Daydream Sanctuary Features

Monday, May 30, 2011

[101 Manga in 2011] Coelacanth - Fishy Sheep in Her Delusions

シーラカンス
By SHIMOTSUKI Kayoko
Hisano: I should've died in that gas explosion years ago. If only I didn't bump into a boy and got a piece of his broken toy, I wouldn't have been saved.
Yukinari: You have the piece... that's missing from this old thing!
Hisano: Were you that boy whom I bumped into back then?
Yukinari: Would you believe me if I said I don't remember anything?
Hisano: "That Yukinari guy is lying.", it says.
Kentarou: Who said that? I'm your friend, I'll believe you, Hisano.
Hisano: ........ a sheep.
SETTING:
Ordinary neighborhood. Realistic. Present times.
ELEMENTS:
Explosion, Death, Murder, Hallucination, Sheep, Money Change, Phonebooth, Apartment, Fish
GENRE:
Drama, Angst, Psychological, Mystery, Tragedy, Romance, Comedy
CHARACTERS:
Students, Teachers, Prostitutes, Policemen, Journalist, Medical people, Broken Individuals
RATING:
B (NICE!)

FAVORITISM:
3 Hearts ---> LIKE
(4 Hears to Kentarou~)

Coelancath may be more popular for its beautiful illustrations and its dark psychological aspects, but what I think what's more intriguing are its mysteries and twists, and how different characters and events got connected to one another.

Though I have to agree that how the events got related seem too "coincidential" (they all happened in such a wonderful timing that even some characters in the series itself are amazed on these connections), nonetheless, it's interesting how it provided an explanation of a past case to a very different recent one; and how it put together characters that don't seem related, yet they are.

Some of the twists have been predictable, but I'm very impressed on who the main culprit behind the main plot turned out to be. I'm also relieved that the supporting characters in this series aren't just "cheerleaders" of the protagonist.... they had really been there for support, protagonists need them.

I'm not a fan of the heroine but how she interacts with the manifestation of her despair intrigues me. Her hallucination shows to us that she's not really as stupid as she appears: she's not naive enough to follow a stranger, she just decided to do so.


Unfortunately, it's kinda shoujo cliche for the heroine to fall in love to the one who's enigmatic and dangerous... rather than the one she truly needs. She just followed her feelings, and she didn't know why she fell in love... nor did she really care much about it. She also ran away from the police "for his sake", but in actuality she just made herself more suspicious And in the end she even thought of running away from home and dying together with him. Moreover, should there always be a scene wherein a hero should rescue the heroine from physical harm (even if it isn't really necessary; it wouldn't have happened if the villain was in close distance to the girl in that since when the couple approached him/her)?

The hero is no better. He might seem to be the dark and quited bishie to some readers, but in every scene he showed up, except for his childhood and the scene when he almost strangled someone, he's just so bland.

I'm not that happy with how the main protagonists and the antagonists had been portrayed; the supporting characters, however, were done really well. They didn't have as much lines and appearances, but their actions had been significant enough to trigger a main character to act upon something, to reveal some secrets, and to analyze what's going on.


It's also these supporting characters who lighten up the mood of this generally serious and depressing main plot. (Detective Handsome! w00t!) I'm most pleased with Kentarou, who had been a very reliable friend to Hisano despite his silliness. Fortunately, even though he had an obvious crush on the heroine, he didn't go "out-of-character" for the sake of fulfilling the role of "the dude with a one-sided love in a love triangle". He remained as he is, and jealousy didn't get in the way. His love had been genuine, and honestly more convincing compare to the hero's love for the heroine.

As a love story, it may not have the annoying cliches nor have been disgustingly mushy, it felt rushed and lacking. Maybe it's just me, but how the story went doesn't convince to me how truly in love they had been. The only powerful moment they had, which is my favorite scene, is the flashback of their childhood:


Yet, it wasn't even one of the main chapters. It was just an extra chapter, but that's the most touching scene in the series.

I hate how this series tries so hard to be as dramatic and angsty as possible. The "twistedness" of the abnormal characters here felt forced as well. But even so, this has been a decent and interesting psychological and mystery series. The art is undeniably beautiful; intense scenes had been drawn so wonderfully. This has been an interesting read~

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