Showing posts with label disability. Show all posts
Showing posts with label disability. Show all posts

Friday, May 3, 2019

Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Oima


Rating: WARTY!

This was the second of two manga I looked at recently which featured a person with some sort of disability. In the other it was a person with a wheelchair. In this it was a girl who communicated by sign language. The main male character had been abusive to this girl when he was younger - making fun of her and so on, and now he was older he regretted it and sought to make up for his appalling behavior when he encountered her again, but the problem was that the girl still remained largely mute despite her sign language, and there really was no emotional content here. It was more like a comedy than a moving story and I couldn't stand it.

The girl was completely flat for me, with no emotion, and no fire. She never got annoyed, angry, upset, frustrated or anything. She was like this little magical paragon of Zen and so completely unrealistic that she was a nonentity - a hole in the story instead of a whole story. The guy was no more interesting, so I gave up on it in short order. Now, admittedly I came into this at volume three, but the thought of going back and trying to dig up volumes one and two to catch up was severely disabling for my psyche!

Besides, for a girl who was mute, having increasing volumes seemed painfully paradoxical to me! Certainly, I had no desire to go back and read the earlier volumes in this series when this one in particular had failed to stir me at all. I should say I've never been a fan of that style of Manga which features girls with such ridiculously large eyes, or in which all of the characters look decidedly western rather than Eastern. I do not know why they do this, but I don't like it. So in short I was disappointed in this and cannot commend it.


Real by Takehiko Inoue


Rating: WARTY!

I've not had a lot of success with Manga. Reading a book 'backwards' doesn't come naturally to me(!), but I've made it through one or two that have proven themselves to be worthy reads. This one wasn't. I'd thought it might be interesting given that it features a wheelchair-bound protagonist, but it's not a story about a person with a handicap. It's a story about basketball which happens to feature a person with a handicap. That's not the same thing and the book suffers for it.

Now I know you can argue that it should not be about the handicap - and I agree that far. You can argue that it should be about basketball, and I agree that far, but if you're going to write about basketball and just put one of your characters in a wheelchair and not write about that at all, then what have you done other than to gratuitously include a person with a disability merely for the sake of it? (And that's sayk, not saky! LOL!)

While the wheelchair shouldn't dominate the story unless there's really something weird going on, like a wheelchair version of Stephen King's Christine (which I haven't read), then the wheelchair has to have a role in the story just like any other character because it's either a character or it's a cynical and cheap attempt at diversity without having a thing to say about diversity. Aside from that issue, the story was boring. It didn't offer anything new and worse, it was hard to follow what the hell was actually going on here at times, so I ditched this pretty quickly, especially when skimming through more pages didn't offer me any hope that the story would improve.