Daydream Sanctuary Features

Monday, July 11, 2011

Our Happy Times - They're so Heartbreakingly Short... Yet Meaningful

Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan
By GONG Ji-young and SAHARA Mizu
Juri: My third suicide attempt is another failure, huh.
Juri's Mother: You should never have been born.
Juri: Haha, just looking at your face makes me want to die again, mother.
Sister Monica: Juri...
Juri: Hello Auntie, it's been a while.
Sister Monica: There's a convict I'm about to visit who has attempted suicide just like you. Want to help me out?
Juri: You've got to be joking. I can't even-
Sister Monica: You'd rather go to a mental ward like your mother suggested then?
Juri: ............
Yuu: You're just like that hypocritical nun back then. Pfft! You make me nauseaous.
Sister Monica: But...
Juri: You prisoners on death row.... are so lucky!

Contemporary. Prison. Japan.
Suicide. Crimes. Prisoner. Death Sentence. Visiting Hour. Piano. Monastery.
Psychological. Tragedy. Drama. Romance.

4.5 Hearts ---> ADDICTION

It's one of the most heartbreaking manga I've ever read!

Yes, this manga has romance. It was a love doomed from the very beginning.

But this manga isn't merely a love story; it's about cherishing one's life.

Our Happy Times tells the story of two individuals who were hurt, in different ways, and want to die, for different reasons. They've gone through horrible experiences, and they've shut in their misery to themselves.

It might seem "stereotypical" that the main characters had been the angsty types with tragic pasts. But since this is a story about broken individuals, I believe that's just natural. Something should've happened before their depression, after all. Besides, the characters aren't being emotional for a long period of time over simple matters, so they have all the rights to go angsty. We don't get to see much of the angst anyway; because as the story progresses, they also learn to move on..

Our lonely protagonists had managed to find the person who would understand them without judging, love them for who they are, and who sincerely wants them to live... in each other.

Happiness could still be attained even after living a life filled with sorrow. Even if you're miserable yourself, that doesn't mean that you don't have the ability to lift others from theirs.

The messages, whether they were delivered by the characters or presented subtly in the story, really struck me. They're so real... some of them are encouraging words to be motivated to live... while others are frightening facts that actually happen in your surroundings..

It's true that there have been so many stories with society being unfair to protagonists. It's what's really going on in the real world after all. But of course, it's not always like that... so putting such cases to the extremes, which this manga isn't doing, is cliche.

Our main characters hadn't faced absolute cruelty... and they hadn't been that pure themselves. They all have strengths and weaknesses... good sides and bad sides.

Overall, this manga is beautifully written and wonderfully illustrated. It delivered a number of powerful messages, and there's magic in the form of words, letters, drawings, and music. The characters felt so real; it had been a fun experience to symphatize on them.. and learn from them. It made me cry out of sadness... but I was smiling out of joy at the same time.

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