Manga Minutes – April 6, 2014: In Sickness

“Manga Minutes” is a weekly round-up of quick thoughts on the manga I’ve read. This week: Vertical’s Sickness Unto Death.

SUD1

Sickness Unto Death, vols 1-2
Hikari Asada (Author), Takahiro Seguchi (Illustrator); Vertical

Admittedly, this week was a little slow in manga reading. April is a big month in terms of preorders though, so I expect that to change in the coming weeks.

Still, I was pretty excited when I got this newer two volume series from Vertical. I had intended to pass on this one when it was initially licensed, but curiosity ate at me, and then I read Lori Henderson’s review and finally decided to give it a whirl. At two volumes I figured I didn’t have much to lose.

The first volume flew by; I intended just to flip through it as soon as I got it but wound up reading all but the last chapter of the first volume in one sitting. I finished the rest of the series later that day and while I liked it, I expected to like it just a tad more.

The first volume was one of the best I’ve read in awhile, and is exactly the type of manga I want to see. Psychological and dark, but with a quick pace — since the story starts with Futaba discussing Emiru in the past tense, you already know that whatever is wrong with Emiru in the beginning of the series doeSUD2sn’t end well. As Lori Henderson pointed out there’s a hint that something supernatural is going on, and as a reader you’re almost afraid to find out what’s really wrong with Emiru.

Towards the end it gets too philosophically heavy, and that was my main issue with the tail end of the series. I know Emiru struggled immensely with herself/self-concept, but for a first volume that flew by the philosophical pondering drug a bit towards the end and that was disappointing. That being said, I really loved the relationship between Futaba and Emiru; I thought the sexual aspect of their relationship in particular was handled tastefully and actually contributed to the character development. I hope more manga can make it here similar to this, just one with a bit more punch throughout.


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