On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning – part iv

The holidays is great for reading eighty chapters of manga!

The art is breathtaking and made me realize that Murakami’s themes work very well for shojo manga. Violence. Depression. Suicide. At one point, the prince searches for a cat. Until the end where they suddenly live happily after.

Damien G Walter: The rapacious aspects of some human relationships is a theme that Murakami tackles again and again. In men, that predatory instinct can manifest as violence against women, and Murakami frequently introduces sexually violent male characters in novels including After Dark and his latest, 1Q84. But the most terrifying and subtle predators in Murakami’s worlds are the female characters who inflict psychological violence, often on naive and emotionally vulnerable young men.

Janice P Nimura: ”I once had a girl / Or should I say, she once had me,” go the opening lines of ”Norwegian Wood,” the Beatles song whose title Haruki Murakami borrowed for his 1987 novel. It happens to be a neat summary of Murakami’s basic plot: boy falls for complicated girl and is changed forever. But the song, like the book, is not so easily described. An apparently simple lyric shifts upon closer reading; an oddly haunting snatch of melody repeats in the mind. // ”What if I’ve forgotten the most important thing?” Toru asks as, 20 years later, he tries to set down certain events that took place in the late 1960’s. ”What if somewhere inside me there is a dark limbo where all the truly important memories are heaped and slowly turning into mud?” His question lends the novel a desperate intensity; this is no exercise in soft-focus nostalgia, but an urgent attempt to preserve an exquisitely painful time. // But even when Haruki Murakami is writing fantasy, he doesn’t write fairy tales.


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