The manga “Shonen no Abyss” by Ryo Minenami(峰浪りょう) is currently being serialized in “Weekly Young Jump”. It is a “suicide love story” that depicts the love and hate drama that ensues after the protagonist, “Reiji Kurose(黒瀬令児)”, attempts to commit “Shinjyu(心中).
“Shinju(心中)” means that a man and a woman commit suicide together to show their unchanging love for each other.
This manga is set in the countryside with a sense of stagnation, and skillfully depicts the darkness and despair hidden within the characters, giving the reader a unique after-read feeling of gradually becoming suffocated.
I think one of the characteristics of this manga is that there is almost no direct depiction of violence, and the visuals consistently convey the stance of “ugly on the inside, but beautiful on the surface”.
In this article, I’ll introduce the charm of “Shonen no Abyss”, a manga that gives you that strange feeling of being “sloppy but beautiful”!
“Reiji Kurose(黒瀬令児)” is a high school student who is pessimistic about his own future due to his family, friends, and the ties of the countryside. One day, he is approached by “Nagi Aoe(青江ナギ)”, a famous Idol group member he loves, with a proposal of “Shinjyu(心中)”, and this manga depicts how he changes and his relationship with the people around him.
If you have ever lived in a provincial city in Japan, you may have felt the closed atmosphere that Japanese people have. It’s a feeling that even Japanese people can feel, and it undermines young people like Reiji Kurose.
The title, “Abyss”. The Abyss here means to “the most raw emotions deep within human beings”. All of the characters are dissatisfied and despairing about the selfish expectations of the people around them, the closed future, and the environment surrounding them, and they have been living their lives hiding it. However, the arrival of an “outsider” named “Aoe Nagi(青江ナギ)” in town brings about a breakdown, and gradually each character’s dark true feelings start to leak out.
The story is about psychological violence. It’s a story that’s ugly on the inside, but beautiful on the surface. I believe that the feeling that Kurose feels is a feeling shared not only by young Japanese people, but by many people around the world. I’d love to hear your opinions.