is that as the ones who call themselves their parents continue to press that idea down upon them, they have already been convinced that they will die in the coalmine town in much the same way everyone else will.

With so much time left to them, they both feel they deserve a chance to have a better life, and they find that hope in just the idea of leaving the town behind. Having at least one friend in Wendy was the strength to keep Marly focused on living life, and in turn Marly gives Wendy the same strength. Over the course of their childhood they escape the soul-crushing realities of the lives whenever they are together. In the small amounts of time spent together they escape the town just long enough to return and tolerate it for another day. Like refueling themselves for the next day. The perpetual tragedy of this begins to wear them down to a breaking point and they reach a unanimous decision to leave as soon as an opportunity presents itself. The only issue seems to be their parents, but they soon discover that besides that nearly insurmountable obstacle keeping them boxed in, there lies an even greater barrier that could rupture their relationship altogether. The real reason that their time spent together was an escape from reality.

Characters: 9/10

Marly: When you live in a place you consider to be “an amateur, soot-caked, ramshackle creation” it becomes a little difficult to find a silver lining to keep you going, but Marly fortunately found that glistening, precious metal early on in her life at the foot of the mountain her foster father dug coal out from. With a constant penance given to her from her first father being expended consistently on a sickly second father she hardly cares for, she feels she may end up being stuck with pulling black rocks from deep beneath the ground to support the non-medical needs of her foster parents and herself. Marly is a hard worker, she understands all too well that nothing is truly free. If she had the chance to trade her imminently upcoming pickaxe and hardhat for a pencil and book-bag, there would be no doubt that her potential would be limitless in both education and the application of said instrument towards a rewarding career in whatever she chooses to do. In her head, and aloud, she describes the beauty and bitterness of her world in thoughtful and fluid poetry. Her interpretation of religion is that only a bum could have created the place in which she lives, and that the real power of an omnipotent being resides within the heart of a human being. A most courageous individual full of ambition to make her own choices and still let life carry her forward. Marly’s emotions have no buffer when they are expressed. If she feels something strong enough, even in ignorance, she pours it out in a righteous tone. Her only real flaw is one that she has no real authority over yet, her child-like illusions of immortality and all-encompassing knowledge of her reality.

2016 winter anime
Marly

 

Wendy: If the most influential individual on your entire life is your mother, and you cannot find evidence in your living memory of said mother fulfilling the duty you believe to be hers, it can be hard for that reality to be sustaining for your sanity. Wendy is a girl burdened by her past, and her whole existence, outside of her time with Marly, revolves around being trapped in actions taken by her mother, and herself. Timid, shy, with an aura of innocence, she looks to be just a shell left behind in the trash by her mother. But the exterior that she exposes to the world is just as much her creation as it is her mother’s (this character reveal was the deeper of the two, in my opinion). She believes she is the problem in her relationship with her mother, and for good reason. The image that she projects is to not sully others with her own misdeeds. Wendy cannot find a way to help herself, and her mother is powerless in the same regard despite her best efforts to do otherwise. She finds strength in those who believe she can be better: her mother, Marly, etc. Wendy’s life appears to be a cage, but in fact it is a leash she freely wears to protect the true innocents of the world around her. If left on her own she would drown in her misery and most likely find an easy way out. The interpretation one might have on that “easy way out” could be any number of long-term, short-term, or immediately destructive paths. Any of which would suffice for a most tragic end to her reality as it stands during most of the story. In spite of all her many flaws, her greatest strength is belief. No matter what path it leads her down, good or bad, her faith in others guides her onwards.

2016 winter anime
Wendy

 

Art: 10/10
walk with me yuri manga

 

When I started reading this, the first few pages looked like sloppy artwork, but it was an intentional design. The town is coated in soot from the coalmine. Everything that has been tainted by that dry grime is emphasized in the artwork, even the people. Honestly, I took ten or twenty screenshots, and I wanted to post them all. But this one seemed to culminate the extent to which detail was defined for everything that was drawn. The buildings were all given incredible detail down to the bricks, and the darker the setting was for each one of them, the more it seemed to be filled in, but instead it was really just accentuated by broader coloring.
Even the birds were made of incredible design. They were shown crisp when motionless, and blurred when in motion. The landscape was flowing within and around itself, as if it was a picture taken for the scene, or better still, captured by an artist painting a real place onto a canvas. The flowers were drawn to the petal with amazing craftsmanship.

In every frame, the characters received attention based on the importance they had for each scene. You feel as though not only your eyes are drawn to the greater elements of them, but also averted from the lesser characters that were drawn near them. Dark moments, even if you didn’t know it was dark until you got the context, were darkened expertly. Light and lifting moments seemed to almost let you connect the dots and find the beauty that lied within them so that instead of just showing you, you could see for yourself. It was emotion, in constant yet fluxing motion.

Yuri: 8/10

Following the rules of this blog, I am required to point out that clear, yet brief, heterosexual (hate those words) “relations” take place within the story. So it can’t even be a “9”, but those instances are important only in the aspect of the main characters’ flourishing relationship. They are only used as a tool by the author to give overwhelming influence on the girls’ lives together. Trust me, it is essential to the plot. Now that that is out of the way, E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G else is pure yuri. From the very beginning until the very end, the two girls find solace in their every interaction together. Ranging from “PG” to “XXX”, they are only ever following a strict adherence to the aspects of yuri.

Total Enjoyment: 10/10

I gave the story a different rating than my enjoyment because the story did have a few minor plot holes, and it can be a little confusing to figure out where the characters live in the beginning, but that’s all part of the fun I guess. This story grabs the reader by the collar, not to say “pay attention”, but rather to say “this is how life is here, deal with it”, and that can bring you straight down into the depth that the author went for. In order for you to believe that these children could be justified in their basic desire of running away from home, it had to be so extraordinarily soul-crushing. Not just from the first part where you see the black hell in which they reside in, but even into the last part when the tragedy of their individual and shared suffering fills up your tolerance for angst. And just before you boil over with their pain, they come together and quell the amassing tension you feel over their misery. Beautiful.

Find out more about DemacianSentry by clicking on the name~

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “[Guest Review by DemacianSentry] Walk Wit Me by Hiroki Ugawa

  1. I remember when this one came out, and really like it for how different it was.
    Like you mentioned they use ALOT of ink, the detail is so great, and even their other work, Koburiawase, seems to be in the same vein.
    I also liked how Marly drove the first chapter, and Wendy the Second. And the prose was really engaging, it almost felt like you were stepping into a novel of the period. And it seems to be based in the US? That’s novel too.
    The ending keeps you drawn in as well, you aren’t sure if things are going to work out or not, but after all that darkness and despair its nice that they come out the other side to the light.

    Nice review, thanks!

    I do have a side question: You mentioned a standardized yuri scale, its that somewhere on the site? I’ve tried looking for it here but haven’t found it?

    Like

    • Yes, so the have a How-to Guide at the top of the page. Click on the link from that page for their guest reviews. Then in step four they have a rating system link, that they use, click that and you will see it.

      Like

  2. Read his one a while ago, and… It is really good, though I havee to admit I preferred the second chpter to be a bit more interesting.
    Also, the art for me was little overwhelming, like, I understand that its intentional and fits the story perfectly, but It seems that I just like cleaner art. Thought that wouldn’t have fitted this so… Well, you propably already grasped what I mean.
    But at any rate, it is a really nice story.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s