Daily Read: Beautiful Life by Madarame Hiro

Okay, I couldn’t resist the temptation to read the raws for one of the stories from Madarame Hiro‘s new book, Beautiful Days before my book could arrive. Madarame Hiro’s the type of mangaka who writes beautifully even though the plot is actually really, really bad. Frankly, I dislike her characters but I just can’t help but to sympathise with them. Thus, great storytelling will beat bad and cliche plots.

Beautiful Life is about a kid, Asahi, whose mother left him all alone when he was just a toddler 9 years ago and his uncle, Natsume who took him in and nurtured him. Asahi was a very obedient kid but that may be caused by the emotional trauma from his childhood. He was always afraid that Natsume will leave him behind like his mother if he acted like a spoiled child.

Asahi’s life with Natsume was going swell, even though he habours some feelings for his caretaker. Sadly, Asahi’s happiness came crashing down with the appearance of Konno Hiromi who started staying with them out of the blue. Hiromi began to take over Asahi’s housework tasks and slowly spent more time with Natsume, causing Asahi to feel left out.

One day, Asahi found Natsume and Hiromi having sex. Unable to take it anymore, he ran to the toilet and puked his guts out. The latter knew Asahi was spying on them, thus told Asahi that Natsume and him were dating for five years since high school ’til they were in university.

Hiromi: …So please,
Hiromi: don’t come in between us, okay?

Hiromi continued to rant that Natsume suddenly left him during the first snow of winter, which was around the time Natsume brought Asahi into his care…

…Snow?
That day,
the light was glistening,
sparkling, shimmering…
Those bashful, exhilarating feelings
don’t exist anymore…
Asahi: But…
Asahi: But still…
-gone…
That‘s gone…
Hiromi: Huh?
I understand, mother.
I know.
That…
…THAT!

The story goes on some more, I shall not spoil it for anybody. It maybe a simple and overused plot, but the lines, dialogues, storytelling just makes my little black stone heart clench and twist in agony. I haven’t read something that brought tears to my eyes since Nakamura Shungiku’s Hybrid Child years ago. Can’t wait to find out what the other stories in the book will be like!

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13 thoughts on “Daily Read: Beautiful Life by Madarame Hiro

  1. I saw the scans for this story just the other day, and while I didn’t understand it, I did get the gist of it right. I liked that Madarame Hiro’s art on this one is cleaner, which is a relief because while I did love Itoshi Akuma, the art was busy! It must have been a pain to clean.

    Was it only me or did Asahi and Hiromi really look like each other? I almost confused them once. Either it’s the art, or Natsume was only with Hiromi because he looked liked Asahi. I really felt sorry for Hiromi at the end, but it did seem like something was going to happen with the bartender.

    I was the person who asked about bk1, so thank you for response. That was what I did kinda understand from your guide but I wanted to make sure; last time I had to pay more than I imagined because of shipping and I don’t want that to happen again.

    • The only way I could tell the difference between Hiromi and Asahi is by their fringe/bangs. Maybe… height too. XD

      Oh, sorry for the late reply, formspring isn’t sending me email notifications anymore for some reason. Did BK1 split the parcels last time? I think they’re charging 250yen each too?

      • No, it wasn’t like that. The problem I had with them was that more than half of what they charged me was because of shipping.

        • Oh, I see. BK1’s usually charge my estimated amount. For usual BL manga tankoubon size is about 250g. Light novels are usually 180~200g. Artbooks are about 300 to 400g, depending if it’s hard cover or soft cover. Maybe you’ll be able to estimate the weight and the price?

          • And how much does one anthology volume weigh? Actually, if you don’t mind telling, I wanted to ask the weight of your last order (the one that had onBlue 4). I ordered about the same amount of books from BK1 and shipping was pricier than what I expected it to be X(.

            • I can somewhat answer that. The Dame anthology weights around 1,800 grams, so I’m guessing that other anthologies weight around the same.

            • My last order (with 2 anthologies) weight 3500g (3.5kg). There are 13 tankoubon and 2 anthologies. Assuming each book weighs about 220g, the 2 anthologies should only weigh about 320g each, 640g total. The DameBL anthology is heavier than a usual anthology/magazine. :’D

              I always assume tankoubon weighs about 250g and anthology is around 350g. Just use this number to calculate the shipping price before ordering. :)

            • That’s strange. I also ordered 2 anthologies (onBlue :3) and 13 tankoubons and BK1 charged me as if my order weighted 4-5 kg ;A;. Could it be that the package is more than 500g? o_O I guess you can’t predict for sure what they will charge you until you get their e-mail with final price :-(

  2. Wow. I cried when I read Hybrid Child too!
    I’m looking forward to reading Beautiful Life.

    I do love Madarame Hiro’s works, even though they do seem a bit twisted and also seem to be of a dark nature.

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