In the morning, we walk side by side up the long hill to school, as usual… As though that day never happened. Chise is as slow as ever. Without comment, I shorten my stride and let her catch up… So the distance between us won’t grow.

Shuji is an emotionally immature teenage boy, awkward and cloddish the way teenage boys can be. Chise is a shy slow girl who’s immature in every respect. They start dating, more for practice than because they like each other in particular, and write an “exchange diary” which they trade back and forth to record their lives and feelings. Early volumes of the manga have lots of excerpts from the diary.

But then the war comes to their peaceful town. Chise is taken away and transformed into a cyborg angel of death, and set to work as a killing machine. (The series title is an abbreviation for the Japanese for "My girlfriend, the ultimate weapon.") She and Shuji try to keep up a semblance of normal life, going to school and worrying about whether they should have sex yet, but soon the war engulfs their town and their lives. They’re forced to make adult decisions they’re in no way ready for, and their feelings for each other slowly grow even as their relationship stays largely a matter of circumstance and the desire to have a relationship. It’s not so much that they’re in love, as that they hope that if they act as if they are, they will fall in love with each other.

This is a very odd series. The art is sketchy and Chise looks about nine most of the time, which made the sex scenes even creepier than they would have been already, given the limits to which the story pushes the connection between sex and death. In separate encounters, both Shuji and Chise end up having consensual comfort sex with someone who is dying in bloody agony. EW. Not a creepy fetish, but rather than a statement about war and the desperate grasping at life in the midst of death. Still, really disturbing.

The pace is slow and meditative. The emotions and the atmosphere feel raw and honest, and though I never really liked either Chise or Shuji, I did root for them to have their little love story before the world ended. There’s something very compelling about the story and the way it’s told that kept me reading even though I knew it couldn’t possibly end well. And sure enough…

Death, doom, despair, and a long warm red tunnel )
In the morning, we walk side by side up the long hill to school, as usual… As though that day never happened. Chise is as slow as ever. Without comment, I shorten my stride and let her catch up… So the distance between us won’t grow.

Shuji is an emotionally immature teenage boy, awkward and cloddish the way teenage boys can be. Chise is a shy slow girl who’s immature in every respect. They start dating, more for practice than because they like each other in particular, and write an “exchange diary” which they trade back and forth to record their lives and feelings. Early volumes of the manga have lots of excerpts from the diary.

But then the war comes to their peaceful town. Chise is taken away and transformed into a cyborg angel of death, and set to work as a killing machine. (The series title is an abbreviation for the Japanese for "My girlfriend, the ultimate weapon.") She and Shuji try to keep up a semblance of normal life, going to school and worrying about whether they should have sex yet, but soon the war engulfs their town and their lives. They’re forced to make adult decisions they’re in no way ready for, and their feelings for each other slowly grow even as their relationship stays largely a matter of circumstance and the desire to have a relationship. It’s not so much that they’re in love, as that they hope that if they act as if they are, they will fall in love with each other.

This is a very odd series. The art is sketchy and Chise looks about nine most of the time, which made the sex scenes even creepier than they would have been already, given the limits to which the story pushes the connection between sex and death. In separate encounters, both Shuji and Chise end up having consensual comfort sex with someone who is dying in bloody agony. EW. Not a creepy fetish, but rather than a statement about war and the desperate grasping at life in the midst of death. Still, really disturbing.

The pace is slow and meditative. The emotions and the atmosphere feel raw and honest, and though I never really liked either Chise or Shuji, I did root for them to have their little love story before the world ended. There’s something very compelling about the story and the way it’s told that kept me reading even though I knew it couldn’t possibly end well. And sure enough…

Death, doom, despair, and a long warm red tunnel )
.

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