君と僕。９ (Kimi to Boku 9)
Author: 堀田きいち (Kiichi Hotta) (2010)
jusco’s Rating: ★★★★★
Kimi to Boku is relatively unknown outside of Japan, but it is a pure gem. It is what you call a ‘青春’ (Seishun) manga, which literally means ‘youthfulness’ but in Japan, it signifies the meaningful and emotional times spent during your teenage/young adult years that eventually forms memories that last a lifetime. Centered on a group of friends who are in their final year of high school, this series explores the different humourous situations that take place, be it a big school trip or small day-to-day activities like eating lunch on the school rooftop. It is meant to be relatable, and since I am roughly the same age as the characters, I feel an undeniable sense of longing to return to high school, nostalgic for the countless memories made (though I’m not that old yet; far from it, if you please). This latest volume once again invoked various emotions; the little remarks are always so extremely witty, while the courageous phone call to the girl of his dreams was nerve wrecking. But ultimately, when the characters discover the joy in friendship and yes, even love – on their school trip to Kyoto, Shun finally meets a girl! – you are swept along on their feel-good adventures. Though non-Japanese readers might find it harder to relate, the memorable experiences are common worldwide. You will be transported into a world of drama, laughter, friendship and love; care to reminisce?